Made in the USA?

Made in the USA?

The age old question: Why don't you carry more products that are made in the USA? Believe it or not, I have been asked this repeatedly for 34 years.

When I first started in retail in 1985, there was still a nice amount of clothing and footwear that was made here, but I still heard the question. Today the options are very limited.  n work and western footwear, we know where they are still making boots in the USA: Scapoose, OR, Martinsburg, PA, Carthage, MO, Merril, WI, Red Wing, MN, El Paso, TX. I may have missed one or two, but that is about it.  

Clothing is even tougher. Most of the fabric mils are gone. There are a few sock knitters left here. Let's look at WHY.

Many manufacturers abandoned USA production for cheaper labor, and some left for cheaper technology. (Mostly "borrowed" technology from a USA maker). Until the last 5 to 7 years, there were few regulations or safety measures in place to protect workers in China. Since those regulations/retirement/safety measures have been put in place, Chinese prices have risen to near US prices.  Consequently, our industry is now headed to other countries for cheaper labor.

Why does this happen? Because US consumers demand cheap prices for goods. We all vote with our pocket books. We all want a "good deal". All the while we are not concerned about anyone but ourselves. We have more "stuff" than any generation before us. Why?  Because we can buy stuff cheap. Lots of it.

The Made in the USA problem in 2019 is different though. There are companies that want to bring production back to the US. They CANNOT find people to work. Our Government has made it more advantageous to not work than to work. This is a huge topic for another blog. 

The fact is manufacturers can't hire help. Many Americans are addicted to drugs. They cannot pass a drug screen. These problems are serious. They are serious for our economy and for the people that are slaves to their addictions.

I am fully aware that this comes off as a "downer". It is not meant to be. These are facts. We still live in the greatest economy in the world. If we want more Made in the USA choices, we need to be willing to pay a bit more. We need to be bold to help our neighbors and families get clean. We need to encourage those that can work but aren't to get back at it. 

There is a dignity and self-pride that only comes from supporting ourselves.

Until next time,




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