What Works for Small Apparel Manufacturing: Issues Affecting Reshoring

Date
2017-01-01
Authors
Engel-Enright, Carol
Miller, Nancy
Worrell, Jennifer
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Abstract

This study is the first step in a National Science Foundation supported investigation of evolving innovative US supply chain linkages that support development of small apparel manufacturing centers across a southwestern state. We provide a case study of a small US apparel manufacturing business organized in 2014 to meet the needs of local and regional industry, while creating sustainable, dignified jobs. The company defined itself as, 'a social enterprise with a sewing machine at its heart'. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with the owner and founder of the manufacturing firm. Overall lessons learned that could advance emerging small manufacturing businesses include the importance of brand creation and building an organizational structure with cohesive alignment. Further research is needed, but there is the indication that the ability to collaborate or network with other similar small manufacturing centers could play an important role in meeting large orders or providing training for workers.

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