If you took the challenge to sift through the entireties of your wardrobe and discard garments not produced in the U.S.A, you would be shocked to see your closet nearly empty. The reality is that what was once upon a time seen as a thriving business in the U.S., the garment industry now outsources nearly all business overseas. Statistics show that only a 5% of clothing sold in the U.S. is American made. Fortunately, there seems to be recent surge in demand of clothing produced within our borders and some designers that are still keeping it domestic.
Ohio native Nanette Lepore is known for being an outspoken advocate for NYC’s garment center. She cuts, pins, sews, and boxes the majority of her line only a few blocks from her atelier on West 35th Street. Recent CFDA winners for the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have really set the bar high for other celebrities-turned-designers. The luxury line The Row emphasizes on keeping the production close to home. The line is predominately produced in the U.S.A with the exception of some leather goods and knitwear produced in Italy.
The artists behind Rag & Bone, Marcus Wright and David Neville are designers with no formal fashion training yet make an amazing pair of jeans. Their styles have a strong British influence yet are exceptionally American. They craft their garments in U.S. factories the way it use to be. And who hasn’t heard of American Apparel and their “Made in Downtown L.A” slogan? They pride themselves in being a Vertically Integrated Manufacturer, which provides employment to more than 5,000 local Angelinos and ultimately saving time and money.
There is a certain cachet that comes when purchasing a product with a ‘Made in the USA’ label and strong national and international interest in the authenticity of what that entails is the incentive for designers and the garment industry to keep things home grown.
Here are other designers who are also keeping it domestic:
Oscar de la Renta- Dominican Republic-born designer decided to “set-up shop” on 42nd Street in NYC luxury threads produced on our shores.
J Brand- the majority of their denim pants and leggings are U.S. made.
Spanx- these panty hose are every woman’s salvation, not only were they invented in the US of A but are entirely manufactured here too.
Photo Credits: nanettelepore.com, therow.com, rag-bone.com, americanapparel.net