Why America Stopped Making Its Own Clothing – KQED

Why America Stopped Making Its Own Clothes. KQED, a Public Broadcasting Station ran this story on its blog on September 5, 2013. The article is about the loss of clothing manufacturing. It demonstrates via pie charts that households had decreased their expenditures percentage-wise on clothing from 10% of their total household budget in 1960 (which amounted to 25 pieces of clothing per year) to 3.5% today (which amounts to 70 pieces of clothing per year).  The pie charts also demonstrates that the manufacturing of the clothing made in the USA was 95% of all clothing in the U.S. in 1960 and now it is 2%.

There is a section on “How Did We Get There”. Although this section is informative, it is very scarce in specifics and it could have been slightly more accurate. The author blames liberal free Trade laws (which is definitely true), but, it only names the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But it is really The World Trade Organization agreement in 1995 which is much more to blame than NAFTA. Another nitpicking point, China did not begin manufacturing in the mid 1970s. Certainly, China picked up steam in manufacturing in the later 1980’s and then went full steam ahead in the 1990’s.

Don’t forget to check out the related KQED link on May 17, 2013: “Who Made Your T-Shirt? The Hidden Cost of Cheap Fashion“.


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