Has the Fashion Industry Devised a Plan to Provide Fifty Thousand New Jobs
Fashion Article Posted December 10, 2008 

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Warning:  You may become a bit board by this article.  This is NOT regarding the latest fashion trends or hot new fashion designers.  If you want to give this article a try, you are certainly welcome to do so.  Feel free to turn back at any time.... This article was written due to the simple fact that I am tired of hearing about how many billions of dollars the auto industry is about to receive from the government.  Anyway, in my opinion, the "Fashion Industry" is far more fun and way more important then that silly little auto industry ...

The Auto Industry may receive $15 Billion of tax payer money to get thru a few months.  Is it possible to create 50,000+ jobs in the fashion industry for nearly TWELVE YEARS at nearly the same cost?

Based on my estimations as outlined below (and my imaginary clothing factory complex), we could hypothetically employ 50,000 plus workers at a burn rate of a bit more then $1 Billion dollars per year for 12 Years (this is with the assumption that the factory made ZERO profit; but also did not have a loss ).  In addition, to employing 50,000 workers for 12 years, a six building factory complex would have been built and paid for completely.

Should we provide the auto companies $15 billion to get them thru a short time period, or give the fashion industry $15 billion to create a massive number of new jobs for approx. twelve YEARS?

Isn't it true that we can hire more people in the fashion industry then could possibly be hired in the auto industry ???  You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand that everyone wears clothing Not everyone drives a car.  By the shear number of clothes in demand in comparison to the number of cars in demand, it is evident the world needs more clothing produced then cars produced.  Hence, if we had factories in the USA making our clothes, the fashion industry could hire more people then the auto industry could hire Imagine a complex with 5 large buildings.  Each one story tall and in the simplistic shape of a very large rectangle (similar to enclosing a football field with walls and a roof).  Picture sewing machines lined row after row.  More specifically, imagine 10,000 sewing machines per building (50,000 machines in total).  In each building we will have 50 sewing machines across and 200 sewing machines deep.  In addition to the sewing stations, the factories will also have locations for fabric inspection as well as spreading & cutting tables etc (everything a typical clothing factory would require).

Along side the five factory buildings, their will reside a 6th building which may be used for warehousing fabric, folding garments, packing, and warehousing finished garments.

A)  Estimate Startup Expense

  • 50,000 Sewing Machines @ $2000. = $100,000,000. ($100 million)
  • Cutting Machinery & Equipment / Folding Tables / Other Misc. Machinery Equipment = $20,000,000. ($20 million)
  • 5 Factory Buildings @ $17,000,000 each = $85,000,000.  ($85 million)
  • 1 Warehouse Building = $17,000,000. ($17 million)
  • Warehouse Racking Systems, Conveyors, Warehouse Software = $6,000,000. ($6 million)
  • Office Equipment, Desks, Chairs, etc. = $500,000. ( $1/2 million)
  • Software / Computer Systems: $1,000,000. ($1 million)

Total Building & Equipment Expense: $229,500,000.  ($229 million + $500,000.)

Yes, I agree that a start up cost of over $229 MILLION dollars is a scary big number.  However, doesn't this number appear small when we consider that last month the big three automakers asked for
twenty five
BILLION.  Well let's proceed to consider the additional costs below.

B)  Estimate Employees Required:

  • 15 Human Resources Personnel
  • 50,000 Machine Operators
  • 300 Supervisors  (50 Supervisors Per Building)
  • 30 Managers (5 Managers Per Building; 1 Manager per 10 Supervisors)
  • 12 Executive Managers (2 Executive Managers Per Building)
  • 6 Building Managers (1 Per Building)
  • 10 Customer Service Reps
  • 1 Customer Service Manager
  • 10 Sales People
  • 1 Sales Manager

C)  Estimate Salary Expense For Above Mentioned Employees

Hourly Employees:

  • 15 Human Resources @ $15. Per hour @ 8 hours per day = $1800. Salaries Per Day
  • 50,000 Machine Operators X $10. Per hour @ 8 hours per day = $4,000,000. Salaries Per Day
  • 300 Supervisors X $15. Per hour @ 8 hours per day = $36,000. Salaries Per Day
  • 30 Managers X $25. Per hour @ 8 hours per day = $6,000. Salaries Per Day
  • 12 Executive Managers X $50. per hour @ 8 hours per day = $4,800 Salaries Per Day

Total Hourly: $4,048,600. per DAY

Hourly Employees:  $4,048,600. per day 250 working days per year (estimate, minus weekends and some holidays) = $1,012,150,000. Per YEAR in Salaries. ($1 Billion + $12 Million + $150,000)

Salary Employees:

  • 6 Building Manager x $140,000 Per Year = $840,000 Per Year
  • 10 Customer Service Reps x $65,000 Per Year = $750,000. Per year
  • 1 Customer Service Manager $115,000 Per year
  • 10 Sales People x $105,000. Per Year = $1,050,000 Per Year
  • 1 Sales Manager $140,000. Per Year
  • 1 Chief Financial Officer $200,000. Per Year
  • 1 Vice President $275,000. Per Year
  • 1 President / CEO $300,000. Per Year

Salary Employees (employees not paid by the hour): $3,670,000. per Year

Adding the Hourly Employees + Yearly Salary Employees =
Total Salary Cost: $1,015,820,000 per Year

OK, I agree that we would need employees such as QC inspectors, trim buyers, fabric buyers, plotting, etc.  However, please understand that our imaginary facility has 50,000+ employees.  We can shift some from the
section above into these other miscellaneous job functions.

Also, I have not included electric bills, phone bills, etc.

For arguments sake, lets round this up to make all employee salaries plus utilities etc., to $1.25 Billion Dollars in expense per year.  That would give us at least 12 years employing over 50,000 people based on the same $15 Billion that the Automakers may blow throw in almost no time at all...

Important Note: The estimate start up expenses and salary expenses are VERY rough estimates.  Believed to be on the high end, but truly not certain.  In all honesty, the numbers are purely without any sort of research or back up facts to support them.  These numbers are simply based on my personal estimations of what costs would be reasonably fair.  

When thinking of the total number of employment opportunities created by this 6 building complex, lets keep in mind that this thesis does not even include all the additional jobs that would develop around the complex (this plan requires a town providing food, barbers, boutiques, gas,  etc).  Also, we must consider job creation for textile machinery repair, local trucking, fabric suppliers, trim vendors, possibly fabric printing facilities, etc.

Requirements for Government Support: 

Facility must purchase ONLY United States manufactured fabrics (yarn must also come from the USA).

Facility must purchase ONLY United States manufactured machinery (sewing machines, cutting equipment, etc.).

Facility must purchase ONLY United States manufactured trimming (brand labels, hangtags, price tickets, polybags, cartons, sewing thread, etc.)

Potential Problems:

Unfortunately this thesis does NOT allow for health care or pensions (however, people will at least have jobs).

The factory would possibly have a higher rate of production then retailers can accommodate.

The factory would have to sell an enormously high quantity of garments per year if it every wished to cover its own salary expense without having government subsidy.

Retailer Support Desperately Needed (possible tax benefits for them to assist): 

As large USA based retailers, Wal-mart, Target, & Macy's, should each agree to help support the economy by purchasing the factories full capacity.   Product could be sold to all retailers at the exact same price.  The product will be sold to the retailers cost of goods plus 7%.  Independent accounting firm can calculate the actual cost to produce the garments.  The retailers would have access to review full accounting to verify the cost is being quoted properly.  The cost to produce the garments will include all operational expenses (calculation method to be determined).   The 7% above cost would go into an account allocated for building maintenance, new equipment, office supplies, other business expenses required to maintain the enterprise. 


Each building is connected by large underground hallways so that product can be moved back and forth between the factories and warehouse facility.  Underground reduces risk of damages to fabric or finished garments during rain and other poor weather conditions.  In addition, this keeps the outside facility area open for delivery trucks coming and going.

Machine Operators may be assigned to Cutting, Sewing, Folding, Steaming, Packing, Warehousing etc.  The term machine operator is being used for any labor function.

Independent Board of Directors with power to hire or fire President or CFO (can't them thinking that they are untouchable).  Board members receive ZERO payment.  Looking for charitable people with a true interest in keeping 50,000+ people employed.

Accounting is managed by outside company or government.  Also, may need additional outside employment services provided such as nurses, clerical, & possibly child care.

Clearly this is NOT a fined tuned scenario.  However, based on what I have seen on the news as of today neither is the Auto Bailout currently before Congress. 

Although this fashion industry scenario is not perfect (and possibly not accurate), what do you expect from an hour of brainstorming from only one garmento.  After all, the auto industry has the whole world searching for solutions In my opinion, the overall concept has validity.  Possibly arranged in a smaller scale (smaller buildings, smaller number of employees) and space out the clothing factory complexes to more locations around the country.  Efficiency of scale is reduced, but may be more manageable creating test studies.

Anyway, if there is anything to take away from this article, I hope it is the fact that the
Fashion Industry
, is equally or more important then the Auto Industry.

By Apparel1 on behalf of the Fashion Industry (written without the Fashion Industries consent)

If you actually thought this article was at all interesting, you can also read the following article that I wrote:

Does The Textile and Apparel Industry Offer Sympathy to U.S. Automakers
Textile Industry News Article Posted November 22, 2008


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