Global Value Chain for Apparel Sold at Target

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A global view in mind means more career opportunities: except material production and cut and sew, other well-paid jobs in the apparel value chain stay in the United States.

Source: Moongate Association (2017). Analyzing the Value Chain for Apparel Designed in the United States and Manufactured Overseas

Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

3 thoughts on “Global Value Chain for Apparel Sold at Target”

  1. It’s really interesting how when someone reads the label on their clothing, they more than likely assume that the item was entirely made wherever the label says. The full global value chain for apparel and all the jobs, people, and responsibilities it takes to bring a garment from an idea on the drawing board to a purchase by a consumer is not understood well enough. Like Target mentions, “apparel is about more than who sits behind the sewing machine.” There’s an entire chain of people who are needed to produce an apparel item, and it’s more than just the designer and the manufacturer. There are countless steps from the inspiration to the creation and production , then to the importation and the distribution, and finally to the transaction and into the consumers’ hands. Most consumers are highly uneducated about the path their apparel takes in order to get into their closets and homes, and it is something that companies, like Target, should start to do. This is the premise behind transparency, in that consumers should know exactly where their products came from, where they began, and all the ins and outs of the global value chain. I love how Target broke this down in not only a well-detailed manner, but also in a way that could be understood by their consumers.

    1. very well said! As I know, Target creates these graph for members of US Congress–to help them understand the nature of today’s global apparel value chain and ask them not to favor “manufacturing jobs” over “service jobs.”

  2. The whole global supply chain is so complex and has many different parts to it. When making a single product, there is so much more that goes into it than people necessarily think. For me personally, I never fully thought about how much effort and steps go into each garment, but this class has taught me to open my eyes and really think about where the garments I buy come from. I really like how open Target is about their products. Many brands keep it very private, which can make it difficult for consumers to really get to know the brand they are purchasing from. This is the first time I’ve seen a company who is really transparent with sourcing and production. They give detailed descriptions of before production, during, and after which is very important for consumers to understand because it could make or break their decision to buy from that specific company. I think companies need to be more open about specific details like where they source their products, how many employees work to create these products, and overall just more information about how merchandise arrives at their stores.
    After doing some research, I found some information on other companies’ supply chains and how transparent they are. Amazon is another company that is very open about production and the behind the scenes of how you receive their products. An article I found, https://tinuiti.com/blog/amazon/amazon-supply-chain/, discusses the process behind sourcing and production for Amazon. It gives details of the process starting with sending products, receiving and storing, customer orders, shipping, customer service, and customer returns. It’s very important for companies to show consumers exactly how their process works to bring them the products they buy.

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