In recent years, many American companies have moved their manufacturing overseas in order to take advantage of cheaper labor costs. However, the prices of overseas goods haven’t always stayed low, and many consumers are now on the lookout for clothing made in the USA again. Here are five reasons why you should choose clothing made in the USA when shopping online or visiting your local mall.
1) Quality materials, superior results
The tag, “Made in the USA” is sure to come at a huge price and with the perception that the product is of higher quality and value especially when the customer isn't familiar with the brand or price (Walter, 2019). It has been that way for good reasons. According to Source Journal, the USA has a growing number of globally competitive producers of textile products. Moreover, the industry is driven with technological innovations specifically in the categories of fiber-based medical textiles, protective technical textile, and specialty industrial/commercial textile. These are also emerging as the new growth engine for textile exports in the country.The high quality materials that clothing manufacturers utilize are then able to produce durable clothing that are made to last.
USA companies in this industry are guided with the triple bottom line for sustainability for which they simultaneously consider assessment of the following:
- Profit. The role of the company in the economies it belongs to.
- People. It is the positive and negative effects the company has on external and internal stakeholders.
- Planet. Relationship of the company with its natural environment in relation to its use of renewable and nonrenewable resources.
The Center for EcoTechnology says that the rise of fast fashion is starting to cause problems especially with our environment because of the mounds of waste it produces every year. Hence, supporting USA companies with a sustainable business model such as this could be one of the ways to address the issues that fast fashion has introduced.
2) For your children and future generations
Creating more demand for clothes made in the USA leads to more job opportunities for millions of Americans who are unemployed. The Alliance for American Manufacturing estimates that for every $64 spent by Americans on its own goods is enough to generate 200,000 jobs. The increase in demand will also give rise to an opportunity for businessmen to enter the market and largely manufacture textiles; this will reduce the need to import from countries like China, Vietnam, and India.
Jobs that pay well create more spending that adds to tax income of the government. It could then be used to improve the country’s infrastructure and provide benefits for citizens like social security, education, and healthcare. Hence, these rippling effects would be able to sustain the needs for generations to come.
3) Promote fair working conditions
Some factories where the USA imports its textile or clothes from can be prone to labor abuses. This may be common knowledge already but let’s look closely at how the global exploitation in the clothing industry takes different forms:
- Meager salaries in Bangladesh. Workers in Bangladesh are those who have the least minimum wage in the world. It forces them to take overtime just so they could sustain their daily needs.
- Female workers face gender-based harassment in Cambodia. The sad reality in the day-to-day life of a female Cambodian worker is the physical and verbal abuse from superiors to force them to meet inhumane production targets that place workers under extreme pressure. Fear of retaliation and unemployment tend to keep them silent.
- Rights of workers in Myanmar are suppressed. In Myanmar, overtime pay is not assured and any small mistake can lead to a deduction from the wage. When workers try to unionize, the military goes after them which makes it difficult to resist legally.
When you purchase clothes from companies in the USA, it means you are more likely to support companies that hold fair labor practices and give fair living wages since existing labor laws in the country mitigate possibilities of abusive scenarios. Make your purchase from socially-responsible companies who don't take rights and dignities away from its employees. Some of them could give back to the community as well through charities and meaningful events. You will be more satisfied to incorporate a conscious ethical choice in your daily life.
4) Push technological innovations in production
Supporting the local industry can drive the development of new technologies that could potentially reshape the industry and could even be more sustainable for the environment. When factories could make better clothes that lead to a higher demand and more exports, it could create jobs that could boost the economy.
5) Proudly American
Buying American-made products and proudly wearing them is the best way to show that you are proud to be an American. The "Made in America'' label shows you take pride in defending our rights, supporting our veterans, and loving our country! You carry a responsibility with you to embrace your identity and what it means to be American. It means you patronize our American workers because each of your purchases goes to giving them livable wages and proper working conditions. This strengthens our self-independence so we can provide a better place for future generations to thrive.
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