About FASH455




Study of economic, social and political dimensions of the textile & apparel sector in a global economy; implications for production, distribution and consumption of textile & apparel products in major world markets.  (Prerequisite:  TMD 303, ECN 201 &202)



Textiles and Apparel in the Global Economy(3rd ed) by Kitty Dickerson, Prentice-Hall (1999)

Sewing Success? Employment, Wages, and Poverty following the End of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (2012) by Gladys Lopez-Acevedo and Raymond Robertson 

The Apparel Industry by Richard Jones, John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition (2006)                             

Going Global: The Textiles and Apparel Industry (2st ed) by Grace I. Kunz and Grace I. Kunz, Fairchild Publication (2011);


Upon completion of the course, the student will be able:

  1.  To comprehend the worldwide importance of the textile and apparel industry (including production, distribution, consumption, and trade) from economic, political and social dimensions;
  2.  To understand the composition, restructuring, major development trends and competitive status of the U.S. textile and apparel sectors and to consider the domestic complex within the context of a global economy;
  3. To understand the textile complex in major regions of the world, including their stages of development, functions in the global apparel value chain and key market conditions;
  4. To analyze the unique trade policies for textiles and apparel and understand how they affect various segments of the industry (including manufacturers, retailers and consumers) at multiple levels (including multilateral, regional and bilateral);
  5. To increase awareness of the major cutting edge issues facing the world today and comprehend their potentials impacts on the future landscape of the textile and apparel sector;


The textile and apparel industry is a thick textbook study far beyond fiber, yarn, fabric and clothing.  It is THE industry that triggered the first Industrial Revolution, among those sectors that embraced globalization early and still plays a critical role in the global economy with cross-cutting economic, social and political influences in the 21st century.   Some key facts about this sector today:

  • Textiles and apparel remains one of the world’s largest and economically influential industries in the 21st century. Globally, the market value of textiles, apparel and apparel retailing totaled $2,000 billion annually. In the United States, sales of apparel and footwear contributed $350 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, which exceeded the sales of new cars ($175 billion) and fast food ($75 billion).
  • The textile and apparel industry plays a unique critical role in creating jobs, promoting economic development, enhancing human development and reducing poverty. Globally, over 120 Million people remain directly employed in the textile and apparel industries today, a good proportion of whom are females living in poor rural areas. Particularly, for most developing countries, the textile and apparel sector accounts for 60%–90% of their total merchandise exports and provides one of the very few opportunities for these countries to participate in globalization.
  • The textile and apparel industry remains strong presence in the United States in the 21st century, although the industry has been critically different from the past because of globalization and advancement of technologies. Across the supply chain, the U.S. textile and apparel industry directly employs more than 4 million people, who undertake positions ranging from textile mill workers, warehousing, sourcing managers, wholesalers, retail floor associates, merchandisers, buyers, technical designers, and marketing professionals, just to name a few. According to the World Trade Organization, the United States is still the fourth largest textile exporter in the world.  The U.S. textile and apparel exports in 2013 totaled nearly $24 billion dollars which destined more than 50 countries around the world. U.S. branded apparel also can be found in almost every corner of the world marketplace.
  • The textile and apparel industry might be the only sector other than agriculture that is so heavily regulated by trade policies & rules. Because of its global presence and the complicated social, economic and political factors associated with the sector, textile and apparel industry actively involves in almost all critical bilateral, regional and multilateral trade policy debates nowadays. This is the case no matter for passing new free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), enforcing stricter labor & environmental standards, launching initiatives to open new overseas markets, renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA),  trade adjustment assistance (TAA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) or restricting imports in the protection of domestic companies producing the competing products.


  1. http://www.businessoffashion.com/2013/03/has-logo-fatigue-reached-a-tipping-point.html

    I thought this was interesting and relevant – the article is about the change in branding strategies of luxury brands based on the shift in consumption habits in China.

    • very interesting! thank you for sharing. This is why fashion/apparel industry is buyer-driven. We are gradually seeing “made in China” becomes “made for China”

  2. I also found this clip on China and luxury goods – impact on future trade laws perhaps.

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