Hello everyone! It has been forever since I've written a blog post on here, and I just wanted to bring up something near and dear to my heart that has played a huge part in how I am choosing to shape my brand, that that something is foreign manufacturing.
I have done several research reports on the international garment industry, and I was invited to present my observations for an honors student council next year. I have spent TONS of time researching what it means to be a foreign garment worker, and the unsettling things I found have guided me to choose my manufacturing wisely.
I am not going to copy and paste any of my research reports, but I will give a quick lowdown. Here are a few points to sum up what I have learned about outsourced labor:
- Foreign garment workers are not protected by the laws here in the United States, or if they are, the rules are usually not followed.
- Specifically, workers are not always paid minimum wage and often work overtime hours that exceed the legal limit, not being compensated the entire time
- Sexual harassment and physical violence are prevalent in factories
- Managers sometimes give workers unreachable manufacturing goals in which they cannot leave until they complete them
- Unsafe working conditions can be anything from dangerous machinery, cramming workers into small work spaces, collapsible buildings, or toxic and polluted air.
I don't need to be the one to say that these things and the many more things that go on are not okay. It is a business owner's responsibility to choose whether he or she is with or against the conditions going on overseas. However, the change can also start with consumers. By buying products made in the USA, you are essentially casting your vote for fairness and moral human rights.
So make the choice where to buy your products!
I have found several search engines that focus on finding products made in the USA, and I am always looking for more brands that manufacture domestically as well. Some of them split their manufacturing, so be sure to check individual products to see where they're made. Here are a few brands you may recognize:
- Burt's Bees
- Kitchen Aid
- American Apparel
- New Balance
- Hanky Panky
- Karen Kane
- Eileen Fisher
The Brightest Color sources all materials from small or local businesses in the United States. We do 100% of our manufacturing in the United States, paying above minimum wage to our seamstresses, pattern makers, graphic designers, and everyone involved in the creation process.