by admin on November 2, 2011


never in a million years did esme imagine she would be promoting the purchase of clothing made in the good ole U S of A!  she has been an outlier and a francophile almost since she can remember, and loves to see labels that say “made in italy/france”.  in fact, she has only recently realized that some of her clothes with french-sounding names (e.g. blanque and babette) are actually american-made.  and, her fashion class has opened her eyes to some of the economic issues surrounding imported apparel.

as have other industries, the fashion industry has come to depend more and more on goods and labor outside the united states.   our textbook (FASHION, FROM CONCEPT TO CONSUMER by frings) puts it succinctly:  “the american textile industry has lost more than 900,000 jobs and thousands of plants have closed since 1980.  the u.s. has lost it’s manufacturing base.”

the reasons are complex, but most prominent are the dramatic difference in wages and regulations outside the u.s., particularly in asia.  esme was amazed by this statistic:  “the average hourly wage is $12.97 in the u.s., while typical hourly wages are as little as 60 cents per hour in india or 62 cents in china”.  other countries also often lack the regulations controlling labor practices and pollution that have been instituted in the u.s., again making production cheaper.

no wonder our economy is in trouble.  so now esme is keen on checking to see where her garments are made, and on supporting quality products made in her native land.  she was interested to note that her favorite not-your-daughter’s-jeans sport the MADE IN THE USA label.  her alegria shoes, although designed in l.a., are made in china. and of course, her gap t, despite being part of an american brand, is made in vietnam.

be forewarned that MADE IN THE USA goods will be more expensive.  however, unless esme is terribly gullible, they should be “greener” and produced by workers who are safer and better paid than those outside the u.s.

now what would mr. noir say about cars in this regard?  i have noticed him trending away from european vehicles and lusting after cadillacs, chevy’s, and fords, but i think this is a matter of v-8 engines rather than loyalty to his country!

a slightly embarrassed patriot,



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