Companies in this industry manufacture garments for women, girls, and infants made from purchased fabric and from fabric they produce themselves. Major companies include VF Corporation, Calvin Klein (owned by PVH), Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Hanesbrands, and Carter's (all based in the US), along with Delta Galil (Israel), Gerry Weber (Germany), Page Industries (India), and World Company (Japan).
Demand is driven by consumer tastes and disposable income. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and the ability to secure contracts with clothing marketers. Small companies can compete effectively with large ones by specializing in a particular type of apparel manufacture. There are few economies of scale in manufacturing, because of the high labor content of most apparel. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 65% of revenue. About 90% of establishments in the industry have fewer than 20 employees.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include women's and girls' shirts, blouses, dresses, coats, jeans, pants, sweaters, bras, panties, and uniforms and work clothes. Other products include bridal gowns, loungewear, suits, and activewear such as shorts, swimsuits, and sweatpants, as well as infants' apparel such as rompers, training pants, and onesies.