While the USA makes up only 5% of the earths population,

we are the world’s largest importer of apparel, accounting

for 25% of the global imports by value in 2010. *


There is a growing awareness surrounding the destructive environmental impact of our staggering consumption of apparel products. Just behind the Oil Industry, The World Wildlife Fund has ranked the textile/apparel industry as the second most destructive on earth, running in a close tie with the Livestock Industry. Furthermore, conventional cotton occupies approximately 4% of the global agricultural land, yet accounts for at least 25% of all insecticides used worldwide. For each t-shirt worth of conventional cotton, nearly half a pound of chemical pesticides and fertilizers are used. **
It is also important to note, that even organically grown cotton, consumes vast sums of water.

The AJF will focus on the use of as much recycled fiber and domestically grown organic cotton as possible.

Recycled Fiber comes from more than just plastic bottles - The recycling of plastic bottles and packaging into high-quality textiles and garments is just one of the newer and more well-known methods of creating high value products from the waste that hits landfills around the world. However, in the past, garments were recycled in a process called “garneting”. Garneting is deconstructing old garments and textile products by grinding them down into fiber, then spinning the fiber back into yarn to make new fabric. This old process actually presents one of the biggest and most exciting new opportunities for the development of very low-impact and low-cost materials for garment manufacture. A large number of facilities with garneting machines exist outside the USA in India, China, and the EU.

Can the USA develop large-scale garment recycling programs and regional garneting facilities as a means of creating thousands of jobs, reducing landfills and protecting our natural resources? With help from the AJF to procure private and government support, the answer is YES!

Cotton goes, cotton returnsThe United States is the 2nd largest cotton producer in the world; China is the number #1 producer. While china retains the vast majority of their own cotton production, the United States exports more than 50% of their annual cotton crop, by far the largest cotton exporter in the world. *** This makes the U.S.A. the largest global exporter of raw cotton, while we remain the largest importer of cotton apparel. One of the goals of the AJF is to keep as much domestically grown cotton as possible in the United States, thereby eliminating needless trans-ocean shipping and dramatically reducing our carbon footprint.


1-cotton-eco

 

* - Source, US International Trade commission reports

** - Source, Eco-Fashion Chic- The Fashion Paradox, Sandy Black

*** - Source, Project Cotton, University of Missouri

The vision of the Apparel Jobs Foundation is to create living-wage jobs for the U.S. workers, superior working conditions, and reduced environmental impact.*

 

All AJF funding is used to develop opportunities for U.S. workers.

Not only will a large number of jobs be created, but the ramp-up process is extremely time efficient. Garment assembly is a labor-intensive effort, and fortunately, both the learning curve for inexperienced operators, and the development of new factories can occur within a matter of months.

 

For the retailer, the AJF provides the opportunity to offer a made in USA option to the domestic consumer at a highly competitive price. Apparel and textile products produced through the AJF will not be encumbered by the high margins normally imbedded in conventional apparel manufacturing. Further competitive savings will be realized, as working partnerships between factory and point of sale will allow for reduced inventory levels.

 

Global Concerns- While the AJF is initially focusing all programs toward domestic workers, we are not blind to the need for economic relief through sustainable employment in other parts of the world. The AJF has the long-range goal of earmarking funds for relief projects to confront economic depression, such as the abject poverty of Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Latin America, and natural disasters such as the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. As these types of events arise the AJF will broadcast the opportunity to provide assistance.

 

The AJF integrated brand(s) will serve as an additional tool to offer both commercial and industrial customers apparel products that reflect our social and environmental commitment as well as the ability to adapt quickly to the constantly changing form of the industry.

 

 

(* - AJF works in partnership with accredited 3rd party certifications to insure labor conditions and environmental sustainability are both optimized and transparent.)

More than 750,000 apparel and textile jobs were lost in the United States

between 1990 and 2002.*

 

 

The Apparel Jobs Foundation seeks to bring those jobs back!

 

 

The AJF is committed to helping provide new jobs in the garment industry while insuring the highest standards for labor and environmental conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

* - statistics provided by the U.S. Commerce Department.

50 years ago 95% of clothing worn in the USA was made in the USA.

Today only 3% of what we wear is made here at home.*

The AJF was founded to create jobs in the U.S. by:

 

 

1. Linking retail and industrial buyers with vetted and qualified U.S. textile and apparel manufacturing plants to provide full-package production for both private label and AJF’s branded product line(s).

 

2. Locating and redeveloping ailing facilities to bring them into compliance

with current standards.

 

3. Developing new domestic factories based on regional employment

needs and local government participation. All new and redeveloped locations

are to offer:

 

  • Employee ownership.

  • Health care opportunities.

  • On site childcare for locations of a certain size.

 

* - Statistics provided by Textile Exchange

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