Do You Know These Key Facts about American Apparel & Textile Industry

American Apparel & Textile

The global apparel and textile industry is experiencing ups and down for last couple of years. There is no doubt that the American apparel and textile market has significant importance in the world’s textile industry. And the global textile facts and figures are usually determined by the contribution of this huge and well-served industry. If we look up the main input of American apparel and textile industry in global prospects. Then we come to know that it is contributing in almost every textile sector (man-made fibre to finished apparel). This industry is not only catering the needs of its local entities but it is also contributing a healthy role in global export market.

The overall global apparel and textile has become most globalized and economical sector after crossing the milestone of $726 billion in year 2016. As there are more than around 120 million people who are directly and indirectly involve with this progressive industry. So from global point of view, it has become the most important and famous industry in the world.

American Apparel & Textile Overview:

In 2016, the American apparel and textile industry were standing on fourth number in largest textile exporter’s country list. And the countries where they are exporting to its products (fibre, yarn, fabric etc.) is more than 200 in numbers. Out of which, 34 countries are those which are importing their products more than $100 million worth. If we closely review only fiber, yarn, fabric, and other non-apparel textile products export net worth of year 2017 then it was around US$ 28.6 billion. And the main portion in above figure was from fabric sector. As it was gain around $8.9 billion from the shipments to different countries. Further, the total net worth export value was 9% higher than the previous year 2016.

Whereas, the total net US shipment worth of fiber, textile and apparel was $77.9 billion in year 2017. And it was around $3.5 billion higher than the previous year of 2016. The main contribution in above figure was from yarn and fabric sector of American apparel and textile industry. As they were score around $31.5 billion in whole year which was around 40% in total contribution of the industry.

Not only is this, the American apparel and textile contribution in local supplies also remarkable. As this industry is solely supplying more than 8,000 different textile products to its military. And most of these supplied products are highly innovative and smart products in functions. As per US Government data study, the American apparel and textile is employing 5,50,500 workers. And further to that study, the one textile job normally supports three other jobs too. If we further break down the US textile market into apparel. As per Statista research study, we can see the following product vise break up:

American apparel

American Apparel and Textile Import:

The American textile and apparel market is no more as aggressive as it was a decade ago. As most of the local consumer apparel demand is normally cover by import from different cheaper countries. There are more than 150 countries which are directly or indirectly exporting apparel to US market. Out of which, China is standing on number one position with total share of 33.74% of US market. After China, Vietnam (14.32%) and Bangladesh (6.32%) were top exporting countries 2017. If we break down the US textile import volume into product vise then the major portion belongs to apparel (around 76%). After apparel, the made-up textile is accounted for 17%, fabric (6%) and yarn (around 1%).

US-China New Tariff Policy:

The American apparel and textile scenario has been totally changed after the recent announcement of President Donald Trump towards US China trade tariff policy. As per the recent heavy tariff on Chinese goods, the American apparel and textile demand shifted to other supplying countries. Since the China is a largest supplier of apparel and textile to US, is now facing slump in the current year. Here, one thing is interesting that most of textile products are not included into the 1102 new tariff products list. But there are some textiles machinery and equipments like injection molders or rolling machine spare parts which are in the list. But the Chinese apparel export figures are getting down gradually after the announcement of Donald Trump.

Furthermore, a positive jump has also been recorded in other export countries towards US exports. And out of these countries, Pakistan could get around 39% increases in last few months and was on top of list. Whereas, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Mexico were also get beneficial from this. As per the US Government, this entire new tariff list will support the local-industry. And it will also encourage consumer to go for made in USA goods. But despite of increasing 60% textile labor productivity since year 2000, the US mills are far-enough to meet its local needs/demands. In fact, Chinese goods have substantial importance in American textile/non-textile market.

If the recent tariff issue doesn’t resolve amicably then chances are that Chinese product could have abnormal price structure. And this thing could hurt the buying power of ordinary consumer. Furthermore, in-reaction to US new policy, the Chinese Government is also going to revise its tariff policy of US goods. So due to this us china trade war, the trade and economy situation of both countries would be badly effect.

American Apparel and Textiles:  Smart Approach

There is no doubt in this thing that American apparel and textile has a leading role in smart textile research and development sector. Their research and development experts introduced various smart and innovative gadgets, fibers and fabrics into the market. It includes antimicrobial fabrics, electronic textile which gauge heart or pulse rate, conductive and cool fabrics which has antistatic and temperature control properties. And currently these innovative products are successfully using in different industries like military and healthcare sector etc.

American Apparel and Textiles:  Sustainable Approach

In last few years, the American apparel and textile industry investment trend is particularly increasing in recycling and eco-friendly products. From 2006 to 2016, there is US$20 billion has been invested into new plants and equipment of the apparel and textile industry. The main focus of this investment is to enhance the recent plants and equipments with respect to new trends and environment demands. And the main attention is to reuse the pre and post-consumer textile waste in a best possible way.

In 2017, Cotton USA Sustainability Task Force was also established to meet the 2025 sustainability goals for cotton. And this association’s main goals are reducing the amount to soil (up to 13%) to produce one pound cotton fiber. Secondly, reducing soil loss by 50% and adding new soil development. They are also trying to increase to increase the water efficiency up to 18% along with that reducing energy for seed production around 15%. Lastly, they are also aiming to reduce greenhouse emission up to 39% and further trying to increase soil carbon up to 30%.

If we look up the implementation of the above narrated goals into US Cotton industry? Then we found a progress and productive outcome against above target and measures. This doesn’t stop here, the American apparel and textile industry’s continuous efforts towards supply chain transparency is also admirable. You would find most of the renowned American brands which are continuously displaying its transparency reports to its consumer review.

The Importance of Clothes Recycling Towards Green World

Clothes Recycling

The clothes recycling practices is no doubt a healthy and positive activity towards eco-friendly goal. The apparel and textile industry is no doubt one the biggest polluting industry after oil and gas industry. From spinning to final product finishing, each and every step is consuming too much water and synthetic harmonized chemicals. And these chemicals are not only contaminated our water but also affecting our natural environment as well. It is estimated that 20 thousand tons of indigo are produced annually for the purpose of dyeing of denim jeans. Initially, this indigo dye was made from plants but now it is synthetically made. By the passage of time, this problem is getting sever and more intensive. So, today beside water and chemical issue, we are also facing a problem of wasted clothes. Which is a gift to our environment from the followers of fast fashion trends?

As per the research, approximately 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in US every year. And the study proved that a single American owns “07” pairs of blue jeans. Whereas, other research study revealed that an Americans spend approximately $2000 on apparels or wearing products every year. But the Manhattan people buying was double from other Americans which is $400 per person per month. As far as UK people are concern, they spend nearly $70 billion per year on clothing and footwear. The UK, Italy, Germany and Europe spend around $782 per year on clothing. On the other hand, China is big exporter of textile and garments with a world-wide market share of 54%. It produces and exports 60 million cotton garments and 90 million yards cotton fabric all over the world. And this figure is on upward trend on every passing year.

Clothes Recycling Concept:

Keeping in view the above situation, where the water, chemicals and dyes consumption are already uncontrollable. And now the sheer burden of wasted-clothes is also a big challenge for the environment. The only solution for all these uncontrollable issues is clothes recycling. Through clothes recycling, we can save water, avoid pollutions of chemicals and wasted clothes as well. Although clothes recycling concept is not new for us yet even today we are not practicing it on a mass level. Accordingly to U.S. EPA 2016 report, around 16.2m tons of textile waste was generated in 2014 and out of which 2.62m tons were recycled. And most of the portion (10.46m tons) of waste was sent to landfill. As per recent research study, the single US person generates 82 pounds of textile waste per year. And out of this 82 pounds waste, only 15% is donated/recycled whereas 85% is sent to landfill.

Similarly, we heard about a lot about recycled fibre fabric. But the fact is that only 0.1% of recycled fiber took back into program and recycled into new fibre. If we analyze the annual environmental affect of houshold’s wasted clothes. Then it would be equal to 1000 water bath tubs and carbon emissions from driving of a car for 6000 miles. In UK, a research study was commissioned by Sainsbury and according to that around 235m items ended up on landfill in last spring. As people were planning to refill their wardrobes for summer’s clothes collections. Although in UK, the percentage of clothing throwing to landfill is 14% less than the previous year. As it is 3,00,000 tons instead of 3,50,000 tons. Even then there are lots of things which we need to do to enhance the practices for recycling in an ordinary consumer.

Clothes Recycling Efforts:   

As per the above study results, the major portion of the wasted clothes went to landfill. And every cloth has different fabric composition and construction. So, its decomposition time is different due to its inner ingredients. So, dumping a different composition/construction of garments isn’t a good idea. Because, there are some synthetic materials which take more than 400 years for decomposing.  So, as we discussed earlier, the best and ideal way is clothes recycling. And we can promote this approach by following way:

  • First of all check your local council or charity organization which accepts textile or clothes for recycling. If you find the same then it’s a good source to give away your useless clothes to them. Because these are the right people who can reuse these rejected clothes in a better way.
  • Always try to find out your nearest clothes bank in supermarkets, car parking. As these are nearest and convenient way through which, you can drop your useless garments for clothes recycling or reuse.
  • There are so many places where you can even sale your old clothes and get cash. I think this option is a best from other above alternatives. As you can not only do something for your planet along with that you can also earn something for your new clothes too : ). You can even sell the useless clothes through online retailers like Ebay, Kijiji etc.
  • There are number of charities or community group of people who earn money through recycling goods selling. And this money they invest into another community welfare projects. So, the recycling business is also taking a healthy contribution into the welfare of mankind.

Textile & Clothes Recycling Potential:

In some products, if a clothes recycling is not possible then that product can be recycled into fabric, wiping cloths, auto insulation, carpet pads, etc. In short, the awareness of the clothes recycling is increasing due to eco-friendly approach and landfill pressure. So, we have to take this thing very seriously that how we could educate our surroundings about clothes recycling benefits. There are only 500 – 550 recycling companies in US which are owned and operated by small family businesses. Although, the United States textile recycling industry is also recycling fewer quantity (approximate 2.5 billion pounds) of textile waste. But this quantity is just a drop in an ocean. And the similar insufficient situation we are also experiencing in UK market as well. As the research study says that almost 100% textiles and clothes recycling are possible.

Closing Thoughts:

So, in order to have a sustainable lifestyle, everyone from us should take part in recycling practices process. In our other environmental issues due to apparel fashion and textile, we blamed manufacturers, importers and sellers. Whereas, this problem has direct relation with consumer and mostly the consumers are the main culprits for this massive issue. Because, if they realize their responsibilities then the half of the issues can control in an effective way. For the rest issue, we need to emphasize on the clothes recycling industries both in Government and private level.

As per the above analysis, there is an immense need of such industry in almost all countries. As the supply of useless clothes is too much, whereas the clothes recycling units are just like a drop in an ocean.  This is why most of the quantity of this waste has to send for landfill. As a dumpling clothes is not an intelligent solution, on the other hand it should be consider as environmental crime. Because we are burying poison in shape of synthetic fabric clothing. The percentage of clothes recycling should be enhanced so that we could fulfill our dream of green world.