Rising Prices

First off, we want to acknowledge Death Valley Magazine for their coverage of this issue. Clothing prices are going to go up.

What essentially has happened is that rising cotton prices have combined with economic progress in China. You see, about one third of Chinese textile (and other manual labor intensive industries) workers failed to return after the Chinese New Year. The reason is simple. They’d rather join a service industry near their homes than travel hundreds of miles from home to work their fingers to the bone. What’s more, those Starbuck jobs at home pay better. Welcome to the American Dream.

This has been an ugly truth in the tactical industry since late Spring and unfortunately there is no answer. The cotton issue isn’t going away as it has been brewing for several years due to poor crops, but companies that have been manufacturing in other countries have a little bit of a leg up. We say little, because the cotton issue is still a factor and most of the high tech infrastructure is in China. Bet you didn’t know that the textile industry had high tech infrastructure, but they do. There are assembly operations that simply cannot be accomplished in the US because it wasn’t cost effective (US workers cost too much) to manufacture here so the machinery was placed in new factories overseas. Generally, in China. You also have to realize that there aren’t a whole bunch of factories that do this sort of work so all of the companies are waiting in line to use these same plants. So, the really gucci gear is built in Chinese factories and there is only so much capacity to go around. Take an adequate number of workers out of the equation and prices begin to rise. So this is an issue even if the clothing is made from advanced materials rather than cotton.

Now, let’s poor some gas on this fire. This affects the ENTIRE textile industry and not just our little microcosm so our companies are jockeying for position with the Big Box retailers as well as mainstream fashion producers alike. Ouch!

To be honest, we are surprised prices haven’t increased already. If you are contemplating buying that tactical tuxedo, we suggest you get mama to pick it up now for Christmas.

PS, this will affect footwear (and those tacticool hats) as well.

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