There are more costs associated with a product than just the one that you see on the price tag. The origin of the goods that you choose to purchase affects your family, your neighbors, and even the world around you. Actions speak louder than words, and by becoming a more conscious consumer, you can made an incredible difference over time. Consider four of the biggest reasons that you should be keeping an eye out for made in the USA products.
#1: Enjoy Higher Quality Products
Beyond any of the other loftier benefits associated with purchasing made in USA goods, there is the simple fact that items manufactured in America are typically of higher quality. In fact, according to a Consumer Reports survey, nearly 80% of respondents say that they would prefer to purchase made in USA products for this reason. And yet, our dependence on foreign imports continues to rise.
While paying significantly less for something has obvious appeal, just think about it: Would you rather buy something for half the price, and then continually re-purchase once the product inevitably wears out, or would you prefer to pay a higher price up front, which you can enjoy for a significantly longer period of time? All too often we end up paying more in the long run as a result of buying cheap foreign-made goods.
When you buy made in USA products, you don’t have to worry about whether the materials are harmful, and could possibly break down over time, making you sick or hurting the environment. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has been put in place for this reason. Less expensive products mean less expensive parts and materials. This results in the ongoing hassle of having to re-purchase, but it also reinforces our “throw away culture.” Which brings me to my next point.
#2: The Planet Will Thank You
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are over 3,000 active landfills in the United States. More often than not, this is where cheap, foreign-made products will end up, with dangerous chemicals seeping into our soil and water. Made in USA goods last longer, which can dramatically cut down on the amount of waste and pollution.
When people think about their carbon footprint, they often think of it from the standpoint of their immediate self, for example: biking to work as opposed to driving. But remember that the products you consume are also traveling, and made in USA goods have a far shorter commute than anything imported. What’s more, the shipping process in the United States is also much faster and reliable. How many of us have spent weeks—or longer—waiting for a purchase from China to arrive, only for it to get lost in the mail or arrive damaged? I know I have, probably more often than I’d like to admit!
#3: Support Ethical Work Environments
It’s easy to forget that other countries do not have the same safety standards in their workplaces, compared to companies that manufacture made in USA products. You’ve likely read about the Bangladeshi factory that collapsed, killing over a thousand people, or the nets that were put outside of a Chinese manufacturing facility, in order to stop employees from committing suicide due to low wages and extreme hours.
When you purchase made in USA goods and services, you do not have to worry about whether the person working the machine was paid a fair wage, or if they suffered in an unsafe or unsanitary work environment. Unfortunately, forced labor (including child labor) is not uncommon in many countries around the world; in many war torn areas, the military will often force civilians into labor, where they typically incur increasing debt to the government along the way. When we purchase products that were manufactured in these environments, we encourage these bad practices to continue.
#4: Benefit Your Friends and Neighbors
Did you know that KitchenAid mixers are made in Greenville, Ohio? Across the country, you’ll find loads of made in the USA goods that are directly benefiting local civilians and communities. By supporting companies that produce their products on American soil, you help create employment opportunities. As a result, you ensure that American citizens will continue to have job security and a paycheck that their families can depend on.
As the United States depends more heavily on foreign products, we also degrade our own manufacturing abilities. Insisting on made in USA products helps encourage national independence, and also increases the number of domestic investment opportunities. Money made in the United States often stays in the United States, which is a big reason why made in USA products are so important.
Ready to Make Your Next Purchase?
It’s undeniable: made in USA products are not only better from a quality standpoint, but also from an environmental, national, and ethical perspective. So the next time that you are looking for a new fall jacket, or to replace your flowerpots or dining set, take the time to find something that was made with care in America.