A Boring Old Shirt?

By: Hannah Hagerty

Raw Materials

The main materials of this product are polyester and rayon. The raw material of polyester is mainly ethylene, which is derived from petroleum. Most fruits and vegetables produce ethylene in small quantities. The basic raw material of rayon is cellulose. Some of the main sources of natural cellulose are from wood pulp usually from pine, spruce, and hemlock trees.

Manufacturing of materials

The manufacturing process for polyester starts with Condensation Polymerization, which is when acid and alcohol are reacted at high temperatures; then it cools down it gets cut up into chips. Then the process goes to Melt-spun fiber, which is when the chips are dried completely then heated. After that, is the drawing. The fibers are hot stretched and out into hoppers reservoirs for melting. The manufacturing process for rayon starts with purifying cellulose, which is when a sheet of cellulose is put in sodium hydroxide to soak. Then it is shredded into crumbs. Next in the process is producing filaments. The solution is turned into strings of fiber. Lastly, comes the spinning of the fibers. The fibers are bathed in acid then are ready to be spun. Once they are cured, they are ready to produce fabrics.

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Manufacturing of product

The manufacturing process of this product starts with the styling, which is figuring out the dimensions of the shirt and what style they want the shirt to be. Then comes the cutting. The shirts fabric is cut into sections. After that is assembling the front and back, followed by assembling the sleeves. Then they stitch the hem and add pockets if needed. Then they stitch the shoulder seams and attach the neckband. Lastly, they finish the neckline and label the setting. The very last step is to pack it away, and ship it to the retailers to sell at their stores.
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Source Map Explanation

The process of this product starts in a forest in Vietnam where wood pulp is found to make cellulose, and where plants are found with ethylene for making polyester. Then the rayon and polyester is made in a factory in Nha Trang, Vietnam. After that the materials travel to a manufacturing factory in Thai Nyguyen, Vietnam where the shirt is made. After the shirt is made it is packaged and shipped to New Hampshire, specifically Kohls which is where I bought this shirt.

Globalization

The four categories of Globalization are economic, environmental, technological, and political. A major problem for economic globalization is that manufacturing shirts in another country like Vietnam directly affects the economics in the U.S. by taking jobs away from American. If we continue to have clothing manufactured in other countries, we are taking away from the U.S. economy. A major problem for environmental globalization is that the garment manufacturing industry's main industrial parks in Ho Chi Minh City are dumping over 6,700 tons of waste daily and up to 2,000 ton of this waste is industrial toxins. A major problem for technological globalization is that Vietnam may not be able to stay competitive in this industry because they have older machines/equipment and if they can't keep up with the technology and streamlining their process for manufacturing their products, they will lose business to other countries. Lastly, a major problem for political globalization is that Brexit will certainly have an impact on garment and textile exporters due to the devaluation of the pound and the euro, which will influence the prices. The political change with affect the purchasing power of customers in the European Union and the UK. These issues will have a direct impact on textile and garment enterprises in Vietnam. For example, material prices will have to be re-negotiated due to changes in the exchange rate, which will have a direct impact influence on the input prices of products on the last part of this year.

Potential Solution

A potential solution for Vietnam losing business to other countries due to older machines/equipment, could be to find a way to get newer and faster machines/equipment to get the jobs done not only faster, but better quality and more quantities. They could borrow money from a nearby country ally, for the newer machines/equipment in return they could give the country some resources that Vietnam is known to have that could be valuable.

Reflection

These competency tasks relate to my life because every product that I buy and that I own have their own "journey" through the manufacturing process. I am very lucky that I can have as many things that I do, and I never really thought about just how much labor and time it took to make the product. I chose a shirt because it's something that everybody has, and usually have multiple of them. Its a product seen as so plain, simple, and boring but it actually takes a good amount of time and effort to make each shirt. I obviously wear a shirt everyday of my life and so do most other people. Shirts are one of those products that get taken for granted and expected to have and be easy to make.