I have spent lunch hours this past week looking for AMERICAN MADE cookware, women’s clothing and other products. What an eye opener.
Did you know that 95% of all clothing purchased in America is made overseas? Less than 5% is produced here. Most of that 5% is denim products, jackets, vests, jeans, hunting clothing. There are a few private labels for women’s dresses.
New Balance is the last US made sports shoe company! There are many US made boot companies, mostly smaller local brands. I did find a list of American made shoe brands…but some of them use man made materials from around the World.
With the cancer and the semi-macrobiotic diet we follow, I’m not supposed to cook with aluminum or anything non-stick lined. That’s what started this research…looking for American made 12″ stainless steel skillets. I found about 8 companies still producing them…prices ran from $72.00 to $298.00. FOR A SKILLET!
We watched an older documentary about a mega giant discount store and it’s horrible work ethics. The foreign workers might earn $3.00 US Dollars per week. They live in dormitory type housing with no money for toiletries. If they choose to live elsewhere, the mega giant still charges them for their dormitory space! They work 10-16 hours per day with few breaks. I cannot support that practice.
In the USA, the mega giant employees are given as few hours as possible to keep them from making overtime wages, and they’re mostly paid minium wage. You cannot support yourself or a family on 18 hours a week at $7.25. They tout how great their benefits are, but the workers were singing much different songs. They told how the HR department tells them if they cannot make it on their earnings, there are State and Federal welfare programs to help them…so, that’s our TAX dollars spent providing food stamps, housing, WIC and CHIPS for families who cannot earn enough working at the mega giant to support their families. What’s wrong with this picture?
When the mega giant comes into a rural area, the Mom-Pop businesses usually fold after about 3 years. They cannot compete with the cheaper prices. The only thing the local businesses can offer is customer service…which said mega giant is certainly short of….one of the little towns was Hearne, TX. It went from a thriving metropolis to a ghost town in the business district. That takes much needed jobs from the little companies and usually major tax dollars out of the communities. Towns are now hiring lawyers and filing law suits to keep the mega giant out of their communities. I’m glad Coleman kept them out. Bad thing is that there are 5 mega giant stores within 100 miles of Coleman, so guess where the tax dollars go…and Coleman is slowly drying up. It’s not just this mega giant…it’s just that I happened to see the documentary and it left a really nasty taste in my mouth.
While grocery shopping (in Wal-Mart) I was planning to purchase a Salmon fillet. When I pulled it out of the case to read whether is was farm raised or wild caught, the words Product of China caught my eye. The nearly $10.00 fillet went back into the case. Instead, I purchased Honey Boy canned Pink Salmon (@ $2.58/can)…product of Washington State. We have Salmon. Why are we buying it from China?????
I had the opportunity to be in a CATO store this past week. I found several pieces of jewelry that I would love to have had…but they were made in China. As I left the store, I looked at all the clothing tags in the clothes along the aisle….China, Vietnam, Honduras, Guatamala, Bangladash.
When you can buy something made in China for eighteen US cents…that sells here for under $15.00, why would you spend $35-$50.00 to purchase an American made equivelent product?
We’re guilty. We have X amount of cash to spend on groceries and other items so those dollars have to stretch….but I have become much more consicious of where the things we buy are coming from. From now on, I will search out the American made alternatives. We support our local Mom-Pop grocery store as much as possible, usually purchase gas locally, gifts when we can from the local stores. If it costs an extra dollar or two, then we’ve probably saved that much or more in gas to drive to a neighboring city.
If we let this trend continue, there will soon be nothing made here at home. We’re selling out our livelyhood and our children’s heritage. Where is our American pride? I personally think it’s time for a change and I challenge each of my readers to become more consicious about where the products you buy are coming from. Do your own research…don’t take my word for all this. Together, we can send a message and make a difference.
Susan ~ Patchkat