Made in the USA – Why Shopping American-Made Clothes Matters
We have all heard that clothing made in the USA is better, but is this just hype or is there something backing up these claims?
Overall, there are some important differences between clothes made in the USA and clothes that come from other countries. They help support safer practices, boost the local economy and reduce the environmental impact of the clothing itself.
Why buy clothes that were made in the USA?
If you are in the United States, chances are you will hear people talk about how much better American-made clothing and goods are. There are a number of reasons for this.
Reduces environmental impact
This is a big reason to buy clothes made in the USA. In general, by buying clothes made here, you are reducing your overall impact on the environment compared to buying clothes from outside the country.
Think about a simple shirt made outside the country, say in China. First the material for the shirt has to be sent to China. Then the company makes the shirt, often adding a number of chemicals and dyes to the process. Then the shirt gets back on another ship heading to the United States. Once it reaches the US, it is tossed in a truck and driven to a warehouse. When the shirt is ready to be sold, it gets back on another truck and heads to the store, or delivered to a person’s home.
The process alone is dizzying, but also the environmental impact here is huge!
All of these boats, planes, and trucks put emissions into the environment. Not to mention whatever dyes and chemicals are going into the shirt itself.
Manufacturing a shirt in the USA reduces this impact in a big way. There is no need to ship materials back and forth, cutting down on carbon emissions. Additionally, there are much more strict regulations on the types of dyes and chemicals companies can treat their clothes with. This all leads to a much greater environmental impact overall.
Supports better working conditions
Clothing and other items made by hand in other countries such as china are notorious for having unsafe working conditions, whether because they use an unethical labor force or force people to work for long hours with very little pay. Many global brands have come under fire for working with these types of companies.
Luckily in the United States there are a number of laws to protect workers from these types of conditions. Regulations help reduce workplace accidents, and grant a number of other important rights to employees, such as paid breaks, minimum wage, and time off.
Regular inspections also help keep clothing manufacturers in check, making sure they are treating their workers correctly.
Better regulatory practices
Protecting working conditions is just one part of the overall truth surrounding products made in the USA – the USA often has better regulatory practices than many other countries.
However, the US Government simply has no say in the practices of other foreign manufacturers, meaning they cant benefit from the superior standards the United States has. There is the chance any imported clothing comes from a sweat shop or factory that uses child labor in a third world country.
The quality of the garment also tends to improve with better regulatory practices. This is why so many people associate clothes that are made in the USA with good quality. While we can monitor shipments from other countries, there is no way to guarantee that the clothes will be of the same quality and durability as clothes made in the USA.
Gives back to the local economy
The other thing to consider is how your purchase affects the economy, both on a local and global scale.
Buying clothing made in other countries spreads your purchase far and wide. From the company in another country, to a global shipping company, to a trucking company, to the store itself – everyone takes a bit of each dollar you spend.
The problem here is that a lot of these companies are not putting money back into their community. The money is going to large multi-national corporations who typically have little interest in the local economy.
On the other hand, when you shop USA-made goods, the money tends to stay in the States, where it can help create more wealth for the economy.
To further your efforts, you should look for companies that give back to their local economy directly. For instance, Sofi is a family business in Los Angeles, California selling USA manufactured clothing. We take it a step further by making our clothing here in Los Angeles, putting money right back into our local economy.
While some will say that all clothes are the same, we know the truth – where you make your clothes matters in a big way. Shopping for clothes made in the USA may help protect workers, reduce your impact on the planet, and give back to the local community!