Buy American

It would be ridiculous to think that everything I own must be made in the states. I understand the concept of a global economy and don’t expect things to go back to 1940. But by the same token, we should not live in a country that doesn’t produce a single thing besides tanks and F14s. The only way that companies are going to choose domestic manufacturing is if the positives outweigh the negatives. Consumer demand is one easy way to offset the expensive labor, lack of suppliers and all of the other factors that compel companies look the other way. With that in mind, the good people at Valet asked me to put together a little “Buy American” piece for their “31 Days” feature. Click through and let Valet break you off some nationalistic knowledge.


Comments on “Buy American

    dan on January 27, 2009 12:55 PM:

    Ask and you shall receive. Just yesterday I emailed about the perfect white shirt, ala J. Crew and others, and today….

    This morn at the market I saw an elderly farmer sporting his new Red Wings 875’s. I said, “Nice boots, sir.” He just tipped his hat. How cool is that??

    Abe on January 27, 2009 3:25 PM:

    “But by the same token, we should not live in a country that doesn’t produce a single thing besides tanks and F14s. ”

    Indeed, although it must be said that to a large degree what remains of the US garment manufacturing and textile industries is there because the US Military demands that anything it buys be at least 51% of US origin. Danner is a great example, would they still be US made if they could sell Chinese made to the government? Who knows…

    BOBT on January 27, 2009 3:42 PM:

    I love Levi’s but in order to get a pair that is made in the USA and of vintage design, I have to order my Levi’s from Europe. There is no reason why a larger company like Levi’s can not sell some of their Niche items like LVC in limited supply on their Web Site.

    larsd4 on January 27, 2009 3:44 PM:

    Michael, I don’t understand this quote. “It’s about time we as Americans hold companies that shun domestic manufacturing to as high of standards as our Japanese friends.” I love your efforts to support USA manufacturing. I just don’t get the quote. Could be I’m dim.

    H on January 27, 2009 3:52 PM:

    “The only way that companies are going to choose domestic manufacturing is if the positives outweigh the negatives. Consumer demand is one easy way to offset the expensive labor, lack of suppliers and all of the other factors that compel companies look the other way.”

    They first have to make a compelling case for my demand, no?

    Michael Williams on January 27, 2009 4:01 PM:

    Larsd4 — Americans should demand that more U.S. products are made here. If smaller companies like Band of Outsiders gets it, why can’t Levis or regular Woolrich for that matter. Regular Woolrich barely makes anything in the states anymore. It took the Italians to come in and produce a line that is made in American.

    Abe — I know this. The only reason there are any mills left in America is because of the military. Your Danner statement reinforces my point. We as consumers need to demand that shit is made in the US, just as the government does.


    nick goddard on January 27, 2009 4:05 PM:

    Howdy– this is my first comment on this blog but I have heard of it before. Anyway, I created a website in 2006 about the importance of buying american-made products. I won’t go on and on about it but you might like to check it out. America Delivered.

    BOBT on January 27, 2009 5:38 PM:

    My next car is going to be American Made. The smoothest driving car I ever was in was my Father’s Buick – No more Toyota’s for me

    Abe on January 27, 2009 6:05 PM:

    Michael, doing my best to increase demand for American made garments! So far so good. Wish I could find the mills to match..

    As a fresh face to the garment world it’s pretty insane how deeply the industry is structured to tilt all the production overseas. When you say you are doing US production people look at you like you are nuts. Also an eye opener when I talk to people still doing US production and learn that they would rather be overseas minus some random factor like military contracts or minimums or whatnot.

    The scariest thing is that when it comes to the latest production techniques, US made isn’t even an option. You can go to Vancouver or you can go overseas, that’s it…

    (well I’m still chasing one rumor of a US spot up the par, but no luck yet.)

    Veronika on January 27, 2009 11:41 PM:

    I have so much to say about this subject, but I don’t want to complain too much. I just wish that people would think more before buying things.

    stephanie huntington on January 28, 2009 12:16 AM:

    I am wearing my Danner boots right now, as in it was snowing, so I grabbed my Danners or I was DR ing so I grabbed my Danners.

    Hobo Ken on January 28, 2009 12:26 AM:

    What we really need is a sneaker company to go “Made in USA” again.

    Peter on January 28, 2009 10:15 AM:

    I agree with Veronika, that consumers should think more about what they’re buying. I feel like folks have become accustomed to (maybe now even feeling entitled to) things that are trendy, and extremely cheap (H&M, Zara, etc.). They’ve gotten used to buying cheap clothing and just tossing it out before the season is even over, without any thought or hesitation. There seems to be less thought about longevity, or where and how the garment was made. In some ways it mirrors how people eat, with no concern to the food source, just how it looks and tastes to them in the end.

    Dave on January 28, 2009 10:48 AM:

    I own that pair of Danners. Bought ’em in 1999 and they still look close to brand new. They’re fantastic – can’t recommend them enough.

    The price point was steep at the time (about $470 CDN) but for nigh on 10 years’ worth of wear, it works out to $47 per year. A bargain, if you ask me.


    H on January 28, 2009 11:20 AM:

    Peter, I know where you’re coming from, but I don’t apologize at all for feeling entitled to the H&M’s of the world. In fact, they filled a market niche that was bigger than anyone previously realized. The reality is that most clothes are flipped by a season or two’s end. Shouldn’t we not have to pay exorbitant prices for those items?

    Or when it comes to things like basics–your solid colored shirts, underwear, etc. I should be able to go to a store like Uniqlo and get them on the cheap. And I do. And I will never look back.

    Dean on January 28, 2009 11:21 AM:

    Over the last few years I’ve made a decision to buy as much American made clothing as I can. As a result I’ve acquired Rag & Bone, Engineered Garments, Endovanera and other fine clothing that not only is made here but has great styling and craftsmanship. I’d like to encourage online retailers to start posting where the garment is made. For instance today I’m returning a shirt that I was led to believe by the manufacturer -and online retailers-was made in this country and yet when I received it I there was a “made in China” tag below the designer’s label.

    BOBT on January 28, 2009 11:56 AM:

    I purchased a pair of Levis vintage clothing line (MADE IN THE USA) from on online store called They are based in Germany with Fantastic customer service.

    They fit me like a glove – The denim is a joy to wear. I’m one of your older readers so the denim felt just like I used to wear in the 70’s .

    Good old fashioned USA customer service and quality can be had, but I had to order from Europe to get it.

    pablovia on January 28, 2009 2:49 PM:

    Hey Mike,

    I work on brand that makes in America but I thought I’d turn you onto some American product that totally feels ACL:

    great journals, leather goods, my new gift nirvana.

    Steve on January 28, 2009 4:05 PM:

    You make a good point, but buying American made products is one of the best ways to fix this economic mess. We need our money to stay in our own nation. We need to support local businesses, local crops and local services. This is not isolationism, it is common sense. We owe it to our children to turn around our manufacturing sector, Otherwise, they will be left to flipping burgers in an impoverished America.

    There are tons more information about this and other Buy American topics and discussions at my favorite blog site, give it a look!

    dan on January 28, 2009 7:30 PM:

    I’m sure some of you are active in the outdoors. Beyond Clothing out of Seattle is 100% US made, and it’s custom-fit. A good option if you don’t mind the wait.

    Veronika on January 29, 2009 3:29 AM:

    Dan, what is this ‘outdoors’ you speak of?

    Dusty on February 4, 2009 12:54 PM:

    This is a genuine question and not an asshole statement — how can we effectively “Buy American” without this type of shit happening?:

    dan on March 30, 2009 3:19 AM:

    ill believe it when i see it.i hear this same crap from the people ive worked with but when it came down to it they will talk but not walk.ive bought american most my life just because i wanted quality for my clothes cars what ever.i work in a union shop and the most of every body there doesnt care figure that 1 out. just as long as they get thiers they dont weve gone from 3 shifts to 1 and after almost 9 years im laid off.we got what we had coming.if it helps thers pointer brand-diamond gusset-union line-new balance-texas jeans.good luck

    de Carli on June 15, 2009 3:16 PM:

    I agree with the issue of; “designed in California, assembly in China” but as a brazilian ho admires the american icons and products i need to say that american products are much, much better than similars overseas…the same factory that assembly a wine cellar in china send their products to USA and Brazil, but as the US have more quality demand, the products are not the same…if i buy a GE fridge in here it´ll last for 5 or 7 years top…the same fridge in US last for 10 or more…the same goes for cars, clothes ent etc.

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