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Discussions about the fashion industry thread

smittycl

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Another interesting read from Amanda Mull. Buying less junk is always a good idea.

 

mak1277

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Isn’t that statement in itself a judgement of how others should live? 🤔:hide:
Take it that way if you will, but also know that I absolutely accept that I have asshole tendencies, so you're not telling me anything new about myself.
 

smittycl

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Mull is nagging a bit but makes a good point about the parts of the supply chain that are necessities being hampered by more frivolous purchases.
 

King Calder

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Bloomberg has been doing a lot of excellent reporting over the past year on pretty much every stage of the global supply chain and very literally one of the biggest takeaways from almost every bottleneck is "for the love of god please stop buying shit." Heightened consumer spending with no sign of abating just continues to create compounding logistical problems all over the place. Fascinating, but also deeply disturbing in terms of how fragile the supply chain is at the end of the day.

This is a 100% reasonable appeal at the end of the article, imo:

As it stands, America’s central organizing principle is thoughtless consumption, acquiring things for yourself and letting everyone else pick over what you left behind on the shelves. You can decide you don’t like that. You can decide that people—your family, your friends, the people in your community, the port truckers and Amazon warehouse workers running themselves ragged—are more important to you than another box of miscellaneous stuff.
 

Epaulet

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Bloomberg has been doing a lot of excellent reporting over the past year on pretty much every stage of the global supply chain and very literally one of the biggest takeaways from almost every bottleneck is "for the love of god please stop buying shit." Heightened consumer spending with no sign of abating just continues to create compounding logistical problems all over the place. Fascinating, but also deeply disturbing in terms of how fragile the supply chain is at the end of the day.

This is a 100% reasonable appeal at the end of the article, imo:
I mean... if we stop importing all sorts of cheap disposable garbage, then people might start to really pay attention to how the costs of vital necessities (housing, healthcare, education, nutrition) are wholly unaffordable for wide swaths of the country. We need SHEIN & Co to keep everyone distracted, thank you very much.
 

dieworkwear

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Personally don't think protectionism and import substitution are the answers to helping working-class people, particularly with issues such as housing, education, healthcare, etc. Import substitution will just raise the cost of products we could import from abroad. Would be better if the US was just more comfortable with expanding the welfare state and engaging in direct redistributive policies. In California, skyrocketing housing costs are related to how difficult it is to build housing (for a variety of reasons), which is independent of the deindustrialization process that has happened here in the last 50 or so years.

As it has been discussed elsewhere, even if you engage in import substitution, which will just raise prices across the board, there's a high chance that capital will replace labor with technology. I recently talked to a clothing factory owner who talked about the machinery already in place to help replace workers for things such as cutting and simple sewing. There are currently AI technologies in the works to even deskill pattern drafting (not just cutting, drafting!). In the future, even if you build more manufacturing here, much of that work will be automated.
 

clee1982

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Looking at Europe I'm not sure distribution solve the problem either (lots of tinkering but not fundamental solving it), just don't think anyone has a solution.

Return on capital has been better than return on labor, so unless productivity improve more not sure what the solution is. I can say the generic solution is education but everyone probably would just go shrug because it's something everyone agree but no one can agree how to do it, and then really hard to do it well.
 

cb200

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I recently talked to a clothing factory owner who talked about the machinery already in place to help replace workers for things such as cutting and simple sewing.
Having worked in production where there were some automated processes, I can see that assisted production technologies shift labour and knowledge needs around for apparel. Not a bad thing as it can both create a lower barrier to entry for skills as most machines need an operator that may be a simpler knowledge base than sewing... as well as creating a new need for more technical roles to retool, maintain, program, and optimize these new technologies on the factory floor. More productive for the labour inputs (person hours) but doesn't do away with human input or jobs completely.
 

Zamb

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Personally don't think protectionism and import substitution are the answers to helping working-class people, particularly with issues such as housing, education, healthcare, etc. Import substitution will just raise the cost of products we could import from abroad. Would be better if the US was just more comfortable with expanding the welfare state and engaging in direct redistributive policies. In California, skyrocketing housing costs are related to how difficult it is to build housing (for a variety of reasons), which is independent of the deindustrialization process that has happened here in the last 50 or so years.

As it has been discussed elsewhere, even if you engage in import substitution, which will just raise prices across the board, there's a high chance that capital will replace labor with technology. I recently talked to a clothing factory owner who talked about the machinery already in place to help replace workers for things such as cutting and simple sewing. There are currently AI technologies in the works to even deskill pattern drafting (not just cutting, drafting!). In the future, even if you build more manufacturing here, much of that work will be automated.
It is not particularly easy to automate the manufacturing of soft goods such as clothing.
This is one of the fundamental reasons why big companies continue to seek for countries with cheap labor and poorly enforced labor laws to to do production.

I hear all the time about automation. Automation might work well for things such as car manufacturers snd even the food industry where you can automate production and packaging but seeing requires a different approach snd w different skill set.
Of course some aspects of it can be done but most of it can’t.

there is also something to be said about the “artistic” aspects of garment making.
I’ll take automation seriously when they can automate a bespoke quality suit.
 

cb200

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Fully automated bespoke is a pipe dream at this point. It makes sense for bulk production, for some operations, at a scale where the initial infrastructure costs and the setup / retooling costs between different operations make sense budget wise.
 

ValidusLA

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Bespoke quality suit seems like a high bar.

There is something to be said for automation I'm clothing being overhyped.

As an example: laser whiskering machines for denim.

Many of the factories we've worked with own multiple of these (quite expensive) machines. I have never seen them in use, and when I've enquired I usually get the same answers.

Factories have them:
1) to say they do
2) to talk up automation
3) to talk eco and labor benefits

And no one places orders cause the final product doesn't look as good as some people with sanders.
 

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