The apparel value chain is organized into five main components. The segments shows the processes involved in the preparation of materials from the fiber to the final stages where the clothes are fully manufactured and furnished to make clothing or attires.
The first segment of the apparel value chain network is the provision or supply of the raw materials in the form of synthetic and natural fibers. This segment is characterized by the wool, cotton and silk as well as natural gas and petroleum oil.
The second segment compose of the component networks characterized by the processes where spinning of cotton or wool takes place so as to be transferred to the weaving stage. The fabric then undergoes weaving, knitting and finishing at this stage. At this stage, oil and natural gas are transformed to petrochemicals and further converted to synthetic fiber. The synthetic fiber then undergoes the process of weaving, knitting and finishing under the component networks. The component networks consist of textile companies that carry out the activities of transforming raw materials through the processes of weaving, knitting as well as finishing (Choi, 2011:18).
The third segment consists of the production networks which are mainly the apparel manufactures in the clothing industry. The U.S garment Factories forms part of the production networks where they design, cut, sew, and button as well as ironing of the garments in order to process them into clothing or garments for wear. The Asian Garment contractors are also engaged in the production networks with the help of both the domestic contractors as well as subcontractors in the market (Torres, 2013:27). Both the domestic and overseas contractors take part in the production networks of the apparel value chain in the production of global garments and clothing. North America and Asia forms the main players of the production networks in the apparel industry.
The fourth segment of the apparel global value chain consists of the export networks. This is composed of all the retailers in the clothing industry. The materials or components to be exported are sourced from the apparel manufactures or producers from Asia and North America. The retail outlets compose of the branded named Apparel Companies which source the products from both Asian and North American markets. The overseas buying offices also plays a very crucial role in the export networks so as to ensure that the product reaches the consumers in the market. The trading companies also form part of the export networks of the apparel global value chain.
The fifth category of the apparel global value chain is composed of the marketing networks. The department stores play an important role in the marketing of the clothing and garments in the apparel industry. The specialty stores also play a key role in the marketing of the clothing and garments in the apparel or clothing industry (Lee, 2007:19). The mass merchandise chains also facilitate the marketing of products of this industry in large volumes. The discount chains also play a crucial role in the marketing of the fashion and clothing products. The discount chains often deal with products from overseas. The off-price outlets also play an important role in the marketing of products in the apparel global value chain. The factory outlets and mail orders also participate in the marketing network of the apparel products. These components ensure that the apparel global value chain is complete.
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Choi, T. -M., & IGI Global (2011). Fashion supply chain management: Industry and business analysis. Hershey, Pa: IGI Global (701 E. Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033, USA.
Gardetti, M. A., & Torres, A. L. (2013). Sustainability in fashion and textiles: Values, design, production and consumption. Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing.
Lee, H. L., & Lee, C. -Y. (2007). Building supply chain excellence in emerging economies. New York: Springer.