With today’s hard times, I decided to become a better citizen and try to buy American-made products. That was an eye-opener.
Every year we have a large family gathering at our home; kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, friends — about 33 people in all. To us it is a family time to reflect on why we celebrate and count our blessings. With this also comes traditions passed down through the family. Which brings me to write this letter.
The men in the family, young and old, have always been Levi’s jean wearers. Now a few months back, I read or heard the Levi Strauss Co. was moving the manufacturing of jeans to Mexico. I was upset about this, a favorite U.S. jeans company is now an importer.
Well, like everyone else, I got over it as the label says “Made of U.S. material, manufactured in Mexico.” Now, the leather label still reads: “US Patent – May 20 – 1873 – Levi Strauss”.
So as I was shopping last week, I cringed at the prices, even on sale, but I happened to look at the inside label that says “Made In” — I found six different countries that now make Levi’s: Haiti, Egypt, Bangladesh, Lesotho, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Mexico was the one and only made of U.S. material.
Labor may be cheap abroad, but that is not reflected on the retail prices. Is this helping our economy, jobs, taxes? Not only the Levi Strauss Co. is doing this, but the famed Carhart brand, Great Northwest, and many women’s clothing brands. I was really shocked to see products with these brand names coming from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, China and several other overseas countries.
After all this, I decided to give up, go home, save my money, and rethink my intention to help our economy and buy American.