Bangladesh is anticipated to receive more clothing orders from US customers than from China, Vietnam

According to the ‘Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study’ by The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), Over the next two years, Bangladesh is anticipated to receive more clothing orders from US customers than from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and other rivals. The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) reported that until 2024, almost 55% of the major US apparel companies planned to increase their sourcing from Bangladesh. With resumed interests in sourcing diversification, every company surveyed plans to increase their sourcing value or volume from 4-5 countries on average.

Regarding Asia-based suppliers, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam are among the most popular destinations where respondents plan to increase sourcing over the next two years. In general, these countries have a relatively large-scale production capacity and stable economic and political situations.

Photo: TAD Group Design Studio

According to the research, more than half of the respondents chose all three when asked from which nations or regions the US fashion companies intended to grow their sourcing value over the next two years. India came in first, followed by Bangladesh and the CAFTA-DR region. There is considerable excitement about increasing apparel sourcing from members of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). Respondents also call for more textile raw sourcing flexibility to encourage apparel sourcing from the CAFTA-DR region.

Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study is a survey of executives from over 30 leading fashion brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers, including some of the largest brands and retailers in the country. Conducted in conjunction with Dr. Sheng Lu, Associate Professor in the University of Delaware Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies, the survey asked respondents about the business outlook, sourcing practices, utilization of Free Trade Agreements and preference programs, and views on trade policy.

This year’s study finds that most respondents (77 percent) feel at least somewhat optimistic about the next five years, despite the current short-term challenges. Nearly all respondents—97 percent—plan to increase hiring over the next five years. As the industry continues to recover from the global pandemic shutdown, more than 90 percent of respondents expect their sourcing value or volume to grow in 2022.

Increasing sourcing and production costs remain a top concern for the U.S. fashion industry and, for the first time in the nine-year history of the Benchmarking Study, 100 percent of respondents expect their sourcing costs to increase in 2022. U.S. fashion companies continue to adopt a more diverse sourcing base, to handle supply chain disruptions and growing sourcing risks. Reducing “China exposure” is one crucial driver of U.S. fashion companies’ sourcing diversification strategy. One-third of respondents’ report sourcing less than 10 percent of their apparel products from China this year. In addition, a new record of 50 percent of respondents sources MORE from Vietnam than China in 2022.

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