Oscar Pistorius and consequences

February 25, 2013

The case against Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his beautiful girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has riveted me and countless others. A beautiful and by all accounts joyful, spirited and educated model is found murdered by her famous boyfriend who claims he mistook her for an intruder is the kind of story the public cannot get enough of. As I thought about what makes this case so gripping, many factors came into mind. Chief among them is the growing awareness that violence against women has reached a breaking point and must be stopped. Many women are committed to do what they can to break the cycle of violence towards our gender. I was inspired as well as in awe when I received a flyer about a world wide event in which over a billion women were expected to participate worldwide to bring awareness to violence against women. This demonstrated to me how important this issue has become to women all over the world. The subject of violence against women is something that has the ability to unite hundreds of millions of women who share different values, beliefs, religions, customs and cultures. Women care so deeply about this that they are willing to transcend any differences among them to make a difference.

Although I am deeply encouraged by the resurgent popularity of Made in USA, I wonder at what point, those committed to the movement are willing to work to see their vision through. I worry that complacency and other pressing issues of the day including our poor economy will compete with the importance of firmly establishing Made in USA products as a permanent fixture in our culture. The growing commitment of women to fight violence against them is so important because the consequences of not doing anything have become so grave that it is no longer an option. Women are dying and need to fight back by creating awareness and educating others as to the warning signs of potential aggressors. I’m not sure that level of consequence has been reached yet with the plight of Made in USA products. Although Apple and many other companies are returning to American manufacturing, many times it seems as a measure for good will more so than as an issue so pressing and desperate it must be dealt with. The good will is a wonderful start and I do applaud the companies who are bringing their plants back to the USA. However, until my vision of all products (especially clothing) being made in the USA is met, there will still be lots of work to be done and consequences that must be had to avoid complacency. It is no longer an option. We need to bring back Made in USA in every state, county and city now. We can no longer afford to wait.

February 8, 2013

It has been a while since I visited stores to browse for Made in USA labels. My full time job and use of a borrowed car for business appointments have hindered my visits to malls and clothing stores. Nevertheless, I know Americans have many more options for MIUSA clothing than they had in the past 5 years. I am seeing ads and articles for many different clothing companies that make their clothes in the USA. For example, I recently read Karen Kane, the great patriotic designer now makes 90% of her clothing in our great country. Thank you Karen!! I’m excited to see how many other companies are creating their clothes in the USA.

Walmart

January 29, 2013

I had to do a double take when I read this line from an article in USA TODAY printed today:

Now Wal-Mart wants a piece of the action. The behemoth, embroiled over the past year with worker protests and foreign bribery investigations, pledged recently to source $50 billion of products in the U.S. over the next 10 years, says Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove. They’re not alone. Mendoza says both Caterpillar and 3M have also made efforts to source more in the U.S.

To say this news overjoyed me, is an understatement! Finally, the changes I had hoped to see when I started this blog 3 years ago have come to fruition. We still have alot of work to do to restore Made in USA to its former prominence but it looks like we are heading in a great direction which will restore millions of American jobs in manufacturing. Still, I never thought it would happen so quickly.!

CEO

January 23, 2013

I watched a brief video on Marketwatch.com that produced many reactions from me. My first reaction was disgust coupled with anger. In the video, the CEO of Lever Style is interviewed and states that he is moving manufacturing of their products from China to places like India, Cambodia and Vietnam because the increased wages in China have made it more expensive for his company to produce their products in China.

After my initial reaction, my next thought was surprise. This was the very first time since I started my crusade that I was not happy to hear a company’s manufacturing was being moved from China. Lastly, I thought this CEO has the right to save money and create more profit for his company yet we as consumers also have the right to never purchase any of his company’s products.

This is not to say I think this CEO is a terrible person. For all I know he could be a giving person, a wonderful father, brother or son but his business model is not one I choose to support. He clearly values profit over providing decent wages for his workers. Whereas many companies are creating terrific good will by returning their manufacturing from China to the US, he is going one step ahead in the opposite direction. He is moving production of his products from China, a country where workers are poorly paid to countries where workers are paid even worse. He does not value his workers enough to pay them well and certainly has no desire for American workers. Very well, I never had interest or desire for any of his products and I probably never will.

Check out the interview here:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/made-in-the-usa-gets-hot-again-2013-01-22-121071124

Let me know what you think!

Happy New Year!!!

January 18, 2013

Happy new year!! I know its a bit late but I am just coming off of vacation mode. I had the most wonderful Christmas ever and spent time with terrific friends. My experiences with them reminded me of the wonderful joys of building community. With this new year, I hope to see more communities as passionate about Made in USA as I am. I hope these passionate communities bring about massive change in the fashion industry which will trickle down to all other companies that currently outsource their labor.

There are many glimmers of hope. Just today, Yahoo news showcased a great article on large companies that still manufacture their goods in the US. The article ended with the news that several companies including Apple are looking to move many of their manufacturing out of China and back to the USA. Here is a link to the article: http://news.yahoo.com/made-in-the-usa–gadgets-built-in-our-own-backyard-000139373.html

Nice to see more companies are turning the tide!!

Reflection

December 16, 2012

Every few months I reflect on what Made In USA means to me. I find its meaning to me is different every time but no less important. Right now, based on my lack of time, finances and a car in Miami, my personal meaning of MIUSA is based on lack and failure to uphold my original intent with this blog. Rather than suffer about that, I simply recognize where I stand with my resources, skills and my emotional and mental strength and resolve to improve, obtain my missing resources and reach my goals and original intent of this blog.

With that in mind, in addition to what has already been expressed on these pages, what do you all believe is needed to further the cause of MIUSA? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Surprise, Surprise!

December 7, 2012

Imagine my surprise to open up my blog today and finding an ad on one of my pages. I understand the value of having ads on your blog and I like the company whose ad was displayed but I am concerned someday there will be an ad for a company I don’t support in the least. What will I do then? Clearly, I enjoy and glean benefits from my blog host, WordPress, its a great and easy to use platform. However, I’m not so sure how I feel about ads being displayed on my page without my being asked first. I wonder what options will exist if I see an ad for one of the companies on my Made in USA Hall of Shame list? That will be quite an awkward moment!

A change in the Made in the USA tide

November 16, 2012

Nice to see such a change in the tide!!

“Made in USA” label popular in China, too: study

November 14, 2012|Nick Zieminski | Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – “Made in USA” seems to resonate well beyond the USA.

Consumers in China are willing to pay a premium for certain products labeled “Made in USA” because they see them as more durable and of higher quality, a new study found.

The report, by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), found 61 percent of Chinese consumers would pay more for a product made in the United States. When products are of similar price or quality, about 47 percent prefer the U.S.-made alternative, more than double the number who would pick the Chinese-made item.

“The Chinese consumer is quietly concerned about what they’re getting,” said Hal Sirkin, a BCG senior partner and co-author of the BCG study.

Consumers are responding to recent cases of lead paint in toys, tainted milk and other scandals that, in some cases, led to severe penalties for those responsible. As more Chinese enter the middle class, they will increasingly look for value in the goods they buy rather than just the lowest price, which will pressure Chinese manufacturers to improve quality, Sirkin said.

Chinese consumers’ preference for U.S. goods, of course, is not as strong as U.S. consumers’, and its causes are different: Chinese shoppers more often cite durability and environmental impact than do shoppers in the United States.

Not Made in USA: Abercrombie and Fitch: worst offender of them all

November 6, 2012

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. After reviewing a few companies whose clothing are all foreign made, I decided on the worst offender of them all to send a complaint email to. An executive at Abercrombie and Fitch will receive the following in their inbox tomorrow.

Dear Abercrombie and Fitch executive,

Over the past 10 years, I have read countless reports of your company’s extremely unethical business practices. The charge that your company forced migrant workers to make clothes in a foreign country under slave like conditions is horrendous and anti humanitarian. (http://www.treehugger.com/style/are-these-unethical-fashion-brands-hiding-in-your-closet.html) I do believe in second chances and giving one a chance to defend themselves. However, given the vast amount of public documents substantiating all of your company’s anti humane practices, I believe any defense counter argument does not have legs to stand on. You are however welcome to make one and I will of course listen with an open mind. However, one of the best ways in which your company can wash away the stain of your company’s poor PR and which will guarantee quality and earn many happy consumers is to stop making foreign made clothes and instead switch to making all of your clothes in the USA. This step would go a longer way to creating a good name for your company than another cheaply made semi pornographic ad showing underage and uncomfortable looking models. I hope you consider this positive step for your company.

Sincerely,

Made in USA Fan

Lucky

October 31, 2012

I’m wondering who will be the lucky company that I will fire off a complaint letter to this week?? So many candidates! This is not mean to disparage these companies but rather to inform these companies that making their clothes in the USA will result in more sales of their clothes. I hope they listen.


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