Friday, December 26, 2008

American Made vs. Overseas Manufacturing

Posed this question in several forums recently and was surprised at the findings. Being in the apparel industry, this question has kept me awake at night wondering how the outdoor community would respond and how I should treat the issue. Assuming manufacturing quality and service equal, should the bottom line dictate the final decision?

The response was overwhelmingly in favor of “did not affect their buying decision”. Some of the responses were the following:

“It’s just a ten dollar shirt.”
“If Americans can’t make the same item for a competitive price, they don’t deserve the business.”
“How you make a profit shouldn’t matter as much as the product itself.”
“You have to think about what is best for your company’s profitability and employees.”
“I never look at the label to see if it is American made.”

This truly surprised me as the outdoor community is heritage driven proud Americans. However, in looking at it closer, with today’s economy being in the toilet, job loss at its’ greatest in years, the housing crisis, and the failing of our financial institutions, every individual is looking out for their families best interest. Personally, I agree…professionally, I’m still on the fence.

So I’ll answer the question you may be thinking. Where are the Field Dress t-shirts manufactured? Presently, they are made by a company in Canada, however, recent reports have indicated they have been closing factories in Canada and moving their plants south of the border. I am certain of one thing regarding Field Dress. I am looking for a new manufacturer…where I will find the right fit is still in the think tank.

Your responses would be greatly appreciated.

Hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas and safe New Year.

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