American Giant: $108 Hoodie Made in the USA


Discussion questions:

  1. Is it still meaningful to promote apparel 100% “Made in the USA” in today’s global economy? Why or why not?
  2. From the video, what is your evaluation of the strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat of American Giant’s business?
  3. From the video and our class discussions, why or why not do you think the U.S.-China tariff war has benefited textiles and apparel “Made in the USA”?
  4. Will you be interested in working in a textile mill/garment factory as featured in the video after graduation? Why or why not?
  5. Any other thoughts/reflections from the video?

[For FASH455: 1) Please mention the question number in your comments; 2) Please address at least TWO questions in your comments]

Additional readings:

Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

5 thoughts on “American Giant: $108 Hoodie Made in the USA”

  1. Dear Sheng Lu, I enjoy very much reading your newsletters. Thank you, and please accept my connection via LinkedIn. I am a sourcing manager in the apparel business in New York. I would love to be in connection with you.  Best Fatma G Surengil 

  2. Question 1:
    Yes, I believe that it is immensely meaningful to promote apparel 100% “Made in the USA. The amount of jobs that the apparel industry would provide in the USA would make a huge difference in the lives of many Americans. It would also bring life back into small towns that were left desolated by the exit of apparel manufacturing in the USA. However, with all of that being said, bringing apparel manufacturing back to the USA would mean that the price of apparel would soar and would in turn be problematic for the average American consumer.

    Question 5:
    After watching this video I honestly believe that what American Giant is trying to do is a very noble effort. Realistically speaking, the American consumer has become extremely comfortable with bargain buying and it is very unlikely that they will compromise a good deal for a made in America label. Also, as mentioned in the video, it will be extremely hard to find people to do the field work. There are clearly jobs available in that sector and it seems as if nobody wants to fill them, causing agriculture companies to hire outside of the USA.

    1. great thought! A follow-up question: why or why not should the government play a role in promoting apparel manufacturing in the USA? What kind of a role can the government play?

  3. Question 2.
    I believe that American Giant has pure intentions behind their company’s name. Their strength comes from being 100% produced within the US. On a clothing label, you must put where every step of the garment comes from. For example, if the cotton used in American Giant clothing was not from the US, they would need to specify so. By marketing an item entirely made in the US, it appeals to more people because they value their country. It also shows, that all of the labor came from the US, which grants this country more job opportunities. Unfortunately, making an entire garment in the US is also a weakness. According to the cost of living, minimum wages, and other factors, the cost of labor is much higher in the US than other countries such as China or Bangladesh. Therefore, garments made 100% within the US cost a lot more than those produced overseas. A higher price point is not appealing to most consumers. An opportunity exists for American Giant to create the trend of more clothing mills in the US. By slowly bringing clothing mills back to the US, it will create a trend, more jobs, eventually the chance to lower wages of seamstresses and ultimately lower the cost of the product. The threat of lower costing goods exists against American Giant. $108 for a hoody is not going to appeal to the vast majority of consumers. At the end of the day, it always comes down to money.

    Question 4.
    I would not be okay with working in a textile mill or factory after graduation. Sewing is an exhausting, strenuous, and painful activity. It is also an outdated practice. While I believe it is still a valuable skill to have, machines are capable of doing it faster, without getting tired, and for less money. I would much rather instruct the machines.

    1. very interesting and thoughtful comments!! Thank you!
      Related to your comments–1) I was impressed by the using of machines in the textile mills as shown in the video. Automation supports “Made in the USA”. However, it may not create as many jobs as we hoped for; 2) The shortage of labor force could be a big challenge facing the rejuvenation of “Made in the USA”.

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