The Global Supply Chain Crisis & Its Effect on Wholesale Apparel

Wholesale Apparel Global Supply Chain Crisis


If you’re a boutique owner with international manufacturers or distributors, you’ve probably felt the impact of the global supply chain crisis. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on global distribution; between labor shortages and spikes in shipping costs, the effects of these bottlenecks have left businesses both big and small scrambling to minimize the pandemic's adverse economic impact. Experts see no end in sight, and many wonder if global commerce will ever be the same. As a result, many domestic boutique owners are starting to look more closely at partnerships with U.S. wholesale clothing vendors, which arguably present a lower financial risk to their businesses. 

Explaining the Global Supply Chain Disruption

Since the start of the pandemic, supply chain problems have severely impacted businesses across industries, and boutiques and clothing retailers have been no exception. Delays, restrictions, and even widespread power outages have driven up costs and shipping times, culminating in a nightmare scenario for businesses across the globe. The exact cause of the crisis is complicated. Though the pandemic was most certainly a catalyst for the current state of things, there have been significant issues at almost every level of the supply chain brought on by multiple, oftentimes unrelated, issues. 

As countries implemented sweeping lockdowns near the beginning of the pandemic, factories closed down and production ceased. Not only did this lead to labor and supply shortages that have yet to fully recover, but also a global shortage of shipping containers. 

Rolling power outages in China have led to even more factory closures and delays. The cost of shipping between China and the United States has climbed for months, and has only just started to fall, though prices are still higher than they were last year.

Americans who have found themselves stuck at home due to the virus have started buying more goods and fewer services. This increase in demand for physical goods, coupled with the decrease in supply, has only exacerbated the issue. 

Effects On The Global Fashion Industry

The impact of the supply chain crisis has been felt deeply by those in the fashion industry; one study expected the global industry’s economic profit to drop 93% from 2019 to 2020. As a result, many players in the fashion world are looking to minimize the adverse effects of the disruption, and create deeper relationships with their design, manufacturing, and supply partners. According to one source, clothing retailers are “moving away from transactional supplier relationships in favor of deeper partnerships that bring greater agility and accountability.”

International travel remains subdued as well, meaning retailers and boutique owners will need to engage more with their local customers and business partners. Given this increased emphasis on domestic markets and strong partner relationships, many boutique owners have looked to local distributors to ease their supply chain woes.

Domestic Supply Chains in the World of Wholesale Fashion

Domestic supply chains, even as they are strained by changes in consumer behavior that were accelerated by the pandemic, are in much better shape according to experts, and that includes wholesale clothing. That’s why, with the influx in consumer demand, economists are recommending that people and businesses purchase domestically when possible, in order to lessen the negative impact of the supply chain disruption. Boutiques purchasing from U.S. wholesale clothing suppliers aren’t facing the same level of delays in shipping, or the spikes in costs, that their counterparts are. Wholesale clothing distributors in the U.S. have also been able to pass savings onto their customers by using domestic partners and strengthening the relationships with their designers and manufacturers. 

Why Boutiques Choose Wholesale Fashion Trends 

U.S. wholesale clothing vendors like Wholesale Fashion Trends are able to provide customers with fast, safe, and secure delivery that remains largely intact despite the global economy’s supply chain crisis. Our store offers a wide selection of premium clothing to boutiques and retailers. We have hundreds of high-quality products readily available - including sweaters, jeans, and dresses - and all pieces are shipped in bulk from the United States straight to domestic boutiques and retailers.  We work closely with our customers to ensure a positive experience and timely distribution, with full 360 service.


Wholesale Fashion Trends is an LA-based apparel distribution company. Do you have questions about our business or supply chain? Reach out to us today, and sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on discounts and industry trends.