Made In The USA: What Does It Mean vs. What It Might Convey?

Made In The USA: What Does It Mean vs. What It Might Convey?

According to Consumer Reports, almost 8 in 10 Americans say they would rather buy an American-made product than an imported one, and 60 percent say they’re even willing to pay 10 percent more for it.

Why Do The Majority of Americans Prefer to Buy American Made Products?

Especially when the majority of our products are not made in the U.S.A.? Clearly, there is a desire to want to support local economies and keep fellow Americans employed. Some Americans also view items made in the U.S.A. to be of higher quality, craftsmanship and even safer than imported products. Whatever, the reason, to most Americans, buying U.S.-made goods feels like a very sensible, patriotic thing to do.

But What Does Made in the U.S.A. Mean?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has attempted to clarify what Made in the U.S.A. means, but still there is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to which brands actually follow these requirements closely or if they are even aware that they may not be following these guidelines. The FTC states that “a product advertised as Made in U.S.A. be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S.”. Many products are manufactured here in the U.S.A. but are made from parts and technology from all over the world.

Apparel and textile production isn’t any different than cars or iPhones when it comes to this. While the U.S. does have it’s own textile production and exporting, it is not in the top five for textile exporters, those include China, India, Italy, Germany, and Bangladesh.

Made in the U.S.A. And Fair Trade

Another connotation of buying something Made in the U.S.A. is the assumption that if it’s made in the U.S.A. the people who made the garment or device were always paid fair wages for their work. Unfortunately, that is often times not the case. There’s a perception that sweatshops and horrible working conditions only exist in other countries like China and India, but they do exist in the U.S. as well.

While the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division state that conditions have improved over the last 20 years in the US, they have still found numerous violations and poor working conditions. In our next post, we’ll dive further into the labor issues and certain areas in the U.S. like Los Angeles, that still struggle with these problems.

Stay tuned for our article in July that is discussing the topic “Actual Working Conditions And wage Issues in LA” and we also going to feature fair fashion brands that show how MADE IN USA is done the right way.

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Amanda O´Brien
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Amanda is a writer and marketer, based in Los Angeles, CA. Amanda enjoys treasure hunting for great vintage finds and recently launched Jean Franklin, a sustainable, ethical and vintage online store carrying clothing and home goods. You can find Amanda walking her rescue pups, Noodle and Nellie or whipping up some tasty home-cooked meals.

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