In the webinar, Dr. Sheng Lu, Associate Professor and Director of Fashion and Apparel Studies from the University of Delaware, and his students will share the findings of three timely research projects addressing US fashion companies’ evolving apparel sourcing trends and “Made in the USA” sourcing opportunities, particularly those using recycled and organic textile materials.
Exploring US Apparel Brands and Retailers’ Evolving Sourcing Strategies by Emilie Delaye and Sheng Lu
Based on a content analysis of the annual reports of nearly 30 largest US fashion brands and retailers from 2018 to 2023, this study identified these companies’ most critical evolving sourcing strategies, including their sourcing destination adjustment, primary sourcing factors, and emerging sourcing-related “hot topics.” The findings provide critical market intelligence, informing US fashion companies about their peers’ emerging sourcing trends and popular practices.
Exploring Sourcing Opportunities for Sustainable Apparel “Made in the USA” by Hannah Laurits and Sheng Lu
By leveraging thousands of product-level data collected from fashion companies’ websites, this study analyzed the availability and detailed product features of sustainable apparel labeled “Made in the USA”. These apparel products explicitly mentioned using recycled textile materials or organic fibers in the product descriptions and were for sale in the world’s leading consumer markets, including the US, EU5 (UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain), and Canada from January 2022 to September 2023. The study’s findings provide valuable insights for fashion companies regarding the strengths and capacity of the United States to serve as a sourcing base for sustainable apparel products.
Leveraging the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA)’s Made In the USA Sourcing & Products Directory database, this study explored US textile and apparel manufacturers’ production and export strategies, including the geographic concentration of these factories, their vertically-integrated production capacity, and manufacturers’ export market and utilization of US trade agreements. The findings offer new insights into the state of US textile and apparel manufacturers and help fashion companies better understand domestic textile and apparel sourcing opportunities.
About the speakers:
Emilie Delaye: Emilie is a senior, Entrepreneur major and Fashion Management minor at the University of Delaware (UD). As a UD world scholar, Emilie is passionate about fashion sustainability and the global aspect of the fashion industry.
Hannah Laurits: Hannah is a graduate student in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies (FASH) at the University of Delaware (UD). She also received her B.S. from UD & FASH with a double major in apparel design and fashion merchandising and management. Hannah is passionate about adaptive clothing and making the fashion industry more inclusive and sustainable. Hannah was a sourcing intern for Haddad brand in summer 2023 and she is the recipient of the 2023 International Textiles and Apparel Association (ITAA) Sara Douglas Fellowship in recognition of her academic excellence and accomplishments.
Kendall Ludwig: Kendall is a Fashion Merchandising and Management Major and 4+1 program graduate student in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies (FASH) at the University of Delaware (UD). Kendall’s research interests include all topics related to environmental and social sustainability such as supply chain traceability, circularity, textile waste solutions, garment worker rights, forced labor, and stakeholder impact/engagement. As a UD summer scholar, Kendall has conducted several research projects related to textile recycling and textile product development.
Miranda Rack: Miranda is a Fashion Merchandising and Management Major (Honors), and 4+1 program graduate student in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies (FASH) at the University of Delaware (UD). Miranda’s research topics include preventing overconsumption, educating consumers about fast fashion, unique applications for the reuse of post-consumer textile waste, and developing a business model that blends and highlights these specific aspects of sustainable fashion. As a UD summer scholar, Miranda has conducted several research projects related to textile recycling and upcycling.
Dr. Sheng Lu: Dr Lu is an associate professor & director of graduate studies in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies (FASH) at the University of Delaware (UD). Dr. Lu’s research focuses on the economic and business aspects of the textile and apparel industry, including international trade, trade policy, and the governance of the global apparel value chain. Dr. Lu is also the author of the USFIA annual Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study.