By Arthur Friedman

Vietnam’s apparel shipments to the U.S. grew 6.2% to $6.5 billion for the year through July, gaining 1.1% market share to represent 14.5% of U.S. apparel import market share so far this year.

Speaking at last month’s Sourcing at Magic show in Las Vegas, Sheng Lu, assistant professor for fashion and apparel studies at the University of Delaware, presented the results of a study he conducted with the U.S. Fashion Industry Association that showed Vietnam was the second most sourced country after China, with 88 percent of respondents saying they manufactured there.

Lu said the study showed that the most popular sourcing strategy right now is “China Plus Vietnam Plus Many,” meaning that global manufacturing is becoming more diversified. The country was rated as the most competitive supplier and one of the most balanced, with a combination of price and speed to market capability, he noted.

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