By  on August 9, 2011

WASHINGTON — The message has been heard loudly and clearly by the fashion industry — the Western Hemisphere is diversifying and becoming a more viable alternative to rising costs in China, and commodity products are no longer the only game in town.

Business investment, which had been leaving the hemisphere for the better part of two decades, is on a reverse course as inflationary pressure throughout the supply chain is redirecting sourcing for apparel and footwear to Central America, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and the Andean region, where speed-to-market and fast-fashion deliveries play a critical role.

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