When selling clothing and accessories within the US market, the “made in the USA” assurance is one of the best ways to limit the use of transportation. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the transportation sector is one of the main global greenhouse gas emissions contributors, as almost all (95%) of its energy comes from petroleum-based fuels, largely gasoline and diesel. Reducing the distance between the fabric vendor, the production location and the final consumers permits a drastic decrease in the need for transportation.
Clothing brands made in the USA also promote the historical know-how and craftmanship that has been developed in recent generations in our country. Areas such as the Fashion District of Manhattan, for example, are known for the quality of their work, the passion of their makers and the expertise they have developed over the years in manufacturing and design. Why would we cross oceans when we can find the best expertise around the corner?
American made clothing also allows its actors to track the supply chain better, while permitting greater transparency. When we buy American, we know that the company that made our product follows the federal and state environmental and labor regulations, while respecting the quality and safety standards of the industry. We avoid contributing to potential unfair child labor and unhealthy working conditions that still happen unfortunately in many overseas factories.
As many clothing and accessories brands start to give voice to their workshops through their official communications, we can discover who made our favorite T-Shirt or pair of pants, which makes our purchase much more significant and rewarding. It is also a way to tap into the level of connection that we all crave, creating a relationship between the person who makes the product and the person who purchases it at the end of the line, as it used to be the case not so long ago.
Next time we buy a piece of clothing, we should check its tag to see where this item was made, to get the full guarantee that neither the environment nor any human being was harmed in its production process. The change that we want to see in the world starts first with our own choices.