Why is China the place to go for American designers for contracting their manufacturing? Several factors. 1st is the average Minimum wage for per worker is $1.19 per hour. Here in L.A. minimum wage is 9.00 per hr (starting July 1). To break it down the cost of something.. lets say a dress that takes a worker 8 hrs to make.. labor costs: CHINA $9.52 and USA $72.00. PLUS in L.A. there are laws , payroll tax, workers compensation insurance, EDD, etc. which add up to 40% above the minimum wage for the business to pay out. This is reason #1- another factor is machinery. In China it is quite normal for a factory to have “fully automated” machines- a much rarer occurrence here. Basically you feed the fabric into one end, and it cuts and sews it up without labor. So, a person with no skill or talent can run the machine. Because it is time-consuming and difficult to set the machine up for each size and pattern this why minimums are so high in China.
When a new client reaches out to us here at Lipstick Prophets and the phrase “we want to move our production back to the USA from China” it feels like such a victory for the USA but then immediately I start to feel the panic of knowing they will be paying 800% more to produce here- are they willing to take this hit?
Fashion is art but it is also a business, higher profit margins = bigger success. And the good ‘ol USA consumer is just that.. a consume – er. Buying more and more for cheaper and cheaper without thinking of the impact on what that does here at home. Just consuming. Yes made in America is more expensive… BUT, you if you live here… please consider buying from HERE. Help the economy. Have some pride. And let’s thank the manufacturers (Designers) who choose to spend the extra money from THEIR profits to create their garments here in the USA.