Updated: Mar 20, 2022
“Made in the USA.” You're dreading what I'm about to say, aren't you? We all do it, we sometimes avoid research if it may cause guilt in our daily purchases and decisions. I must admit, at one point I was putting off the research of factory conditions in the US. I wanted to believe I could trust every brand that claims to be made in the USA. It would be another problem that I'd have to check for when choosing to purchase a certain product. Well I eventually researched and it’s true, illegal sweatshops in America are still being discovered today. The problem didn’t end at the bankruptcy of American Apparel. But you know what, this shouldn’t scare us because detecting the social values of a company is seriously getting easier and easier.
This is why: if you’re buying a unique product from a small independently-run company, you can head to their website and see the company’s values and manufacturing process. If things are being done right, they’re most definitely going to brag about it. On the flip side, if you’re strolling through Target and see a cheap product claiming to be made in the US, I wouldn’t immediately trust it. Head to their site, there may be little to no transparency about how their products are made. There is even a chance that only two stages of the manufacturing process was in the US, and the rest done somewhere else. According to the Fair Trade Commission, the entire product must be sourced and assembled in the US to claim “Made in the USA,” but recently, many companies have been investigated and accused of falsely claiming this.
So why choose products that were made in the US? If you have browsed through my brand directory recently, you may have noticed that if a brand truly manufactures in the country this is one of the first qualities I list on its description. Here’s three reasons why:
If a product was made in America and you live in America, the carbon footprint from shipping will be much smaller.
It’s easier to regulate the ethics of a factory or workplace in America, therefore it’s easier to trust that your USA made product was made ethically.
Buying USA made products boosts the economy, if you’re in to that kind of thing.
Well since we’re chatting about this, I’ve got to mention an example of an authentic USA made brand. LA Relaxed produces stylish clothing made in Los Angeles, California. LA Relaxed clearly states their own values, manufacturing process, materials used, and sourcing locations. They believe “it should be a given that the clothes you put on your body won’t harm it, cause unnecessary damage to the Earth, or pain to the human being who made them." They also use only sustainable materials including GOTS Certified organic cotton, ship with eco-friendly packaging, and operate their own factory to assure living wages are paid and healthy working conditions are met at all times. At this point, an impressively large percentage of my wardrobe is from LA Relaxed. Need a good example of what to look for in a brand? Go check em out. (Use code ROSALIE20 for a discount).
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