Made in America: What's it Worth to You?

7:53 a.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
715 reviewer rep
3,157 forum posts

This thread is for comments on the article "Made in America: What's it Worth to You?"

Made in America. For many, that designation is an important criteria when choosing goods, including outdoor gear and apparel. It's a semi-regular topic of conversation in our forums. Reasons for buying American-made range from the economic to environmental, the ethical to political. But, supply chains can be far ranging and raise complicated questions. Just look at Patagonia's The Footprint Chron...

Full article at http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2011/12/20/made-in-america.html

1:15 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

I have always bought domestic brand vehicles, but as the article points out: what’s in a name?  Made in USAcerts need refinement.  Individual companies rolling out their own cert programs requires the consumer to do more research if they wish to consider the origins of each article of interest, not to mention the consequence of the additional promotional $effort$ taken by the company to inform the public.  Not sure I want to go through such effort for a pair of socks.  The current certs lack consistency across industries, and in many instances are full of loopholes.  Most of the time I feel I am patronizing a product mostly based on where it calls home, rather than where all the work was performed to produce the article.

Ed

1:17 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

In a global economy domestic production isn't as important as fair production. Items made overseas do a great deal to spur economic growth here at home. As long those foreign made goods are produced and delivered at a living wage under safe, favorable working conditions they should be imported into the U.S. especially if they are of good/durable quality. Just because an item is produced here doesn't necessarily mean it was created without exploiting workers or putting the environment at risk. As long manufacturers follow federally mandated regulations for fair wages and worker safety the free market will handle the rest

2:12 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
120 reviewer rep
137 forum posts

I guess I am the opposite of Ed: I try and buy American whenever possible as long as that doesn't include cars.  Domestic auto manufacturers have been producing an inferior product to their Asian counterparts for years. 

2:15 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

.ghost. said:

 Domestic auto manufacturers have been producing an inferior product to their Asian counterparts for years. 

 Though I definitely agree on anything produced through the 80's and 90's, much of what has produced in the last 4+ years has rivaled and/or outpaced the foreign makers in quality.

2:45 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
120 reviewer rep
137 forum posts

Ford has been doing quite well.  Chrysler / Dodge / Ram still comprise the very dregs of the automotive universe.  Chevy seems to be comfortably mediocre.  

4:32 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

JoyTrip said:

..As long manufacturers follow federally mandated regulations for fair wages and worker safety the free market will handle the rest

I was once a big advocate of all such policy.  The World Free Trade Agreement seemed to promise a bright world wide future.  The problem is the “free market” exists only in name.  Forget about splitting hairs over whether it is a flawed execution, the fact is our official interpretation of a free market is not the same as China’s official take on this concept.  That alone jeopardizes the whole concept.  Another huge flaw is the notion we can enforce policy and compliance.  I can’t get the competing restaurant across the food court from me to comply with our state’s wage/hour regulations; how then are we to deal with enforcing fair trade in a garment shop in Mongolia on the other side of the planet?

Additionally there is the notion that the free market does what is good for the financial world, but not necessarily what is good for the citizen.  Do we really want to give up our cars, houses, electricity and potable water as the free market and fair trade pressures lower our standard of living to that of a “prosperous” Cambodian?  Likewise under-regulated “free” markets are vulnerable to inequities that eventually occur when economies of scale and barriers to entry gives rise to energy, financial, and heavy industry monopolies. Lastly there are the myriad of issues ancillary, but nevertheless consequential, such as variances in environmental policies, over population, location of natural resources, political tourmoil, and other diseconomies that influence where production occurs.   Anyone who thinks there is a viable solution to international trade as it applies to the human condition hasn’t done enough reading on this topic.

Ed

5:38 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,517 forum posts

Show me a non-free market modle that has done anything for the common man. Shoe me how a socialist/communist market incentivises  people to strive for more.

6:04 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
87 reviewer rep
1,086 forum posts

I like to buy local manufactured goods and products. When it has the made in the USA label it shows support of our neighbors. Many industries such as textile have been removed to other countries. With the wool industry trying to gain hold in the U.S. I hope to see a new start for textiles again.

6:13 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Where something is made really doesn't carry much weight with me anymore. 

As long as I get my moneys worth all is fine. If a product fails I make sure on the initial purchase that it carries a warranty that will cover me later on down the road. 

Vehicle wise? Not sure why we are touching that here but if you take into consideration the electronics that go into a vehicle there truly is not a vehicle in production today that is 100% "made in America."

7:24 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
9 reviewer rep
119 forum posts

I love MIA products across the board.  Good quality, know your supporting USA.  I dont own an American car however my car was made in South Carolina if that makes a difference.  German company however.

11:25 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
14 reviewer rep
318 forum posts

I buy products that have the best quality. I check the reviews of people that use the product first. Then I search for the best price. The idea of national products died with free trade. I was opposed to free trade then and I still think the world would have been better off without it.

I think a real free market would help the USA and put us back on top.

Licenses, permits and permission for everything is destroying the country.

12:13 a.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

wherever possible made in a favorite country is my best choice

3:02 a.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

I buy Canadian first and then "old Commonwealth" as in the UK, Oz and Kiwi next, without exception. I am a rockhard, Canadian ulra-nationalist, nativist and conservationist and I hate NAFTA and any weakening of our former tariff-protection and environmental standards with a passion.

I am totally opposed to any sale to any foreign nation of any Canadian raw resource, this includes hydropower and petro resources and this attitude is rapidly growing here. I oppose any foreign hunting or fishing here and would institute mandatory permits for any hiking, backpacking and climbing-skiing in Canada, and make this into a viable industry to help finance saving the relatively large areas of true wilerness we still have left.

I drive Toyotas, would never change except to a Mercedes Gelindawagen and perhaps a Unimog and I also buy US-made gear. I WILL NOT buy Chinese anything if I can avoid it and will pay more to do so and I also avoid buying any other Asian made goods and also Russian. I put my hardearned money where my mouth is.

I can recall when Canadians bought high quality Canadian made products and now the "neo-con" traitor minions of the mega-corporatists have sold us out through NAFTA and other vile deals and we now sell off our irreplaceable oil so foreigners can buy gas at lower prices than we can. Very little is made here now and younger people are so brainwashed in our "education system" than they accept this travesty as a natural course of events. But, what goes around, comes around......

8:40 a.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
715 reviewer rep
3,157 forum posts

Though I wrote this blog from a "Made in America" viewpoint, I'm glad we've had at least one international viewpoint so far. Any others?

9:05 a.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,627 reviewer rep
1,272 forum posts

As far as hiking/climbing gear. A lot of it does come from places where workers are chained to sewing machines and such.  Still though, its up to my government to pressure them to change their policies, not me.  If my government does not the free market will like it did in Japan.  When I buy stuff made in Sri Lanka or some other third world slum, like Idaho or Eastern Washington, I actually benefit these poor souls who are much better off with that menial, unsafe workplace than without.

If you think your favorite outdoor equipment is expensive now, wait until its made in a union plant in the US where operators make $45/ hour and only work two hours between each of their breaks. 

I'd rather give my money to some hard-working person overseas than an entitled, lazy slug who spends most of his day writing grievances about the color of the drinking fountain. 

I think that qualifies as a rant.

11:45 a.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,517 forum posts

Sing it Sage. I am a MADE IN AMERICA person at heart, but unions have priced their products out of my range. There was a use for the unions, when conditions required it to truely make the workplace safe. Now we have enough government intervention into safety that unions exist for the purpose of self perpetuation. They have destroyed our manufacturing sector. And don't get me started on the absolute WRONGNESS of collelctive bargaining in government jobs. I work for the government and we have no union. we are paid less than our counterparts who do, but we do ok none the less. I chose government because I want to prosecute and you cannot do that privately. I know that my pay is 20-40k less then if I chose private sector work. My choice. Money isn't everything.  But the union government employees give the rest of us a bad name with their whining and crying and complaining and other stereotypical behavior. At this point I buy quality and it just so happens much of the quality is not made here any more.

12:28 p.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
87 reviewer rep
1,086 forum posts

giftogab said:

Sing it Sage. I am a MADE IN AMERICA person at heart, but unions have priced their products out of my range. There was a use for the unions, when conditions required it to truely make the workplace safe. Now we have enough government intervention into safety that unions exist for the purpose of self perpetuation. They have destroyed our manufacturing sector. And don't get me started on the absolute WRONGNESS of collelctive bargaining in government jobs. I work for the government and we have no union. we are paid less than our counterparts who do, but we do ok none the less. I chose government because I want to prosecute and you cannot do that privately. I know that my pay is 20-40k less then if I chose private sector work. My choice. Money isn't everything.  But the union government employees give the rest of us a bad name with their whining and crying and complaining and other stereotypical behavior. At this point I buy quality and it just so happens much of the quality is not made here any more.

 So true about unions It could be said about equal oppertunity as well. Laws that are truly no longer needed. But product manufactureing is outright gone in this country.We need to get it back and the quality we once had.. Because it is about quality not quantity.

1:29 p.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
930 forum posts

As skibum pointed out, you could buy a Toyota, a Subaru, or a Mercedes and still be buying American and be supporting American workers in American factories. At the same time, you could be buying a Chrysler or a Ford, made in the US, with parts made in Mexico, Japan, or elsewhere.

If you buy a Primaloft insulated jacket from one of more than 30 different major labels, you could find that it was produced and its fabric produced next to all the others in a sprawling factory complex overseas.

The US NE was once home to a large domestic shoe industry. Unfortunately, the market economy has driven all but one major athletic shoe maker out of business or into manufacturing overseas. New Balance is still made in Maine, but competition from overseas could change that.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/07/29/business/new-balance-struggles-as-last-remaining-major-u-s-athletic-shoemaker/

While I would prefer to buy domestically, if only to reduce my carbon footprint(go Ibex), I can't always find the product I need produced domestically. I am as careful as I can be, to purchase goods not made in sweat shops. Mostly, this involves having to trust the manufacturer's PR, which can often be suspect.

I know Galibier boots are still made in France, from leather produced in the Alps. I also know that the major Filson garments are produced right here in Seattle.

5:04 p.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

I think the whole union/non-union thing has huge biases on both sides of the debate.  It doesn’t help that many participants in this debate have little if any close up experience, or experience from only one side of the coin.

Having worked early in my career as a metal tradesman, then several decades more as an engineer and IT professional for manufacturing, I have spent most of my working life in both union and non-union shops, both as labor and as management.  My experience indicated the viability of these arrangements and overall productivity was not the cultural differences between union and non-union shops, it was the manner in which individuals at every level behaved, and the workplace culture these individuals forged.  Rotten company management and inept or crooked union bosses can be marginalized by committed subordinates.  Likewise the labor force itself, both union and non-union are drawn from the same neighborhoods with the same work ethic.  Therefore effective leadership should be just as capable of creating productive workplace culture in a union shop as in a non-union shop. 

One of the most dedicatd labor forces I witness was in a union shop, while one of the least productive happened to be non-union.  So much for stereotypes.  Far and away the most demanding supervisor I worked under was a union guy.  We called him the slave driver.   He was respected by both labor and management.   It is a common perception unions award employment assignments on seniority and FIFO, but in fact many foremen cherry pick the idle member cues for those with proven results.   Rules were regularly bent, awarding higher classified jobs according to comapny preferences, all with explicit knowlege of the on-site union steward.  No one likes working with dead wood.   When you think about, you realize people go into these arrangements with their own principles; if they own their ethics they are not easy to reprogram.

Collective bargaining tends to ignore the individual’s capabilities, and is socialistic in nature.  But it is a curious coincidence that even non-union occupations have wage rates that are curiously consistent across a broad range of occupations, commensurate with the skills, thus are implicitly socialistic in many instances.  I can’t help but conclude HR departments are to business what union agents are to labor.  Either way the ability for many people to drive their own bargain is restricted.  I cannot tell you how many times I was passed over due to seniority considerations, in union shops as well as nonunion businesses, regardless I was more skilled.  A rose by another name…

I have no axe to grind here; I worked under both business models, finding them about equal in the amount of opportunity or exploitation they foster.  There were times I rankled at labor organizations because they seemed little more than money grubbers and unnecessary baggage, but I also have worked for companies where management was inept, or rank with blatant exploitative sociopaths.  All serve more as an impedance than facilitators of production.  IMO both sides of this equation have lots of room for improvement.  Ultimately no one gets paid if the business is run into the ground.  Spend more effort finding solutions and less on assigning blame.

Ed

9:02 p.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,247 reviewer rep
624 forum posts

As a proud Canadian I would love to buy more local products, both to support the Canadian economy and to lower my carbon footprint, but the quality products are no longer here. There is very little left that will leave you saying "I got a quality product, supported my country and paid a reasonable price." At this point I find its a choose 2 of those 3 options predicament. I'm not saying they don't exist but they are few and far between. I need to protect my own finances before worrying about my countries. At this point I invest my money in the product I feel has the best quality, tent made in Estonia from a Swedish company, boots from Italy, etc....Where it's made is unfortunatly rarely in the equation anymore.

9:16 p.m. on December 21, 2011 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

It is quite obvious that some specialized products are produced in other nations and we will benefit from buying from these nations, whether we live in Canada or the USA.

However, as long as anyone living in either nation deliberately puts their short term financial interest ahead of the national economic health and supports foreign business ahead of Canadian; we will continue to finance our excessive government handouts to non-productive "Canadians" and the legions of foreigners who flood into both Canada and the USA every year by selling our irreplaceable raw resources to wiser nations and at "bargain basement" prices, as we do now.

This  will continue to destroy this country and even the military might of the USA will not prevail against such an insidious attack upon the socio-economic basis of it's society.

I guess it's a good thing that the Canadians of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 did not put THEIR personal interests ahead of their country's....we might well be working in "slave factories" ourselves, now, eh.

I completely support and deeply respect those Americans who "buy American" and I buy Canadian even when it costs me a little more. However, I am "old school" and not "kewl" so being a patriot is totally fine to me.

BTW, yeah, many superb outdoor products ARE made in Canada and sold here at competitive prices; it may take time to research these, but, it is an effort well worth making.

12:50 a.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
60 reviewer rep
115 forum posts

I take it a step further.  I try to buy local if I can.  We have some excellent products here in Vermont and New Hampshire.  From Johnson Woolens, Darn Tough Sox, Limmer Boots,  and Stephenson Warmlite.  As long as the quality is superior, when I have the money, I will spend two to three times as much on a local product as I would from a foreign manufacturer.  I have foreign made items of course.  There are some things not made in this country  anymore and the way I destroy jeans I can only afford the ones made in Mexico.

It means alot to me to keep it local.  I keep my money in the local credit union and have Ford vehicles and tractors made on American lines.  I make my living growing and selling fruit and vegetables and am thankful for the buy local ethic. I consider places like walmart, target to be toxic (sometimes literally, walmarts poisoned dogfood and lead toys)  because of the majority of their products are cheap disposable crap and refuse to support them. 

I was SMWIA local 19 for 4 years when I was young and I worked my ass off, as well as the rest of the crew I was on.  Our production and ethic was impeccable.  Every lunch bucket Harry in here benefits from the Unions achievements whether they know it or not, and without strong Unions all workers suffer, as they are these days and will continue to do so since the Union is under attack. The Union wasn't bankrupting businesses it was just cutting into shareholder profits and executive bonuses, i.e. keeping a level playing field.   I have also worked for private businesses and watched slackers come in and milk a time clock for all it was worth hoping to get fired or laid off so they could collect an unemployment check for a year.  Associating Unions and poor workers should be reconsidered.  You will have both elements in all sectors.  Laziness is not a Union only plague.  Lets not bad mouth the union here, its happening enough on fox news.

4:34 a.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

DrReaper said:

I buy products that have the best quality. I check the reviews of people that use the product first. Then I search for the best price. The idea of national products died with free trade. I was opposed to free trade then and I still think the world would have been better off without it.

I think a real free market would help the USA and put us back on top.

Licenses, permits and permission for everything is destroying the country.

I find this whole nationalistic thing pathetic. What are we really talking about here? We talk for hours, days, weeks about the best products that meet our needs. Have any of us visited the sweet shops that make all of our gear that make the American companies monies to meet their quarterly profits that have to be met. We could all be maybe considered hypocrites for our use of petrol chemicals, and raping the earth for the vital minerals needed in the use of our gear. Ever think about the stain being perpetrated upon the people’s who are sewing our tents, bags backpacks, in sweat shops in South East Asia, Mexico and any other countries that are willing take our business. I am no exception, except I buy mostly vintage American gear. Please lets not be delusional. Please, there is hardly anything we use that is made in America anymore. We are a consumer society, not a society that makes products. I do respect the people and the companies that are trying to get back to that state of affairs makes us a major producer of quality products, but again lets not be delusional here, we consume products we do not produce them. And even then most of the ones that do produce gear are so specialized that they serve now making gear that is produced and sold on the American market are in fact  trying to make as much money as possible using the least amount of material possible under the guise of being UL using the least amount of material for the most amount of money and then claiming to be high Tec. What’s really pathetic here is that the American public falls, yet again for another marketing tactic and all fall in line for this type of marketing, yet again.  Can’t wait to see what this stuff sells for on the used market.  Ya know my quality chineses tents will way out live any Ameican tent made in America, Sad but true.

9:45 a.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,627 reviewer rep
1,272 forum posts

Buying American just because its American only artifically encourages poor business to produce more low quality products for too much $$.  I buy the best I can afford.  I drive a Ford and Chevy right now, thats all I could afford at the time.  If I could, I'd own Toyotas.  Buying the best product at the best price makes manufacturers work harder to make better products. 

If you don't like the idea of your money going to some guy living in a grass hut in some brownwater hell-hole, I think of it as a charitable donation to a poor developing country.  In exchange you get the latest color super-fabric jacket, or whatever. 

12:28 p.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,517 forum posts

APEMAN: Funny how you castigate all the buyers of products, yet when you buy it used it is excusable, as if any stank of whatever disapproval you have about it wears off with the first owner. Truth is, many try hard to minimize their out of home country purchases and there is nothing wrong with that. Others prefer to choose quality over location. Some even take the position that workers in other countries are at least now given opportunity to work, even if the conditions are not what they would be in America or Canada. I would assert that our ethnocentrism gets the best of us in some of this.

I worked for years in a union job....food production plant. My father was a 50 year teamster. I am NO stranger to unions. with each passing year it became more about the rights of the worker to have an additional cig or get paid for sitting in a room waiting for work than about true conditions. And sure, many non union models mimic the unions...that is to prevent union organizing or...like in my case...where a union is prohibited, classified employees must be given certain procedural due process in the unions absence.

1:34 p.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

giftogab said:

APEMAN: Funny how you castigate all the buyers of products, yet when you buy it used it is excusable, as if any stank of whatever disapproval you have about it wears off with the first owner. Truth is, many try hard to minimize their out of home country purchases and there is nothing wrong with that. Others prefer to choose quality over location. Some even take the position that workers in other countries are at least now given opportunity to work, even if the conditions are not what they would be in America or Canada. I would assert that our ethnocentrism gets the best of us in some of this.

I worked for years in a union job....food production plant. My father was a 50 year teamster. I am NO stranger to unions. with each passing year it became more about the rights of the worker to have an additional cig or get paid for sitting in a room waiting for work than about true conditions. And sure, many non union models mimic the unions...that is to prevent union organizing or...like in my case...where a union is prohibited, classified employees must be given certain procedural due process in the unions absence.

Hey gift you said, "Funny how you castigate all the buyers of products, yet when you buy it used it is excusable, as if any stank of whatever disapproval you have about it wears off with the first owner."

I'm not castigating anyone.  I look at what people buy, what countrys make. What I meant by what I said was, and I would have to go and look, but I believe that most allmy vintage outdoor gear is American. I would have to check of course but that would take hours and hours. Many of the tents that were made in America used bags, stakes and poles made outside the USA. Outsourcing did not start over night. I know that some of my Garuda tents were made in China in the 90’s and are every bit as good if not better than any American tents. My whole point in the matter is, find me tents that stand up to what others are making in the rest of the world tht are mad in the United States. We used to be the world’s leader in many products such as outdoor gear. No longer. We may have a few items that are maybe comparable to what's out on the open market but even at that it just barely comparable. Everyone I see and hear buying quality tents out of Europe with the exception of some UL tents and tent/tarps. Even in the UL tent tent/tarp industry in Europe is coming on strong. One of the only reasons for that is the value the Euro has against the dollar. My intent is not to condemn anyone. I'm just watching what's going on and there are just not many tents or outdoor products that trip my trigger that are made in the good old USA. There is a ton of stuff that trips my Trigger made in Europe. There are only two well know outdoor gear makers of tents and bags made in the US. Big Agnes and Stephenson/Warmlite. I own two Warmlite/Stephenson tents a and one Warmlite/Stephenson sleeping bag. Big Agnes just dose not make anything I want at the moment. I buy the best product that meets my needs for the best money that I can find. In the end if all completely equal I will by American, but if the foreign product is better I will buy it over USA every time. American really needs to get it's act together. In some instances that is happening but far to slowly for what I choose to buy. 

My latest purchase was a As New Hilleberg Saitaris. I look at a recherché tents a lot, it‘s my hobbie. If you can find me an Newly made American  tent that will stand up and do what the Saitaris does please tell me because I'd sure like to have one.

 

By the way welcome back Alicia, Glade to see you back and hope your time away was fun and fulfilling

3:29 p.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Brian, hate to burst your bubble...

Big Agnes, made in China(at least thats what the tag on my Copper Spur says.)

5:06 p.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,517 forum posts

Ape: Sorry if I misunderstood, i just reads that way to me. I am patriot through and through, but not isolationist....not as much as I used to be any way. What's best for the US or any individual country is not the same today as 30 years ago. You simply cannot undo some things, so we have to adapt. Humans simply don't like to do that. If a county  is not nimble....things can go sideways. Democracies are not designed to be nimble.

7:07 p.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
14 reviewer rep
318 forum posts

My Nemo Meta 2P just arrived and it's made in China! Not sure it's a great tent yet or not but I am going to give it a run. It did get good reviews so there is that. It's Ultra Light and that is what I was after. Let's see I also picked up an energizer crank LED, yep made in China. A Lansky Retractable Diamond Rod sharpener. I already tossed the packaging from the sharpener so I am not sure where it was made. Amazon says it can only ship in the USA.

I just don't know how anyone could avoid purchasing products made in other countries. Competition has already put manufacturing out of business.

If you want to fix the situation stop voting for Ivy League politicians and start voting for working men and women that DON'T want a career in politics.

9:04 p.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
60 reviewer rep
115 forum posts

Our predicament in all society is the oldest story.  The majority of the wealthy have been at war with the meek for as long as our species has existed.  We (I am definitely not one of the wealthy) worked hard and got a slight foothold in this country in the 20th century but lost sight of  who the real enemy was and gave up some hard earned ground.  We had them cornered here but left them slip away they picked up some cheap recruits filling them with false hope by exploiting their situation and have grown their numbers and now they have us flanked.  Using the poor in Asian countries to beat us back.  

I sadly agree with Apemans observations but remain an optimist.  Even if the road I'm on is flooded with litter, I will not throw my trash out the window.  

Solar energy is near the top of my to do list.  Everyday from sun up to sun down we can cultivate our own American made energy and lessen our support of fossil fuel and nuke dealers.   Here in Vermont we have a generously subsidized program encouraging residential solar with rebates and tax breaks.  Baby steps.  

We have switched to food products that come in bulk and refill our own containers to minimize consumer waste.  In summer and fall I can go weeks eating only what is grown and harvested here in New England.  Olive oil being the biggest exception.  Cant grow olives here. 

I am always looking for ways to give a greater percentage of my support to small and local businesses and am increasing that percentage continuously.  

As far as some big businesses go, what I've read about Henry Ford's vision, ethics, and motivation closely reflected what my great grandfather, grandfather and father instilled in me growing up. From seeing some of their actions I believe that Ford still possesses some of those qualities but could definitely improve.

When you read about Dupont and his manipulation of government to criminalize hemp to eliminate a superior material to his oil biproducts it disgusts me.  I can't imagine what advances could have been made in hemp fiber and the kind of quality gear we might have today as a result of it.  Companies like Monsanto, the makers of DDT, agent orange, round up, rbst, and genetically modified patented corn and soybean crops that cross pollinate with neighboring fields of hard working, struggling farmers all over the world and give them rights to proceeds from their crops, should be burned, bulldozed and buried. 

As hopeless as it may seem I think we can still beat these greedy SOB's.

9:38 p.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Brian, hate to burst your bubble...

Big Agnes, made in China(at least thats what the tag on my Copper Spur says.)

 See, bubble bursted.  Everytime I try and give something to America it comes out from China.  I'm tryin here guys/gals.  So It appears the only tents that the only tents we all use that is American made is Stephenson/Warmlite?  Ands then we never talk about them.  I'll leave you all to think about that one as I own and use three of there products.  Please, I mean really, please some one give me any other options.  What's the point of talking about american made goods if there are no american made goods?

11:51 a.m. on December 23, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
930 forum posts

" So It appears the only tents that the only tents we all use that is American made is Stephenson/Warmlite?" I would guess the material is not made in the US. And the coatings? The eider down(if I remember correctly, it may be just goose) in my McKinley bags probably came from Iceland. Historically, the blanket that the Hudson Bay Company traded came from England. Obsidian from Northern California was traded by the Modocs all over the West. Our species has always traded or purchased materials and products from wherever is most convenient.

2:14 p.m. on December 23, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Erich said:

" So It appears the only tents that the only tents we all use that is American made is Stephenson/Warmlite?" I would guess the material is not made in the US. And the coatings? The eider down(if I remember correctly, it may be just goose) in my McKinley bags probably came from Iceland. Historically, the blanket that the Hudson Bay Company traded came from England. Obsidian from Northern California was traded by the Modocs all over the West. Our species has always traded or purchased materials and products from wherever is most convenient.

Indeed, it's now a world economy where different parts of each item comes form and are made in different parts of the world. One of the problems in America is that we do almost nothing here except consume we make nothing, we only use. Nothing of consequence is made here, assembled here to be shipped to other parts of the world. That is very slowly starting to change, but far to slow. We must change the way we live and use things and do business. Go look at Craigslist and EBay in Europe and the rest of the world. Most of those countries have people that buy things and keep them for life or atleast many years. Now go look at USA Craigslist and EBay and look at the amount of items that people buy and get rid of day in a day out. If we do not change our mindset we will always be behind the eight ball in regards to how people do business in the rest of the world. Up until now we have been insulated so as to create a unique business environment that has propped up and kept the worlds biggest economy running. We now have to be adaptable to what the rest of the world is doing. Are we up to the task? Currently we are not. If we can change, will it take so long as to still be behind the eight ball? We shall see. Again as I have said befor and will keep saying I will buy the best quality products that meet my needs and wants regardless of where it’s made. I would hope that some of those things would be made in the USA. At this point in time there is nothing I can think of that I want that is make in the USA, nothing . That is sad but also true

2:30 p.m. on December 23, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Erich said:

" So It appears the only tents that the only tents we all use that is American made is Stephenson/Warmlite?" I would guess the material is not made in the US. And the coatings? The eider down(if I remember correctly, it may be just goose) in my McKinley bags probably came from Iceland. Historically, the blanket that the Hudson Bay Company traded came from England. Obsidian from Northern California was traded by the Modocs all over the West. Our species has always traded or purchased materials and products from wherever is most convenient.

It would appear to me that the only "tents" other than tarp tarptent or single pole light weight materialtent maker in the US is Stephenson/Warmlite. You are correct that throughout history different parts and different components we made in different parts of the world and nothing was 100% made any where. However back when I was a kid a Ford was Ford and a Chevy was a Chevy and both were made in America of and from American products even if the radios in them came from Japan. We have sold our manufacturing/producing soul to the rest of the world and it will be a very timely and costly process of getting some of, if any of it back and or inventing new methods and ideas of manufacturing things that can compete on the world market.

2:32 p.m. on December 23, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
770 reviewer rep
1,310 forum posts

For what it’s worth I contend that the best guitars in the world are made here in the US. The wood may come from other places but Collings , Santa Cruz , Martin, Taylor and Gibson are all still made here by some of the most skilled craftsman and luthiers in the world.

 

Oh and Larivee in Vancouver gets a nod too although Canadian company. (they make darn fine guitars)

7:26 p.m. on December 24, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,517 forum posts

Thank God for Guitars! But that will change soon as they are prohibited from using the resources for that.

3:48 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
14 reviewer rep
49 forum posts

I drive a truck and have for the past 20 years so lucky for me american trucks are the best, im partial to chevy. I treat made in the usa as a tie breaker and will pay more but it has to be percieved as a quality product.  Im at the point where i see value as something that works well for what im doing and lasts a long time even if it costs more.  I would prefer to have all products made in the usa but its not reasonable. 

6:06 p.m. on January 5, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
2,487 reviewer rep
1,320 forum posts

i am more focused on the qualities of the gear, the design and the quality, than where it is made.  all things equal, i like things made in the US - 'tie goes to the runner' i guess. 

high quality US-made backpacks and sleeping bags, so there are good options.  are any really non-custom hiking boots or tents made in the US any more? 

bottom line is that i want to be safe, happy, and comfortable when i'm outside, and i won't hesitate to buy gear made outside the US to accomplish that. 

for what it's worth, we have spent the better part of the last two decades driving around in toyotas and fords - all made in the US.  3 toyotas which were manufactured in Indiana or Kentucky, two ford explorers.  all were well-made and needed virtually no repairs for several years - just regular maintenance.   and our fords didn't roll over.

 

7:37 p.m. on January 5, 2012 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,339 reviewer rep
261 forum posts

This is not our parents' America D: !!

11:27 a.m. on January 6, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,083 forum posts

Attempting to find exclusively American made products would be quite a challenge.  In some cases the products simply do not exist.  Are any electronics made in the US?  Very little clothing is made here, especially technical outerwear.

I am happy to find American made goods and do buy them more often when I find them.   But, more than looking for American products, I am trying to shop at smaller, local shops.  For example; I have been ordering more books through my local book store rather than online, I bought most of my Christmas presents from a local store rather than REI, we are buying a higher ratio of our groceries from a local coop and I buy beer from local microbreweries rather than micro brews from other states.

I hope more companies do what Ibex is doing and try making more clothing here, time will tell.  Global trade is what it is, there won't be less of it 10 years from now and that is not necessarily a bad thing, I simply hope we continue to actually make products here.

5:45 p.m. on January 6, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
573 reviewer rep
286 forum posts

I'd love to be able to buy American all the time, but it's not a realistic option.  I also like shopping locally, rather than online, if at all possible.  But for me, it all comes down the the (once) almighty dollar.  I need to make mine go as far as possible, so it most often comes down to price and quality, with place of manufacture coming in last.

9:20 a.m. on April 20, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
105 forum posts

It's taken time, but most of my gear is made here in the U.S. I don't mind paying more for because the gear is built better and generally of more durable materials. (As I type this on a Chinese made iPad. Ha)

11:32 a.m. on April 20, 2012 (EDT)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

A lot

2:02 p.m. on April 20, 2012 (EDT)
1,367 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

At least some places, like MEC, post the origin of everything they sell right up front, so you don't have to go around squinting at miniscule type. I find it amusing that Apple uses pale beige type on their off-white boxes to identify their product as 'Made in China'.

As a Canadian, I agree with Dewey's nationalism, but for outdoor gear what I need simply isn't made here. If it means keeping myself safe on a mountainside, I frankly could care less where the gear's made.

My MEC tent is made in Vietnam, as is my Deuter Futura backpack. The only sleeping bag line I can find on the MEC website that is not 'Made in China' is Western Mountaineering (at many times the price). My Black Diamond poles are made in Taiwan, and of course my Trangia is made in Sweden. My NeoAir is made in the USA, but the ExPed Downmat is made in Taiwan. MSR and Big Agnes tents are made in China.

Salomon, Vasque, Keen, Hi-Tec, Patagonia and Garmont boots are all made in China, while Scarpa and Asolo are made in Romania, and La Sportiva in Vietnam. Zamberlan is made in Slovakia.

So much for 'Buy American'. Not one of us is able to buy all of our equipment  made in the country we come from.

2:13 p.m. on April 20, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

peter1955 said:

while Scarpa and Asolo are made in Romania, .

 Scarpa SL M3(made in Italy going on 1yr old this June/July)
007.jpg 

My Lowas are also made in Slovakia like the Zamberlans.

Argon-GTX-liners-004.jpg

8:51 a.m. on April 21, 2012 (EDT)
1,367 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

The ones I checked on the MEC site showed as made in Romania, but I guess that speaks to the same point. Manufacturers will outsource anywhere to get cheaper prices.

8:57 a.m. on April 21, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

From what I got from a conversation with the folks at Scarpa some of their lower priced footwear is outsourced but their upper end technical footwear is made in Italy because they can oversee production 100% in regards to quality control.

They are currently in the process of bringing 100% of their footwear production back to Italy.

I think when things took a downslide economically that alot of companies had to do what they had to do to keep generated revenue at a safe level just so they could stay "afloat."

My last pair of Asolos(PowerMatic 500s) were made in Romania if I remember correctly.

10:17 a.m. on April 21, 2012 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
699 forum posts

This is far more complicated than just 'buying American (or Canadian - I am partial).'

When you talk about 'made in America,' are you referring to products manufacturered in America?  Sure.  But are the products made with materials made in China? Are the fabrics sourced from overseas?  Would this affect your decision?

In addition, a company like Marmot may produce their products in China but revenues flow through to the US and would be defined in the GNP of the US by providing jobs for Americans locally.   In this case, by boycotting Marmot are you not also putting American jobs at risk?

Cars are no different now.  Many of the materials used to make GM's or Fords are sourced from overseas (or Mexico).  Given the Toyota Camry is made in the US now, there is little difference in foreign content between this car and a Ford Fusion.

10:35 a.m. on April 21, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,247 reviewer rep
624 forum posts

I believe Zamberlan is doing the same thing. I know mine are made in Italy but some of the lower end models are outsourced. Taken from Zamberlan website....

Quality is the reason why all the boots of our traditional lines are “genuine Italian products”, produced completely and solely in Italy, in our one factory, where we work every day.

No part of our boots whatsoever is made abroad, in Countries where labor costs are cheaper or where the tradition for producing footwear is not as deeply-rooted as in Italy: we strongly feel we cannot compromise on this, because of ethics towards our workers as well as because of the highest and most consistent quality we want out of our products.

11:35 a.m. on April 24, 2012 (EDT)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Made in America better, but anywhere better than made in China ?

November 23, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: NPS offers animal-human interactive experiences to meet $20M budget gap Newer: Meet Rick-Pittsburgh, February's most helpful reviewer
All forums: Older: What is the maximum photo file size for upload? Newer: clean water