Last year I learned a lot about the global garment industry. My company, You and Who, decided we were going to make the switch to using our own, custom, made in USA T-Shirt. And since that point I feel like I need to carefully choose the products that I buy – to walk the walk so to speak, so I can talk the talk.
So, the other day I was in a major department store to get a new button down shirt. I looked around the whole store then circled back to the ones I liked. I was trying to find something in of the $20-35 range. I forgot at first though to check the labels for where the shirts were made. The $19.99 ones were all made in China or Bangladesh. I set out to find a shirt made in the USA but… there were none. Zero.
I noticed a Tommy Hilfiger shirt for around that price and it was made in Mauritius, a place I had never heard of. I googled it and found the wikipedia entry that I just linked to. It seemed like the best option compared with the other shirts that were made in China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, India or Pakistan. So I bought it. However, turns out that Mauritius is on par with those other places, it may even be worse. Workers there make about $10 US for a days work and there were some unsettling reports I read on the interwebs.
So today I looked on the same interwebs, well, different pages, to find some good Made in USA button down shirt options. There aren’t a lot of them. Jack Robie seems like a good option, they have button downs on sale for $67.50. If you know of any others, please let me know! Tweet me @dangigante (just make sure you add the . at the start so everyone can see it. Wait, you don’t know about the .? Learn about the number one mistake everybody makes on Twitter (except me, and soon, perhaps, you))
Oh, and I’m ok with the fact that in order to get the shirt I want, I have to pay a little more for it. I’m willing to pay for quality. I’m willing to pay to support US jobs. I better be, I’m asking people to do the same to buy a Made in the USA T-Shirt from You and Who for $42. Maybe in the future you’ll be able to buy a buy-one give button down from You and Who, how cool would that be? People in need could use a button down for interviews.