Posts Tagged ‘made in america


Are Amazon and Forever 21 Competing to Buy American Apparel? – Racked

Source: Are Amazon and Forever 21 Competing to Buy American Apparel? – Racked

Are Amazon and Forever 21 Competing to Buy American Apparel?

The bankrupt basics brand reportedly has a number of suitors.


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!


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. 


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. 


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Men’s American-Made PF Flyers – Made in America

American Made PF Flyers

Link: PFFlyers

PF Flyers is an iconic brand that disappeared from sight for a number of years, but just this past year, one line of PF Flyers, called Center Hi, is now made in the USA. New Balance had bought the brand name in 2001, but because some “Made in USA”  products have found a niche market (especially the retro products), they have brought back this one model to be made in the USA. New Balance is the only maker of athletic shoes in the USA.


You can’t replace a classic, but you can bring it back, bettered. Merging retro 1960s athletic styling with the comfort of a contemporary running shoe, the new USA-made PF is fitted with a leather toe cap and full pigskin lining, and features a performance insert and high-tech midsole for exceptional cushioning. The colors available: White, black, blue, burgundy, grey and leather.

Guideboat company link: Men’s American-Made PF Flyers – Men’s Footwear

PF Flyers black

PF Flyers Center Hi – black

The Story of PF Flyers

At the turn of the century, innovative tire manufacturers discovered a new use for their vulcanized rubber and canvas techniques: casual footwear.

One such pioneer was BF Goodrich, who manufactured several lines of vulcanized athletic shoes, oxfords, heels and boots. In 1933, Goodrich patented the Posture Foundation insole. This early innovation in comfort forever changed the sneaker landscape and quickly became immensely popular. In 1937, Goodrich brought several of their footwear lines under the brand name “P-F.”

The PF brand grew throughout the ’50s and ’60s,becoming one of the most popular brands in America “for work, relaxation and play.” Women could buy outfits designed to match their PFs, basketball’s first superstar, Bob Cousy, wore PF, and PF was standard issue in the US Army.

PF Flyers white

BF Goodrich posted an impressive $29 million in shoe sales in 1971, but they soon decided to quit the shoe business altogether and sold PF to Converse’s parent company. For a handful of years, PF shoes by Converse were produced; however, the merger was ruled a monopoly and PF was sold once again,trading hands several times.The brand slowly drifted into obscurity, but it was far from forgotten. PF gained a permanent place in American mythology, appearing heroically in movies such as the 1993 classic film,“The Sandlot.”

In 2001, New Balance purchased PF Flyers, viewing it as a great match to their high-performance American brand. With pride in the heritage of PF and a determination not to rely solely on past success, PF designers modernized Posture Foundation and New Balance re-launched the PF brand in 2003. The brand has been regaining momentum since then, and remains true to its original mission of creating premium, classic sneakers rooted in authentic American style.

PF Flyers Center Hi - Blue

PF Flyers Center Hi – Blue

New Balance has just done a joint product with Tanner Goods of Portland, Oregon and have developed an all leather PF Flyers.

PF Flyers - Leather

PF Flyers – Leather

You can shop for all of these models at



Why This Super Bowl Will Truly Be American-Made

Just in time for Super Bowl L. (It does look kind of funny instead of Super Bowl 50, but Super Bowl 50 doesn’t look much better). Levi’s Stadium is proof that everyone wins with American-made steel.

Source: Why This Super Bowl Will Truly Be American-Made | Alliance for American Manufacturing

Why This Super Bowl Will Truly Be American-Made

Levi’s Stadium is proof that everyone wins with American-made steel.

The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will do battle in the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl this Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

And Super Bowl 50 may be the most American of all NFL championships, in part because of the place where it will be played. That’s because Levi’s Stadium was constructed using nearly all American manufactured and fabricated steel.

“I don’t have an exact number, but the steel is pretty close to 100 percent American made,” said Tim Salak, the project manager for SME Steel Contractors.  “All of the major structural steel – rolled sections, wide flanges and channel — came out of Nucor in Blytheville, Arkansas.

“There was no Buy America clause for this project, but Nucor-Yamato in Arkansas is where we received all of the milled steel. That’s where we get the majority of our steel for every project.”

Not only is Levi’s Stadium nearly 100 percent Made in America, through a remarkable effort of teamwork, it was erected in five months and came in about $80 million under budget.

The stadium opened ahead of schedule, too. It was supposed to be completed for the 2015 season home opening for the San Francisco 49ers, but because of remarkable design team collaboration, the 49ers were able to play their 2014 home games in the unique, American-made structure.

The construction of Levi’s Stadium stands in stark contrast to that of the nearby San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. California officials opted to use Chinese-made steel on that project, which has produced many structural problems since its opening. It also ran over budget and took longer than expected.

But Levi’s Stadium shows the concrete benefits of American-made construction.

“Since we source our steel from Nucor, it really was kind of business as usual,” Salak said. “What was unique was the compressed schedule. The design team actually accelerated this schedule and it opened the stadium a year before it was proposed to originally open. So a lot happened, very quickly.”

Approximately 16,500 tons of steel were used on the structural side with a total of 23,501 tons fabricated to complete the entire stadium project. The erection of the stadium steel was 100 percent done by SME Steel Industries through Ironworkers Union local 377 out of San Francisco.

“At one point in time we had over 300 ironworkers on the site at the same day,” Salak said. “So we ran four cranes. This cooperation allowed us to complete all of the steel erection in about five months. It was a group and team effort. Everyone from the design team to the general contractor (Turner/Devcon joint venture) and the sub-contractors provided a true collaboration for a stadium of this size.”

The fabrication was a joint venture between SME Steel and Hirschfeld Steel at its San Angelo, Texas plant. SME Steel, located in West Jordan, Utah, is one of the largest steel fabricators in the American West and has a reliable supply chain available throughout the country.

“SME fabricated three-quarters of the stadium steel and Hirschfeld did one-quarter of the fabrication,” Salak said. “The stairways are all steel and our sister company, Southwest Steel, which is a subsidiary of SME Steel Industries, did all the stairs and miscellaneous steel on the project.”

The steel was milled at Nucor-Yamato in Arkansas then shipped by rail to Salt Lake City, where SME received it and began the fabrication process. The first load of milled steel arrived at SME in June 2012 and the initial load of fabricated product was trucked to the construction site by July 30, 2012. Erection began immediately and was completed on December 2, 2012.

Levi’s Stadium has an open design anchored with spacious entry plazas, Photovoltaic panels which produce electrical currents by being exposed to light and the sun and a green roof. The fourteen acre stadium features 68,500 seats with 9,000 luxury seats and the ability to expand to 75,000 seats for Super Bowl 50.

The structure is the first in the NFL to be able to resist seismic loads utilizing Core Brace buckling restrained braces (BRBs). There are 529 Core Brace BRBs built into the stadium. Core Brace is another subsidiary of Utah’s SME Steel Industries.

Through these tireless efforts of all construction crews involved, Super Bowl 50 will be truly American-made. Whether quarterback Peyton Manning earns one last title before retiring from football or the young Carolina Panthers continue this year’s dominance, there will be thousands of workers watching the game with the knowledge they had a hand in creating a spectacular American symbol.

Thanks to Alliance for American Manufacturing for pointing out this story.


Why Made in USA 2016

I have be doing this Made in America movement since 2011. I thought it was time to re-examine whether in 2016 is “Made in America” reasonable to follow. Obviously, the big corporations and their paid politicians think this “Made in America” movement is silly. I mean what else can be better than cheap imports? We measure our economy by how the US spends its income, so, obviously with corporate profits bulging (which is all that matters to the big corporations) and people buying cheap useless stuff – all would appear to be rosy.

In some respects they are correct, after The Great Recession, there has been: 70 months of net job growth, an addition of 14 million private sector jobs, 1-2% GDP growth and people filing for unemployment benefits was the l0west in 42 years (1973 – even lower than the incredible Clinton years), The US has added more jobs than it lost in the Great Recession, unemployment rate is 4.9%, things, indeed, do appear rosy.

private sector growth

But all is not as rosy as it appears, it is because the American public knows there is something fundamentally wrong. And we will examine this.

The Major Reasons why People Buy American

There are three main reasons why people buy American: 1) America produces great quality products; 2) Buying American is good for the American economy and stops outsourcing of American jobs; and 3) ethical concerns such as child labor, slave labor or human trafficked workers, unsafe products, unsafe food, countries that blithely pollute the environment.

#1 Americans want great quality products

Most people want quality products, of course, there are people who insist on the cheapest, but then that is what The Dollar Stores are for. Even tourists from China often want quality American made products. Good luck in finding them.

What are Quality Products?

Quality products means that products do what they are supposed to do reliably and consistently (and fashionably). Who wants a Christmas toy that breaks down the first time you use it? Who wants to have to replace a piece of apparel because it looks awful after a couple of washes? Clothing should look good year after year and not just thrown in the dump after wearing it once. Not all objects should be disposable. With quality products, one will actually save money over time.

Why Are American Products Considered Higher Quality?

In general, American products have more oversight, more inspections and higher expectations, the results are higher quality products. American workers are adults (as compared to many countries where child labor is the norm) and are considered to be decently paid (as compared to their foreign counterparts). American pride is part of what makes quality higher. No company likes to be on the news for making inferior products, and some feel that making a quality product will establish customer loyalty.

#2 Buying American is Good for the American Economy

As we mentioned earlier, the American public feels that there is something fundamentally wrong with the current American economy. The traditional American economy meant good paying jobs, making American made products and service jobs that sold these American products. Products were a little more expensive, but they were quality and the jobs paid so well, that only one person working a full-time job not only had benefits but made enough to buy a house and support a wife and three children. This was still present in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Beginning of the End

Extreme Capitalism

The beginning of the end started in 1980. The US economy was so strong that economists thought they could do anything, in fact, what they tried was down right radical. First, they made businesses completely independent of government. Never mind that the Federal, State and City governments had created an incredible infrastructure for these businesses run easily and efficiently. By making the government stand back – businesses were able to to practice extreme capitalism: 1)monopolies, 2) huge chains,and 3) volume discounters which decimated millions of small businesses, making laborers out of people who used to run small businesses. Just look at today’s landscapes, millions of strip malls which could be in any city in the U.S. (there are no countries in the world that have copied this.)

More extreme Capitalism

Further Extreme Capitalism: Greed became the norm. Profits and stock prices became all that matter. Growth and employee loyalty became obsolete. Benefits were cut. Full-time became rare. All companies severely trimmed their (American) work force and made their remaining employees work harder and cheaper even when they were making incredible profits.

Globalization and Free Trade

Globalization and Free Trade were the forces that further destroyed the US economy. Globalization made it easy to communicate and transfer products easily from one end of the world to the other. Free Trade (NAFTA, World Trade Organization) eliminated taxes on products coming into the U.S., together with the elimination of quotas, allowed tons of foreign cheap products to undersell American products. So, big companies closed down American plants, with the help of tax breaks to help move their companies, made China the # 8 in the world’s economy in 1999, into the number one economy in 2015.

GDP 1999

Even California had a bigger GDP than China in 1999.

The Process where American jobs were shipped to other countries is called off-shoring.

The Result of Extreme Capitalism

Thirty five years of this extreme capitalism has made the American people very angry. (See Angry  Esquire survey). The American middle class is getting smaller. The wealth gap between the rich and the middle class and poor has not been this big since 1927. For every new dollar in profit in the past 5 years, 97% went to the top 1% in income. Middle class wages are stagnant. The ability to climb the ladder by going to college is hindered by rapidly escalating college tuition. And even the ones that go to college, the pay is less.(See NY Times: Year 2015 in charts).

For the ones not going to college, good paying jobs are as rare as white rhinocerosis, American manufacturing (traditionally good paying jobs) has lost eight million jobs since 2000. Also, more people have dropped out of the work force at any time since 1977. (See NY Times: Year 2015 in charts). For each paying job, the number of applicants has multiplied, no longer are you competing against people in your community but also against candidates from other states and countries, thanks to globalization. And the future shows that many current jobs are potentially off-shorable (moved to other countries) or technologized (replaced by machines) -like cars they drive themselves or drones that deliver packages. Doesn’t the United States already have the worst service ever – just go to any Home Depot or Wal-Mart a find a person to help you.

Another victim of extreme capitalism has been the rural community. In the rural community, jobs were provided traditionally by farming, however, farming jobs had been displaced by technology and giant machines (only 1% of people now call themselves farmers). What took its place was manufacturing with its cheaper labor, but then the Free Trade Agreements caused off-shoring of the manufacturing jobs to foreign nations, leaving many rural towns as manufacturing ghost towns. And manufacturing is not coming back. There has not been much optimism for the future of rural communities.

An Unexpected Result From Extreme Capitalism

Once Big corporations and Big Banks became extremely wealthy, the ability to change things soon became severely compromised as corporate interests have put such a stranglehold on government that corporations are now considered people, with religious rights and are able to put in unlimited amounts of money to buy elections. Special corporate interests have been able to undercut extremely popular laws to the point that we no longer know where our meat comes from: The Official End to Country of Origin Labels on Meat.

Anger Due to Extreme Capitalism Economic Policies

The current economic condition has caused anger for millenials who see a harder time to get to the American Dream, for Democrats who have been against all of these policies of extreme capitalism and, more recently, a subsegment of the Republican Party. The Republican Party has been the Party of Large Corporations and Big Banks since 1910, they wrote all the laws of extreme capitalism. However, the Republican economic policies have hurt all of their constituents that aren’t part of the 1%. So, in response, the angry subsegment support a blow-hard, born-millionaire (like Mitt Romney) who promises more tax breaks for the rich. Go figure. If everybody stood back and looked a what extreme capitalism has done to our great country, the only Republicans left would be the 1%. But they control all the media, they control our high ranking officials, so they have been doing OK.

How Does The Buy American Movement Help the American Economy

By buying American – you are keeping other Americans employed, it may be a neighbor, in may be yourself. The Made in American movement believes that there should be more American manufacturing and not less. For every new American manufacturing job created, another 3.5 new American jobs are also created. For every dollar paid for a Made in America product, another $3 dollars goes into the economy. Compared to every dollar spent on a foreign made product, $0.40 goes into the economy. If every American spent a measly $3.33 per year on Made in USA products, it would create 10,000 new American jobs, and if it were $64 per year, another 200,000 American jobs would be created.

By buying American, we decrease our dependence on imports, we decrease our trade deficit which is now $384 Billion for 2015 with China which has cost the US  5 million manufacturing jobs since 2001 just due to the trade deficit (according to the Economic Policy Initiative).

#3  Ethical Concerns

We all know that many third world countries have very little or no supervision, and even the people who look into corruption are corrupt themselves (Evidence of Corruption in Chinese Anti-corruption Industries). In most of these cheaper labor countries – the workers can be slave laborers (Thai Shrimp Laborers tied to Slave Labor) or child laborers which is legal in all of these countries. It has been illegal in the USA since 1938. (Actually it was first passed under Woodrow Wilson in 1916, then The Supreme Court overturned the law, and it took Franklin Delano Roosevelt to finally get the measure passed [despite adamant GOP opposition]).

The International Labor Organization estimates that 211 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are engaged in forced child labor, the majority involving exposures to hazardous conditions. Child labor is the direct result not only of poverty, but also our demand for low-cost goods. It is our responsibility as consumers to be educated and take necessary steps toward preventing the support of child labor through our purchases.

We know that food and products from these slave labor countries can be unsafe due to little supervision or because they use harmful chemicals that are prohibited in the US.

We, also, know that these slave-labor countries, cities and manufacturing plants do not care about the environment and pollute the air, the ground and the water indiscriminately. And by buying these imported cheap and disposable products made in tremendous bulk that we are stripping our away our natural resources and filling up our landfills. Remember there is only one earth. A great film that touches on much of these ethical concerns is “The True Cost” (you can rent it for $3.99).

By Buying American, you are sending your vote to ethical standards, clean earth, and sustainability. You are standing up for the American economy and you are getting quality products in return.

Yes, I think it is still worth the fight. Buy American, stop offshoring American jobs.



ABC World News – Home ‘Made in America’ Can It Work

ABC World News with Diane Sawyer – Home ‘Made in America’ Can It Work.

ABC World News with David Muir and Diane Sawyer have continued their segments on “Made in America” since 2011. In this 4 minute and 27 second video from last month (press on above link to see video) ABC World News travels to Bozeman, Montana to see a house built entirely of American products. ABC World News found that if builders used 5% more American products it would create more than 220,000 jobs. ABC World News also, went to Illinois where they talked to the owner of Maze Nails, one of the last companies to make nails in America (90% are made in China). Maze Nails are less likely to get stuck in your nail gun. ABC give a quick mention to Moen, which makes faucets and sinks in the U.S. This is definitely a video worth checking out.

Interested in more stories and videos by ABC World News: Made In America check out their website:

made in america


A Brand’s Journey to Finding a Local Manufacturer | Maker’s Row Blog

A Brand’s Journey to Finding a Local Manufacturer | Maker’s Row Blog.

For those of you interested in starting up a new apparel business that is to be “Made in America”, sometimes it is difficult to locate the resources you need to get started. Why re-invent the wheel? Maker’s Row has been in business for a few years, and it specializes in helping new businesses find the right partner. Below is their message. Thanks to The Alliance for American Manufacturing for highlighting this story.

A Brand’s Journey to Finding a Local Manufacturer

 There are a lot of “hardest parts” about getting an apparel business off the ground. A lot. Arguably, the single most challenging component faced in the initial stages of our journey to launch the next great American brand, was finding vendors that wanted to take a chance on a new apparel startup. Finding a great and reliable cut and sew provider here in the United States was the biggest pain point. Fabrics, tags, buttons, etc. were no small feat either, but it was the cut and sew component that consumed the most time, brought the most heart palpitations, and cost the most money. It seemed like not one single vendor was willing to take a chance on a new business with a new concept–not to mention one that used difficult fabrics.

Before resources like Maker’s Row existed, finding domestic manufacturers was in and of itself a significant challenge. Few had websites, and if they did, Google wasn’t readily pulling them up. From there, phone numbers didn’t work, and those that did often went straight to voicemail or resulted in a badly broken English conversation that yielded no results. We learned over time that most of the production houses that are still in business in the States have a relatively viable (and very specific) stream of business in terms of one or two garment types.


They had just enough equipment and labor to manage that small niche, and they were not looking for a new client. We also faced the additional challenge of convincing vendors that manufactured dress shirts to work with our stretch performance fabric. This was frustrating on a number of levels. We were fully committed and believed in making our products here at home, but were stalled in finding one of the most critical components of our supply chain.


Sure, we were hardly the most attractive client. We didn’t have much working capital, our order runs were small, we needed to be nimble, and to be frank we had no idea what we were doing. We had a mission and a purpose. That only took us so far.

What we have learned is that your vendors, and your relationship with your vendors, can make or break your business. At first it seemed like the only thing that mattered was selling our line. Sell. Sell. Sell! Now that our business is growing, production remains our biggest headache. In order to make enough product to meet the demands of both our retail stockists and our loyal e-commerce customers, we need to be able to deliver.16

I could go into a lengthy story about how many times we’ve been burned by various vendors, but I’m pretty sure that most new designers have had similar experiences. While a few of our vendors are relatively straightforward to work with–submit PO, receive product in standard turn time–some remained a constant, significant challenge. With that said, we’re happy to have found a cut and sew supplier who’ve become more than suppliers, they have become like family to us and critical to the growing success of our business.

The following three rules are the highlights of what we’ve learned in working with a plethora of both wonderful and difficult partners.

Trust Your Gut

The moment you start to feel like you can’t trust the person you are working with, reevaluate the partnership. Keep in mind that this person has, in many respects, your business in their hands. I know that sounds melodramatic, but truly, if you can’t deliver your product in its highest quality, your brand will suffer immensely and potentially irreversibly. Often times we asked vendors for referrals from other clients they had worked with in the past. If there is any hesitation here, run.12

I would also suggest making a trip to meet your vendor in person. Shake their hand and get a good read on who you are dealing with. Although most people are trustworthy and do their best, it never hurts to double check. Meeting face to face does not guarantee success in your relationship, but it has been vital to ours time and time again.

Keep Your Cool but Speak Up

I will be the first person to admit that when dealing with a production crisis, I’ve become the worst version of myself; however, we’ve learned that you have to stay calm. Many standard reactions, in fact most, will not fix the situation. Often times, “what’s done is done.” Here’s where you have to get creative.

On more than one occasion, issues with a company have escalated to a point where we were forced to speak directly with the CEO. This is no small feat considering that we were still an extremely small fish. There’s one phrase that seems to do the trick in communicating with another company’s leadership. Next time your having issues with a vendor, try saying this: “As a business owner myself, I felt I needed to let you know how difficult this has been for us before it starts impacting other segments of your business.” Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and while the person steering the ship should know where all the issues are, they often don’t. Be vocal when necessary, but don’t ever let yourself be less than professional.

Keep the Great Vendors Close

One of our vendors, as mentioned, have become like family to us. We speak to them almost every day. We’ve spoken to them on most holidays. We’ve spoken to them at ten o’clock at night. We have grown our business because of their faith in us, their delivery, and the mutual respect and admiration we’ve built together. I know we would have found a way, because we’ve never settled for nothing less, but in many respects, we are where we are today because of our vendors. They’ve worked with us, showed us the ropes, and have become a huge partner for us and more. We have and will do everything we can to send as much business their way. We’re committed to ensuring that handling our business goes smoothly for them.17

Production in an inventory based business will always present a unique set of challenges. When starting out, it can be nearly an insurmountable one. We have certainly learned a thing or two on the climb. In our commitment to American manufacturing, we remain proud and grateful for all of our great production partners here at home. Keep these lessons in mind as you grow your own business and run into these problems. To the new brands that are just starting out, you are not alone.

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