Report: U.S. Domestic Apparel Manufacturing Hit New Heights in 2011

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Arlington, VA– Following in the footsteps of the U.S. footwear industry’s surge in Made in USA manufacturing last year, the U.S. apparel industry grew to new levels in 2011.

“In 2011, domestic apparel manufacturing grew 11.1% and, for the first time ever, domestic production’s share of the U.S. market grew, driving import penetration in the U.S. apparel market below 98%,” said Kevin M. Burke, president/ceo at The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) which recently released its ApparelStats 2012 report, a snapshot of the U.S. apparel industry market trends for 2011.

The report examines business and trade information related to U.S. apparel consumption, production, employment, imports, and retail prices.

Although there may have been an impressive increase in the domestic apparel industry, it still pales in comparison to China.

“Despite continued shifts away from China as a sourcing option, China remains the largest supplier of apparel to the U.S. market supplying nearly 33.2% of apparel sold in the United States,” Burke noted.

“With more than 97% of apparel sold in the United States being made globally, trade remains an important issue for the U.S. apparel and footwear industry,” said Burke.  “In fact, nearly three million U.S. apparel industry workers and more than one million U.S. footwear industry workers count on trade for their jobs.”

Key facts from the ApparelStats 2012 report:

•U.S. apparel consumption by volume for 2011 dropped 5.3% to 19.4 billion garments. While consumption dropped slightly over the significant gains made in 2010, the decrease in consumption does not represent a return to the recession-level consumption experienced in 2008 and 2009.

•While U.S. apparel consumption slightly declined in 2011, the value of sales grew by 4.9% to $283.7 billion at retail.  This growth reflects both the increase in retail prices driven by higher supply chain costs, including increases in materials, labor, and transportation, as well as consumers returning to purchases of apparel at higher pricepoints coming out of the recession.

•97.7% of apparel sold in the United States is made internationally, a 0.3% decline from 2010, which represents the first-ever decline in import penetration, or the amount of the U.S. apparel market supplied by imports.

•China now represents the No. 1 global market for U.S. cotton exports, the number 2 global market for U.S. yarn exports, and the number 3 global market for U.S. fabric exports.

•On average, every American, including every man, woman, and child in the United States spent $910 on more than 62 garments in 2011.

•Americans, on average, continue to spend an ever smaller percentage of their household income to buy more clothes.

About AAFA

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the global market.  AAFA’s mission is to promote and enhance its members’ competitiveness, productivity and profitability in the global market by minimizing regulatory, commercial, political, and trade restraints.




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