Archive for the 'Not Made in USA' Category

16
May
14

Hall of Shame- Ministry of Supply

Our Manufacturing Process | Ministry of Supply. What started as a Kickstarter project in 2012 to make dress shirts in the USA, has turned into another greedy business money grab.  After raising $429,276 on Kickstarter to start up, Ministry of Supply makes all their shirts in China and Taiwan!

This is a quote from the original Kickstarter page: “Finally, we’re hugely supportive of manufacturing in the United States. Everything from the fabric to the packaging is made in the USA.  Like recently successful Kickstarter project Flint and Tinder, we’re focused on bringing jobs to America.”

Ministry of Supply The prototype Apollo shirt

Ministry of Supply
The prototype Apollo shirt

However, they are very unlike Flint & Tinder which makes all of their clothing in the United States.  And after promising in writing to their Kickstarter sponsors that their aim was to create American jobs, what do the owners of Ministry of Supply do? Of course, as soon as possible, they move their operations to China and Taiwan. These Kickstarter sponsors that have supported the shared dream of creating American jobs and making dress shirts have been stabbed in the back. These sponsors should get their money back and should be compensated for Ministry of Supply’s reprehensible behavior.

Maybe, there is a small twinkle of hope out there. The Ministry of Supply thinks that when they have a giant robotic knitting machine, they may bring their company back to the U.S. Hmmm, is that not the whole problem in a nutshell. Cheaper labor in China, then all the jobs go to China, and then they say the labor is better there, but maybe once our company can get rid of  all labor altogether, then the company will bring it back to the USA, ( I am sure it would decrease their shipping costs and decrease their travel to Asia).  “Business 101” predicted that this phenomenon would happen and it will continue to happen until there is a movement about how to deal with “The Age of Oversupply” (or the USA will go quietly into the night – which is highly likely at this point.) Unfortunately, the U.S. continues to flounder in a boat without oars, and “Free Trade” capitalists profit while giving false promises.

05
Oct
11

Misleading Clothes Names: UGG Australia = UGH China

As I search for the elusive ‘Made in USA’ label, I have had to go through a lot of foreign made clothes. And at certain times, it can be frustrating. One of the things that sends me in a tizzy are misleading clothes names – names that sound like they are made in the US, but aren’t. One of my favorites is John Varvatos USA. I have seen the label in over a dozen stores and they are all third world made – China, except once I found one item made in Italy. Other good ones: U.S. Polo Association; American Rag; Reflex USA Jeans; Just USA Jeans; and I Love HSI – An American Brand. All of these are made in sweat shops (not made in the USA). I find their names very misleading and on purpose. It is done in order to trick the person into thinking they are buying American. I can see them now, sitting in the Boardroom, smoking their giant cigars and saying “I Got You” and just laughing and laughing. This practice of putting “USA” or “America” on the label, unless it is made here, should not be part of their name.

The Place of Manufacture Should Be Within Their Name

To go a step further, I further propose that clothing names should include their place of manufacture, such as Old Guys Rule in Haiti. Well, maybe that goes too far, but the label should, at least, delete the city or country that they supposedly represent (and maybe add the place of manufacture). Here are a few examples:

  1. Clark’s of England – Clark’s of Cambodia
  2. Nicole Miller New York – Nicole Miller New Delhian
  3. Bostonian – Guangzhouan
  4. The Original Arizona Jeans Company – The Original Mexican Jeans Company
  5. Canterbury of New Zealand – Canterbury of Thailand
  6. Burberry London – Burberry Tunisia
  7. English Laundry – Chinese Laundry
  8. U.S. Polo Association – Bangladesh Polo Association
  9. UGG Australia – UGH China

Misleading American or Italian Sounding Names and Their Remedy

If you think about, if Prada can sue companies like Prado for infringing on their trademark name, why can’t places do the same? Does New York City really want to be associated with New York & Company – where none of its clothing comes from New York? And what about those designer labels that sound like they are from another high end country? Wouldn’t you expect Takami to be made in Japan? Frances Uomo and Alfani from Italy? But, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt – maybe Mr. or Mrs Bugatachi was really born in Malaysia. Yeah, right. I mean why not just advertise the name label with a name that represents that country like: Hai Nguyen or Chaisek Tseng? Would it really hurt sales? And wouldn’t it be more accurate?

Another suggestion I have is to change the designer name so that it include the place of manufacture. This would look like this:

  1. Tommy Bahama – Tommy Bangkok
  2. Hugo Boss – Hugo Bangladesh
  3. BCBG Maxaria – BCBG Myanmar
  4. Kenneth Cole – Kenneth Calcutta
  5. Michael Kors – Michael Kathmandu
  6. Cole Haan – Cole Hong Kong
  7. Prada – Pradistan
  8. Fred Perry – Fred Peru
  9. Ben Sherman – Ben Sri Lanka

Or change the name so that it sounds like the name is from the country of manufacture:

  1. J. Crew – J. Chu
  2. Eddie Bauer – Eddie Bhattur
  3. Pink – Ping-Hui
  4. Nat Nast – Ngat Ngast
  5. Fruit of the Loom – Lichee Nuts of the Loom
  6. H & M – Hong Kong & Manila

Clothing With Iconic US Symbols

One last thing I have to get off my chest, because it kind of gnaws at me. Maybe nobody has ever paid much attention to this, but have you ever noticed a shirt with the American Flag or the U.S. Constitution on it? Wasn’t it, once upon a time, what is the word… sacred? Isn’t it bad enough that they make clothes out of them, but then have them farmed out to Singapore, manufactured there (and eliminating American jobs at the same time), have them shipped back to us, so we can buy them? Something just doesn’t seem right in Denmark or should I say Denver. I guess I am just saying this in a thoroughly roundabout way  but, if, anybody is gonna desecrate Old Glory or the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence maybe it should be done by us Americans. Made by Americans! Bought by Americans! Desecrated by Americans! Now let’s hear a round of “Glory, Glory Hallelujah”. There I said it. Now, I am sure everybody think I am a nutty patriot or, at least, a very cranky American, or a tiny little nitpicker. But, hey, I am proud of my nits, and I’ll pick them till I bleed, or until somebody notices, or until my audience is no longer amused. Pshew! That was therapeutic, I am already to shop again! Back to the Quest. And then, the first store I go into Juicy Couture, I see a T shirt proudly displayed “Born in the Glamorous USA”. It is made in Peru. My bad mood is back.

“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” – Oscar Wilde




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