who is the american apparel & footwear association?
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers which compete in the global market. The U.S. apparel and footwear industry produces the most recognizable product in the entire world. Although our product literally touches every American, we often lose sight of the significant role that clothes and shoes play in our lives, and our economy.
our ‘we wear’ brand identity
At its core, the “We Wear” brand aims to highlight AAFA’s critical mass and achieve successes in Washington on behalf of the industry. This includes seeking legislation that opens new markets to increased trade in a way that understands the industry’s 21st century business model, aggressively protecting U.S. brands’ intellectual property, reducing regulatory burdens that do not promote competitiveness, and seeking opportunities to strengthen the Berry Amendment for domestic manufacturers who outfit U.S. servicemen and women.
we wear jobs
The U.S. apparel and footwear industry directly employs four million U.S. workers. These important jobs include industry executives, textile mill workers, sourcing managers, wholesalers, retail floor associates, technical designers, and marketing professionals, just to name a few. The industry also supports countless other U.S. industries, like the more than 37,000 transportation jobs it requires to move products from the port to the sales floor and the 235,000 dry cleaning jobs required to maintain and protect the industry’s quality product. The U.S. apparel and footwear industry represents more than three percent of the entire U.S. workforce.
we wear global markets
While the United States accounts for one-quarter of total global apparel and footwear retail sales, the United States accounts for just five percent of the world’s population. Global growth is a top priority for the industry.
In 2011, U.S. consumers bought nearly 20 billion garments and 2 billion pairs of shoes. On average, every American spent more than $1,100 on 68 new garments and seven pairs of shoes. 99 percent of the footwear and 98 percent of the apparel sold in the U.S. is produced globally.
When compared to other consumer industries, AAFA represents one of the largest consumer segments. For example, American consumers spend around $2.5 billion on deodorant and $15 billion on bottled water each year. They spend $20 billion on video games, $75 billion on fast food, and $130 billion on soda. They spend nearly $360 billion on clothes and shoes – more than seven times what it costs to run the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The industry even outpaces the sales of new cars which account for around $175 billion each year. And with four million workers, we outpace the U.S. auto industry workforce four to one.
We can drive the industry forward by reducing regulatory strangulation, creating increased opportunity for the industry to participate in the global marketplace, and maintaining the ability to keep customers and products at the forefront.
did you know?
75% of the retail value of a garment or pair of shoes is generated through value added jobs in the United States, like design, distribution, marketing, and merchandising jobs.