I would like to introduce a contributing writer to my blog, his name is Don Irwin. Don has held a number of jobs over the past 40+ years. In the 1980′s Don sold screen printed and embroidered apparel as well as promotional products. It was during this period that he was able to see first hand the decline of the American apparel industry. He witnessed such iconic brands as Hanes, Russell Athletic and Union Underwear (Fruit of the Loom), leave our shores for parts unknown. These days Don works as a supplier to a major retailer. When he visits stores, he gets to see first hand what is available to consumers. He also mentioned to me that he does most of the shopping for his household so he reads a lot of packages, no doubt looking to see where items are made, as I obviously do the same. Several weeks ago Don stumbled across my blog and contacted me with a few ideas he had for my site. I asked Don if he wouldn’t mind contributing his ideas to my blog himself as he is obviously as passionate about The Made In America Movement as I am, Don obliged. Welcome Don and thank you for your efforts and for sharing your insights with us.
In my almost 60 years in this great nation, I have seen nearly every piece of my clothing go from being made in the USA, to being made in every county except the USA. I have seen nearly everything I have in my kitchen, nearly everything I purchase to run my home, nearly everything I own, go from being made in America, to being made from around the world. The only exception is my car, which was assembled in America, but is built of mostly foreign parts.
It is not my intention to rehash the many reasons we have reached this point. It is unlikely that we will go back to things being the way they were. None of us can control all the forces that combine to form the global economy. Each of us, however, can do more to increase the amount of goods we buy, that are entirely made in the USA, or have contents that include American made parts, or at the very least, goods assembled in this country.
My purpose in contributing to this blog is to help foster ideas that help us to succeed in meeting these objectives. No single idea will work alone. Manufacturers and retailers need to do more. Social media can spread the news to a wider audience. Readers will need help in directing their support to urge retailers to not only stock more USA made products, but just as importantly, make it easier for each of us to find the products they currently carry. How many of us check the country of origin while we are shopping before we bring the products home?
In my next post, I will explain how a single can of oven cleaner and my honey-do list, motivated me to get more involved in the drive to buy American made products.