It’s a fact that a lot of American manufacturing has moved overseas in the past 30 years. At this point, less than 5% of the clothing sold in American stores is made in America. That number may make you think that there are hardly any garment manufacturing jobs left in the U.S.
In reality, there are thousands of factories in this country that still create clothes. Whether they’re bespoke and handmade, or mass produced, the garment industry in the US is still alive.
If you’re looking for a garment manufacturing job, here are five cities where you can still find plenty of work to do!
Los Angeles has more garment workers than any other city, with over 40,000 people employed in the industry. The garment industry that has called LA home since Morris Cohn & Company began making men’s overalls over 130 years ago.
Today, you can find lots of local manufacturers throughout the city including high-end production company The Evans Group and comfy lounge wear-makers LA Made.
New York City
Hot on the heels of Los Angeles is New York. It could be because it’s because NYC is the north american home of the high-fashion industry, or it could just be a matter of population size. Whatever the case may be, New York City has ample garment manufacturers, ranging from small mom-and-pop shops to huge warehouses that service major brands.
Custom Sewing Services, for example, has been making garments from casual to bridal in their Brooklyn factory for over 30 years!
Garment manufacturing in Raleigh isn’t as robust as it once was, but the city has seen a rebirth with numerous new garment businesses opening in the past few years. New South Manufactory, Reborn Clothing Co, and Raleigh Denim Workshop are all new on the manufacturing scene.
Raleigh has a rich history of textiles, and is still home to many fabric makers. The Carolina Textile District is a group of textile manufacturers in the Carolinas dedicated to creating fabrics and keeping the local textile scene alive.
Minneapolis & St Paul, MN
Minnesota’s Twin Cities have lots of opportunities for garment manufacturing — and manufacturing in general! The area had a strong garment industry throughout the 20th century. Although the old factories have mostly shut down, new businesses are springing up, like Clothier Design Source and Podiumwear.
Bonus — Minneapolis was recently named the 5th best city in the nation to start a career!
As recently as the 1980s, Philadelphia was the 2nd largest manufacturing city of apparel in the world! Since then, the industry has declined, but it’s not gone. In fact, three of the world’s top design schools are located in Philly.
Over 6,000 people work in textile and apparel manufacturing in the City of Brotherly Love. In 2020, the city council authorized the creation of a task force to “revive the city’s fashion and garment industry.” So there may be more great jobs to come in this historical city!
Garment Manufacturing Jobs
Although these are some of the biggest garment producing cities, they’re far from the only ones. In fact, you can find garment manufacturing jobs in just about every city in America. South Florida, for example, may not be as well known for its garment manufacturing as other places in the US, but brands like UA Brands are often hiring for garment manufacturing jobs in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Wherever you’re located, a job may be in your future.
Jobs in this industry vary from entry-level to more experienced supervisory roles. The industry may not be as robust as it once was, but that Made in America label is still a big selling point with buyers. So this industry has some life in it yet!