People often ask us how we started buying only Made in USA clothing and more importantly how we are able to do it. Well, it all started very organically about 6 years ago. We started looking at our clothing tags and realized that all of the brands that we grew up with such as Ralph Lauren, Land’s End, LL Bean, Nike, etc...etc... - brands that used to manufacture in the USA - were now all imported. These iconic brands were once the epitome of fine craftmanship and quality, words synonymous with being American-Made. Recognizing this harsh evolution and subsequent decimation of the U.S. apparel industry, we issued a challenge to each other to only buy Made in USA for a few months. It was quite difficult at first until we started looking outside malls and big-box chains. Now this little challenge has turned into a lifestyle for us and has lasted over 6 years. Once we started paying attention to the labels it became impossible to ignore them. We evolved into label conscious consumers. Ones who are willing to start the conversation about where the products Americans buy are made and why it matters. There are so many more reasons than you think!
Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans say they would like to buy goods manufactured inside the United States. But according to a recent AP poll, those items are perceived to be too costly or difficult to find. This is one of the main reasons we created our Instagram blog Stars & Stripes Collective. We wanted to share the valuable information and amazing American manufacturers we have found in our quest to buy Made in USA. Our goal is to educate and show others that it doesn’t have to be expensive or inconvenient to be “label conscious”. Stars & Stripes Collective regularly posts about where to purchase products made stateside because nothing helps your fellow American more than when you buy American.
We consistently tackle the cost issue in our blog. We see Americans being cleverly deceived by these companies that have moved overseas. No matter how the company may spin their story, it’s a calculated bottom line business decision. This business decision puts Profits-Over-People and purposely outsources the clothing production overseas to exploit foreign workers and plunder their land. This clothing is many times made cheaply, in both cost & quality. It is then shipped back to the U.S. – halfway around the world and the consumer is charged a premium price. Stars & Stripes Collective highlights American-Made companies that produce similar products at about the same price as these sought after imports. One of our more recent “Buy This/Not That” posts highlighted Boathouse in comparison to an expensive and well-known import.
We stumbled upon Boathouse this past winter while searching the Internet for Made in USA fleece coats. They are one of the few American apparel companies that have refused to outsource their clothing production to the overseas market. Only about 3% of our apparel today is manufactured in the USA. This stands in stark contrast from just 50 years ago when 90% of our clothing was made here. Boathouse designs, tests, and makes their premium athletic apparel and outerwear in their North Philadelphia factory - where they have been proudly American-Made since 1976! Their story has a rich history and deep sense of pride that resonates and encompasses the American Dream. We love their fleece, and their American-Made Waterproof Gore-Tex® Outerwear is priced less than virtually all other brands selling retail, and have been showcasing Boathouse across our social media accounts since we found them.
The ideals of Stars & Stripes Collective mesh seamlessly with the buy American mantra of Boathouse. We are very excited to announce that we are now brand ambassadors for them!
We are looking forward to promoting the Boathouse product line since we are receiving top-notch American-Made quality, contributing to a cleaner environment, supporting fair wages, building a stronger economy and keeping our fellow Americans employed. We hope you will join us and Go the Extra Mile for American Made Style. There are so many small businesses that depend on you to help achieve their American-Made Dream!
Jennifer & Stephen Imig
Stars & Stripes Collective
Want more info on where you can buy American? Check out Jen and Stephen's blog Stars & Stripes Collective. Have a recommendation on an American-Made company we should check out? Comment below.