There's no doubt that "Made in the USA" is seeing an uptick of interest across the board. From designers to shoppers, a tag boasting domestic production holds value—designer Patrick Ervell has even noted that fashion buyers from Asia are looking specifically for wears that are made in America. As invigorating as it sounds to bolster American production, especially with our proximity to the Garment Center, it can be a daunting process for brands to find the right domestic factory to do the job. Luckily, a handful of locally-based operations aim to solve just that problem.
The most fashion production-focused of the bunch is Maker's Row, an online service based in Brooklyn that acts as a matchmaker between those who design and those who produce. Founder Matt Burnett, whose background is in accessories design, cites long lead times and language barriers as two of the downsides of overseas production. His site makes it simple for businesses of all sizes—from emerging designer up to major retailer—find the right talent and facilities to create product here in the U.S.A.
The network of resources includes tanneries in Vermont, denim-makers in North Carolina, and clothiers here in New York City. The goal is simple: simplify domestic factory sourcing by having all of the best options in one place.
Similarly, Fabricating.com, based in Hoboken, links suppliers—like those who make metal and plastic pieces—with buyers that include furniture designers. Meanwhile, the City College of New York recently launched a center for entrepreneurship in Harlem, replete with 3D printers to aid hardware entrepreneurs. These new ventures help designers (of apparel, accessories, home furnishings, even medical supplies) produce in the U.S. with ease.
· Matchmaker, matchmaker find me a maker [Crain's]
· Eight Ways the Garment District Will Change Made in the USA [Racked NY]