“If you wanted to wear nothing but made-in-the-USA clothing you’d have a hard time filling up a closet. And you’d go broke paying for it. How about USA-made electronics? Forget it. But luggage is a different matter. The serious traveler can buy high-quality, high-value, handmade luggage that is made right here. Why does it matter? There are several reasons and they have nothing to do with xenophobia or parochialism. If you care about your neighbors and fellow citizens having good jobs, made-in-the USA means something. Ditto if you don’t want to support sweatshops staffed by children, inmates, or overworked/underpaid women. Maybe you want a bag that won’t fall apart. Or maybe you have a complaint and would like to speak to the owner/designer.” — Read “Why does American made matter?” at One Bag, One World.
Tom’s note: Make the Environment a Consideration
Another consideration when buying products made overseas should be environmental impact of the factories and production methods. While it would be naive to suggest that products made in the U.S.A. are environmentally benign, one must understand that manufacturer’s have moved off-shore not simply for low-wage labor but also in pursuit of non-existent or unenforced environmental regulations. Stateside at least we have the less-than-perfect EPA to regulate the dyes and other potentially toxic chemicals used to process our fabrics, etc. In addition, we often fail to consider the impact of shipping finished goods half-way ’round the planet: cotton organically grown in California and then shipped to Asia to be made into earth-friendly jeans sold back in California may have a far greater footprint than you are lead to believe. — Tom Bihn