Recent stories about American manufacturing have painted varying pictures. Depending on the publication, the industry is either dead, dying, making a comeback, or in something of a holding pattern. But according to a lengthy, sweeping profile of North Carolina’s garment industry from Racked, the state of American manufacturing is, more than anything, complicated.
As the story notes, virtually everyone — regardless of political affiliation, economic standing, gender, race, etc. — has “the idea that more American manufacturing would be good.” But that consensus hasn’t done anything to bolster the floundering industry.
“American businesses are rarely moved by the common public sentiment to make the change and bring their supply chains (and all the jobs they represent) to the US,” and often cite a litany of limitations due to the sector’s atrophied state, as the reason.
However, using knitwear company, American Giant’s, admirably transparent – and all US-based – supply chain as an example, the story makes a strong case that domestic manufacturing doesn’t have to be as inefficient as those American businesses claim.
That said, the story also concedes that a more efficient process, similar to AG’s, won’t necessarily guarantee a comeback, noting that AG’s own workers prefer to buy less expensive goods from big box outlets, than from their employer.
So while, according to the story, businesses have far more agency when deciding on where to manufacture than they would have you believe, whether or not customers will actually put their money where their mouth is, remains to be seen.
You can read more about it at Racked.