Clothing Label Reveals the Global Nature of the Textile and Apparel Industry

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While shopping in SoHo (NYC), Nicole Farese, a student from FASH455, found the label of a Splendid sweater reads “Made of Italian Yarn” and “Made in China”. Splendid is a casual wear store which is known for their high-quality clothing sold at a premium price.

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Do you find any example of globalization from your clothing label or closet? Please feel free to leave your comment or send your pictures to shenglu@udel.edu (selected pictures will be shared through the blog).

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Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

15 thoughts on “Clothing Label Reveals the Global Nature of the Textile and Apparel Industry”

  1. I think it is interesting that a lot of garments are no longer made in China anymore. This could be because many companies sourced from China because of it’s cheap labor. However, it seems like every company had the same idea in sourcing from China which has caused costs to rise which led to sourcing from other countries. Other countries also have other textiles that China may not necessarily have.
    I now have clothing from Vietnam, Cambodia, and even Ethiopian “Made in__” tags!

    1. great comment! I would say China is not immune to globalization either. and don’t forget that Uniqlo is a Japanese apparel retailer which operates around the world. the typical business model today in the apparel industry is producing anywhere in the world and selling anywhere in the world. We will look deeper into these phenomenon later in the semester.

    2. I had the same observation! I recently bought a shirt from Zara (the very famous Spanish retailer) in a US mall but the tag said “Made in Portugal”. I feel like today everyone says “everything’s made in China” however there are so many countries stepping up in the textile and apparel industry.

  2. I think it is important for us to realize how many places our one garment has come from. Many of my garments say Vietnam or China and only few if not none say made in the USA. These pieces travel the world just to end up in our hands in the USA!

  3. I find it especially interesting how even when the label says “Made in the U.S” there is a disclaimer that it is not made entirely in the U.S., rather it is made from imported fibers. I don’t think the label should be allowed to say that it is “Made in the U.S.” when in actuality it is made of imported fibers.

    1. I strongly agree with this Briana! It’s unfair to the consumer to think they are buying all American made products, when they are actually buying products that have had final construction here. Also, it’s unfair to the foreign workers that actually produced the products. Every country and everyone should receive credit for their work.

  4. This past weekend while shopping in SoHo (NYC), I came across an example of globalization from a clothing label on a sweater sold in a store called “Splendid”. This is a casual wear store which is known for their high-quality, expensive clothing. On the label I noticed that it read, “Made of Italian Yarn”, and “Made in China”. This is interesting because it seems like fashion company’s are starting to specify exactly what is made in which country, to ease the controversy that comes from mislabeling and foreign trade. In my opinion, this is smart for country’s to do because they are expressing the truth to the public and avoiding any negative publicity that comes from globalization. (I will directly email you the photos that I took of the sweater and label)

  5. I found it very interesting that the splendid shirt separated the origin of the yarn and the construction of the garment. The textile and apparel industry is more global than ever. I think because of the fact that a single garment could be made in so many different places the origin label rules must be adjusted as well. I think we will see larger labels with many more countries identified each producing a very specific part of a garment.

  6. A few months ago i bought a denim shirt from Zara for around $25. This skirt really caught my attention because it had a unique zipper on the back. Just this past weekend i saw the exact same denim skirt at Pacsun in the Christiana Mall. It immediately caught my attention because it recognized the unique zipper. I went home and looked at the tag of my denim skirt and saw that it said “Made in Monaco.” The only difference between the two skirts were the labels which had the different logos. It’s crazy to think that these two skirts were made all the way in Monaco because that means both Zara and Pacsun source from the same factory. Just thought i share my first hand experience of globalization in the fashion industry.

  7. I find this post very interesting because I feel that “Maid in” tags are overrated. I feel this because products can be produced and sold from various places in the world. No one country has enough resources to produce and sell from their country alone. The T&A industry is constantly changing and is more global than ever.

  8. This concept is extremely interesting because the apparel industry is slightly moving away from “Made in ____” and becoming more transparent in the production of the products being sold. The tag “Made in USA from imported fibers” is a perfect example how many products that are completed in one country, also have different aspects from other varying countries (yarn, fibers, fabric, etc.) There has been a large shift from just having “Made in USA” or “Made in China” to now “Made in Vietnam” or “Made in Bangladesh”. I find this change to be very interesting and it shows which companies care about the transparency of their business and how they’re viewed by consumers.

  9. I really feel the future of fashion will include a way for customers to fully understand the supply chain of their garments. The manufacturing of apparel is extremely important, but not the sole value of the clothing. There is a large global chain that includes the U.S. in many steps such as designing, buying, sourcing, marketing, merchandising, and much more. I believe in the future; apparel companies should create an app or a different tag within our clothing. This would show the process of how the product was made and where it has been in the process, in order to educate and show the customer all the countries that contribute to the make that one product.

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