This week we are focusing on made in USA brands. These are brands I wholey trust and support. So, why does made in the USA matter to the ethical business conversation. It matters because we (Americans) have learned a lot the hard way. Change is hard it’s better for employees and in the long run employers.
Our Labor Laws are some of the strictest in the world, this is a GOOD thing for workers it establishes:
- Regulates work weeks
- Safe work environments
- ‘fair’ pay (I say ‘fair’ because our federal minimum wage hasn’t been updated since 2009)
While we all want businesses to care for their employees the goal of capitalism is to make as much money as possible, therefore not all businesses set out to do their workers right. This is why we have child labor laws, 40 hour work weeks, health care, unions and are allowed to negotiate salaries. I recently heard a quote attributed to Nelson Mandela, even though I couldn’t find sufficient evidence for this being his quote, I do love the quote.
Fair Trade does what we assume all businesses do.
Fair Trade means treating workers with respect, dignity, a fair pay, and a safe work environment. I would hope American businesses would WANT to do this. But when they choose to leave manufacturing jobs here for cheap labor in South America and in Asia, they are saying cheap poorly made products with a high mark up for maximum profit are more important than cared for workers.
When buying American made products you are:
- reducing your carbon foot print
- supporting local(ish) businesses
I’m a tree hugger. Have been since I could wrap my arms around trees, just ask my momma.
The biggest plus to buying American for me is the reduced carbon foot print. Less fuel is used to get that product to me from Nashville than a product from India to California. We could get into all the pros and cons of this but ultimately I have to acknowledge that the carbon foot print is worth it & the artisan that made it benefits when I buy something coming from Uganda or India. I love Etsy, if you haven’t perused all there is on Etsy do yourself a favor and spend this afternoon. If you are looking for something in particular just type it into the search bar, then on the left you can chose where you want to shop from…USA, Texas, Austin…being specific limits your options but the closer they are the less fuel used to transport your purchase.
Just because a brand started here doesn’t mean they stay. Many of the USA brands I’m sharing have strict hiring rules that give priority to veterans, locals, and even the homeless; giving them the ability to create a stronger local community. Not all these brands will be as ‘fashion focused’ as the previous weeks, so enjoy the variety and the good these made in the USA brands do here!