I’d love to claim that witty title, but it is actually derived from the book Where Am I Wearing by Kelsey Timmerman. I haven’t read this yet (hence the absence of an affiliate link there), but I plan to in the near future. My queue is a little full right now. You can check out his blog at http://whereamiwearing.com/
So where am I wearing? Where has my wardrobe originated?
I must say that since reading A Year Without Made in China, I have made a concerted effort to avoid clothing made in China as much as possible. I’ve not been entirely successful and there have been periods where I didn’t think to check at all. Mainly this has been the case with the little guy’s shoes. I buy them at Target since he has been riding his bike and destroying them. I’m thinking he may be wearing more New Balance in the not too distant future, though. New Balance is the only athletic shoe maker that manufactures many – not all - of its shoes in the US.
Lest you think me a protectionist (which I kind of am) my reasoning is wages and worker conditions for choosing made in the USA. I realize that workers in other countries desperately need jobs. I’ve said from the beginning there are no easy answers here.
That being said, until recently I thought that any country BUT China was a much better option. Well, now that I know different I need to act different. So no longer will I accept Bangladesh, Turkey, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Honduras, Guatemala, Saipan, Hong Kong, Japan, Mauritius or any other country as a default option for better than China. I realize this is a sweeping generalization, and I will get into some specific exceptions at a later date. Unfortunately, this is where the bulk of my clothing was cut & sewn. I have recently purchased two shirts through Stitch Fix from American labels with American manufacturing.
Funny story: yesterday I was wearing a bright pink t-shirt that I have had for half of forever. It is so old that it was actually made in the USA by Fruit of the Loom! Go figure! I may even have some old jeans and other t-shirts made here. I tend to hold onto things until they fall apart. I’m starting to think that’s a good thing now.
So what about you? Do you ever check the labels of clothing purchases to see where they are made? Has this ever crossed you mind?