Will Duncan & Associates
WDA has a project that we call the ReShoring Fashion Initiative that is creating a modern factory model to utilize best practices and available technologies. This factory model will be capable of providing faster, more responsive and highly flexible apparel production domestically, and around the world. We firmly believe that this idea will redefine the fashion supply chain for brands and retailers. Our “Factory of the Future” will deliver higher profit margins by facilitating improved sales at full cost, reduced markdown losses, and overall reduced risk of inventory associated with longer import supply chains. The intent of this new modern factory is to manufacture products for programs that must operate closer to the market due to speed, customization, faster product development, market testing, and quick replenishment. The factory model is designed to coexist with global sourcing strategies and to strategically augment them when and where appropriate. The initiative includes creating a model that is both scalable, repeatable and not the stereotypical factory of the past. Workers will take ownership for daily decision-making and be highly cross-trained, including performing many of the responsibilities typically fulfilled by management.
We, and many of our industry partners, have seen a significant increase in interest from local entrepreneurs and established brands and retailers to source and manufacture goods domestically. These entities are actively searching for production partners and having mixed results due to low volumes and willingness of established factories to work with them. We need to rebuild our domestic manufacturing capabilities to meet this increasing demand. The “Factory of the Future” will help to support communities, embrace modern technology, and ensure that brands and retailers have the domestic partners necessary to compete on an ever-evolving global stage. By duplicating this model, “Factories of the Future” will also support entrepreneurs and keep their production dollars in the local economy.
Many communities across the U.S. are uniquely positioned to lead a renaissance in advanced clothing manufacturing. Our nation’s 300-year history producing textile and apparel products, an educated workforce, legal framework and established infrastructure provides the foundation for this new era of manufacturing. The ReShoring Fashion Initiative will create and refine a lean, agile factory model that is capable of adapting to rapidly changing consumer needs of both today and tomorrow.