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After several decades of decline, American-made fashion is having a bit of a comeback.
Following a kerfuffle over the provenance of last summer's Olympic Opening Ceremony outfits, Ralph Lauren announced next winter's Olympic uniforms will be produced domestically.
Last January, Walmart pledged to add $50 billion in made-in-America goods to its inventory over the next 10 years.
And there is a long list of USA-made indie designers and smaller labels that consider American craftsmanship a crucial part of both their heritage and their marketing plans—premium denim label J Brand, off-duty-model fave rag & bone, and Fashion Week stalwart Nanette Lepore among them.
This month, industry experts gathered for the West Coast Manufacturing Conference to discuss issues and challenges surrounding the domestic manufacturing revival—the main challenge, of coure, being price.
"The kids don't care. What consumers under the age of 20 care about is it has to be from Nasty Gal, it has to be cheap," said Ilse Metchek, president of nonprofit business group California Fashion Association.
Designer Charlotte Tarantola agrees. Fast-fashion chains and other stores "train the customer to have a false idea of what it cost," she said. "If you know what minimum wage is, can you make that in an hour and pay $9.99 for it?"
We're curious: Is domestic manufacturing important to you? Would you pay more for a USA-made shirt or dress? Speak your mind in the comments.