I guess it was instilled in me as a child.
I watched my Mom pick up an item, flip the tag over, thoroughly inspect the label for those magic words, and put it down if it didn't have them. I honestly never understood that until lately. She was way before her time.
Do I have plenty of foreign-made products in my closet? Sure. Will I never ever buy another foreign-made product in my life? Probably not. I know these products were made by people who need jobs, too. Honestly, some products may be even better foreign made. Hello, I drive a 4Runner & I'm obsessed with it. However, there are so many reasons to support American-made products for so many different reasons! It's became a little bit of a passion for me, so I thought I would help you all understand why you will see USA on my tags whenever possible. Hold on tight, I'm about to open my mouth and watch my mother come out.
Jobs-with so many manufacturers moving overseas, that results in lost jobs for our people! It's nice to know that when you support a company that produces American-made goods, you help someone in your country support their family.
Less pollution-think about it.. how do all those goods get over here to the US? They either come by plane or by boat..both of which are emitting pollutants and hazardous emissions into the air which are just not good for anybody. One may argue that people also travel that way every single day. However, every little bit of effort on everyone's part can really add up. We only have one planet, after all.
Protection of human rights-not often are you going to find a law overseas that protects a worker. We've all heard stories of people losing their lives over working conditions. In America, there are laws to protect against abuse and mistreatment. I am no more deserving of a nice piece of clothing than someone who was born into a different life than me. So, why should they have to work 15 hours a day in horrible conditions to make ME something? I can't even deal, you guys.
Less health risks-foreign products are less regulated on what their manufacturers can use to produce said products. Therefore, you could be coming into contact with something less than ideal that you want on your body. Not saying that you're going to be poisoned by wearing a sweater from overseas, but you never know exactly where the material came from or what chemicals have been used in the manufacturing process.
Last but not least..
Economy support-you help boost the economy. Do I need to elaborate? I think we all know where the economy has went to in recent years. Thankfully, we are on an upswing and I hope it continues to swing on up! It just takes people educating themselves and putting their money where their values are!
I hope this was encouraging, as well as eye-opening! So next time you go to purchase something, think of the person who potentially made what you're about to buy. Is that product really cheap because it's cheap material made of who-knows-what and the person who made it was basically paid nothing?
Next on the agenda for me is to really start diving into the art of Fair Trade Fashion. There are some beautiful brands out there that are so motivated to alleviate the problems I just talked about and I think it's so amazing. They strive for ethical practices and sustainability and I could just go on and on about how wonderful I think it is! Yes, they will be on the pricier side. I hope that as more and more people start wanting to do better, that cost will go down. If anyone knows any Fair Trade or ethical clothing brands they have personal experience with, I would love to hear your thoughts! Comment below, email me at hello@theclothcollaborative, or DM me.
Weigh your options, choose what works for you, and keep on for the greater good.