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22 Aug '15

The Made In Dilemna

Posted by Alaina Williams


For me, being a small independent designer, located far away from the fashion capitals, in Atlanta, Georgia - following through on my idealistic goals of manufacturing a locally made product has proven next to impossible. Initially, we searched and searched throughout the US to source certain areas of production, but when weighing the costs of machinery, supplies, labor and basically everything involved in producing my product, we were eventually led to seek manufacturers in Canada, then South America, then Asia. For a large company with an ecosystem that can be transplanting to whatever region they prefer to support, 'locally made' and 'made in' is an actually choice that they are making. I believe that a company with many millions or billions has a responsibility and can afford at their level to make the most responsible choices. 'Made in America' is a source of concern here in the US, because basically like 5% of what we use here is actually made here. There is an awe and reverence here for the 'Made in France' and 'Made in Italy' labels evolved over centuries of respect for the artisan craftsmanship and fashion forward ideologies of these regions of the world. There's a general sentiment that you have something of value if it was made in these countries, without knowing or caring if it was actually mostly produced in some sweatshop elsewhere or within that actual country. There is an underlying since of pride about locally produced items , that is probably true anywhere in the world, but when it comes down to it, money and desire are the bottom line.