Made in America! I’m all for it!
The remarkable Amelia Earhart once said; “Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.” An interesting perspective from a great adventurer. Perhaps her travels deepened her appreciation for and commitment to what she had at home. Certainly, that has been my experience.
This is compounded by having an immigrant mother who loves America, and I in turn have developed a deep sense of responsibility to my home turf. Not to the exclusion of others, I love the richness of our world. But, my love of country is great.
Now, let me take an honest inventory of my fridge and closet. I’ll be right back...
I’m back. In my kitchen I found mostly products from the USA; basil, kale, strawberries, yogurt drink, milk, bread. Go team!
However, butter and chocolate; are from Belgium. Blackberries from Mexico.
Not a bad ratio.
I’m a big fan of this particular butter, so I’ll stick with it. The chocolate, no matter…I’ll look for USA brand next time. And blackberries…I bought them because they were cheaper than the organic USA farmed ones…room for improvement.
My closet is an entirely different story…I have very little made in the USA clothing…and NO American made shoes. Not one pair in a closet of …let’s just say…many!
Shoes and sandals from Italy, Spain and loads of China.…what?!? How can that be? How can I turn this around?
Via Spiga and Donald Pliner shoes are both made in Italy…and are hands down my favorite dress shoe designers…so, I know I’m not giving them up. China made Adidas and Rykä are the athletic shoes with the best foot comfort for me, so I’m going to stick with them. Realistic decisions for where I am today.
But, what about the “one in every color” ballet flats and flip-flops I fill my closet with? China, China, China! My resolve is to search for a made in America brand, spend a little more and get one classic color that will go with everything…a medium gray, or metallic for summer is always a good bet.
Hang on a moment, while I Google “made in the USA flip-flops”…
WOW! I just came across a company called, Okabashi. One word…AMAZING!
From what I see, great designs, great colors, 5 star reviews, excellent pricing (actually less expensive than my favorite imported Reefs), 100% recycled…and…wait for it…made in the USA!
This is not to say that I’ll never again impulse buy a cute little pair of $20 ballet flats from Old Navy, nor buy my super comfy Reef flip flops…I love ‘em. But, I’m committing to you that for every import item I buy, I’ll now buy a comparable American made item.
Meaning, if a random pair of ballet flats are $20...I’ll want to think twice...do I want to buy an import for $20 and $60 on a USA brand, or do I want to wait and go USA? My answer may be different depending on the day…and, how much expendable income I have….but, I will make a conscious choice.
Your choices may be different from mine, or your friend’s. For me, cost is a consideration. And, just as — if not more — importantly, I feel good when I buy American! And in turn, buying American contributes to my overall well being! Hmmm...
I’m beginning to see, what has been missing for me has been a clear shopping ethic. It’s been easy for me to abstractly pronounce “buy American!”
However, the reality is my “get one in every color ‘cause they’re cheap” head is only just beginning to come out of the entitlement sand. Or, conversely, the “I can’t afford it” treadmill….
No shame, just sayin’…how can I expect things to change for me and truly live within my values, if I don’t take stock?
Thanks to you, my faithful readers, that’s what I’ve begun to do here today…and, I hope you’ll join me!
It may not be flip-flops that set you on the path, perhaps it’s jeans, or a “launching soon Lucky Duck Living made in America t‑shirt” (shameless plug, I know!)
Whatever it is, whether in your kitchen, closet, or the services you use; the benefit you gain in your spirit from buying American just may be greater than saving a few bucks, or getting twice as many!
The question isn’t “can I afford to buy American”...the question is can I afford not to? My experience is that going with my gut is always a positive building block for even greater things to come!
Amelia Earhart also said, “I want to do it because I want to do it!”
Whatever you do, please do not buy American because I say so, or because you feel guilty if you don’t. If your true mission is abroad, I applaud you. However...if buying American and supporting domestic non-profits feels like the right thing to do, go for it! Or...do both!
If you don’t know where to start, be sure to check out the feel good USA LOVE LIST! Their website is an amazing resource for made in America apparel, household goods and gift ideas.
Is there one thing you want to change in your shopping patterns? What is it? An item you buy? An attitude? Don’t leave me hang in’! PLEASE share with us all!
As always, I’m in your corner….
Thanks so much for the enthusiastic mention of USA Love List and your thoughtful post on buying American! We are doing what we can to make it EASIER to find American-made products. I think a lot of people feel like you and I do, wanting to support American jobs, but sometimes it can be really tricky! In some categories, it is not too hard to find those magic words, Made in USA, once you learn which brands to look for. In others, it is more of a challenge — one of the hardest is women’s shoes. Summer time gives us more options than winter. You found Okabashi. I’m also a lifelong fan of Jack Rogers. And in case no one has said it to you lately, THANK YOU for making your Lucky Duck Living shirts in the US. I know you had a choice and these small choices add up.
You are SO welcome...but, all I did was shine a little light on all YOUR handwork! 🙂 We are all so busy, and your mission to make it easier to locate and support made in America products is such a need in today’s marketplace. If there is ANYTHING I can do to support you further, please let me know!
And, you are right...it can be tricky to locate American products! I might add...it is just as tricky — in my experience — to actually arrange for domestic manufacturing. Honestly, it would have been exponentially easier and cheaper to manufacture abroad, or, even just buy made in America blanks. But, I’m committed to creating the best fitting, best feeling, best looking, happiness making Lucky Duck Living t‑shirt evah!
Thank YOU for acknowledging my efforts. It is my privilege...I am so pleased we are walking this path together.