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The Apparel Industry

Jan Hilger

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Before the mid-nineteenth century garments were produced manually. With the invention of sewing machines, mass manufacturing became possible. In just over 160 years, business complexity increased from one-man companies, dominated by artisan tailors, to multinational corporations. In Europe and in the United States the first apparel factories following the Fordist model were established. A new unskilled workforce replaced skilled craftsmen. With growing distance from the consumer and decreasing in

Home Production

Tone Rasch

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Clothes are connected to necessity as well as to luxury. The production of them can be viewed the same way. Many clothes have historically been produced at home but in different contexts. Sewing and needlework have been paid work, hobbies, and a part of domestic work during the last couple of centuries. In the early twentieth century, many (if not most) clothes and garments were made at home. This situation has changed, although textiles and clothing are still important parts of housekeeping in t

European Retailers and Global Sourcing Networks

Lotte Thomsen

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The sourcing networks of global buyers have spread over a large range of countries and regions, and clothing consumption in West Europe in the early twenty-first century is almost entirely fed by imports from developing countries. There are considerable differences in the sourcing policies and practices of major West European retailers. But in the early twenty-first century, clothing sourcing networks—especially those based in Anglo-Saxon countries—are reaching a level of maturity that imposes ne

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