Made in USA: Why it Matters
According to Consumer Reports, 90% of all clothing sold in the United States is made elsewhere, and this holds true for luxury and non-luxury brands. This is primarily due to the demand for fast fashion which has made it difficult for consumers to justify paying a premium for clothing made in the United States when trends are continuously changing.
Changing consumer habits is difficult, but we should all continue to make an effort to support products made here at home whenever possible.
Ensuring Fair Labor Standards
Monitoring working conditions abroad is notoriously difficult. Although free trade agreements have set minimum worker safety conditions abroad, ensuring compliance is not often a priority for major designers and corporations. As a result, workers are often subject to unfair wages and unsafe working conditions.
When you purchase products made in the United States you are supporting ethical manufacturing practices that protect workers’ rights.
(Read More: “Fast and Flawed Inspections of Factories Abroad,” New York Times, 2013)
Supporting American Jobs
Products that are made in the United States create jobs here at home. For almost two decades, American manufacturers have been unable to compete with the low costs of production abroad, which has resulted in the decline of American manufacturing. When you decide to purchase a product that was manufactured in the United States you are actively assisting the American economy by supporting the revitalization of American manufacturing.
The Economic Policy Institute estimates that every American manufacturing job supports an additional 1.4 jobs in the United States.
(Read More: “The Manufacturing Footprint and the Importance of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs,” Economic Policy Institute, 2015)
Protecting the Environment
Foreign manufacturers are not subject to the same stringent regulations that are found here in the United States. As a result, foreign manufacturing has caused high levels of pollution and contamination that have adversely affected the air, water, and soil of communities across the globe. Although arguments have been made that environmental regulations weaken a company’s competitive advantage, studies have proven the opposite. Environmental regulations should be seen as a way to invest in workers, the environment, and consumers.
(Read More: “The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Competitiveness,” Dechezleprêtre and Sato 2014)
A smart and easy way to include pieces that are made in the United States in your wardrobe is by starting with your go-to staples. The pieces that you reach for over and over again are an investment that should be made to last.
As more designers begin to manufacture here at home these pieces should become increasingly more accessible, but manufacturing in the United States can ultimately only be supported by us, the consumers, who demand these products.
At The Edie Company we are happy to support American manufacturers by manufacturing all of our products in the United States.