WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

Rise of the Machines: textile manufacturing back, but without workers

Rise of the Machines is a recurring series here at WCV.

Today, the New York Times catches up to the trend with a front page story:
Bayard Winthrop, the founder of the sweatshirt and clothing company American Giant, was at the mill one morning earlier this year to meet with his Parkdale sales representative. Just last year, Mr. Winthrop was buying fabric from a factory in India. Now, he says, it is cheaper to shop in the United States. Mr. Winthrop uses Parkdale yarn from one of its 25 American factories, and has that yarn spun into fabric about four miles from Parkdale’s Gaffney plant, at Carolina Cotton Works.

Mr. Winthrop says American manufacturing has several advantages over outsourcing. Transportation costs are a fraction of what they are overseas. Turnaround time is quicker. Most striking, labor costs — the reason all these companies fled in the first place — aren’t that much higher than overseas because the factories that survived the outsourcing wave have largely turned to automation and are employing far fewer workers.
Longtime WCV readers will know that this Friday afternoon it is once again time to turn the speakers up to 11 and rock out to AC/DC's Who Made Who, with the video from Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive.

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