Placing Apparel Production in Political Hot Spots

In their push to drive efficiency and lower costs, brands are manufacturing apparel in a host of politically unstable countries where they have to not only...

Apparel manufacturers in many ways were on the leading edge of this push abroad with a network of operations and dependencies around the world that need to be managed, come what may.

"On one hand, you can see it's doing business with a particular country, like Pakistan; on another, you can say it's doing business with a sentiment throughout the world that we're not particularly apprised of or comfortable with," said business consultant Edith Weiner, president of Weiner, Edrich, Brown Inc. "We've never shied away because of unstable governments. We've always shied away because we couldn't control those and we're not going to be able to. We're losing the ability to be the only ones in control."

There are also tensions between an anti-modern world attitude and technological and economic development, as well as stresses between Islam and traditional Western religions that complicate this global integration.

"For better or worse, the world becomes a little more alike even as people struggle to be different, and those different tensions are always going to be with us," said Weiner.

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