The city of St Louis in Missouri is at the leading edge of a national trend to re-shore apparel manufacturing jobs in the US, thanks to its efforts to attract manufacturing investment and train skilled sewing talent.

A few years ago the city launched the Fashion Fund, designed to support emerging designers, stimulate local interest in the industry and build awareness of global fashion trends.

"I expect to see our fashion industry grow and national awareness to intensify as we continue to expand," says Kathleen Bibbins, the Saint Louis Fashion Fund's new executive director.

Co-founder Susan Sherman believes the fund's incubator, ongoing search for a high-tech apparel manufacturing facility, and request for proposals to transform Washington Avenue and restore its garment district will re-ignite the fashion industry in St Louis.

"We have a fashion ecosystem, it's at least a multibillion-dollar industry and the St Louis Fashion Fund is working hard to grow the industry," says Sherman. "St Louis is a win-win location for investors in apparel manufacturing: there are talented people that need jobs in St Louis and salaries are competitive."

According to a report issued by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, domestic apparel manufacturing is on the rise, while changes in overseas manufacturing centres like China and Turkey have upended the conventional wisdom that manufacturing is cheaper overseas.

"We've had designers from all over the country move their businesses to St Louis, and what they need to continue to grow and thrive is skilled manufacturing close by," adds Sherman. "The demand is here to stay, now all we need is the supply."