A spike in domestic manufacturing helped to reduce the proportion of imports in the US apparel market during 2011, according to figures from the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA).

Although US apparel consumption declined 5.3% in volume to 19.4bn garments, the value of sales grew 4.9% to $283.7bn at retail. On average, each US consumer spent US$910 on more than 62 garments in 2011.

Higher supply chain costs, including increases in materials, labour and transportation, as well as consumers buying apparel at higher price-points boosted growth.

Some 97.7% of apparel sold in the US is made abroad - a 0.3% fall from 2010. This marks the first decline in import penetration, or the amount of the US footwear market supplied by imports, the report noted.

"Following the US footwear industry's surge in domestic manufacturing in 2011, the US apparel industry followed suit with its own spike in domestic manufacturing," said AAFA president and CEO Kevin Burke.

"In 2011, domestic apparel manufacturing grew 11.1% and, for the first time ever, domestic production's share of the US market grew, driving import penetration in the US apparel market below 98%. Despite continued shifts away from China as a sourcing option, China remains the largest supplier of apparel to the US market supplying nearly 33.2% of apparel sold in the United States."

"With more than 97% of apparel sold in the United States being made globally, trade remains an important issue for the US apparel and footwear industry," added Burke. 

"In fact, nearly 3m US apparel industry workers and more than 1m US footwear industry workers count on trade for their jobs."

The ApparelStats report examines business and trade information related to US footwear consumption, production, employment, imports, and retail prices.