American Made Profile | June 17, 2015
Buying American Made
Buying American made, whether that means patriotism to some or manufacturing jobs to others, is making a resurgence right here in our own backyards. This movement, aptly named The American Made Movement, is seeing a modernization of sorts with business owners, the economy, and consumers having a hand in the commitment to, and the growth of, buying goods made right here in America.
One, of three, main components in the American Made Movement is hardworking business owners being committed to having their products and services constructed right here in the United States. One can see this reality in both big businesses and small Mom and Pop shops across the nation. One big business taking on the challenge is New Balance. New Balance is a Boston, Massachusetts based sneaker company that is making a conscious choice to manufacture its product right here in America. With five factories based in Boston, MA, Lawrence, MA, Norridgewock, ME, Norway, ME, and Skowhegan, ME, New Balance truly is keeping its production local. New Balance is able to boost that it employs 1,300 American workers and utilizes materials for its sneakers from other domestic suppliers. The company is doing something right as it was just recently awarded a $180 million dollar shoe contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. The new contract allows New Balance to provide footwear to military recruits.
While keeping manufacturing in America is a vital piece of the revitalization puzzle with big businesses like New Balance, it is also important to highlight the small business owners and artists that truly take American Made to new heights—creating their product from start to finish entirely in America. One such company is El Greco Woodworking, Incorporated. This is a family owned business based in Jamestown, New York that specializes in making baby furniture. All aspects of the design and production of their furniture is done right in the local factories. El Greco Woodworking Incorporated also ensures that, not only is the product designed and assembled in America, but also that the materials used for the furniture comes from American sources. For example, the wood for their products is harvested from members of the Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturing Incorporated business. The MDF the company uses as well is made in America by Clarion Boards. This takes the American Made Movement to new heights as it not only ensures the product is manufactured nationally, but that from start to finish, materials used in production are sourced nationally as well.
The mathematics of the American Made Movement cannot be ignored either; the second of three main components involved in the resurgence of the American Made Movement. New numbers, and studies, are supporting the realization for business owners and product providers that it is in fact feasible to keep products and services manufactured in our nation without losing huge profit margins. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times looks to a study that shows manufacturing in America has become much more on par with once considered less expensive manufacturing options abroad. This report, released by the Boston Consulting Group, shows it is now less than 5% cheaper to make goods in China than it is here in our own backyard. A second recent article in Time Magazine echoes this sentiment. The United States has added over 500,000 manufacturing jobs over the past three years. This is a growth that is outpacing other advanced nations. With growth in the ability to keep manufacturing jobs, and with the commitment on the part of business owners to keep products developed here, the outlook for the growth of American manufacturing jobs is bright.
Consumers are the third, and final, component in the American Made Movement resurgence. Like business owners, consumers are making a thoughtful decision to purchase goods and services manufactured in America versus purchasing from overseas manufacturers or competitors. Consumers are becoming more educated and more aware of what buying Made in America truly means and how to identify companies that practice this philosophy. So what, as a consumer can you do to ensure that what you are purchasing from a company or business is actually made in America? As a consumer, it is important to read labels carefully. Federal rules are in place to make sure any manufacturer that markets or advertises its products as American made are not deceiving the public. It is also important to consult websites that name companies making products in America. Consumers can also contact a manufacturer directly if they have concerns around whether a product is made here in our nation.
Consumers can also be on the lookout for a five star rating from the Economic Information Exchange Company. This is a new rating system that appears on select products that measures the impact a particular product will have on the local economy. If a product has a five star rating, it means almost all of the parts of the whole product are sourced through local channels. The Economic Information Exchange rating offers consumers peace of mind what they are purchasing truly is American made and offers business owners the ability to market and compete based on impact to their local communities.
Consumers, as the third component in the American Made Movement, therefore play a huge role in the revitalization, and more importantly, the growth of the movement. Buying a truly American Made product, from start to finish, ensures one's support to the artist's time, vision, and art. It ensures one's support to purchasing a quality product. It ensures one's support to growing local jobs. It ensures one's support to the economy, both locally and nationally. It ensures one's support to helping local business owners and their ability to compete globally. In short, taking part in the American Made Movement ensures one's support to America.
Credits // Author: Jamie Galvin