Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Do You Know Who Makes Your Clothes?

Do you know where your clothes are made?  

via Creative Commons

Most people don't unless they check the label.

If you've been anywhere on the internet in the last few years, there has been more and more information about the conditions in which most clothing is made on this planet.  Sweatshops employing children in terrible conditions are the stories you typically hear.

However, even as recently as thirty years ago (the 1980's), it was not too hard to find a substantial amount of clothing made in America.  Levi's jeans, for one.  All over the southeast of the US, there were clothing mills that made nearly all the t-shirts worn in America.  

They are all gone now.  Many people blame the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Having done some research, it makes sense.  So many manufacturers have moved off shore.

It has been difficult for a long time to find clothes made in America, but if you google search for them, you can find companies.  

Why does it matter?

It matters because in order for us to be a healthy nation, we must adopt the concept that we need to take care of each other (conservative republicans, please move along now and click on Fox News' webpage to read something trashy about Obama instead).  

We need to consider how what we purchase impacts the health of the country as a whole.  Every time we choose to purchase something off shore, we are impacting our country.  When all of the mills closed down in the southeast in the 1980's, it affected everyone in those communities regardless of where they were employed.  Those wages and their economic benefit for the region was completely removed.  Thirty years later, the impact is still felt in this region.

Every time we move business offshore, it impacts us as a country.  Sure, dollars are saved for corporations and stocks may rise because of it, but it is cutting the middle class out of our country and in the long term is not sustainable.

While it would be extremely difficult to purchase an entire wardrobe made in the USA, (I find undergarments and shoes to be a real challenge), consider next time purchasing clothing made in the US.  

One company I have had the pleasure to purchase from over the years is Love Your Peaches Clothing Co.  They are based in rural New York and the clothes are made to order.  The only caveat is you have to be plus-sized to fit into their clothes but there are other companies out there like them, you just have to seek them out.

More than half of my clothes come from Love Your Peaches.  My favorite fabric for clothing is linen, and Janelle Lowe, owner of Love Your Peaches, designs a whole line of linen clothing.  She also designs swim suits.  Colors and styles are updated a couple of times a year. 

The clothes are well made and last for years.  I am 5' 11" and ordering longer length clothing is no trouble at all.  In fact, you can select most of your specifications (length, long or short sleeves, etc.) right when you order.  Need more adjustments than length?  You can do that, too.  Just contact Janelle and likely she can make it happen.

At first you might think the clothes are expensive.  I would beg to differ.  I have sewn my own clothing and considered as a cost savings to do so again.  Pricing quality linen yardage at retail prices, I quickly realized I would spend very close to the same amount sewing my own clothes that I was already paying for clothing from Love Your Peaches. And I can guarantee the pants from Love Your Peaches will fit me better than I can ever sew.  

I encourage you to explore where your clothes are made and if, like me, you are plus-sized, give Love Your Peaches a look.  I doubt you will be disappointed.

Do you care where your clothes are made?  Let me know in the comments!

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