I was at Starbucks this morning and lo and behold, it hit me like a ton of bricks. The Buy American trend has really hit the mainstream. What used to seem like a bunch of rednecks screaming to Save Our Jobs! has morphed into an honest-to-goodness all encompassing movement.
Case in point. The pictures from this morning:
Move over Lance Armstrong, you can now purchase a bracelet that says, “Let’s Create Jobs For USA”. I’m not about to get into a political debate about this issue. Lord knows there are people better suited for that. But the evidence that more and more people have shifted their mindset to American Jobs is overwhelming.
I recently showed a video to my Retail Management students (I’m an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College) that really nailed home the concept of how outsourcing manufacturing affects the US economy and the US worker. It’s a New York Times video called The iPhone Economy and you can watch it here. Fascinating.
Fox News ran a story in November called Why ‘Buy American” is Dumb Idea. Also Fascinating – in a different way. Do they really believe that or are they just being contrarian?
A USA Today (no pun intended) story talks about the trend and reports how Diane Sawyer, ABC’s Good Morning America’s anchor, began a “Made in America” pledge this year. She states that if every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S.-made goods, it would create almost 10,000 new jobs in the country. She also urged viewers to join her in this pledge and to check out what they had at home to see how much of it was made in the USA.
Why should you care?
Emerging fashion designers want to know about this shift in consumer mindset because most of you DO produce on the USA. And now that consumers are really starting to give a crap where their goods are being made, you can capitalize in it. If even the tree-hugger Starbucks crowd cares about American jobs, you need to shout it to the tree tops that your line is made in the good ol’ U S of A.
It’s become a real benefit for you. You have something the Gap can’t give them so make it clear that it’s one more good reason to buy YOURS instead of THEIRS.
What you can also do, if you’re really an A student, is send retailers this article and explain to them the deep shift in consumer consciousness and how you believe the trend is only beginning. Give them 3rd party data to show that they better be thinking about stocking up on more goods that are American made, stat.
And looky here, your line just happens to be a great option.
What do you think? How will this trend affect you and your business? Please leave me a comment below and let me know.
So I’ll end this post with a song. Click the flag and sing along.
Made in America has been all over the news lately, which is encouraging for those of us who want to sustain the domestic apparel manufacturing industry. I agree that designers should capitalize on this trend and broadcast the story of transparent and ethical supply chains. It’s going to take a larger scale effort of educating consumers to be willing to pay more for fashion that is well made and domestically produced, but the momentum is building!
Here’s just a few great articles from this week:
– Nanette Lepore on the importance of preserving the Garment District and domestic apparel manufacturing: http://ow.ly/8YTXB
– Made in America can be a big selling point, as Philly’s apparel industry points out: http://ow.ly/8YU9V
– WWD reports that Made in USA is on the Recovery Road: http://ow.ly/8YUjC