“American made” isn’t a typical standard for global ethical fashion brands, but it’s important to Delphine Boutique.
Here’s 4 reasons why I believe buying American made clothing is “doing fashion better.”*
1. Purchasing American made goods is supporting not only American manufacturers and American workers, but also American labor standards.
Consider this infographic.
It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that over 75% of countries deny some (or all!) of their workers the right to strike.
59% of countries had workers indicate that they are exposed to physical violence on the job, and some of these countries include Guatemala and Indonesia – two countries I have seen numerous times on my clothing tags.
When given the choice, I choose to not financially support acts of violence and suppression.
2. Purchasing locally, even if this only refers to within the United states, is the greener choice.
It’s basic geography. When you purchase a dress that was made in the US, even if that dress has to travel all the way from Los Angeles to Kennebunkport, its trip was much shorter than had you ordered a dress that was made in China. Sure, the American made dress traveled across the country in a truck, but it didn’t have to get on a truck to get on a ship to get on a plane to get on another truck.
Smaller carbon footprint.
Smaller carbon footprint = happier humankind.
On a grander scale, US factories have to comply with emission standards laid out by the EPA.
Many other countries where clothing is manufactured have no such standards, or they completely ignore standards set forth for them.
China, one of the world’s leading fast fashion producers, consistently violates pollution rules.
China is in the grips of a massive water pollution crisis; 500 million people there are without safe, clean drinking water.
Every year, ambient air pollution in China kills hundreds of thousands of citizens.
Cancer related to industrial caused air pollution is the number one cause of death in China.
Only 1% of the China’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe.
And lest we try to cocoon ourselves in one of those “blah blah blah, I can’t HEEEEAR YOU!” bubbles where we cover our ears and march around chanting “I DON’T LIVE IN CHINA,” acid rain from China has fallen on South Korea, Japan and even the United States.
This is not sustainable. I don’t care how cheap the cute top is, it’s not worth all that.
I recycle, I turn the lights off when I leave the house, I buy local when possible. Because I love my planet.
3. Many countries have extremely low minimum wage restrictions. Even when you consider the lower cost of living, wrap your mind around living on these salaries:
- Minimum wage in Bangladesh – $18/month
- Minimum wage in Indonesia – $153/month
- Minimum wage in India – $225/month
- Minimum wage in China – $229/month (roughly, it varies by province)
- Minimum wage in Guatemala – $330/month
Here’s a day in the life of a minimum wage garment factory worker in Bangladesh. Whenever it is possible, I am okay paying more for a better quality of life for someone.
4. I believe in the power of my voice as a consumer. Every dollar I spend is making a statement.
What do I want my statement to be?
I care about the planet. I care about the quality of life for all humans. I care about democracy.
I am a conscious consumer.
Do you look for “Made in the US” on clothing labels? Do you find them hard to hunt down?
Find me on Facebook and tell me!
*Please note, I’m located in the States and therefore US made clothing is local to me and the majority of my customers!