HBO’s documentary, Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, is a real eye opener about the garment industry here in the US. The film mainly focuses on the industry in New York City’s Garment District. This district used to be the largest employer in NYC and now is endanger of evaporating.
Clothing made in the US is rapidly dwindling, as a collector and wearer of anything vintage this hit close to home. I’ve recently been more aware of where clothing and accessories are made. I would say 90% of the vintage items I sell were made in the USA. The opposite is true today. According to HBO’s website, “In 1965, 95% of American clothing was made in the U.S.A.; by 2009, only 5% is manufactured here.”
These numbers are alarming. The best thing to do, you ask? Keep buying vintage and pass the word on.