By  on September 5, 2012

The severe economic challenges of the 21st century have Americans thinking about jobs, and that’s got them thinking differently — and far more positively — about American-made apparel.

With the unemployment rate hovering above 8 percent since February 2009, many unable to find full-time work matched to their skills and jobs in a manufacturing sector that has been decimated not only by hard times but also by improved productivity, Americans are reflecting more on where their cars, clothing and other consumer products are coming from.

A survey conducted by The NPD Group exclusively for WWD revealed that more than half — 54.9 percent — of the 1,600 adults responding are either “much more aware” or “somewhat more aware” of the country of origin of their apparel than they were five years ago, before the onset of what is now termed the Great Recession and what is certainly perceived as a turning point in the economic fortunes of the country. In addition to the 25.1 percent who said they were much more aware of where their apparel is being made and the 29.9 percent who described themselves as somewhat more aware of it, 37.5 percent said their awareness was about the same as it had been five years ago. Just 7.6 percent indicated they were somewhat or much less aware of where their apparel originated.


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