Garment tech provider Eastman arms US manufacturers with single-ply cutters
Ever since US President Donald Trump emphasised on the ‘Made in USA’ fashion, apparel manufacturing has made a comeback in the country and has turned everyone’s heads. A number of factors have supported this wave, such as changing customers’ needs at fast pace, agile production, speedy delivery, and the rising labour wages in Asian apparel manufacturing hubs.
Unlike Asian hubs, United States however is not following the concept of mass production, but a concept that is more sustainable and as per the customer needs. On-demand manufacturing, which can be defined as the manufacturing process wherein goods are produced when, or as they are required, is driving the apparel manufacturing in USA.
Starting the sourcing and production process once after the order is received not only saves the time spent on sample approval and designing, fabric wastage and long lead time, but also allows the manufacturers to keep up with the trendy designs or prints or styles and at the same time helps them attain the big profit.
Technology plays a major role in this type of manufacturing process. Eastman – the manufacturer of cutting room solutions for the apparel and other sewn products industry, has been banking on the technology needs of these US manufacturers with its single-ply automatic cutting machine. “We have very standard technology for the standard apparel manufacturing companies unlike Industry 4.0 compliant machines, which are expensive and are only affordable by few bigger factories,” says Wade Stevenson, Export President, Eastman Machine Company.
“Amazon has ‘killed’ shopping malls. It has hurt retail stores like Macy’s and JCPenney which used to place large quantities of orders. That’s so outdated now; retailers nowadays don’t want to keep huge inventories. So, they have now started placing small orders which have to be delivered quickly,” explains Wade.
These single-ply cutters have a huge demand among manufacturers working in North and South America, especially Central America and Mexico because of
Amazon has ‘killed’ shopping malls. It has hurt retail stores like Macy’s and JCPenney which used to place large quantities of orders. That’s so outdated now; retailers nowadays don’t want to keep huge inventories. So, they have now started placing small orders which have to be delivered quickly.
obvious advantages. Quick, fast and efficient production of small order quantities (and not hundreds and thousands of T-shirts!!!) make these cutters’ the manufacturer’s favourite.
“They don’t need to cut several layers of fabric because Amazon and other retailers, such as Zara and H&M, are focusing on JIT production and a shorter delivery time. It dramatically changes the way apparel manufacturing is done,” Wade further states. Eastman single-ply cutters are simple, competent and easy to use. They also help in saving the fabric because of automatic nesting that is much more precise than manual cutting machine. Along with the cutting precision, these cutters are relatively less expensive than the labour employed and the cost associated with it.
The company has its customers in cities like Los Angeles, Texas, Mexico. Apart from garments, another category that has been witnessing surge in US is technical textiles. Automotive industry like Boeing, car seat covers, etc. are increasing their manufacturing share in USA. As Wade concludes with a futuristic vision,“The apparel business has not moved significantly here, but was it possible for a garment company in USA to survive earlier? The answer is ‘No’. But today, it has been made possible because of Trump policy.”
Wade Stevenson ( C), Export President with Robert L. Stevenson (R ), President/CEO and R.Trevor Stevenson, Vice President, Eastman Machine Company