PART ONE: Writer Heath Stiltner introduces the pressing need for the Made in America movement, particularly in the clothing industry. Join us each day this week as Heath interviews members of this community as well as American consumers. 

When was the last time you checked your clothing tag? How many times have you bought a 'classic American design' then realized it was grown & sewn in a country you can barely pronounce? It's no secret that the outsourcing of jobs has taken over our clothing and fashion market. However, we are all told it is to lower our prices. If that is the case, why do J.Crew basic tees, foreign-manufactured and sold as all-American basics, cost seemingly the same price as California-based fashion designer and producer American Apparel's basic tees?

This week that question has never been more thought out or wide-spread. People are wondering what we are actually paying for when we buy these products. With the upcoming Olympic games in London this summer, New York-based American icon Ralph Lauren released our 2012 American Olympians' uniforms. With their red, white, and blue scarves (must have missed the 'summer' olympics memo) and berets, our athletes are sure to strut proudly behind Old Glory in the parade. Oh, did we mention the uniforms were made in China?

Yes, during this summer Olympic event our most talented athletes will stride proudly through London wearing foreign manufactured clothing designed by America's most iconic designer. Many questions have been forming around the situation, causing quite the debacle. It leads many to question just what it is we are paying for when we buy so-called American designer goods. Are we paying for the outsourcing of our own jobs? Our own designs?

The truth is, there are plenty of brands designing, and manufacturing, quality goods right here in the United States. It is not an underground market, though it seems that they do sometimes slip under the radar of most Americans. Many of these companies are small artisan-run and artisan-established brands that produce seasonal fashion for the American public. This week, we will be investigating those brands, and their owners in an effort to figure out just what it means to be American-made, and why it is so important for them. Stay tuned for the rest of this series with quotes and interviews from great American brands like Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons, Archival Clothing, and Sweet Harvest Farms about their participation in the made in America movement and their pledge to stay American-made every day. 


  1. Thank you! I look for Made in the USA for more than just clothing.....even when I shop at thrift stores! It is out just need to do a little searching. ;)

  2. This article certainly gives some food for doesn't seem right that our Olympians will be wearing clothing manufactured in China. I look forward to following this series.

  3. We should celebrate any item Made in the USA. Yes, I do look to see where things are manufactured and it is important to me to buy from the US. Thank you for your series.

  4. I would love to buy all American made items. I am looking forward to this series also. I have been wanting a vintage cruiser bike for some time now. I looked at several and finally chose an old 1955 Highway Patrol cruiser made by Goodyear. It has some wear and will need to be cleaned up and repainted, but I love it!! I have been harassed (lovingly of course ) by many family and friends about spending as much on an old bike as I would have on a brand new one. But, I said, turn this bike upside down and look. It says made in the USA on the frame and on the bottom of the seat. To me, that makes all the difference in the world. I realize it's old, but chose to do that over buying a made in China bike. The original owner even wrote her name on the bottom of the seat. How cool is that?!

  5. I love this Folk xoxo
    Second Shout Out Vintage Marketplace

  6. While I wish that all my clothing was American made, I find it really difficult to find! I don't live in a very big J.Crew and the likes, but I love seeing that American flag on the pieces I do find (or U.S.A!).
    Doing my best to support local...I'm excited to see what else you come up with!!

  7. I opened my Made in America store, Norton's U.S.A.,5 years ago. We are a real general store and have everything from can openers to raincoats! Made in America is a true passion for me and I hope for the entire country. I had the good fortune to be a the NBC Chicago News last Friday after the word got out that all the Olympic Uniforms are made in Chicago. Check it out if you have the time. It is up to all of us to make the country change and get back to work!

    1. Here is the link for the NBC Chicago News Video.

  8. This week I bought Nabisco Fig Newtons.While looking at ingredients,noticed that they were made in Mexico!Was disgusted,next time at grocery store saw them in a lady's cart.I informed her that they were made in Mexico.She promptly put them back.Shame on you Nabisco!


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