True confession time. I'm a bargain shopper. There is just so much great stuff out there to buy. I love to hunt for bargains as a way to filter out the majority of the overwhelming range of products on the market. Or maybe that's just another way of to brag that… I am cheap. However, in recent years, my interest in finding and supporting companies manufacturing in the USA has caused me to reflect more carefully on my deal-seeking mentality.
Recently I caught a fantastic article on the Huffington Post by Annching Wang titled, “Why You Need to Stop Bragging About How Cheap Your Clothes Are”. Although it is not specific to Made in USA products, she makes an excellent case; when we value deals and bargains above all else, we are devaluing the people who design and produce these items.
When We Brag Too Much
We are sending a message to retailers that:
- we don't care who makes it
- we don't care how they are treated or under what conditions they are working
- we don't care how much they are paid or who is getting these jobs
- we don't care about the quality or purity of materials or ingredients
- we don't care about supporting our local communities
- WE JUST WANT IT AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE
- and we want that one too, and that thing over there, and oooh, look what I found! It's a deal!
And the truth is, when we defer a compliment by gushing over how cheap something was, we are not only devaluing the people who made it, we are devaluing ourselves.
If you want a real reaction, see what happens when in response to, “I love those earrings,” you can reply, “Thanks! They are American-made.” Don't brag about your swag! Instead brag about where it's made and get others in on the fun of USA made.
Tell us, do you brag to your friends when you find something cool that's made in the USA?
How do they react?
Want to brag a little on your blog or in your email signature? Grab one of our badges to show your USA love.
Great post! About a year ago, I decided to make an effort to buy more American made items. Not just clothing, but I now check the labels on everything I purchase. Last weekend my husband and I bought a new grill, and it was made in the USA. I decided to do this as an effort to help our economy, not because I think America is the only country producing quality products.
There is a big myth that American-made products are always more expensive, but this is not the case. High-quality items are always more expensive because of the skill and time it takes make them, but there are many American brands that are creating affordable clothing. I find a lot of Made in the USA clothing at TJ Maxx for under $30! You can also search on Nordstrom, Macys, Modcloth, and Anthropologie.
Something I'm becoming more aware of is Fast Fashion. I'm tired of buying poorly made clothing at the mall, with the thought in my mind “I can tell this $20 top is poorly made, but by the time it's worn out, it won't be in style anymore, so who cares?” Continuously replacing poorly made clothing is wasteful and bad for the environment. Google “high cost of fast fashion” to see what I mean.
Thank you for this thoughtful post! I make a point of telling anyone who will listen when something I love is Made in the USA – and telling sales people and store owners that I'm looking for Made in the USA products. Many of my friends and family are also checking labels now – and being more thoughtful about their purchases (as you suggest).
One of my big thrills is when a friend shows me a new purchase – most recently a La Mer Collection watch – but doesn't know where it was made. It's great that they found something they love AND it is Made in the USA!
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