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Keeping up with consumers: Are your best customers built to thrive?
Predicting the future is a difficult task. If it wasn't, people wouldn't have such a respect for visionaries and intellectual pioneers that were centuries ahead of their time. While no business needs to be centuries ahead of the curve, it is still important to ask yourself where your business will be in the next 5 to 10 years. In the apparel manufacturing industry, one of the major forecasting issues that is rapidly approaching involves the increasingly common transition from brick and mortar stores to online shopping.

What this really boils down to is a simple question: Are the companies that you currently rely on for selling your products and making your business profitable going to still exist in the next 5 to 10 years. If the answer to that question is a resounding ... maybe, then your business needs to be planning ahead for the future. Here are a few helpful tips on how you can plan ahead for changes to the apparel industry in the years ahead.

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My crash course in apparel manufacturing
Maker's Row
Chance Heath left the world of early stage tech to launch Heath Paine, a brand that takes fabric innovations from activewear to classic styles (starting with socks). Think funky dress socks that resist smelling bad. Prior to launching, he hadn’t spent a day in the apparel industry and had never interacted with apparel manufacturers on a firsthand basis.

Robots could cut US labor costs 22 percent by 2025
by Alan Kelsky, MultiBriefs
One of the most important technological trends taking place in the United States' manufacturing sector is the use of advanced robotics on the production line. Now that the economic recovery is a reality, U.S. manufacturers still need to be able to shut down cheaper manufacturers overseas. To accomplish this, they need to meet a goal of reducing costs and maximizing efficiency.

Consumer appeal for US-made apparel at odds with manufacturing realities
Sourcing Journal Online
A byproduct of the Great Recession was the realization that a lot of jobs had been off-shored over the years. The recession’s double-digit jobless rate led people to reassess what they wanted as consumers, retailers and brands. It turns out, a lot of people like the concept of “Made in the USA,” but may not appreciate the realities of the global textile industry.
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