Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Made in USA


It seems that MUJI and HUGE magazine have teamed up to showcase American Made goods. Funny isn't it? On a couple of levels. One is I've run as far as one can from a lot of these products. At least the sartorial side of them anyway. I wanted in no way to be seen as anything near preppy, conservative and East Coast. And while I still feel that way about most items I do find my way leaning towards some very clean basics these days and I've always had a love for pieces that become more beautful with age. 

The other side of this is Japan's love for American made products. Some have even taken our heritage brands and redone them better (and more expensive) in Japan. And here we are not appreciating what we've always done well. Obviously that  is changing. Our still lagging economy is recognizing that keeping manufacturing here in the States is something we should strive for and nearly every metropolis boasts local businesses that are keeping it local. Brands like The Utility Collective are betting that you'll support them for just this reason. And why not? SFmade is supporting those that even keep it within city limits subscribing to the doctrine that a diverse workforce creates a vibrant city. I agree.

Made Right Here  shines a spotlight on those... well I'll let them explain it.

The show is called Made Right Here. It’s our desire to not only show how it’s made, not only where it’s made, but to also show the people who make it. We want to tell their stories. We also asked them to show Joe and I how to make one of their signature items. We made six pairs of carpenter jeans at Pointer. We made a chambray western shirt at Imogene + Willie, and we made belts and buckles with Billy Moore.
I say we made… really, we tried and failed to make all these things. This is part of the story, too. These people are craftspeople who’ve dedicated their lives to mastering a skill, a skill that is really tough to do.

Do we need outsiders to show us what we do well? What do you think about manufacturing in this country? Too broken to fix? Or not at all it has a new lease on life? I've done a bit of research on it specifically in regards to furniture and it's just so incredibly difficult for American designers to work with manufacturers here in the US as compared to say Italy who fosters relationships with it's designers. What about China? I'm sure you have all heard about the Apple debacle already. But it also sounds like they just do it so much better than we do when it comes to certain things. Obviously, they are not without fault either on so many levels. What is the responsible direction to head from here? I'd love your thoughts.

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