Why Brooks Brothers And Other Apparel Companies Are Moving Manufacturing Back Home

Feb 16, 2015

At Brooks Brothers, the customer is king. “If there’s a need in the marketplace, we respond,” says senior vice president of manufacturing John Martynec.

How does the venerable apparel company pull this off? By concentrating manufacturing in the United States, where design, production, and sales teams can react quickly and specifically to market fluctuations. Currently, 70 percent of Brooks Brothers suits are made in Massachusetts, 100 percent of the ties are made in New York City, and about 10 percent of the shirts (the luxury and made-to-measure range) are produced in North Carolina.

Of course, manufacturing clothes in the United States is nothing new for Brooks Brothers. The company has been doing it since 1818. What’s notable is its recommitment to manufacturing on home turf. In recent years, Brooks Brothers has decreased production abroad while increasing production in the United States. In 2007, Brooks Brothers bought and upgraded the Southwick suit factory in Haverhill Massachusetts. Since then, the factory has increased hiring by 76 percent, adding 230 jobs for a total of 530. The company’s other two American factories have also been updated in recent years. The total number of employees producing the Brooks Brothers line in the United States now exceeds 1,000.

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