Made in the USA: Good for the Economy and Environment
"Made in the US is more about positive social impact than just the environmental impact. It is about local economies, knowing where things are made, making things ourselves, not being reliant on overseas labor, shipping, supply chains, etc., in addition to the environmental benefits."
- Scott Hamlin, Looptworks Founder
In our globalized economy, much of what we consume on a daily basis, including our food, is produced elsewhere and imported. Over the last century, a large chunk of the nation's manufacturing jobs have moved overseas to save on production costs and to avoid stringent environmental protection legislation.
When it comes to buying and manufacturing in our home country, the three biggest perks are lowering carbon footprints and pollution, guaranteed safe and fair working conditions, and supporting local economy.
The Environment Wins
Purchasing products made locally means fewer fossil fuels being burned for shipping of materials and finished goods, reducing their carbon footprint in transit to American stores or customers.
Additionally, air and water regulations are often more relaxed in many manufacturing countries, allowing overseas production to contribute to pollutions of air and water with large amounts of hazardous chemicals.
Another variable in supporting American-made sustainability is the reduced amount of packaging necessary for transport. When shipping products from overseas, extensive protective packaging is used, most of which is unsustainable. For locally produced products, it is often possible to ship and sell them in a way that requires far less packaging.
Looptworks Founder, Scott Hamlin realized early the logistical hurdles in conducting business overseas also affect us in surprising ways. "An environmental impact that is not as obvious, is that due to overseas manufacturing being a long lead time supply chain, it is difficult to re-order in a timely manner. As such, many companies create more inventory than they might need to make sure they do not run out of stock. As a result, materials and products are over produced, leading to more waste. Having a closer, faster supply chain, allows for re-orders and not over producing, leading to better inventory management and less waste."
Keep in mind that American-made doesn't necessarily mean that the product itself is greener than a product made overseas but when considering the entire manufacturing process, it’s likely that American-made products are more eco-friendly. In some cases the opposite may be true. Moving larger wholesale shipments from farther away can be more fuel efficient than a few items being shipped a shorter distance.
Other Humans Win
In addition to having weaker environmental regulations, the countries that produce goods Americans buy often have lesser laws to protect the rights of workers. While there are many certified, trustworthy factories, the lack of regulations allows for the alternative as well. By choosing to produce in the US, regulations tend to be more standard and transparency of the production process is increased.
The Local Economy Wins
US Manufacturers also (ideally) pay US taxes, which (again, ideally) benefits the environment through government re-investment in education, public transportation, research in science & healthcare and more. Buying American-made goods doesn’t just support the workers who make those goods. Its benefits also ripple out through the entire economy.
We make many of our products here in the USA. The bulk of our product development is performed in our workshop in Portland, Oregon. Products are designed, mocked up and sampled by our team of makers and sewers. Some go on to be made here in the USA, in our workshop or in our partner factories in Portland, Vancouver (WA) or Los Angeles.
Our goal is to eventually close the loop, and see the upcycling process as just one element of our eventual goal.
Like the products we make abroad, domestically produced items are made in limited editions. However, our runs of products made here are smaller than those produced overseas, making them more exclusive.
When you purchase a Looptworks product that was made here in the states, you're supporting and contributing to our local economy. Thanks for helping us upcycle!
Shop Looptworks Made in the USA Collection.