The days are getting shorter each day. Had you noticed that when you get out of work, it is totally dark? What this all means is that if you work during the day and want to exercise outdoors, you will have to be out there in total darkness. The solution to exercising in the dark is either: reflective clothing (or blinking lights).
I would like to highlight the reflective clothing option as the blinking lights can be very irritating. As you may (or may not know), the clothing made in the United States constitutes only 2% of clothing that is sold in the U.S., and when you take the subset of athletic clothing, the percentage is even smaller. And then when you take reflective athletic clothing, you are talking about a rare oddity.
But, I was surprised when I came across this post from a company called Illuminate. (Note IllumiNite thinks the the US makes 3% of our clothing).
MADE IN THE USA!
We are the 3%!
According to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, 97% of apparel bought in the U.S. is made overseas. Not illumiNITE. Our company is one of the few apparel manufacturers (just 3% of all companies nationwide) that still produce clothing in the good ole’ US of A.
Many of our competitors contract out the manufacturing of their products to overseas companies. Workers subsist on pennies a day in substandard factories with poor safety records, so we can buy $2.00 tube socks (remember tube socks?).
When BackAtcha Apparel started running illumiNITE we inherited a ton of product made overseas. Since that day we’ve worked hard to move our production back to the States. Today 80% of our new gear is made locally, and we continue to make progress towards our goal – 100% of our products made in the U.S.A.
Most of our gear is made in small batches, because specialty clothing can’t be mass-produced. Your favorite illumiNITE jacket, shirt, or pants was probably made right here in Fall River, MA by an actual seamstress in our factory. A hands-on approach means we know every stitch and seam and won’t let a sub-par product leave our warehouse.
As more Americans seek out and buy goods made in the USA, companies that work with overseas manufacturers will be forced to change. That’s good news for the 3 million U.S. apparel industry workers (also from AAFA) and good news for the U.S. economy.
Luckily, illumiNITE already calls Massachusetts home.
This weekend we celebrate the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. As a small, woman-owned business, we’re grateful for the opportunities provided by a free and democratic nation.
Shopping local may not seem like a patriotic act. But every time you buy products made in the USA, a local family earns a living, and companies that exploit workers overseas must reconsider business as usual. Together, we can make a difference.
While the above report from IllumiNite is very, very hopeful and optimistic, when you actually visit their website, you will find out that 80% of their products are made in China. However, I am willing to give IllumiNite the benefit of the doubt – that it will take time to transform a 100%-foreign- made-product-company to become an American made company. I am hoping to see that in every future season, we will see a higher percentage of US made products. But, most importantly, THEY MAKE REFLECTIVE ATHLETIC CLOTHING MADE IN THE USA!
IllumiNite offers cycling and running jackets, tops, bottoms, and shorts for both men and women. Make sure you check as to whether they are made in the USA or China before you make your purchase.
Check out the website at IllumiNite.myshopify.com.
Also check out their Facebook page: Facebook.com/Illuminateyourlife.