Bring It On!

A budding T-shirt king doesn't need protectionist measures to thrive in the U.S.

Conventional wisdom says it's financial suicide to open a garment factory in the U.S. Why set up here when your competition has long since fled to sweatshops offshore? Judging by the success of the American Apparel company--which opened a massive T-shirt factory in Los Angeles three years ago--"Made in the U.S.A." still makes good business sense. Says owner Dov Charney, 32: "My competitors located production centers thousands of miles from their design rooms and marketplace. It's like making prefab homes in India and trying to sell them here."

The U.S. garment industry could use more companies like Charney's. Some 33,000 apparel...

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