Until the crash of industry in the United States, that was. Finding that other countries, namely China, boasted increasingly lower production costs, previously-American companies shuttered their factory doors and moved overseas, leaving thousands of Americans unemployed in the process. It was the blight of American industry, and the future looked bleak for American-made fashion.
During the 1990s and 2000s, deep in the heart of a China-dominated supply scene, fads were all the rage. Whether the newest thing was that new style of blue jeans or that particular type of flannel sweater, everyone wanted to get their hands on hot, new, mass-produced trends. But the 2010s ushered in a new age of consumer enlightenment, which reached fruition by 2020. Becoming increasingly aware of the effects of globalization on the American economy, certain consumer blocs became choosier in their purchasing, leaning toward home-grown American companies creating unique, custom styles.
Meanwhile, the advent of online marketplaces such as Etsy and the appearance of new technologies made it easier than ever for people to start their own home fashion businesses. All this was happening while the American job market shifted center-point from professional to gig-based. Many of these technological and Internet-based innovations stem from America, for the use of Americans seeking to take their passions and financial well-being into their own hands. Together, they have combined to usher in a new age of customization, where the individuality of the consumer takes a central role. 21st century shoppers have a healthy understanding of their unique desires, and they’re looking for pieces that suit their particular styles — not for the next mass-produced trend. And even when fads develop, nowadays they’re more likely to develop around an American-made product. Ecommerce has led to a new type of enlightened consumerism and a new boom in widespread sectors of the American economy.
All of these factors mean that small fashion houses producing unique, custom clothing — especially graphic tees, which have seen an extreme burst in popularity — are on the rise. Graphic T-shirts, once reserved mainly for children, have become an increasingly popular way for teenagers and adults to convey their personalities through their clothing. Since graphic T-shirts are infinitely customizable, capable of bearing images and messages of all stripes, and since there are so many marketplaces to choose from, the fashion-inclined have found themselves with a new luxury of choice.
All this isn’t new, of course. Custom clothing has existed for a long time, but usually walked its way straight into the hands of the wealthy. The rise of Ecommerce has changed all of that, revolutionizing both supply and demand. Today, it’s possible for anyone to wear their own custom clothing. Why not search for yours?