Made in the USA: What Does it Mean?
We here at the shop get asked all the time - "What does Made in the USA mean?" or "Why is Made in the USA better" or (if we're being honest), "Why is Made in the USA clothing more expensive?"
Well. There's a lot that goes into this label. Having clothing that's Made in the USA ensures workers are being compensated fairly for their labor. The clothing industry has lots of hidden costs (setting aside the notion of environmental degradation that often results from clothing produced in India/China/Bangladesh /Honduras, et. al.), but impact on workers is one we believe to be of the utmost importance. Somebody has to make your clothing, and often that person (if manufacturing overseas) is toiling for 12-14 hours per day and making less than $1/hour for their labor. Manufacturing domestically, or in Europe or Japan (as the shop features plenty of clothing from these far-flung locales) helps to alleviate this inequity, ensuring workers are compensated fairly for their skilled labor. Additionally, it ensures that garment workers are not working in substandard conditions that may be harmful to their well-being.
In addition to impact on workers and the environment, a lot of clothing produced in the Third World is very cheaply and poorly made. Companies cut corners on almost every aspect of the production process with poor stitching and cheap materials, resulting in a garment that fits improperly and falls apart after a few washes.
The United States, particularly the Garment District in New York City (which produces both Corridor and Sock Hop, which we sell here at the shop) is home to some of the most skilled garment workers in the entire world, bar none. You can see that quality when you pick up a shirt and see the finishing on the seams or feel the sumptuousness of the material. Producing clothing domestically is certainly not cheap, but it ensures you're getting a garment of utmost quality and the workers producing it are being paid fairly for a skill they've worked years to hone.