or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Streetwear and Denim › How important is "Made in the USA" to you?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How important is "Made in the USA" to you? - Page 4

Poll Results: How important is "Made in the USA" to you?

 
  • 64% (70)
    I am willing to pay a premium for "Made in the USA"
  • 35% (38)
    I am not willing to pay a premium for "Made in the USA"
108 Total Votes  
post #46 of 65
I would never buy something to 'support" the american worker, that's some near xenophobic bullshit that has no economic basis to it. It's a stupid populist sentiment. However, fuck Wal-Mart....
post #47 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodyear View Post

I find this kind of hyperbole tiresome, especially as it tends to come from those who, more often than not, have no actual experience in the matter. So I went ahead and dug some photos out of my phone of a couple of typical Chinese apparel factories.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 

 

Can you spot all the injustices?! I considered enumerating why these people really haven't got it all that bad, but the onus really isn't on me to do so.

Do you know who this factory produced for? The blue and pink flats in the above picture are identical to a pair from Nicholas Kirkwood I saw in a boutique a while back

post #48 of 65
I'd buy made in Belgium every time.
post #49 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw 06 View Post

That said, I’ve yet to find similar products where the Chinese-made version is equal in quality to a USA-made version. This applies to clothing, shoes, leather goods, tools, aftermarket car parts, hardware, furniture, anything…
Then you're not very familiar with some of the brands on here.


It's funny, although not surprising, that the romanticism and misconceptions surrounding garment production still remains even though we as a forum consider ourselves to be educated consumers. "China equals unethical crap" without any basis or knowledge of the actual factory and its conditions. "Buying USA means supporting local artisans and their quality craft" when the shirt was assembled by an uneducated, but seasoned, sewer that still hasn't quite gotten around to getting their green card.

Buy what you buy because the garment is well-made, fits well, is reasonably priced, and, if you're extremely lucky, designed by good people.
post #50 of 65
Can't add anything more than what's been said already. Good points though, Whodini^^

For me, with both items being identical in fit / quality / whatever, and only difference is where the sewing machine was located in the world? - Cheaper product everytime. Absolutely nonsensical to pay more money for the exact same product. Any differences throws off the hypo.

Seems we have a lot of social activists on here, and I'm just a heartless fiscal conservative. confused.gif
post #51 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by notwithit View Post

I'll pay a premium for MIUSA, but not necessarily over concerns related to heritage/quality/isolationism/moderate xenophobia. I like the idea of wearing clothing that I'm relatively certain wasn't produced using slave labor. I'm not saying that there are no sweatshops in America or that every factory in outside of the "first world" underpays and abuses its workers. If something seems to cost considerably less than it should, though, there's a decent chance that slave labor (or something close to it) was used at some point in the production process.

That reminds me - I keep meaning to email Uniqlo to see what their labor policies are like. I'm pretty confident that most of what I'm wearing - W+H hoodie, Acne t-shirt, Krane henley, Zissou belt, Attachment jeans - were made under fair and ethical conditions (unless Zissou has started making his daughter skip school to work in his leather-crafting operation laugh.gif ), but I'm not rock-solid on the Uniqlo socks and underwear. patch[1].gif

I already pay more for clothes that I like, so I might as well pay more for clothes I can feel good about. nod[1].gif

edit:

I just looked at the results. It's getting kinda lonely up here on my high horse. shog[1].gif

you are so misinformed.
post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by whodini View Post

Then you're not very familiar with some of the brands on here.


It's funny, although not surprising, that the romanticism and misconceptions surrounding garment production still remains even though we as a forum consider ourselves to be educated consumers. "China equals unethical crap" without any basis or knowledge of the actual factory and its conditions. "Buying USA means supporting local artisans and their quality craft" when the shirt was assembled by an uneducated, but seasoned, sewer that still hasn't quite gotten around to getting their green card.

Buy what you buy because the garment is well-made, fits well, is reasonably priced, and, if you're extremely lucky, designed by good people.

quoted for truth.

so much misinformation in this thread.

everyone that still thinks china uses "slave labor" should take a class in global supply chain.
post #53 of 65
also, in many cases china makes a higher quality product than america.

there are several different types of factories in china. government owned are usually the worse. foreign owned factories are among the best in the world.

in terms of overseas manufacturing, the progression from 3rd world to 1st world.

japan -> korea -> taiwan -> china -> brazil & india.

funny how japanese goods are now regarded as the best in the world when once they were treated with the same misinformed disdain as chinese made goods.
post #54 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by whodini View Post


Then you're not very familiar with some of the brands on here.


It's funny, although not surprising, that the romanticism and misconceptions surrounding garment production still remains even though we as a forum consider ourselves to be educated consumers. "China equals unethical crap" without any basis or knowledge of the actual factory and its conditions. "Buying USA means supporting local artisans and their quality craft" when the shirt was assembled by an uneducated, but seasoned, sewer that still hasn't quite gotten around to getting their green card.

Buy what you buy because the garment is well-made, fits well, is reasonably priced, and, if you're extremely lucky, designed by good people.

 

I'm familiar with the brands...

 

One of the things that bothers me most about "globalization” or "global supply chain management" is the deceptive practice of many corporate managers who make calculated decisions to outsource their manufacturing (and jobs) to Communist China but choose to continue marketing their products under American or fancy European sounding brand names.  They also seem to go out of their way to hide the country of origin on their Chinese-made products by using misleading labeling terms like “designed in the USA” or "assembled in the USA", etc.  This type of deceitful, short-sighted corporate management bases their outsourcing decisions on obtaining low-cost Chinese vendors without regard for product quality, customer satisfaction, American jobs or prosperity.  Unfortunately, the only outsourcing-related prosperity being generated is on Wall Street and developing countries like China.  Even once-reputable companies now routinely manufacture their products with inferior Chinese materials, labor and quality in order to achieve short-term profits (and big bonuses for upper-level managers) at the expense of the company’s American workforce, reputation and long-term profitability.  This is why so many well-established, iconic brand name products aren’t as well-made or durable as they used to be.

 

The de-industrialization of America, has cost millions of lost manufacturing jobs, a skyrocketing trade deficit, trillions of dollars in foreign debt, the decline of the dollar, a depressed economy, high unemployment, and a plethora of cheap, low quality Chinese appliances, clothing, electronics, TVs, toys, trinkets, etc.  We’ve become a service-based economy that spends much more than we earn and consumes much more than we produce; all at great cost to America’s once strong but declining manufacturing base and national power.

 

It’s truly a national disgrace sustained by clueless American consumers who seem to know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

post #55 of 65
I buy Made in USA whenever I can afford to. I don't associate it with higher quality (although I do associate higher quality with instances in which a company makes its own stuff in its own factories rather than contracting out, but that's a different issue). I also don't assume that Chinese factories are any more exploitative and abusive than anywhere else. For me, it's good sense: I prefer to give my money to people in my own country, since they are paying taxes, using social services, making it or failing in ways that affect me far more directly than people in other countries. The shedding of manufacturing jobs, even low level jobs such as sweated garment labor, has been a disaster for us. Even sweat shops can play and have played an important role for people such as unskilled immigrants who need a first and low step to start climbing up. A lot of us have ancestors who did just that. This business of corporations shifting production here and there, wherever they can squeeze out the slightest extra $.0004 may please stock holders, but I'm not convinced it does most other people much good.

I only buy USA made shoes (although I'd gladly snap up a few higher end English shoes if I could afford it because of the quality) , USA made jeans, USA made chinos. If I can I go for USA made tailored clothing (Brooks, HF, Hardwick). I can't afford USA-made shirts other than Brooks OCBDs on sale, so that's that. And now I can buy USA made underwear. Bags and other accessories such as ties are easy, too.

I wish I could afford RGM watches.

I make exceptions of course: I intended to buy a Filson jacket recently but ended up going with a Barbour Beaufort because I thought it made much better sense for me and looked better.

Now, I do really like it when a company makes its own stuff. I like that my AE shoes really are made by AE. My Lands End shirts are made by God knows who, and how. Most companies are nothing more than retailers or middlemen. That's fine, but I am inclined to think that when a company makes its own stuff, there's a bit more ownership and price, which should translate into quality. I also figure that if I buy something from the people who made it, more of the money will go to the workers, and less to middlemen or some corporate staff somewhere. I can't prove that, of course.
post #56 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadesofbeige View Post

Do you know who this factory produced for? The blue and pink flats in the above picture are identical to a pair from Nicholas Kirkwood I saw in a boutique a while back

Not Kirkwood, sorry. Welcome to the world of women's footwear, where imitation is the rule, not the exception.

post #57 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Office Hack View Post

The shedding of manufacturing jobs, even low level jobs such as sweated garment labor, has been a disaster for us. Even sweat shops can play and have played an important role for people such as unskilled immigrants who need a first and low step to start climbing up. A lot of us have ancestors who did just that. This business of corporations shifting production here and there, wherever they can squeeze out the slightest extra $.0004 may please stock holders, but I'm not convinced it does most other people much good.

Initially, the move to offshoring production was exactly for this reason. However, the US is now a country whose strength is now R&D, design, and innovation. Even if you wanted to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US, there aren't enough people who want to work in a factory. How many college grads or young people today have that kind of aspiration? The biggest problem for manufacturing in China today is labor; the current generation doesn't have any interest in the labor intensive work in a factory.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Office Hack View Post

Most companies are nothing more than retailers or middlemen. That's fine, but I am inclined to think that when a company makes its own stuff, there's a bit more ownership and price, which should translate into quality.

You say this as if brands don't add any value. They do, and its in the design. I want a brand to focus on what they're strong at, and it should be their design. If they can manufacture themselves too, fine, but I want the people with expertise in manufacturing to produce the goods.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Office Hack View Post

I also figure that if I buy something from the people who made it, more of the money will go to the workers, and less to middlemen or some corporate staff somewhere. I can't prove that, of course.

Doubtful.
post #58 of 65
There are a whole lot of Americans who just might take work in a factory if they could get it. I'm not talking about college grads but the bottom of the barrel, those who benefit in no way from the economic growth of the past two decades and aren't likely to find a good place in the service economy beyond crap work with zero benefits a la Walmart or meat packing plants. AE has been hiring at its factory in Wisconsin, so that means there are at least some young men and women who think learning to operate a welting machine is a good option for them. Likewise, the fact that sweat shops still exist here and there in the US shows that there's a supply of people willing to work there. Assuming they aren't slaves, which does happen in the US as well as anywhere else.

There is certainly some value added by brands, but given that others are quite capable of excellent design and innovation, basing an economic strategy on a sort of essentialist if not racist view that Americans will always be able to do that stuff better than, say, Chinese, is crazy. Just look at the number of Asian firms that are doing their own design work and are also now selling top-quality stuff under their own label. I simply don't buy the "comparative advantage" dogma.

There was a good Atlantic piece recently about how GE is bringing some production back to GE-owned and operated factories in the US because they finally figured out (pace Welch) that by contracting everything out, they were losing their grasp of how things were made, quality was suffering, and ultimately it was costing them more than they had thought. It was a false economy. Perhaps that explains why all my GE household appliances suck: Perhaps GE was too happy to abrogate responsibility for QC and good design to sub-contractors. The problem wasn't that Chinese people (or whoever) made their stuff, but that THEY didn't make their own stuff. GE cared about the bottom line as opposed to making appliances that work. But I digress.
post #59 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubblyMasquerade View Post

everyone that still thinks china uses "slave labor" should take a class in global supply chain.

Um, instances of slave labor DO still occur in China. Like I keep saying, it's not the majority, but it happens:

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/trade_outreach/convict_importations.xml
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/china-news/bringing-attention-to-forced-labor-in-china-331332.html

Any blanket generalization like "manufacturing in the U.S. is like this" or "factories in China are like this" is going to be inaccurate because it varies from factory to factory and industry to industry. That said, there are places where workers are more routinely mistreated than other places. China is one of them. Does slave labor exist in the U.S.? Yes. Is it as likely to happen as in China? No.
post #60 of 65
Has anyone seen this film on US Sweatshops: http://www.madeinla.com/ ?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Streetwear and Denim
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Streetwear and Denim › How important is "Made in the USA" to you?