Moving manufacturing where the labor is cheap isn't sustainable — but consistently innovating is, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said in a speech recently.
Shoe manufacturing has largely moved abroad to Asia from Europe and the U.S., a function of inexpensive labor in those countries, Plank told an audience at technology tradeshow CES in Las Vegas on Friday.
Now, however, consumers are increasingly demanding locally-sourced goods, making manufacturing in the Americas a more attractive bet, he added.
"We should be bringing jobs back, not just to America, but tightening supply chains all over the world," Plank said. "We have the ability to do it better. It's time for all of us to make an investment."
Plank recalled different ways he's measured the success of Under Armour, But he also said a successful business "means jobs. It means the better welfare of people."
Instead of depending on cheap labor, Plank said that Under Armour hopes to invest more in Baltimore, where the company is headquartered. Last year, the company said it would add 1,000 jobs to a facility there, as part of Plank's commitment to be Baltimore's "new front porch."