Garment maker Pendleton Woolen Mills said it will stop making women's apparel in a push to drive up its competitiveness.

Pendleton will lay off about 50 workers at its Fort Crook Road North location in Bellevue on 31 August but will retain distribution and manufacturing support operations in the area.
 
The company presently employs 85 workers at the site compared to 400 a few years ago.

"The decision to discontinue the apparel production was prompted by the continuing need to reduce costs in light of the increasing flood of lower cost imports, particularly from China," a company statement said.