Under Armour is an American sportswear company known for its athletic apparel, footwear, and accessories.
Founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, a former college football player, the company has grown to become a major player in the global sports apparel industry.
Under Armour’s products are designed in the United States, but like many multinational corporations, its manufacturing processes are not confined to a single location.
Instead, they have a diverse network of production facilities spread across various countries. To understand where Under Armour is made, we need to delve into the complex global supply chain of the company.
Global Supply Chain Overview
Under Armour, like many other apparel brands, operates on a global supply chain model. This means that its products are made in multiple locations worldwide, with each location specializing in certain aspects of production. This strategy helps the company optimize costs, access specialized skills, and ensure a consistent supply of materials.
The supply chain of a typical apparel company like Under Armour can be divided into several key stages:
1. Design and Development: This phase involves designing and developing new products. Under Armour’s design teams are primarily based in the United States, especially in cities like Baltimore, where the company is headquartered. Designers create sketches, choose fabrics, and work on product innovations.
2. Sourcing of Materials: After the designs are finalized, materials such as fabrics, threads, zippers, and other components are sourced. Under Armour procures these materials from various suppliers worldwide. The selection of suppliers depends on factors like cost, quality, and availability.
3. Manufacturing: The actual production of Under Armour products takes place in manufacturing facilities located in different countries. These facilities are often contracted or owned by Under Armour. The choice of manufacturing location depends on a variety of factors, including labor costs, expertise, and proximity to material suppliers. The company has manufacturing facilities in countries across Asia, Central America, and other regions.
4. Quality Control: Quality control is a critical part of the production process. Under Armour, like most reputable brands, maintains strict quality control standards to ensure that its products meet customer expectations. Quality control inspections can take place at various stages of production, from the initial cutting of fabric to the final packaging of products.
5. Distribution: Once the products are manufactured and quality-checked, they are distributed to retail stores and online channels around the world. Distribution centers and warehouses are strategically located to efficiently serve various regions.
6. Retail: Under Armour has its retail stores and also sells its products through third-party retailers, both online and in physical stores. This stage involves marketing, sales, and customer service.
7. After-Sales Service: After a customer purchases an Under Armour product, the company provides customer support and handles issues like returns and warranties.
Where Under Armour Products Are Made
As mentioned earlier, Under Armour products are manufactured in various countries worldwide. The specific locations can change over time due to factors such as changes in labor costs, trade policies, and market demands. Some of the key countries where Under Armour has historically had manufacturing operations include:
- China: China has been a significant manufacturing hub for Under Armour, as it has been for many other apparel brands. The country offers a large and skilled labor force, efficient supply chains, and manufacturing expertise. However, in recent years, there has been a shift in some production away from China due to rising labor costs and trade tensions.
- Vietnam: Vietnam has become increasingly important for Under Armour and the broader apparel industry. It offers lower labor costs than China and has developed a strong textile and garment manufacturing sector. Many athletic shoes are produced in Vietnam.
- Indonesia: Indonesia is another Southeast Asian country that has played a role in Under Armour’s manufacturing. It offers competitive labor costs and has a growing apparel industry.
- Mexico: For products destined for the North American market, Mexico is a convenient manufacturing location due to its proximity to the United States. It also benefits from trade agreements like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and its successor, USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement).
- Central America: Under Armour has manufacturing operations in various Central American countries, such as Honduras and Guatemala. These countries offer proximity to the United States, which helps reduce transportation costs and lead times.
- United States: While the majority of manufacturing for Under Armour occurs overseas, the company has some production facilities in the United States, particularly for specialized or high-end products. These facilities are often used for custom orders or products that require unique manufacturing processes.
- Other Countries: Depending on market demand and supply chain considerations, Under Armour may use manufacturing facilities in other countries as well. This flexibility allows the company to adapt to changing conditions in the global marketplace.
It’s important to note that the specific countries where Under Armour products are made can change over time. The company, like many others, continually evaluates its supply chain to optimize costs, ensure quality, and adapt to global economic and political factors.
Final Conclusion on Where is Under Armour Made?
In conclusion, Under Armour, like most global apparel brands, manufactures its products in multiple countries around the world. This decentralized approach to production allows the company to leverage the strengths of different regions, manage costs, and maintain the quality of its products. While design and development primarily occur in the United States, the actual manufacturing takes place in countries across Asia, Central America, and occasionally other regions, depending on the company’s strategic priorities and evolving global dynamics.