AAFA Releases ApparelStats 2012 Report | American Apparel & Footwear Association. The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) declared: like the surge in domestic manufacturing in 2011, the U.S. Apparel industry followed suit (no pun intended) with its own spike in domestic manufacturing. “In 2011, domestic apparel manufacturing grew 11.1% and for the first time ever (that’s right, never before has this happened), domestic production’s share of the U.S. Market grew (yay!), driving import penetration in the U.S. apparel market below 98%,” according to AAFA President Kevin Burke.
On average, every American, including every man, woman and child in the U.S. spent $910 on more than 62 garments in 2011.
So, what accounts for this increase in domestic apparel manufacturing in a slow market? I would definitely say it is because the American public is slowly becoming more aware that “Made in the USA” is important. It stimulates our own economy, providing more homegrown jobs, while at that same time, you can purchase better quality (in general) clothing and footwear than the foreign imports, and, just for good measure, it sends a message to other countries (via the economic route) that poor labor conditions are not to be tolerated here in the United States.
There is more work that needs to be done – that is for sure. As you can tell, the U.S. clothing manufacturers make only a little more than 2% of what we use. If the politicians were truly interested in boosting the U.S. economy, they would eliminate tax breaks which encourage companies to outsource their jobs, while giving incentives to companies to bring jobs back here. Traditionally, one would think that this would be a Republican agenda item, but this year, it is not, maybe, because a certain 44th President of the United States had suggested it first.