Behind the Seams

By Molly Rose

Do you know what happens behind the seams?

In other words, do you know how the T-shirt that you are most likely wearing is made into its final components? Let me tell you– if you don’t already know– constructing garments is no easy feat. In fact, it is probably one of the most challenging feats in the world.

The textiles and clothing industries, labeled T&C for many scholars, account for much of the world’s GDP, or economic growth. In the United States, specifically, the “textile industry is one of the more important employers in the manufacturing sector… representing 2 percent of the US manufacturing workforce” (selectusa.commerce.gov). Moreover, the US textile “industry is highly competitive, ranking fourth in global export value behind China, India, and Germany” (selectusa.commerce.gov).

For many, these facts are boring— but why are they boring? Why don’t employers in the fashion world relay this information to the daily customer? Are there ways to inform the customer in more compelling ways?

Perhaps, if the customer were to be more deeply rooted to the source—whether that be the CEO of his/her favorite fashion brand or the people who physically construct his/her favorite garment– then the customer would be more open to the facts, and the knowledge that is generally perceived as boring.

The problem that lies here is that there is an evidentiary gap between the customer and the apparel that he/she buys then wears on a daily basis. There is information floating around the world but it rarely reaches the customer in a meaningful way.

It is time to reinvent the system, in a way that satisfies the customer but that also brings the customer together with others. At times, the fashion industry can be superfluous; however, it doesn’t have to be. The fashion industry can be luxurious, about indulgence and togetherness, too.

In the midst of all the clutter that people encounter everyday, there are ways to globalize the psychological and social impacts of fashion. Can you help to change the fashion industry for the better? Will you be more willing, then, to learn from the true sources?

(For more facts from the government, check out the link below)

http://selectusa.commerce.gov/industry-snapshots/textile-industry-united-states.html

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