Top 13 U.S. Apparel Manufacturers: Profiles, Comparisons & Future Prospects

by Odmya
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Apparel manufacturing forms a crucial part of the global economy, driving trade, employment, and consumer goods worldwide. This industry encompasses a broad array of businesses that are involved in the conception, production, distribution, and selling of clothing items. These businesses range from small boutiques to vast multinational corporations.

In the United States, the apparel industry is an essential sector, contributing substantially to the economy. The country is home to some of the world’s most influential clothing brands, which are recognized for their quality, innovation, and market presence. This article will provide an in-depth look into the top 13 apparel manufacturing companies in the United States of America.

Apparel Manufacturing in the USA

The apparel manufacturing industry in the United States dates back to the colonial era, where most clothes were handmade for personal use. With the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, textile mills and clothing factories began to spring up, heralding the beginning of large-scale apparel manufacturing.

Fast forward to the 21st century; apparel manufacturing in the United States has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. It has played a pivotal role in the country’s economic development and continues to do so. As of 2020, the U.S. apparel market was valued at approximately 368 billion U.S. dollars, representing a significant increase from previous years.

Despite the setbacks posed by outsourcing and international competition, the industry has continued to evolve, leveraging technological advancements, sustainable practices, and changing consumer trends to its advantage.

Top 13 U.S. Apparel Manufacturers: Profiles, Comparisons & Future Prospects

Criteria for Ranking the Top 13 Companies

To create a fair and accurate ranking of the top apparel companies in the United States, several factors were taken into consideration. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  1. Size and Market Share: This reflects the total sales of a company within the U.S. apparel market. Higher market share often indicates strong brand recognition and customer loyalty.
  2. Brand Influence: This measures the impact a brand has on the market and its ability to affect purchasing decisions.
  3. Innovation: This assesses a company’s commitment to research and development, and how effectively it employs innovative practices in its operations.
  4. Sustainability Practices: This evaluates a company’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint and contribute positively to society.
  5. Financial Health: This considers the overall financial stability and profitability of the company.

Profiles of the Top 13 Apparel Companies in the USA

In this chapter, we delve into a detailed profile of each of the top 13 apparel manufacturing companies in the United States, listed in no particular order.

1. Nike, Inc.

Founded: January 25, 1964 , Headquarters: Beaverton, Oregon Market Share: 27.4% (2022)

Nike is a global leader in the design, development, and marketing of footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessory products. It is one of the most recognizable brands worldwide, known for its iconic “swoosh” logo and “Just Do It” slogan.

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2. VF Corporation

Founded: 1899, Headquarters: Denver, Colorado Market Share: 12.8% (2022)

VF Corporation is one of the largest apparel companies in the world, with a diverse portfolio of iconic brands, including The North Face, Vans, Timberland, and Dickies. The company is committed to power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and the planet.

3. Levi Strauss & Co.

Founded: 1853, Headquarters: San Francisco, California Market Share: 5.1% (2022)

Levi Strauss & Co. is a global leader in the denim industry, best known for its Levi’s brand of jeans. The company has expanded its product range over the years to include trousers, shirts, and outerwear. Levi’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices has earned it a positive reputation in the industry.

4. Under Armour

Founded: 1996, Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland Market Share: 3.6% (2022)

Under Armour is a major player in the performance apparel sector, offering a broad assortment of technologically advanced sportswear, footwear, and accessories. Despite its relatively recent establishment, the brand has quickly risen to prominence, driven by its commitment to continuous innovation and quality.

5. Ralph Lauren Corporation

Founded: 1967, Headquarters: New York City, New York Market Share: 2.9% (2022)

Ralph Lauren is a premier luxury brand that offers apparel, accessories, and fragrances. Known for its classic and sophisticated style, the brand has remained a favorite amongst fashion enthusiasts. Beyond its impact on the fashion industry, the Ralph Lauren Corporation also emphasizes corporate responsibility and sustainability in its operations.

6. PVH Corp.

Founded: 1881, Headquarters: New York City, New York Market Share: 2.7% (2022)

PVH Corp. is a global apparel company, boasting a diversified portfolio of brands, including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. With a presence in over 40 countries, the company leverages a strong supply chain and marketing strategy to maintain its leading position in the industry.

7. Columbia Sportswear Company

Founded: 1938, Headquarters: Portland, Oregon Market Share: 1.9% (2022)

Columbia Sportswear is an industry leader in outdoor apparel and products. The company’s dedication to innovative technologies, such as their patented Omni-Heat reflective wear, places them at the forefront of providing consumers with products to enhance comfort and performance in outdoor environments.

8. American Eagle Outfitters

Founded: 1977, Headquarters: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Market Share: 1.5% (2022)

American Eagle Outfitters, widely recognized for its jeans and graphic tees, is a leading apparel brand targeting younger demographics. The company prides itself on promoting body positivity and inclusivity through its sub-brand Aerie, earning substantial market support.

9. Gap Inc.

Founded: 1969, Headquarters: San Francisco, California Market Share: 2.1% (2022)

Gap Inc. encompasses multiple popular brands such as Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. The company covers a broad market segment, from affordable everyday wear to higher-end fashion, making it a key player in the apparel industry.

10. L Brands Inc. (Victoria’s Secret)

Founded: 1963, Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio Market Share: 1.7% (2022)

L Brands, most notably known for Victoria’s Secret, is a dominant force in the women’s lingerie market. Despite recent challenges, the company continues to hold a significant market share and maintains an influential presence in the industry.

11. Hanesbrands Inc.

Founded: 1901, Headquarters: Winston-Salem, North Carolina Market Share: 1.5% (2022)

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Hanesbrands is a worldwide leader in undergarments and basic apparel. Known for its quality and value, the company’s portfolio includes several influential brands such as Hanes, Champion, Playtex, and Maidenform.

12. Carter’s, Inc.

Founded: 1865, Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia Market Share: 1.3% (2022)

Carter’s is the leading brand of children’s clothing in the United States. With its focus on quality and innovation, the company has gained the trust of generations of families. Carter’s also owns the OshKosh B’gosh brand, a household name in children’s apparel.

13. Guess, Inc.

Founded: 1981, Headquarters: Los Angeles, California Market Share: 1.1% (2022)

Guess is a global lifestyle brand with a full range of denim, apparel, and accessories. It is known for its innovative and trend-setting designs that resonate with youthful, fashion-driven consumers around the world.

That concludes our individual overviews of the top 13 apparel companies in the USA. These profiles provide insight into the diversity, reach, and influence of these companies within the apparel manufacturing industry.

Top 13 U.S. Apparel Manufacturers: Profiles, Comparisons & Future Prospects

Comparison of the Top 13 Apparel Companies

To make a more straightforward comparison, we will present the information in a table and a chart to visually represent the market share of these companies.

RankCompanyFoundedHeadquartersMarket Share (2022)
1Nike, Inc.1964Beaverton, OR27.4%
2VF Corporation1899Denver, CO12.8%
3Levi Strauss & Co.1853San Francisco, CA5.1%
4Under Armour1996Baltimore, MD3.6%
5Ralph Lauren Corporation1967New York City, NY2.9%
6PVH Corp.1881New York City, NY2.7%
7Columbia Sportswear Company1938Portland, OR1.9%
8American Eagle Outfitters1977Pittsburgh, PA1.5%
9Gap Inc.1969San Francisco, CA2.1%
10L Brands Inc. (Victoria’s Secret)1963Columbus, OH1.7%
11Hanesbrands Inc.1901Winston-Salem, NC1.5%
12Carter’s, Inc.1865Atlanta, GA1.3%
13Guess, Inc.1981Los Angeles, CA1.1%

In terms of market share, Nike holds a dominant position, with VF Corporation following at a distant second. Other companies, such as Levi Strauss & Co. and Under Armour, also hold considerable shares in the market. The remaining companies each hold between 1% to 3% of the market share.

Challenges and Future Prospects of Apparel Manufacturing in the USA

Despite the successes of these top 13 apparel manufacturing companies in the United States, the industry as a whole is not without its challenges. These challenges span across economic, social, and environmental dimensions, and companies must navigate these hurdles to ensure their continued growth and success.


  1. International Competition: With globalization, U.S. companies are facing intense competition from foreign brands that offer similar products at lower prices. This competition can put downward pressure on prices, eroding profit margins.
  2. Labor Costs: The cost of labor in the U.S. is relatively high compared to countries like China and Bangladesh. This difference in labor cost can make it difficult for U.S. companies to compete on price with companies that manufacture their products in countries with lower labor costs.
  3. Fast Fashion: The rise of fast fashion retailers, which offer trendy clothing at low prices, has disrupted the traditional fashion industry. Companies must adapt to changing consumer demands for both style and speed.
  4. Sustainability: There is increasing consumer demand for sustainable and ethically produced clothing. This shift in consumer preference puts pressure on apparel companies to reevaluate their production practices, which can be costly.
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Future Prospects

Despite these challenges, there are also exciting prospects on the horizon for the apparel manufacturing industry in the United States:

  1. Technological Innovations: Advancements in technology are set to revolutionize the apparel industry. From 3D printing to AI-powered trend forecasting, companies that can harness these technologies have a promising future.
  2. Sustainable Fashion: There is a growing market for sustainable and ethical fashion. Companies that can balance profitability with sustainability will stand out in the marketplace.
  3. E-Commerce: The rise of e-commerce presents a significant opportunity for apparel companies. As more consumers shift towards online shopping, companies with strong digital strategies will reap the benefits.

In conclusion, while the U.S. apparel industry faces numerous challenges, it also holds promising potential for companies ready to innovate and adapt. It’s a dynamic industry that continues to be a significant part of the U.S. economy, and it will be exciting to see how these top companies navigate their futures.

The State of the Apparel Manufacturing Industry in the USA

The apparel manufacturing industry in the United States is an amalgamation of heritage, innovation, and resilience. Our in-depth exploration of the top 13 companies has provided insight into the diversity and strength that these companies bring to the marketplace. From the athletic prowess of Nike to the classic elegance of Ralph Lauren and the sustainable practices of Levi Strauss & Co., each company contributes to the rich tapestry of the U.S. apparel industry.

These companies are not only industry leaders but also drivers of trends and influences in the global apparel landscape. By addressing challenges head-on and leveraging future prospects, these companies showcase the potential for continued growth and evolution in the industry.

As consumers, we can take a keen interest in the workings of these companies, not only for their products but also for their impact on the economy, the environment, and society at large.

Top 13 U.S. Apparel Manufacturers: Profiles, Comparisons & Future Prospects

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is the largest apparel company in the U.S.?

Nike, Inc. is the largest apparel company in the United States, holding a significant 27.4% market share as of 2022.

2. What are the main challenges facing U.S. apparel companies?

The main challenges include international competition, high labor costs, the rise of fast fashion, and increasing demand for sustainability.

3. What are some promising future prospects for U.S. apparel companies?

Promising prospects include technological innovations, sustainable fashion, and the rise of e-commerce.

4. Are all the top apparel companies in the U.S. headquartered in the U.S.?

Yes, all the top 13 apparel companies we’ve discussed are headquartered in the United States.

5. What is the oldest apparel company among the top 13 in the U.S.?

Levi Strauss & Co., founded in 1853, is the oldest among the top 13 apparel companies in the U.S.

6. How has the rise of e-commerce affected the U.S. apparel industry?

The rise of e-commerce has dramatically affected the apparel industry. It has allowed companies to reach a global market and has shifted consumers’ shopping habits, emphasizing the importance of a strong digital presence for apparel companies.

7. What is the role of sustainable fashion in the U.S. apparel industry?

Sustainable fashion plays a significant role in the U.S. apparel industry. There is increasing consumer demand for sustainable and ethically produced clothing, pressuring apparel companies to reevaluate and adapt their production practices to be more environmentally friendly.

8. How does fast fashion impact the U.S. apparel industry?

Fast fashion, which offers trendy clothing at low prices, has disrupted the traditional fashion industry. This has forced companies to adapt to changing consumer demands for both style and speed.

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