Robots bring the cost of manufacturing a t-shirt down to 33 cents.

The cost of manufacturing is increasingly influenced by advances in automation. With this progress the cost of labor, and consequently geography, will play less of a role as delivery times become more important. A recent article citing a Chinese company building a factory to manufacture t-shirts in the US summed it up nicely:

By early 2018, Tianyuan Garments Co., based in the Suzhou Industrial Park in eastern China, will unveil a $20 million factory staffed by about 330 robots from Atlanta-based Softwear Automation Inc. The botmaker and garment company estimate the factory will stitch about 23 million T-shirts a year. The cost per shirt, according to Pete Santora, Softwear’s chief commercial officer: 33¢.

Per the article, it took Softwear Automation Inc. seven years to develop the technology, and the outcome is impressive: these bots will produce a t-shirt every 26 seconds.

automation fashion economics manufacturing
Source: Kevin Hamlin | "China Snaps Up America’s Cheap Robot Labor" | Bloomberg Businessweek | 08/30/2017 | Visit