Archive for the 'clothingmadeinusablog anniversary' Category

21
Sep
12

My First Year Search for Clothing Made in the USA

The main purpose for my blog: clothingmadeinusablog was to see if I could find enough clothing made in non-slave labor countries or preferably made in the USA to complete an entire wardrobe. I have been looking for a little over a year and I believe that I have been very successful. In this blog entry, I will list the clothing I have bought over the past 15 months. There are a few times that I did buy clothing from slave labor countries. Sometimes, there were no other choices, but other times I could have gone without – usually items that had my favorite team or favorite band’s logo on it. This coming year, I will not buy these items if they are not made in the USA – I can definitely go without.

My closet with non slave labor clothing

The Inventory

As you may have noticed if you have visited my website previously that I like to publish lists. So, below, I will list my purchases over the past 15 months by types of clothing , adding the brand name and country of manufacture.

Dress Shirts

  1. Breuer x 2, Italy
  2. Brooks Brothers x3, USA
  3. Equilibrio, Italy
  4. Eton, Sweden
  5. Hamilton x 2, USA
  6. Haupt, Germany
  7. Hickey Freeman, Italy
  8. Hickey Freeman, Peru
  9. Hlaska x 3, USA
  10. Ike Behar x 5, USA
  11. Ike Behar x 2, Italy
  12. Oxxford, USA
  13. Robert Talbott x 4, USA
  14. Truzzi, Italy
  15. Zara, Spain

Remaining 3 Versace shirts, Turkey. Goal: No definite immediate needs.

Casual Shirts

  1. Bill’s Khakis x 2, USA
  2. Blues Jean Bar, USA
  3. Brioni, Italy
  4. Brooks Brothers, USA
  5. Flat Head & Co, Japan
  6. Freemans Sporting Club x 4, USA
  7. Hickey Freeman, Italy
  8. Hlaska x 4, USA
  9. J. Lawrence Khaki, USA
  10. Just Cavalli, Italy
  11. Magestic, USA
  12. Marine Layer, USA
  13. Rag and Bone, USA
  14. Ralph Lauren, India (Funny story, I found this RRL (retro Ralph Lauren) shirt, made in USA, in a medium, but it was a little large, so they went in the back of the store and found a small, and wrapped it up. However, when I got home, I noticed that the small was made in India and I wasn’t going all the way back to San Francisco to return it).

Remaining: 4 imported casual shirts. Goal: Maybe another high quality Italian shirt.

Sweatshirt

  1. AKWA, USA
  2. Bobby Jones, Peru

Polo Shirts

  1. Agave, USA
  2. American Apparel, USA
  3. Crosswinds x 2, USA
  4. Gypsy, USA
  5. Hickey Freeman x 3, Italy
  6. James Perse, USA
  7. Marine Layer, USA
  8. Threads 4 Thought, USA
  9. Van Glory x 2, USA

Remaining: 17 imported shirts, 2 from Italy. Goal: Slowly replace all imported polos, most likely with Agave polos.

Hawaiian Shirts

  1. Ali’i Fashions, USA
  2. Disney Parks, USA
  3. Hilo Hatties, USA
  4. Iolani, USA
  5. Jacqueline on Kauai, USA
  6. Kahala x3, USA
  7. KY’s, USA
  8. Mokulele Farms, USA
  9. Penney’s (vintage 1960 shirt), Japan
  10. Tori Richard x 5, USA
  11. Two Palms

Remaining: Arii, Tahiti; Gear (Logo: Silver Oak Winery), China; Gold (Logo: Mario Andretti Winery), China; Hilo Hatties, USA; Jade Fashions, USA; Tommy Bahama x 4, China; Tori Richard, China x 2, USA x 1. Goal: Continue to avoid Tommy Bahama, and get rid of them. Get rid of Silver Oak Winery shirt, Buy more well designed US made Hawaiian shirts, maybe two or three.

T Shirts

  1. American Apparel
  2. Anvil (Logo), Nicaragua
  3. Chaser 88, USA
  4. English Laundry x 2, USA
  5. Ezekiel, USA
  6. Farm Tactics, USA
  7. Go Barefoot, USA
  8. Gramicci, USA
  9. Green Label, USA
  10. Howe, USA
  11. Junk Food x 7, USA
  12. No Enemy, USA
  13. O’Neill, USA
  14. Quicksilver, USA
  15. R44, USA
  16. Red Jacket, USA
  17. Retro x 2, USA
  18. Royal Apparel x 3, USA
  19. Teddy The Dog, USA
  20. Unknown label (Kauai Logo), USA
  21. Versace, Italy
  22. Wet Cement, USA
  23. Yesterdays x 2

Remaining: 35 T shirts. Goal: Good for now.

Dress Pants

  1. Emile Lafaurie x 2, Portugal
  2. Giorgio Armani, Italy
  3. Joseph Abboud x 3, USA
  4. Nuvo, USA
  5. Ralph Lauren x 2, Canada
  6. Riviera x 2, USA

Remaining: Armani Collezioni, Turkey; Claiborne, Mexico; George, Indonesia; Kenneth Cole, Vietnam. Goal: Replacing all the old imported dress pants. Need another pair of dress black pants.

Casual Pants

  1. Adriano Goldschmied, USA
  2. Armani Collezioni, Romania
  3. Citizens of Humanity x 2, USA
  4. Ernest Sewn, USA
  5. J. Brand, USA
  6. Paige, USA
  7. Postage, USA
  8. Rag and Bone, USA
  9. True Religion, USA


Remaining: Ashworth, India; Calvin Klein, China; IZOD, Bangladesh; North Face, India; Office Gentleman, China; Tommy Bahama, China. Goal: Replacing all imported casual pants with ones made in USA.

Jeans

  1. Levi Strauss, USA
  2. Rag & Bone, USA
  3. Raleigh Denim, USA
  4. 7 For All Mankind, USA

Remaining: 1 pair of Gap remake of retro 1969 jeans, China. Goal: Probably no new jeans, will hold on to Gap jeans for heavy outdoor work.

Shoes

  1. Allen Edmonds, Black dress, USA
  2. Allen Edmonds, boat shoes, Dominican Republic ( I was not happy when I found out they were not made in the US)
  3. Bacco Bucci, Brown casual, Italy
  4. Brunomagli, Oxford dress, Italy
  5. Eduardo G., Brown casual, Portugal
  6. Mercanti Fiorentini, Brown casual x 2 pairs, Italy
  7. Mercanti Fiorentini, Black casual, Italy
  8. Mercanti Fiorentini, Black dress, Italy
  9. MikeKonos, Brown suede, Italy
  10. Wolverine 1000 mile, Brown casual, USA
  11. Wolverine 1000 mile, Black Boots, USA

Remaining: Bostonian, Black Dress, Italy; Mercanti Fiorenti, Black dress, Italy; Polo, Rain boots, China. Goal: More USA shoes, less Italian and and definitely no Chinese shoes.

Athletic Shoes (I had purchased two pairs of imported tennis shoes before I found that New Balance makes US made tennis shoes)

  1. Adidas, Tennis Shoes, China
  2. Asics, Gel-Nimbus II, China
  3. New Balance, Running shoes x 3 pair, USA
  4. New Balance, Cross Trainer, USA
  5. New Balance, Tennis, USA
  6. New Balance, Training, USA
  7. New Balance, Black Training, USA
  8. Nike Air Max, Tennis Shoe, China

Remaining: Brooks, Running Shoe, China; Keen, Trail Sandal, Dominican Republic; New Balance, Black trainers, USA; Timberland, Hiking shoe, Vietnam. Goal: Replace old running shoes with New Balance US made running shoes. Possibly looking for US made hiking shoe.

Golf Shoes

  1. Allen Edmonds, Black 1-up, USA
  2. Nike, golf shoes, China

Remaining : 6 pairs of imported golf shoes;.Goal: Since Allen Edmonds is the only U.S. maker of golf shoes, I plan to but one or two more pair depending on how much golf I play.

Socks

  1. Hanes (10 pair, white crew), USA
  2. Maggie’s Socks (6 pair, white, recycled), USA
  3. Nike (5 pair, black crew), USA
  4. Nike (7 pair, white crew), USA
  5. On the Tee (golf socks), USA
  6. Pearl Izumi (2 pair, bicycle socks), USA
  7. Polo (purple socks), Japan
  8. Wigwam (insulated socks), USA
  9. Wilson (tennis socks), USA
  10. unknown name with SF Giants Logo, USA
  11. unknown name with SJ Sharks Logo, USA

Remaining 4 pairs of knee high socks to go with golf knickers – made unknown, 1 pair of triathlon socks, possibly US made, and one pair of dress purple designed socks, maker unknown. Goal: to replace Knicker socks with US made knicker socks if possible.

Shorts

  1. Bill’s Khaki’s x 2, USA

Remaining 4 pairs of imported shorts. Goal: Replace all imported shorts with US made, might have to be  with more Bill’s Khakis or by the internet.

Underwear

  1. American Apparel (5 pair, different colors), USA
  2. Bamboosa, USA
  3. bgreen (3 pair), USA
  4. Patagonia, USA
  5. REI (3 pair), USA
  6. Tommy John, USA

Still remaining – Bike, compression shorts USA; Jock straps x2, Thailand; Grinch Boxers (gift) Cambodia. Goal: replace old with new as appropriate, preferably with bgreen (organic).

Undershirt

  1. Agave x 2, USA
  2. American Apparel x 4, USA
  3. Brooklyn Motors, USA
  4. Freemans Sporting Club x 2, USA
  5. Tommy John, USA

Belts

  1. A.J. Skins, Black crocodile dress, USA
  2. Allen Edmonds, Black casual, USA
  3. Allen Edmonds, Brown casual, USA
  4. Canterbury, Brown casual, USA
  5. Hlaska, Brown casual, USA
  6. Leejin, Brown casual, USA
  7. Lejon Tulliani, Black dress, USA
  8. Martin Dingman, Brown/Black dress, USA
  9. Martin Dingman, brown dress x2, USA
  10. Martin Dingman brown crocodile print, USA
  11. Tory Burch, Black casual, USA
  12. Tulliani, Black casual, USA
  13. Unknown, Black dress, Italy

Remaining: all old belts are gone except for a money belt by Design Go, unknown manufacture country. Goal: None.

Hats

  1. Bailey of Hollywood, Black straw, USA
  2. Brooks Brothers, Golf beret, Italy
  3. Dorfman Pacific Company, Bowler, USA
  4. Stetson, Beret, Germany

Remaining: 1 logo hat (SF Giants) by Red Jacket, Korea. Goal: none

Baseball Caps  (very difficult to find made in USA item)

  1. Ahead Vintage (Logo which says “Allen Edmonds est 1922 MAde in USA”), Bangladesh
  2. Old Time Hockey (Logo: San Jose Sharks), Bangladesh
  3. Port & Company (Logo: Williams Selyem Winery), China
  4. Unionwear (Logo: Barack Obama 2012), USA
  5. Unknown (Logo: Oakland A’s), China

Remaining 5 baseball caps made in USA, 9 logo baseball caps, imported, 3 runners wash and wear caps, imported: Goal: no more buying of Logo caps unless made in USA, may have to buy US made caps on-line which is difficult because you can’t try them on before purchasing.

Coats

  1. Levi’s Denim Jacket, USA
  2. Remy Leather Jacket, USA
  3. Woolrich Winter Jacket, USA

Remaining 6 imported coats. Goal – Replace imported coats with US made coats.

Sports Jackets

  1. Ermenegildo Zegna, Italy
  2. Joseph Abboud, USA
  3. Lanvin, USA
  4. Ralph Lauren, Canada

Remaining 2 imported sports Coats. Goal: No immediate needs.

Suits

No new suits purchased. Remaining suits: Versace suits x 2, Italy; Hugo Boss, USA; 3 imported suits. Goal: Possible replacing black suit with made in USA black suit.

Ties

  1. Armani Collezioni x 2, Italy
  2. Barbara Blank, USA
  3. Di Cravatte, USA
  4. Italo Ferretti, Italy
  5. Lochcarron, Scotland
  6. Michael Kensinger, USA
  7. Mosher’s Ltd. (AMA Logo), Unknown
  8. Robert Talbott Carmel x 2, USA
  9. Vesi (Cleveland Clinic Logo), China
  10. Vineyard Vines, USA

Remaining: 40 ties, mix of U.S., Italy and imported; Goal: no definite need to fill.

Conclusion

As you can see there are lots of US made clothing out there, and I bought a lot of it. My wardrobe is pretty much complete. All I need is a few odds and ends, here and there. But overall, I feel I have been successful in getting to my goal of a non slave-labor wardrobe. If you have any questions as to where I purchased any item, I would be happy to let you know.

17
Sep
12

Reflections on the First Year of Clothingmadeinusablog

What a long strange trip it has been. When I started this blog over a year ago, my original concept was that this blog would be more like a journal, documenting my misadventures as I haphazardly try to find the impossible dream: a wardrobe made up entirely of non-slave,  but preferably, American labor.  My first blog entries were just that, I would blindly go into stores, try to find those labels with the microscopic letters that tell you where they were made. For instance, my search for underwear, made in the USA, both in brick and mortar stores and on the internet are excellent examples of my clueless search for these difficult to find items.

The Change

But as I continued my searches for made in America clothing, I got better at it. I gained knowledge at a rapid rate. After a while, I could just look at certain clothes and knew which ones were not made here in the USA. I knew which stores carried more US clothing and which ones had almost none. And I documented them when I would visit well known stores or malls: Santana Row; Stanford Shopping Center; Downtown Santa Cruz and The Magnificent Mile in Chicago. I, also, became more adept at finding clothing made in the US on the internet. For example, with the major department stores’ website – under search, type in “made in usa”, and quite often their website will list the American made items. If there are too many items then you could further refine your search with something like “shirts made in usa”. I, initially, was looking only for clothing made in the USA at brick and mortar stores, but as I got more adept at finding clothing made in the USA on the internet, I started keeping track, see Listing of Brands of Clothing Made in the USA via Internet. And as I did these website searches, I found more Made In USA Websites and Blogs and documented them as well, see: Best Made in USA Website.

The Loss of American Manufacturing

And then I looked at why clothes were no longer being made in the United States. I, like most Americans, thought the loss of American manufacturing jobs was simply due to labor costs. But surprisingly, I found, that this is rarely the case. Labor cost only make up on 5% – 9% of the total costs of the product. And if you were really following this trend of imported clothing (and its rapid expansion since 1980), you might have noticed that over 80% of imports come from China. To the uninitiated, China?! But they are communists. They all get paid the same right? That is a definite no. Whereas the United States tries to follow a “Free Trade” Policy (except for agribusiness which is heavily subsidized and regulated and doing very well, thank you very much – in fact, other countries, like Brazil complain that our government subsidizing of food products unfairly keeps American food exports too cheap) on manufacturing. However, China, unlike most other countries, plays by different rules. Let us say that manufacturing is a game (for politicians, it is) much like soccer. However, before the match starts, different rules are handed out. The field is tilted severely downhill towards the American goal. The U.S. plays with 8 players, the Chinese with 14. And the Chinese can grab the ball and run with it – Now play ball! China has a very strong government influence and involvement in all manufacturing – heavily subsidizing many companies, offering special tax-breaks and kickbacks, as well as many customized rewards or perks directly to American executives (not legal in the U.S.), and one of the most important factors – the artificially lowering (by government intervention) the value of the Chinese Yuan – which may mean a profit of $0.40 for every $1.00 on export products. And yet, the United States has no manufacturing policy and many of the uninformed still think we should follow a Free Trade Policy with China, a country, which does NOT practice Free Trade. To top the cake, employees in China (as well as many foreign countries) are poorly treated, underpaid (or non-paid if they are prisoners including the many political prisoners unjustly incarcerated), and laboring in unsafe working conditions (plus it is destroying the US economy). It’s enough to never ever go into an H & M and buy that incredibly cheap and poorly made $12 shirt. That is what we are buying when we buy clothing that is too cheap to be true.

Conclusion

Over the past year, I went from a typical American who knew nothing about clothing, let alone clothing made in the USA, who thought it would be fun to tell my story about trying to find clothing made in the U.S. to somebody who has become an avid advocate of buying clothes made in the United States. The purpose of the blog has, also, been transformed. The purpose, now, is trying to convince people to buy clothing made in the U.S.A. and helping people find these precious gems.




May 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Categories


%d bloggers like this: