When U.S. servicemen and women step out onto the battlefield, their uniforms do not only reflect their unity in mission, their uniforms also serve as their first line of defense. Innovative fabrics, like moisture-wicking technology and fire-retardant textiles, and high-performance, waterproof, breathable footwear not only protect U.S. service men and women, they give our troops the edge when they need it most. At the same time, these great innovations in protective gear are a key – but often overlooked – segment of the overall success of American fashion.
If you think about it, uniforms and combat boots may be the quintessential driver of modern fashion, setting trends at all levels of the U.S. apparel and footwear industry and inspiring a whole new segment of high-end design.
Under the Berry Amendment, a federal provision that requires U.S. military garments and footwear to be U.S.-made, U.S. domestic apparel and footwear manufacturers are given the honor of outfitting the men and women in our armed services.
However, these manufacturers, who strive to provide the best possible product to protect our soldiers at war, have become obstructed by an unfair barrier.
Federal Prison Industries (FPI), a government-run program that puts inmates to work in prison, enjoys an unbridled preference when it comes to unfairly claiming federal contracts to outfit our servicemen and women, our domestic manufacturers, and the hardworking tax-payers they employ, lose valuable market share – and jobs – to federally-incarcerated inmates.
We are out to change that.
As the national trade association representing apparel, footwear, sewn products companies, and their suppliers, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) promotes and seeks to enhance members companies’ competitiveness, productivity and profitability in the global marketplace. Learn more about AAFA's mission >