Made in USA Gives Small Business an Edge

April 8, 2011 at 7:00 am

With the spring season looming, Dartmouth College men’s head rugby coach Alex Magleby didn’t want to risk waiting the roughly eight weeks his two suppliers typically took to get jerseys, shorts, and jackets from their workshops in Asia. So in February he turned to Boathouse Sports, a Philadelphia manufacturer that promised to provide similar gear in four weeks at about the same price. “We found that Boathouse delivered the quickest, hands down,” says Magleby.

Boathouse and other small U.S. clothing manufacturers that bucked the offshoring trend are catching a tailwind as rising costs for labor and transportation make Asia more expensive. In the U.S. apparel market, domestic production fell from 41 percent in the late 1990s to just 3 percent in 2008, according to the most recent government data. Still, hundreds of small companies, most with just a few dozen employees, manufacture in the U.S. Many are benefiting from their decision to keep production stateside, says Nate Herman, vice-president for international trade at the American Apparel & Footwear Assn. “There haven’t been any new manufacturers popping up, but the ones that are around are pretty much at maximum production,” Herman says.  Read More.

N. Leiber, Bloomber Businessweek, March 24, 2011

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Entry filed under: Recession, United States.

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Travel with the Northern Kentucky Chamber in 2012

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