Is A Clothing Manufacturer in USA Your Best Choice

If you are just starting y0ur own clothing line in the bustling fashion market or already have an established brand, you will want to know where and how to manufacture clothing to ensure you are maximizing efficiency and profit.

In this article we are going to contextualize if using a clothing manufacturer in USA is a wise and viable option for your business. We will be covering the following topics that we think are important for your consideration:

  1. A Brief History of apparel manufacturers in USA
  2. Pros of Manufacturing in USA
  3. Cons of Manufacturing in USA
  4. Alternative options with greater flexibility and affordability.

In fact, clothing companies that manufacture in the United States say they often save time getting their products made. Many are also proud to carry the label “Made in the USA” on their tags. However, garment manufacturing abroad is now the go-to for many. Hence, one must ask: what clothing brands are made in the USA and even more importantly, how much does it cost to manufacture clothing in the US? The results or lack of, may surprise you.

Made in America
Made in America

A Brief History of Apparel Manufacturers in USA

The start of the 20th century marked the beginning of the change in the history for United States clothing manufacturers. From the 60s and 70s, America went from manufacturing 95% of the clothes it consumed to 75%.

The 80s did see an increase in the American household budgets for clothing, but that wasn’t to the Manufacturer’s benefit. In fact, it was down by another 5%.

The 90s were alarming, with local manufactures dropping down another 50%.

The new millennium saw that number reduced down to 29%, and just when the manufacturing exodus seemed to be over, that number is now at 2%. As can be seen, going from 95% to 2% in 57 years makes one really wonder what went wrong or why this intercontinental transfer of manufacturing happened. Americans learned that they could manufacture abroad for a fraction of the cost whilst directing significant increased profits to customer acquisition through sales and marketing. A win win.

Kheel Center Women sewing at a garment factory with election signs for Johnson Humphrey and others overhead 1964
Kheel Center Women sewing at a clothing manufacturer in USA with election signs for Johnson Humphrey and others overhead 1964

Pros of Manufacturing in USA

If you would like to know more about how to find  out how to get clothing manufactured in USA and what clothing companies are made in America? The Good Trade from Los Angeles has a thorough list answering these question.

We investigated why some of these clothing designers choose a clothing manufacturer in USA? Here’s what we found:

– Quality: Made in USA brands praise their apparel manufacturers in usa for their exceptional quality.

– Time: With no shipping, customs or Eastern public holidays involved. Obviously, a good chunk of time is saved.

– Communication: Language barrier tends to be a challenge while dealing with clothing manufacturers in the East.

– Labor Standards: When it comes to labor, the U.S. standards are certainly higher than they are in many parts of the world. With an average of 13.51$ per hour for factory workers.

Finding the best united states clothing manufacturers is a mission of its own. Luckily, insightful results are available.

Unfortunately, having a clothing manufacturer in USA isn’t all perks. There’s always another side of the coin.

Cons of Manufacturing in USA

Obviously, cost is the biggest turn-off when considering American clothing manufacturers.

In fact, this is probably the biggest reason why the manufacturing industry has failed in America. One simply can’t compete with overseas prices. Of course, supporting the local labor is something you’d want to do. However, in a lot of young designers’ cases, this is rarely an option.

Another factor where clothing companies that manufacture in the United States struggle is finding custom clothing options to choose from. Since Clothing Manufacturing in USA scaled-down drastically, options are now miniscule. Most available options are for private label clothing which is manufactured abroad, imported in bulk and screen printing locally. Or there are some cut and sew manufacturing for basic styles. Luckily the ordering quantities for ready made garments are low.

As a result, this has also limited the skills and techniques available to American clothing manufacturers. With close to no demand, the workforce in the US didn’t get the chance to forge its skills and keep up with the latest product development techniques.

Alternative options with greater flexibility and affordability

It’s no shock that 95% of orders go to clothing manufacturers overseas. Asia’s time an experience in the industry has also made its skills and techniques unbeatable. To young entrepreneurs and designers’ luck, the options are endless.

In the event that China isn’t the one for you, it’s not even a problem. Other Asian countries are now running the show. Vietnam and Bangladesh for instance. As for those who care for labor standards, you too have options.

Strict laws protecting not only the environment but also the workforce now exist in Vietnam. Along with social enterprises in the body of clothing manufacturing companies. You just need to find them.


Speaking of clothing manufacturers and social enterprises abroad, Yoke is a great example. Found in Vietnam’s central coast. This Apparel Manufacturer offers programs benefiting the local community and empowering its underprivileged women. All while providing a very competitive LOW MOQ, and offers custom high quality services.


On a whole, custom American clothing manufacturers are a good option. Without a doubt the most significant benefit is convenience. They are mostly beneficial for start ups looking to launch a casual basics collection. However if your brand takes off or if you want to develop more sophisticated designs, you will need to look abroad.

If this wasn’t enough information for you and you would like to learn more about clothing manufacturing, please read this extensive guide.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a message in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.



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