Sourcing From the Americas: Our Position

Barbara Zeins

At the AAPN, we believe that doing business in the USA and the Americas is easier, faster, safer, better and more stable. Sure, if you want to source huge quantities; and you know what will sell way in advance; and you are not worried about flexibility; and you just want cheap; then there are plenty of mega-factories in the world that will take your orders. But in this post-virus industry, if you are looking for a more stable and flexible sourcing model, one that better aligns with today’s millions-of-markets-of-one, hyper-connected, last-mile, want-it-my-way-consumer, then you need to look to the Americas. Here’s why: 


We know some people like 16 hour flights and late night conference calls. You will have to give those up to work in the Americas. Factories in the US and the Americas have a 6 hour time zone overlap with major US cities. ‘American’ English is spoken and easily understood. Face-to-face meetings are quick to arrange, fast to reach and simple to understand. Industries are so tightly integrated in the Americas that many AAPN members maintain offices here in the US.


The Americas are not just faster because of proximity, although ocean transit times of under a week are nice. The Americas are faster because its easier to collaborate, and the better you collaborate the faster you get. The Americas are faster because the factories are smaller and they can react more quickly. In El Salvador, our members built an activewear supply chain city, producing yarn, fabric, factory and trim all within minutes of one another, giving you access to some of the fastest market speeds possible.


When it comes to health, sustainability, worker safety, environmental stewardship, factory compliance and social responsibility, many members of the AAPN have a significant, even world class competitive advantage. One factory’s over 40 worker-generated social programs cut turnover, training costs and absenteeism meaning better skills, more flexibility, consistent quality and faster cycle times.


At the AAPN we believe that easier, faster and safer adds up to better. Better because you can get more sell through when you can order closer to the demand with shorter cycles and fewer blind buys. Better when you can get duty free imports without risking your company’s reputation in countries with poor compliance history. Better because you can spend less time on the plane and more time doing your job.


Billions continue to be invested in more capacity and tighter supply chain integration to make the region’s specialties. After two decades of regional events, the producers are organized industrially. A core of major US brands remain committed to the Americas. This stable foundation of collaboration, innovation and communications means more profitability and we can prove it.


The Americas has always been ‘the near shore’. We can give you the names of great suppliers making tops/bottoms, knits/wovens, fashion/basics, yarns/ fabrics, trims/logistics/technology/services and everything in between. Call, click, write, visit, attend our meetings and let us be your guide to the Americas. We will also share very well thought out metrics you can use to score yourself and your suppliers. We are the Americas Apparel Producers’ Network and that is what we do.


 Rediscover the Americas.