The clothing maker is one of many eyeing the region, but economic and policy barriers could stand in the way of greater investment.

by Ben Unglesbee, Senior Reporter

A “chicken-and-egg” problem in fabric production

Asked if DXL would like to move even more production to Central America, [Barbara Buhr, SVP of Sourcing, DXL Group] replied with an enthusiastic, “Sure.”

She’s not alone. Given its benefits, many are eying the Central America region for apparel production. In the fashion industry, there is “robust excitement about increasing apparel sourcing” from CAFTA-DR countries, according to a report from the U.S. Fashion Industry Association published earlier this year.  

USFIA’s member survey found that over 80% of respondents had sourced from CAFTA-DR countries in 2023, up from 60% a few years ago. 

A third of respondents had increased their sourcing from the region by more than 10%, also up from years past, and 40% said they planned to ramp up their CAFTA-DR sourcing in the next two years.

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