The second big factor coming to bear on the apparel industry is the rising inflation in China. Labor costs have risen 20% to 25%. In addition, shipping costs are also higher.
The combination of these factors will change the price structure for apparel after nearly 20 years of steady prices. Producers will likely substitute other fibers, such as polyester and acrylic to minimize price increases.
The U.S. once had a thriving apparel industry before we shipped all our jobs to China and other underdeveloped countries. With labor costs rising 25% and shipping costs on the rise, perhaps it might be prudent for American manufacturers to bring production back home. It certainly would put a lot of people back to work.
A word to shoppers: Perhaps you might want to take inventory of your clothing needs for next spring and summer and make some purchases now before prices go up.