The fashion industry is one of the most dynamic industries in the world. It is a global, multi-billion dollar industry that contributes huge amounts to the economy. In the United States, the apparel and textile sector accounts for approximately $380 billion annually.
The US apparel industry is comprised of wholesalers, retailers, and importers. They produce a variety of clothing and accessories, including apparel, workwear, and uniforms. Most manufacturers create moderate-priced products. Others produce high-end merchandise. These companies use various materials, such as recycled textiles, in their designs.
The apparel and textile industry is highly dependent on technology. Several garment and textile manufacturing companies use robotics and computers to design and cut garments. The industry also uses new advancements in information management, such as data management systems, to manage the production process. Natural fibers, such as cotton and wool, are a key commodity. Synthetic fibers, such as polyester, are becoming increasingly important.
As the American economy grew and changed, the clothing industry was able to adapt to the new trends. The industrial revolution led to a rapid shift from custom-made to ready-made clothes. This was prompted by a growing middle class and an increase in foreign labor. During this time, the Lower East Side of New York City became a center of apparel manufacturing. Many of the descendants of poor immigrants who settled in the area began small factories.
The United States is the largest market for apparel in the world. The industry continues to experience positive growth in emerging markets. In addition to manufacturing, the industry provides a variety of jobs. Jobs include designer, stylist, and advertising personnel. Some positions are specialized, such as those in product development, design, production, and retail.
In order to achieve success, companies must have enough differentiation in their product line and global branding. They must also have the ability to provide timely delivery of merchandise. However, most apparel and textile companies remain unfamiliar with the consumer audience. Until recently, the apparel industry was divided into two main categories: retail and wholesale. Today, the lines are blurred. Retailers have begun to compete by opening flagship stores throughout the world.
Despite the recent recession, the apparel and textile industry is still one of the biggest employers in the United States. Many companies have benefited from dominating niche markets. For example, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, Christian Dior, and Levi Strauss are large clothing manufacturers.
As the fashion industry has become more globalized, it has moved to places where labor is less expensive. However, low-wage environments can lead to exploitation of workers. Moreover, consumers are showing interest in eco-friendly fabrics, such as linen and cotton.
Currently, the US fashion industry employs 1.8 million people. It is dominated by multinational conglomerates, which take a stake in the businesses. A smaller number of individual designers produce high-fashion collections.
While the fashion industry has been around for a long time, it only became established in the twentieth century. Designers are now known as the arbiters of taste. Fashion magazines have also played a crucial role in the democratization of fashion in the modern era.