FSAD 4440 Global Fashion Management was by far the most informative course I took in the Fall 2013 semester. I’ve always been curious about how our clothes are made. I’ve always wanted to know what happens from the time our clothes are cotton plants all the way to when I purchase it. This course showed us the chain of events that happen in order to have something as simple as a t-shirt made. We got to see our clothing from the farmer’s point of view, the politics of why certain laws are made, shipping arrangements, benefits and pitfalls of producing in certain countries, and more of the complicated web of commerce and human resources that are involved in apparel production.
Our assignment was to do an in-depth study of company and country of our choice. We also had to choose from what perspective we were writing the paper. The choices were Human Resources, Business Protocol, Trade and Investment, Product Development, or Labor Compliance.
I chose the Russian Federation because my upcoming Cornell Fashion Collective theme for next semester is inspired by Russian folk costume. I have not heard much about Russia’s involvement in the apparel production industry and I was curious if they made the bulk of their clothing or imported it. I was also curious about why Russia wasn’t a major player in the apparel production arena. From a Trade and Investment perspective, I went on a journey through Russian history, current events, politics, labor force, and business practices. I learned about what is actually produced in Russia and how they have their own burgeoning apparel production industry that will continue to gain momentum now that Russia has joined the World Trade Organization.
Though I could not find the actual number of apparel production factories that are currently operating in Russia, I managed to find a lot more information about how t-shirts and other apparel are made in the Russian Federation. I also examined one of Russia’s most popular retail brands, Gloria Jeans. All items produced by the company are made in Russia and the company was the first legal denim company before the dissolution of the Soviet Union (USSR).
[ You are welcome to read my paper. It is 10 pages with 6 pages of cited works.
If you ever want to research global apparel production for yourself, Cornell’s library has an excellent resource: Fashion Design Management Library Guide.