Apparel, Fashion & Luxury

As the apparel industry undergoes its own technological revolution, there is no better place to modernize your value chain than the City leading the Industry 4.0 movement.

Why Detroit?

The right support to modernize your value chain

Whether you are transitioning to on-demand manufacturing, establishing on-shore production in the United States, or integrating the latest machinery into your production processes, the Detroit Region has the technology and innovation partners to help smooth the transition. Partnerships between players throughout industries and sectors drive innovation. Apparel companies can leverage world-class Industry 4.0 integration partners like Automation Alley, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, and LIFT to modernize their value chains.

Access to the world

With expansive access to US and Canadian markets, Detroit is a global logistics leader for the domestic and international movement of goods.  The City boasts two major international crossings, with a third in development, a top-ranked international airport, and an extensive network of toll-free freeways with low congestion.  Detroit has the busiest northern border crossing in the United States.  Detroit companies can access ½ of the US and Canadian populations within a 500-mile radius.

Unmatched manufacturing talent

The City of Detroit can be your exclusive, no-cost staffing partner to source talent for your operation, or supplement your existing network.  Detroit at Work will tap a deep, manufacturing-savvy pool of Detroit residents looking for good jobs with opportunities to advance.  Detroit at Work has built an extensive list of Detroiters seeking work in manufacturing operations, and has successfully provided thousands of qualified employees to major manufacturers like FCA. The Detroit region has one of the largest, most diverse, and cost-effective manufacturing workforces in the United States.


People employed as sewing machine operators, seamstresses, tailors, custom sewers and dressmakers within a short commuting radius of Detroit


Five-year growth rate of the Detroit Region’s textile and furniture manufacturing subcluster


Detroit is the #1 City in the country for manufacturing talent affordability


Number of foreign-born residents in the Detroit Region, ranking Detroit in the Top 10 cities in the United States for immigrants

Company Success Stories

Custom apparel maker MyLocker has grown rapidly in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.  The Company completed a $15 million, 120,000s square foot expansion, and is on pace to employ 1,200 individuals by 2022.  MyLocker has created proprietary software that automates the process of designing, manufacturing, and fulfilling custom apparel and other goods, which are then shipped to customers in two to three business days.  Independent retailers can design custom products online and contract with MyLocker to manufacture and ship directly to their customers, allowing retailers to run a business without taking on inventory.  Nearly 75% of MyLocker’s employees are Detroit residents, and more than 2/3 are women.

Waymo Logo

Based in the historic Argonaut Building in Midtown Detroit, Shinola has grown from a boutique watchmaker to a multi-faceted purveyor of upscale leather goods, bicycles, jewelry, office accessories, and hospitality.  Shinola watches and leather straps are assembled and manufactured in the Company’s Midtown factory that employees around 100 people. Shinola has more than 20 retail locations in the United States, including two flagship stores in Detroit; one is next to the Shinola Hotel on Woodward, and the other is on West Canfield Street.

Industry Talent Partners

The Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC), located in Midtown Detroit, provides custom industrial sewing training and apprenticeship programs for apparel manufacturers in need of a trained workforce.  The 6-week Department of Labor-certified training can be provided at ISAIC or at the employer’s location, and provides graduates with an accredited industrial sewing certification.  Apprentices receive 2,000 hours of on-the-job training, with trainers provided ISIAC.  Apprentices learn skills in advanced technical systems, theories, processes and procedures with competency testing to ensure mastery.

Waymo Logo
Located in Midtown Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) has distinguished itself as one of the premier institutions of art and design education in the world.
CCS supplies creative talent to a wide variety of industries, such as transportation, entertainment, consumer electronics, health care, advertising, apparel and many more. Among its alumni are the current heads of design at Harley Davidson and Kohler, the recently retired design chief for Whirlpool, numerous designers at Nike, the production designer for Pixar’s Cars movies, and the executive editor of Mad Magazine.  Detroit apparel companies have an opportunity to partner with CCS on talent sourcing, internships, sponsored industry projects, and other initiatives. 

Let us help you bring your apparel business to Detroit

David White

Vice President of Business Development