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It’s all about content…

outsourcingI posted my most recent project, a WebQuest, at It is entitled "Sending Work Overseas: The Outsourcing Debate in Apparel Manufacturing." Yeah pretty heady I know. I love working as instructional designer primarily because I get to learn about so many things just by exposure. Working at FIDM, I have been exposed to an industry that I would not have previously ever encountered. I decided to tackle a topic that is very close to the heart of the fashion industry: outsourcing.

At first glance, at least with the people I meet casually, FIDM is all about sketching pretty clothes and dressing up models. That only scratches the surface of the business though. There is whole other layer of apparel manufacturing. This end of the business is ALL business. Garments must be costed, designed, sourced, and manufactured at a reasonable cost so that the teenagers can flock to Forever 21 and buy whatever crap is knocked off a Paris or Milan runway. Making a good quality garment (i.e.: your underwear or socks) at a cheap price is the name of the game.

Outsourcing this labor is the way to go right now at least if you are looking to save money, and most apparel manufacturing jobs are now farmed out overseas through an extensive network of wholesalers and middle-men. The flipside on this, obviously, is unemployment in our own country and the appalling working conditions at factories in regions like Malaysia and Indonesia. Just the research process alone in building this WebQuest was eye-opening. Please click on the WebQuest to learn more, as of now it is late and I am drained from putting this together.

Oh yeah, I was going to write about content versus delivery, but that'll happen another night. Suffice it to say that this blog post is more of a vent. Apparel manufacturing is a fascinating business, the fashion runway is just the top level. The process by which a designer like Galliano can put together an outfit and send it down a runway...only to have it trickle down in six months to a worker in Malaysia assembling a knock-off version of the outfit for a nickel an hour only to have it be shipped back to the US to sell in a mall or wherever, I dunno, it just floors me.

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