Posts Tagged ‘Alliance for American manufacturing

19
Jul
17

The White House is Celebrating Made in America Week — But Not Without Criticism

Source: The White House is Celebrating Made in America Week — But Not Without Criticism | Alliance for American Manufacturing

This week is about celebrating Made in America. But is the #FakePresident the one to really tout “Made in America”? The article is from The Alliance for American manufacturing.

President Trump is under fire for his reliance on foreign manufacturing for his own products.

Here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing, we live every week like it’s Made in America Week.

But the official Made in America Week is currently happening, and President Trump has a whole host of activities lined up to celebrate.

The fun kicked off on Monday at the White House with the “Made in America Product Showcase,” which highlighted an American company from every state. On Wednesday, the president is scheduled to participate in a “Made in America certification event,” and on Thursday, the president is planning a “Made in America announcement.” Things wrap up Saturday in Norfolk, Va., where Trump will attend the commissioning of the Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 aircraft carrier.

But almost as soon as he announced Made in America week, Trump was criticized for not practicing what he preaches. Multiple news outlets have pointed out that many Trump brand products are made overseas, and frankly, some of that criticism is deserved. Here’s the Washington Post:

“For Trump, highlighting U.S.-made products is inconsistent with his practices as a businessman. For years, the Trump organization has outsourced much of its product manufacturing, relying on a global network of factories in a dozen countries — including Bangladesh, China and Mexico — to make its clothing, home décor pieces and other items.”

The Huffington Post also pointed out that Trump’s use of steel and aluminum from China was a big issue during the 2016 presidential campaign, and the president’s daughter/adviser Ivanka Trump is also under fire for her reliance on overseas factories to produce her fashion line. The Daily Beast traveled to the Trump International Hotel in Washington to check out the goods in the gift shop, which had a Made in America T-shirt but nearly everything else for sale was manufactured overseas. (Side note: We offered up some American-made suggestions for the hotel back in September 2016.)

Even the conservative-leaning Washington Examiner ran an op-ed pointing out Trump’s hypocrisy on Made in America.

“’America First’ sounds good when you are the president, but, we all know that whenever money’s been on the table in his extravagant, Napoleon-like penthouse in Manhattan, it’s always been ‘Trump First,’” contributor Mark Vargas wrote.

Ouch.

It’s unclear what might come out of Made in America week — past theme weeks have been overshadowed by current events, often at Trump’s own making. And there’s no doubt that Trump has divided the country, with his opponents pledging to fight him on all fronts.

But whatever you think of Trump, we hope that you can get behind Made in America.

We’ve featured many of the companies taking part in the White House showcase on the blog and our annual gift guide, and our summer interns even talked about their favorite Made in America companies on The Manufacturing Report podcast this week.

American-made goods create jobs and help grow the economy. If every American committed to buying $64 worth of American-made purchases each year, 200,000 new jobs would be created. If contractors increased use of American-made materials by just 5 percent, an additional 200,000 new jobs would be created.

American-made products are also better for the environment, from consumer goods to big industrial needs like steel and aluminum. That’s one of the reasons why a deeply blue state like California is moving toward buying its steel locally — American mills abide by strict environmental guidelines, leading to less pollution to both produce steel and ship it to where it is needed.

And American-made products are often of higher quality than their foreign-made counterparts. There have been serious concerns over China’s lax safety regulations, for example, from everything from toothpaste to toys to dog treats and even processed chicken.

Made in America matters. It’s also perhaps one of the few issues that Americans tend to agree on — 95 percent of voters polled in 2014 had a favorable view of American-made products.

We know that you can’t always buy American-made, but we encourage you to do so when you can. Check the label when you are out shopping, for example. Do a little research on American-made options before making a big purchase like a home appliance or new car.

And we also hope that Team Trump finally steps up and shifts Trump Organization product manufacturing to the United States (Ivanka Trump should also work to manufacture at least some of her clothing line here). Even moving production of just one or two items would go a long way to showing Trump isn’t all talk when it comes to Made in America — and it will support job creation and the economy along the way.

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14
Feb
17

10 Made in America Gifts for Valentine’s Day

Shower your special someone with American-made gifts this holiday.

Source: 10 Made in America Gifts for Valentine’s Day | Alliance for American Manufacturing

Shower your special someone with American-made gifts this holiday.

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away. Do you honor Valentine’s Day gift-giving traditions but aren’t sure what to get your significant other for the holiday? We’ve picked out 10 Made in America products that will make this holiday special for you and your loved one.

1. LaLa Land: No, not the movie. If quality — and a little bit of whimsy — is something you are searching for when it comes to Valentine’s Day, look no further. Artist Brian Nash has created a line of pajamas that provide comfort and quality while sleeping that will make a great Valentine’s gift. Customers who spend $95 or more receive a free 5” x5” heart painting by Nash, who also sells Made in the USA T-shirts, hats, belts and even pet products.

2. Love+Grace: This California-based company is a luxury pajama and loungewear brand from designer Julie Zipperer, who has 20+ years experience in the loungewear industry. The brand is designed for cool, chic women who enjoy being comfortable at the same time.

3. Eco Lustre: Looking for a place to shop for cute, cool, elegant jewelry that is also affordable and environmentally friendly? Eco Lustre is the place to go. The company also provides eco-friendly gift wrap with every order, the perfect finishing touch for any gift.

4. Voluspa: Founders Traci and Troy Arntsen founded the exotic fragrance company in 1999 to create “extravagance that is effortlessly chic.” Voluspa offers a variety of gift sets, all made in Southern California. “Voluspa is truly an affordable luxury. Our ingredients for fragrance are sourced globally and are on par with fine fragrance. Not your typical mid range candle fragrance. That is why we have such a cult and celebrity following for our scents,” Traci Arntsen says.

5. Philosophy: The well-being beauty brand inspires women to look, live, and feel their best. Philosophy seeks to bridge the gap between what is offered in dermatologist offices and retail everywhere, so that all women can access the best skin-care technologies available. Philosophy also pledges to contribute 1 percent of sales to the Hope & Grace Initiative, and awards multiple financial grants each year to local organizations working to empower women through promotion of mental health and well-being.

6. Tervis: Looking for a practical Valentine’s Day gift? Tervis offers a range of Valentine’s Day-themed drinkware perfect for your sweetie — or just someone you want to celebrate this holiday. Tervis pledges to keep hot drinks hotter, cold drinks colder and is even customizable.

7. Goetze’s: Is your Valentine a caramel junky? If so, Goetze’s candy products, including Caramel Creams and Cow Tales, make the perfect gift, all while Keeping it Made in America. The company’s website also has instructions for crafting a special Candy Wreath.

8. Russell Stover: Treat the chocolate lover in your life with a box from this classic candy company. Clara and Russell Stover began making candy in the kitchen of their Denver home in 1923. Today, the company is the largest U.S. maker of boxed chocolates and operates under three principles — quality, service and value — and remain a Valentine’s Day favorite.

9. Teleflora: Valentine’s Day isn’t complete without flowers! Consider sending roses, tulips, orchids, and lilies to a special someone this holiday, all hand-delivered by a local florist.

10. Savino: Looking for an ingenious way to serve and preserve your favorite drinks with your Valentine? Look no further. Savino is the wine saver you’ve been looking for that protects wine from oxidation, allowing you to save some for later.

22
Dec
16

The 2016 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide | Alliance for American Manufacturing

There’s something American-made for everyone on your list. The Alliance for American Manufacturing has found gifts made in every state.

Source: The 2016 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide | Alliance for American Manufacturing

There’s something American-made for everyone on your list.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

zkano

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is excited to officially unveil the 2016 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide, which features an array of American-made ideas from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We hope you find this list helpful, and encourage you to share it with others using the share buttons on the left side of the page.

We received hundreds of great gift ideas this year from the Made in America movement. In making our selections, we tried to pick a variety of gifts that are also easy-to-purchase and at reasonable price points. If you don’t see your idea on the list, don’t worry — we’ll roll out additional picks on the blog throughout December.

Thank you for Keeping it Made in America this holiday season.

-Team AAM

Alabama: The New York Times dubbed zkano founder Gina Locklear the “Sock Queen of Alabama,” and for good reason. The organic sock company is located in Fort Payne, which was known as the Sock Capital of the World until offshoring sent jobs overseas. Locklear drew on her family’s own sock making history to launch zkano in 2008, proving you can still keep it Made in America. 

Alaska: When Robert and Anita Shane quit smoking in 2010, they found they needed a hobby. That hobby turned into the Alaska Rug Company, which sells doormats, throw rugs, bowls and other household decorations that are made out of old Alaskan fishing line and rope. 

Arizona: Heirloom quality wallets, belts, bracelets and other keepsakes from Ezra Arthur are “artifacts worth of discovery — from father to son, passed down from one generation to the next.” The company uses century-old equipment to make its goods at its facility in Phoenix’s warehouse district. 

Arkansas:

Ozark Beard Company

 Ozark Beard Company wants to change the way most people look at beardsmen, from “a bunch of lazy unkept dudes” to men proud to “REP THE BEARD!” OBC’s beard oils are made from natural ingredients and designed to keep beards looking healthy. 

California: The husband and wife team of Dana and Melanie Harvey started their company, aptly named Harvey’swhile restoring a classic car. Dana came up with the idea of making a handbag for Melanie using the car’s leftover seatbelts, and today the company sells a variety of fashionable accessories. 

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Clean up your dog’s, um, mess with Poop Bags, which are made from plant-based materials and are commercially compostable.

Blast from the past: Looking for a safe and eco-friendly gift for your little one? Green Toys made our 2013 guide and remain a great option for kids. 

Colorado: 

Vortic Watch Co.

Watches were regularly Made in America up until the mid-20th century, and many of those pieces are still ticking today. Enter the Vortic Watch Co., which salvages vintage pocket watches and transforms them into heirloom-quality pieces.

Connecticut: Comedian Jay Leno is a fan of toolmaker Chapman Manufacturing, which creates all of its products from American-made materials. The company’s Model 5575 56-piece Master Screwdriver Set makes a great gift.

Delaware: Hockessin’s Creations Gallery offers unique American-made handcrafted gifts, furniture and more for home and office. Don’t live in the First State? Check out the store’s online catalog.

Florida: The Today Show, New York Magazine and Style network have all featured products from Abella Skin Care. Dr. Eliana Belmonte, who founded the company in 1999, recommends the ColorShade SPF 35 sunscreen, which offers broad spectrum protection, is paba-free and is available in four shades to compliment any skin type.

Georgia: Children’s clothing manufacturer The Bailey Boys creates everything from T-shirts to heirloom-quality special occasion pieces at its 22,000-square-foot facility in Baxley. Find a retailer near you.

Hawaii: The Aloha State is well-known for surfing, and for 25 years, Kazuma has been manufacturing surfboards at its factory in Haiku. The company also takes custom online orders for those who can’t make it to the island.

Idaho: Blacksmith Hoyt Buck wanted to find a way to temper steel to hold an edge longer. His approach helped create Buck Knives, which manufacturers its outdoor knives in the Gem State and is officially licensed by the Boy Scouts of America.

Illinois: 

Dearborn Denim

While most major denim manufacturing has moved overseas, Dearborn Denim makes its products at its workshop in Chicago, using cotton sourced from Texas. The jeans are affordable, too, priced at $45 a pair.

Bonus Member of Congress pick: Still excited that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series? Check out the baseball bats sold by Ridgway-based Dinger Bats, recommended by Rep. John Shimkus and used by a slew of Major League players.

Indiana: Looking for a custom case for your smartphone? Elkhart-based Carved creates elegant wood cases in a 100-year-old renovated dress factory. The company’s cases have been featured in publications like Esquire, Gizmodo and Cnet.

Iowa: Any new parent will tell you a baby monitor is a must-have for the nursery, but it can be tough to effectively mount one on the wall. Enter new dad Gerald Beranek, who created a handy monitor shelf called the VuSee to solve this problem. The VuSee led Beranek to start BeraTek Industries, which now makes a range of products.

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: A reader calls the hand-made items created by Kaleidoscopes to You “absolutely brilliant.”

Kansas: Bob Werts launched Waxman Candles in 1969 after ordering a $5 hobby kit from a local community college. Based in Lawrence, the company also has a location in Chicago.

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Simone Chickenbone makes eco-friendly health and beauty products like Chicken Poop Lip Junk, which can be found at retailers such as Whole Foods Market and Tractor Supply Company. 

Kentucky: 

Polly Singer

The Kentucky Derby is still months away, but get ready now by ordering a signature item from Polly Singer. The company also makes hats for brides, parties and gala events.

Louisiana: Artist Mignon Faget launched her namesake jewelry company to capture the spirit of her hometown of New Orleans, and her pieces often draw inspiration from the city’s natural and architectural forms.

Maine: Since 1912, L.L. Bean has made its beloved Original L.L. Bean Boot in the Pine Tree State. While the retailer doesn’t make all of its products in Maine, its trademark boots, along with socks and a handful of other items, are still Maine-made.

Bonus gift idea: Stay warm this winter with scarves, jackets, pullovers and more from American Roots, which we profiled earlier this year.

Maryland: Carlos Santana, Dave Navarro and Neal Schon are among the artists who have partnered with Paul Reed Smith Guitars, which manufactures high-quality instruments at its factory in Stevensville. 

Massachusetts: Looking for a festive holiday card this season? Dalton-based Crane & Co. offers a range of elegant cards and stationary to celebrate the season (or any upcoming occasion).

Michigan: Ironwood-based Stormy Kromer is named after its founder George “Stormy” Kromer, a locomotive worker who lost his cap at work one day in 1903 and asked his wife, Ida, to stitch a new one. Soon, Stormy Kromer’s fellow engineers wanted a cap of their own, and the Kromers opened up their own store. Today, the company makes a variety of cold weather gear.

Minnesota:

Oh Baby!

Boutique owner Mary Lauer designs, crafts and produces Oh Baby! Line of infant clothes in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Every item, from rompers to bibs and receiving blankets, is machine washable.

Bonus staff pick: AAM’s Jennifer Drudge recommends Faribault Woolen Mill Co., which has been manufacturing blankets, throws, scarves and other accessories for nearly 150 years. The company uses century-old machinery in its “new” mill, which was built in 1892.

Mississippi: The four Woods brothers — Peter, Joseph, Arthur and Sandy — pooled their money in 1998 to open up a pottery on Fortune Avenue in Mound Bayou. Today, Peter’s Pottery sells bowls, candlesticks, tableware, vases and other specialty items.

Bonus Member of Congress pick: Rep. Gregg Harper recommends the Mississippi Gift Company, which offers a range of Mississippi-made items.

Missouri: The bottle openers manufactured by Snake Bite Co. are among the classiest we’ve seen, including the Original Snake Bite, which is manufactured from American-made stainless steel, wrapped in leather and easily attaches to a key ring.

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Kansas City’s Indigo Wild makes a variety of natural products, including Zum Bar Goat’s Milk Soap.

Montana: Missoula’s Rukavina Guitars makes custom electrics and lap steels, and also does repair work.

Blast from the past: We included Red Oxx’s award-winning Safari-Beanos Bag on our 2014 list, and it remains a great option if you are looking for a piece of durable carry-on luggage.

Nebraska: Fresh garlic adds flavor to nearly any dish, but peeling it can be tough. Enter the JellyDish Garlic Peeler, a helpful kitchen gadget that simplifies the process  — and the skins stay in the dish, making cleanup easy, too.

Nevada: Carson City’s Ribbed Tee specializes in men’s undershirts that are designed to hold up in the wash, lay flat and not bunch around the waistline or arms. The company also sells other types of T-shirts and apparel. 

New Hampshire: 

Bailey Works

The original messenger bag produced by Bailey Works in 1993 is now a classic, but the Newmarket company also sells a range of professional and casual bags that are built to last.

New Jersey: You can find Welch’s Fruit Snacks in most major grocery stores, but did you know the treats are manufactured in the Garden State by Promotion in Motion Inc.? The company also makes Sun-Maid raisins and other products.

New Mexico: Betty Tsosie created Tewa Tees to showcase Native American art from various tribes and regions throughout the United States. The company has created custom T-shirts and totes for a variety of organizations, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

New York: Don’t forget about your four-legged friends this year! Milk-Bone manufactures its signature line of dog biscuits and other treats at its plant in Buffalo.

North Carolina: Golfers Nick Price and Vijay Singh are among the top players who have used clubs designed by Bobby Price, and his company Bobby Grace Putters offers a variety of products for the golfer in your life. 

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Whispering Willow sells sustainable, natural goods like bar soap, candles, hair care and moisturizers.

North Dakota: If you are seeking something truly unique, check out Buffalo Gals Mercantile, which sells truly one-of-a-kind items often repurposed from materials like vintage seed sacks. The Original SakHats are the company’s trademark item, and no two are exactly the same.

Ohio: Looking for an engagement ring this year? White House Brothers makes Filigree-Designed rings that are designed to look old-fashioned and romantic — and are built to last.

Bonus Member of Congress pick: Vitamix made our 2014 guide, and Rep. Jim Renacci offers the popular line of blenders as his recommendation this year.

Oklahoma:

Ashton Kelly

Ashton Kelly Candles are billed as the strongest you will ever burn. They are hand poured, triple fragranced and use high grade wax.

Blast from the past: Denim is always in style — and Round House, which made our 2014 guide, is a go-to supplier for jeans and overalls for the entire family. Fun fact: The company launched in 1903, four years before Oklahoma became a state.

Oregon: Combine function and fashion with a tote from July Nine, which sells a variety of bags, totes and packs in vibrant colors.

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Control all those electric appliance cords behind the TV with the Aunt Wanda from Goofy Products.

Pennsylvania: When most cookware manufacturing headed overseas, All-Clad continued to manufacture many of its products at its mill in Canonsburg, including its popular All-Clad Stainless line. 

Bonus staff pick: AAM’s Mark Musho recommends the kid-friendly products from Crayola, the company most famous for its crayons. Crayola began making slate school pencils at its mill in Easton in 1900, and premiered its first box of eight crayons in 1903.

Rhode Island: Get a jumpstart on your New Year’s fitness resolution with an exercise machine from WaterRower. The equipment is functional and can be stored in an upright position no wider than a dining room chair, so it won’t clutter the room.

South Carolina: Dress up that suit with a bow tie from R. Hanauer, which also sells neckties, pocket squares, cummerbund sets and belts. 

South Dakota: Visitors to Watertown can check out The Redlin Art Center, a collection of the oil paintings and prints of artist Terry Redlin. But the center also sells a number of official prints, canvas reproductions and linen design art.

Tennessee: Nashville-based company The Lamp Store creates one-of-a-kind lighting that is sure to add a little bit of style to any room. Most of the company’s lamps sell for under $100.

Texas: 

Mizzen + Main

NFL star J.J. Watt is among the celebs who rock Mizzen + Mainwhich manufactures fashionable sportswear with function in mind. The clothes are machine-washable, wrinkle resistant and designed to handle the Texas heat. Complete your outfit with an item from Texas Hatters, the Lockhart-based company whose cowboy hats have been spotted on a slew of celebs, including former President Ronald Reagan, Willie Nelson and Chuck Norris.

Utah: Elevate your game with Gravity Dice, which are designed using advanced 3D modeling and simulation to have a perfect center of gravity. 

Vermont: Get comfortable with a button down, pair of PJs or blanket from The Vermont Flannel Company, which has made its products in East Barre for more than 20 years.

Virginia: Collared Greens sells a wide variety of men’s clothing and accessories with a bit of Southern flair, and its products are made throughout the United States, from sunglasses in Wyoming to button-down shirts in Philadelphia. But its stitched and silk belts are both Made in Virginia, and its flagship store is located in Richmond.

Washington: Seattle’s R+E Cycles has created high-quality custom bicycles since 1973 and sells its tailor-made Rodriguez and Erickson brands almost exclusively. Although the shop is a Seattle institution, about half its sales come from online orders. 

Bonus Member of Congress pick: Looking to do some home remodeling this holiday season? Rep. Denny Heck recommends Bellmont Cabinet Co., a family-owned cabinet manufacturer that sells its products across the United States.

West Virginia: The Marble King manufactures over a million marbles every day at its factory in Paden County. The company makes industrial marbles for things like filtration systems, but also sells the traditional marbles for gaming and decorative displays.

Wisconsin: 

Housekeeper Crockery

There’s a lot of manufacturing happening in the Badger State, including when it comes to cookware. We’ve profiled Housekeeper Crockery before, and the company’s 8” cast iron skillet makes for a nice gift. Another option is Tramontina USAwhich is based in Texas but manufactures many of its aluminum cookware in Manitowoc.

Gift wrapping ideaTop your presents with a bow from Cream City Ribbon, located in Milwaukee.

Bonus staff pick: AAM’s Meghan Hasse recommends baby bottles and other products from the Life Factory. Created by an integrative designer and a pediatric feeding specialist, the innovative glassware is designed to be functional, reusable, safe and eco-friendly.

Wyoming: Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate a gift from Meeteetse Chocolatier, which uses organic ingredients to create its line of artisan chocolates. It is committed to eco-friendly methods and aims to become a zero-waste business.

06
Aug
16

A Look at the Olympic Attire That Will Be Made in America | Alliance for American Manufacturing

Just in time for the 2016 Rio Olympics – Olympic attire made in the USA

Source: A Look at the Olympic Attire That Will Be Made in America | Alliance for American Manufacturing

A Look at The Olympic Attire That Will Be Made in America

by Jeffrey Bonior

Opening and closing ceremony outfits will be American-made, but most competition uniforms won’t be.

More than 10,500 athletes from 206 nations will parade into Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in less than 50 days for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The entrance of the worldwide Olympic delegation is always a highlight of the opening ceremony, in part because many observers fervently cast judgment on the uniforms each team is wearing.

Marathon swimmer Haley Anderson.

The athletes parade into the stadium these days is akin to a fashion show. Each country’s Olympic team will have an opening and closing ceremony uniform that range from a buttoned-up suit style to casual wear. And then there are the spectacularly colorful ensembles, which are patterned after a country’s cultural heritage.

In Rio 2016, Team USA will be wearing a semi-casual Polo Ralph Lauren designed outfit that reflects an American-style, Cape Cod-type boating ensemble. The uniforms will be awash in red, white and blue, but are much more toned down compared to the Ralph Lauren-designed 2014 Sochi, Russia Winter Games clothing. This year, they reflect an American preppy, summertime look.

And for the second straight Olympic Games, the Team USA opening and closing ceremony uniforms will be entirely designed and manufactured in the United States.

Ralph Lauren has been designing and manufacturing the U.S. Olympic Team opening and closing ceremony uniforms since 2008. At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Ralph Lauren debuted all-American made uniforms for the first time in many years. With the help of more than 40 U.S. apparel manufacturing companies, the company was able to once again produce an entirely Made in America clothing line for Rio 2016.

This has not only strengthened the American-made clothing industry but has also provided more jobs and extra work for the talented domestic clothing manufacturing workforce.

Among the items produced for Team USA are striped T-shirts, oxford shirts, white shorts, red, white and blue boat shoes and striped cotton bracelets.

The classic American boat shoes were manufactured for Ralph Lauren by Rancourt & Co. in Lewiston, Maine. The company had made private-label shoes for Ralph Lauren before landing the Olympics deal. Rancourt & Co. has increased its workforce from 20 employees to 65 because of its work with Ralph Lauren.

“We are thrilled to be partnered with Polo Ralph Lauren in making the shoes for Team USA’s uniform,” said company president Mike Rancourt. “This is one of the most exciting projects that we have ever worked on and it means so much to our company. We are proud that a product produced in Lewiston, Maine, will be represented on the world stage.”

Other Team USA American-made apparel items include closing ceremony oxford shirts, manufactured by New England Shirt Company, and white shorts courtesy of Hickey Freeman in Rochester, N.Y.

New England Shirt Company produced the hand-made oxford shirts at its 200-year-old factory in Fall River, Mass. All-American made clothing has been manufactured at the factory since 1933.

Rancourt & Co increased its workforce at its Maine factory from 20 to 65 people because of its work with Ralph Lauren.

“Working with Ralph Lauren on the closing ceremony oxford shirt has been an incredible opportunity,” said Brad Herzlich, director of marketing at New England Shirt Company. “We feel an immense pride in having a hand in dressing the Olympic team.”

Hickey Freeman is known for its high-end, top quality men’s suits and jackets and employs about 450 people in the Rochester area, and is no stranger to working with Ralph Lauren. The two companies worked together to manufacture Ralph Lauren’s “Blue Line” of tailored suits and sports jackets. The suit construction was previously done in Italy before Ralph Lauren struck a deal with Hickey Freeman to bring the manufacturing, and the jobs that go with it, to Rochester.

“For Hickey Freeman to make part of the uniforms that will be seen in the closing ceremony in the Olympics is great,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said recently. “The real credit goes to the workers at Hickey. It’s one of the highest quality made garments in America that we have left. Billions of people will see the uniforms.”

Ralph Lauren will outfit more than 1,100 members of Team USA for the Rio 2016 Olympics and the Paralympic Games which begin on September 18 in Rio. But not everything worn by American athletes at the games will be American-made. While the opening and closing ceremony outfits will be Made in America, the majority of the individual sports competition uniforms will be largely made overseas.

But apparel for the USA Rowing team is manufactured by Boathouse Sports in Philadelphia.

A majority of the Olympic teams competing in Rio receive government funding from their respective nations. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) does not receive government funding and is financed through corporate sponsors like Polo Ralph Lauren. As an official outfitter of Team USA, royalties from Polo Ralph Lauren Team USA apparel sales to the public are used to support the USOC and the athletes.

Freestyle wrestler Jordan Burroughs.

Uniforms made by Nike for sports such as basketball and track and field are manufactured offshore. So too the suits produced by Speedo for swimming and diving. These brand names have become leaders in the particular sports they service and are generous sponsors of Team USA.

Off the field of competition, there will be another reminder of Made in America clothing during television broadcasts. Hardwick Clothes menswear will be providing all of the NBC male on-air talent with a variety of suits and blazers manufactured at its facility in Cleveland, Tenn.

The goal of these smaller, Made in America apparel companies is sales growth. Partnering with Polo Ralph Lauren can only enhance their chances.

Individual athletes also have set their goals for performance at the Rio 2016 games. Perhaps a goal for garment manufacturers in the years to come should be to produce all Team USA apparel right here in America.

See the other two video links below.

Rancourt shoes made in Maine will provide the red white and blue boat shoes for US Olympic athletes for the opening and closing ceremonies.

Boathouse Sports makes Rowing outfits for US Olympic athletes

From New Yorker Magazine

From New Yorker Magazine

 

30
Jul
16

Challenges of Getting a Product Made in the U.S.A. – The New York Times

Source: Challenges of Getting a Product Made in the U.S.A. – The New York Times

 Abby Hansen, center, stitches a Pad & Quill leather cuff for the Apple Watch at the Softline manufacturing facility in Minneapolis. Credit Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

Many manufacturers perform a cost-benefit analysis when deciding whether to move production abroad. Others, however, are determined to make their products in the United States, even when the costs are higher.

It was craftsmanship rather than the bottom line that motivated Brian Holmes when he decided in 2010 to start a business and went looking for a manufacturer. He and his wife, Kari, started Pad & Quill, a company based in Minneapolis that makes high-end cases and other products for the iPhone and other Apple products.

“They had to be beautiful,” Mr. Holmes said of his products. “Good art is a beautiful product that is functional.”

 Brian Holmes, founder of Pad and Quill, says keeping production in the United States offers benefits to a seller. Credit Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

To make the high-quality cases he set out to sell, Mr. Holmes needed a bookbindery that could stitch together the protective wood and soft leather he wanted to use. But he found out that in the digital era, bookbinding is a dying industry. He searched overseas and found a vendor in China, but was unimpressed with the results.

“I’ve never seen bookbindery quality better than in the United States because of the tradition here,” Mr. Holmes said. After several months of research, he found one he liked close to home: Trendex, a company based nearby in St. Paul.

Mr. Holmes said keeping production in the United States was not only possible, but that it offered added benefits to a seller. It improved the turnaround time, he said, and customers were willing to pay more for American-made goods (his iPhone cases range from $50 to $110 — about twice as much as a typical case). Plus, it gave him a sense of pride knowing that he was creating jobs and helping the economy.

His efforts come at a time when other American luxury brands are reshoring, or moving overseas production back to the United States, believing that cheaper is not always better.

The retail stalwart Brooks Brothers has three factories in the United States that make 45 to 50 percent of the company’s clothing, according to The Business of Fashion, an industry publication. And Walmart announced its commitment to American-made goods by pledging to purchase $250 billion in products by 2023 that support the creation of American jobs.

Reshoring is more suited to the luxury goods market, according to Jeffrey Silberman, the chairman of the textile development and marketing department at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

“Reshoring will happen, but not in the way people expect it to,” Professor Silberman said. “It will happen in a smaller way. It’s a high-priced, luxury niche market, at this point at least.”

Consumers looking for luxury products are often drawn to a company’s dedication to craftsmanship. As part of Pad & Quill’s marketing strategy, its website includes videos of cases being made by hand. A blog also allows Mr. Holmes, his wife and others to ruminate on a range of topics, such as how to repair leather scratches and what it’s like to turn 48.

That aspect of tradition carries over to Pad & Quill’s suppliers. Trendex has nearly a century of bookbinding experience, according to Jeff Polacek, the company’s president, who took over the business in 1985 with his brother Tom. But it was facing a shrinking industry, and the company had to move into packaging materials to remain stable.

“When I got into the business, every paper was stored in file cabinets or ring binders,” Mr. Polacek said. “Information was stored that way; now, information is electronic.”

With a bindery in place, Mr. Holmes was able to build the rest of his supply chain. To do so, he borrowed from skills he learned while working for a medical start-up.

He kept a lean staff of himself and three others, which meant he outsourced jobs like customer service and accounting to consulting companies in the United States.

But even with a trusted supplier in place, it took a while to get the product right.

“Our first iPad cases were total bricks,” he said. “So huge, so ugly.”

So he rethought the design and began looking for better materials that would provide a longer life span for his products. And despite his efforts, he realized that some production facilities he wanted to use could only be found in other countries.

For instance, he works with a company, Saddleback Leather in Fort Worth, that makes leather products by hand at a factory in Mexico. And after three years of searching for an American company to manufacture a case constructed of wood and Kevlar, Mr. Holmes had to turn to a company in China.

 A Pad and Quill leather bag. Credit Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

Seventy percent of Pad & Quill products are made in the United States, Mr. Holmes said, and reaching even that level was not easy. “Manufacturing is getting harder and harder in the United States,” he said. “But if you plan well, you can make products in the United States.”

As the quality of his products improved, so did sales. But his business was outgrowing his cash flow, and he needed investors. So he reached out to his business partners at Trendex.

“I wanted an investor in the supply chain because they would be vested in my success, not an angel investor,” Mr. Holmes said.

Mr. Holmes negotiated in 2011 to sell the Polacek brothers a 35 percent stake in Pad & Quill. In return, he was able to get a line of credit and pay off some old debts.

The deal was a good growth opportunity, Jeff Polacek said, adding that it was the first time that Trendex had taken a minority stake in another company.

“I think it’s been a good match; he is very quality-conscious,” Mr. Polacek said of Mr. Holmes. “He knows what his customers are buying and why his customers are buying, and he’s good at filling their needs.”

Mr. Holmes said it was important that he found investors who shared the same ideals. “You have to look into them and find out as much as you can, because you are married, and divorces are ugly,” he said.

Pad & Quill struggled in the beginning, but became profitable in 2011, Mr. Holmes said. The next year, sales of the leather and wood cases shot up, and revenue grew 50 percent over the previous year, he said. This year, he said, the company is projected to bring in $2.5 million in revenue.

Mr. Holmes acknowledged that his company might have been profitable sooner if he had moved manufacturing overseas. But “we learned so much about manufacturing by working with American companies” that it made better sense to keep it in the United States, he said.

The next step for Pad & Quill is to enter the retail mass market. Mr. Holmes said he was considering approaching Best Buy, which is based in Richfield, Minn., because it carried some luxury goods already and would be a good fit for his cases.

But moving into the wholesale market is “fraught with risk,” he said, and comes with added expenses, like maintaining a larger inventory and paying a distributor.

Before undertaking such an expansion, Mr. Holmes said he was looking for another round of investment. Another alternative would be to sell the company outright — an option Mr. Holmes would consider only if he found the right buyer.

“I would want a good buyout because my investors took risks,” he said, “but I would want a good fit.”

Pad & Quill was established as a quality brand, Mr. Holmes said, but it’s also part of his identity, so it would be important to find a buyer with values similar to his own.

“I think a lot of entrepreneurs are narcissists,” he said. “And that’s normal to have an inflated view of yourself.”

13
Jul
16

Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade?

Interesting News: It seems that people do have a voice, however, it comes only during the time of the Presidential elections. For years, many people have felt that Free Trade has been a killer of American jobs (but have been unable to do anything about it). Exactly who has been AGAINST Free Trade for years? Progressive Democrats. Who has been FOR Free Trade? All Republicans (until now) and several big-business-friendly Democrats. Since the second Great Depression, there has been a slow growing resentment of Free Trade agreements. And, of course, now, both political parties are pandering for these discontented voters. For more about Free Trade, see my blog  entry: Why Free Trade is devastating to the USA.

Here are a couple of articles showing the current positions on Free Trade of the political parties.

Source: Tuesday Preview: Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade? – Washington Wire – WSJ

Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade – Wall Street Journal

Greetings from sunny Cleveland, where Republican Party delegates writing GOP platform will be in a windowless conference room to formally determine the party’s trade and immigration policies.

Headed into Tuesday, the big question on trade will be how far GOP Platform Committee delegates flip-flop on free trade. In 2012, the party formally called for enacting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. On Monday, delegates in a subcommittee stripped from the party platform draft language opposing passage of the TPP in the congressional lame-duck session this winter.

 Though Republican National Committee delegates will hash out the party’s platform this morning, the most likely outcome now appears to be sticking with a specific language condemning trade deficits without offering a position on either the North American Free Trade Agreement or the TPP, both of which presumptive nominee Donald Trump has promised to upend.

“There’s going to be nothing controversial in the platform because Republicans want to stay away from controversy,” said Justin Everett, a Platform Committee delegate from Colorado. “The true fight is going to be in the Rules Committee over our candidate.”


Republican Platform Subcommittee Follow Trump on Trade – Bloomberg Politics

Republican Platform Subcommittee Follows Trump on Trade – Bloomberg Politics

The Republican Party, which has long backed free trade, is poised to support slowing down approval of trade agreements with Donald Trump as its presumptive presidential nominee.

A party platform subcommittee on the economy, jobs and debt voted on Monday in Cleveland to recommend language that significant trade agreements should not be rushed or undertaken in a lame-duck Congress. It also removed a reference to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement at the request of members who oppose it and didn’t want any suggestion of support. The full Platform Committee, meeting in advance of the party’s convention next week, will vote on the provision either late Monday or Tuesday.

The 2012 Republican platform called international trade “crucial for our economy” and said a Republican president will complete negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open Asian markets to U.S. products. Trump’s stringent opposition to trade deals such as TPP — which he has called “a rape of our country” — pits him against some party stalwarts and pro-business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“I expected it to be contentious and it wasn’t,” Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc. and co-chairman of the subcommittee, said about the debate on trade. “People all seemed to be going toward the same goal here, which is to get our candidate elected.”

Democrats stopped short of calling for a “no” vote on TPP during their platform committee meetings this weekend. Delegates for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unsuccessfully pushed an amendment blocking TPP and urged that the trade deal not come to a vote in Congress.

The Republican Platform Committee sessions on Monday and Tuesday and Rules Committee later in the week are offering the first signs of how much turbulence Trump will face on his convention flight to the Republican presidential nomination on July 21.

Anti-Trump delegates are trying change party rules so that delegates who are bound by election results to back Trump can “vote their conscience” in Cleveland. Critics of the effort say that plan lacks the votes it needs and would thwart the will of about 13.3 million people who voted for Trump in the party’s primaries and caucuses.

Puzder, a Trump supporter whose company owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains, said he backs free trade and that there’s no disagreement that the U.S. needs it. Yet Trump regularly states that the country doesn’t need large trade deficits, that existing deals should be enforced, and that they can be improved with better terms has broad appeal.

 “Who can argue with, ‘We should have a better deal?”’ Puzder asked in an interview. “It has emerged in this election cycle that free trade is not the overwhelming popular issue it used to be because working-class Americans and middle-class Americas — whether accurately or inaccurately — perceive that they have borne the burdens of free trade, whereas other sectors of the economy have garnered the benefits.”

David Johnson, a member of the platform committee’s economic subcommittee, owns Summitville Tiles in eastern Ohio and said trade deals have decimated his company. It once had 800 workers and now is struggling to maintain 150, he said.

“Wall Street likes TPP, but the 70 percent of the people that are employed in this country by small businesses don’t like it,” Johnson said during the subcommittee meeting. He called trade a huge issue in the election as Trump seeks to appeal to working-class voters in states such as Ohio.

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Republican Party Platform Takes a Hard Turn on Trade – Alliance for American Manufacturing

Republican Party Platform Takes a Hard Turn on Trade | Alliance for American Manufacturing

GOP’s official stance could be very “Trumpian.”

The Republicans are working out their official party platform right now. And CNN, an enterprising newsgathering upstart, got a hold of a first draft of the platform document.

A lot of its content is what you might call “the usual” from the GOP. But, as CNN notes:

The most substantial changes to the 2012 platform came on trade — a key issue for Trump where he has sparred with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other reliable conservative business backers. The new language sounds remarkably like Trump, though it stays away from some of his more inflammatory positions including renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Here’s a snippet of that language that is downright Trumpian:

We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first. When trade agreements have been carefully negotiated with friendly democracies, they have resulted in millions of new jobs here at home supported by our exports. When those agreements do not adequately protect U.S. interests, or when they are violated with impunity, they must be rejected. We cannot allow foreign governments to limit American access to their markets while stealing our designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology. We cannot allow China to continue its currency manipulation, exclusion of U.S. products from government purchases, and subsidization of Chinese companies to thwart American imports. The current administration’s way of dealing with these violations of world trade standards has been a virtual surrender.

That this is in the draft language of a bona fide GOP platform pretty remarkable. This kinda talk doesn’t go over well in some corners of the Republican establishment; the Chamber of Commerce is not a fan.

That’s not to say the free-trade-at-all-costs types are particularly enamored with Trump’s likely opponent, Hillary Clinton, either. The Democratic nominee has taken a trade-skeptical position this election season – presumably because her rival, Bernie Sanders, pushed her very hard on the issue.

And that’s not to say that either party has suddenly become vehemently opposed to trade deals: The platform committees for both rejected attempts to get anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership language into the drafts.

But still: The polling, particularly in swing states, backs up the calls for trade skepticism. Whether or not explicit, yes-or-no language is included in either party’s platforms, voters are clearly concerned that American jobs – often manufacturing jobs – are put at risk by our government’s current approach to trade policy.

If they weren’t, no one would be talking about this so seriously in 2016, and Donald Trump wouldn’t be poised to win the presidential nomination of the Republican party.

Anyway, the drafting continues. So let ’em know: Pro-manufacturing policy deserves a place in their platforms.


Editor’s Note

It is interesting that both political parties want to represent that they are AGAINST Free Trade Deals without actually coming out and officially opposing them. The GOP, who are the architects of these Free Trade agreements and champions of “Free Trade”, have suddenly become the “Trump Party”. Is the GOP all just full of hot air? One way to find out: the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Deal with Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Brunei, is sitting in Congress waiting to become law during the Lame Duck session (after election day).  Let us see which party calls for the rejection of the TPP. Will it be the GOP who really want it to pass or the Democrats who really don’t want it to pass, except President Obama who would like it to pass. What did the TPP vote in 2016 look like? The vote in the Senate: passed 60-38 (Yeas: 47 GOP, 13 Dems; Nays: 7 GOP, 31 Dems & Ind.). The House vote: The vote was 218-208 (Yeas: 190 GOP, 28 Dems, Nays: 50 GOP, 158 Dems).

Free Trade has, without a doubt, costs the United States millions of good paying jobs and changed the US trade surplus into a giant trade deficit. Buy American, support your neighbor and reject the TPP and these awful Free Trade Deals.

I would recommend the elimination of all Free Trade deals except with the countries that have the same standards as the USA like Canada, and Western Europe. Which party will do that? Stay tuned.

08
Jun
16

Tom’s of Maine founder to expand American-made clothing brand

Tom’s of Maine, famous for their all-natural personal care products will be making clothing in Maine. Tom Chappell already produces Rambler’s Way – eco-friendly clothing made in the USA. Tom’s of Maine are not related to Tom’s Shoes.

Tom’s of Maine Founder to Expand American-made Clothing Brand

Source: Tom’s of Maine founder to expand American-made clothing brand — Business — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Eliza Chappell, Ramblers' Way clothing designer and daughter of Tom's of Maine founder Tom Chappell, gets a call from her father while talking to CBS 13 news.

Eliza Chappell, Ramblers’ Way clothing designer and daughter of Tom’s of Maine founder Tom Chappell, gets a call from her father while talking to CBS 13 news.

KENNEBUNK, Maine — The people behind one of Maine’s most iconic brands, Tom’s of Maine, is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle again, this time in the clothing industry, building jobs and profits while staying true to their values.

The husband and wife team of Tom and Kate Chappell built Tom’s of Maine into a world leader in all-natural personal care products, before famously selling controlling interest a decade ago to Colgate for $100 million.

Now, Tom Chappell is applying his same model of “ethical entrepreneurship” to clothing.

He’s started Ramblers Way, as a high-end, natural fiber, made-in-America clothing brand.

They have one store now in their home town of Kennebunk, but plan to open three more in the area by the end of the year, and keep growing from there.

“You have to learn the business that you’re in, the category that you’re competing in,” Tom Chappell said. “The feedback and the wisdom I have from my years of experience is, manage by values and be deliberate about how you take that into the marketplace.”

The clothing, much of it designed by his “New York-trained” designer daughter, Eliza, is made from quality, locally-sourced wool, or cotton.

By design, it’s more expensive, but the Chappells believe consumers will respond to higher quality materials, made in America.

Tom and Eliza Chappell will be the featured speakers at the Maine Family-Owned Business Awards Tuesday night at the Holiday Inn by the Bay.


Thanks to The Alliance for American Manufacturing for pointing out this article.




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