Immago in the USA
The USA textile market is the third-largest textile industry in the world after China and India.
immago is proud to be a part of the US market, helping connect American businesses with global sourcing.
History of the apparel industry in the US
As one of the nation’s oldest industries, the manufacturing of textiles and apparel has played an important role in the country’s history. In fact, the first factory ever built in the United States was a textile spinning plant, back in 1790.
The birth of the US clothing industry goes back to the American revolution around that same time.
As the 13 colonies were trying to establish themselves as an independent entity, self-sufficiency was encouraged as a patriotic duty. Even more so than buying American-made clothes, citizens were invited to make their own clothing, using raw materials from America.
This trend continued as America grew into an independent nation, although Europe was still the fashion centre of the world, particularly Paris and Milan, the industrial revolution was changing how garments were made.
Traditionally, all clothing was hand-sewn, but by the 1880s, large mills and factories were producing fabric and garments by the hundreds. Conditions were often horrible, and at the turn of the 20th-century mills and factory conditions earned the attention of progressives, with dangerous conditions and low pay brought to the forefront of the public’s attention.
World War II
Many fashion houses closed during the occupation of Paris in the Second World War, with several big-name designers relocating to New York. That, along with Paris’s isolated situation under Nazi occupation, enabled Americans to fully utilize the ingenuity and creativity of their own designers as well as their newly arrived ones.
Apparel manufacturing became much more focused on domestic production during the 1940s, with the war firing a resurgence of American patriotism once again.
In the 1970s, large-scale textile mills began emerging in developing countries in Latin America and Asia, offering cheap labour, an abundance of raw materials and the ability to mass-produce orders fast.
By the 1980s large retail chains such as J.C. Penney and the Gap began to transition sourcing to overseas manufacturers.
The 1990s saw the advent of policies aimed at trade liberalization, with George Bush creating deals such as NAFTA. These policies removed most restrictions and duties on overseas manufactured clothing, and American retailers moved swiftly to take advantage of cheaper, overseas production.
The result was devastating for the US manufacturing industry. In 1960, 95% of clothing and footwear bought in the United States was made in the United States. Today, that figure is 3%.
The US apparel industry today
When it comes to consumers, the apparel market in the US is the largest in the world, worth around US$335bn per annum, 22% of the global apparel market. Women’s Apparel makes up the largest segment with around 55% of the total market.
The US market is dominated by a collection of iconic global apparel brands, including Nike (15%), Levi’s (15%), Adidas (10%), Calvin Klein (10%) and Under Armour (10%). It is estimated that around 45% of the apparel sold in the US is sold via online channels, a figure that has doubled in the past 5 years.
When it comes to exports, according to the recent report from the US National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the total value of U.S. textile and apparel shipments totaled $64.4 billion in 2020, with the country the second-largest exporter of textile-related products in the world.
On the supply side of things, China is the largest supplier of apparel imports into the US, with a 38% market share followed by Vietnam (15%), Bangladesh (9%) and India (5%).
Immago in America
We have been helping American companies now for almost a decade, with our headquarters based in Short Hills, New Jersey, just 45 minutes from the famous New York garment district.
Scott M Fishman runs our US operations, and with over two decades in the US fashion industry, Scott brings a world of experience to our business.
Immago’s US operation focuses on two main aspects of the industry:
- supplying manufacturers in the US, and
- supplying US brands’ offshore factories via our global network.
How we can help
If you’re a manufacturer in the US, we can help supply you with a full suite of label and packaging products.
Whether you’re an aspiring designer or a successful mid-sized apparel brand, we can work with you and your unique needs, finding the right solution for your company.
No matter what type of packaging or labelling you are looking for, be it sustainable, eco-friendly packaging or weirdly shaped hangtags, we’ve got the answer for you.
If you’re a brand that manufacturers outside the US, then you need to talk to us. The immago family is spread across the globe, with facilities in regions that supply two-thirds of the US apparel industry.
We can coordinate packaging and labels with your manufacturer, have it all work seamlessly together, and bring it to your door in the US.
We choose our clients carefully – we’re only interested in brands who have the same attitude as us. Brands that are entrepreneurial, tenacious, and know what they want.
We want to work with companies that aim for quality and customer satisfaction, and that put people before profit.
Because we are picky about who we work with, we guarantee you get our full attention. Any issues, hold-ups, or problems, we’re there for you.
If you’re an apparel company in the US that wants to join our growing team, then contact us today and let’s have a chat about what we can do for you and your brand.