Made in USA Clothing Comes At Premium That Some Won't Pay

Fashion designer Nanette Lepore would like nothing more than to see her designs for J.C. Penney manufactured stateside but even a staunch supporter of New York City's garment sector can't control shoppers' appetite for inexpensive clothing produced overseas. 

The designer has organized "Save the Fashion District" rallies and has lobbied the U.S. Congress to support Made in USA fashion. Lepore's company located on West 35th Street in Manhattan contracts out work to at least 8 local vendors.

“If my only option as a young designer was to make my clothing overseas, I could not have started my business,” Lepore told The New York Times recently. 

Her high-end lines that sell at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and comparable department stores are all made in New York. When it comes to her low-end lines that sell for one-tenth of the price of her more expensive lines, it's another story. 

In the case of her deal with JCP, the company just couldn't cough up the cash to manufacture in the U.S. The "price point can't be done here," Lepore lamented to the Times. 

If consumers want Made in the USA clothing, they have to pay a premium. Though manufacturing of higher-end goods has made its way back or never left in the first place, that of inexpensive clothing continues to stay overseas, unfortunately. 

The solution for those who can't afford the premium? Consider visiting your local thrift store for second-hand Made in the USA clothing. It's likely to last longer than cheap crap produced overseas by underaged workers under appalling work conditions.  

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