For several years, my friend, Gina, has been talking about the clothes she’s found that are made in the USA, but I didn’t really get interested in where my clothes were made until I watched The True Cost (which is on Netflix, btw) last fall.
Side note: I cried through like 25% of The True Cost. Although I also tear up during athlete profiles in the Olympics, so I’m probably not the most reliable benchmark.
But back to the actual point, I’ve been exploring different ways to support changes in the fashion industry, so when Gina visited me a few weeks ago (more about that here), I interviewed her about buying clothing made in the US.
What inspired you to start buying domestically-made clothing?
I went on a trip to Nicaragua and learned more about the conditions for workers there – both in the clothing industry and other industries – and how little they got paid. I also saw a sweat free shop where they had good conditions, worked good hours, and made a livable wage.
Where do you buy the clothes?
I’ve had good luck in the Von Maur Junior’s Department (and they have good sales). And then American Apparel and a lot of second-hand shops, which is a double bonus. It’s hard to specify because most of them are at stores that also sell things not made in the US. Always check the tags.
Do you notice any price differences?
It depends what you’re used to. I usually find jeans in the $50-$60 range, which could be more or less than you usually pay. To me, it’s worth paying a little more for clothes made in the US or in sweat free shops. I also find things on clearance, which makes it cheaper.
How would you rate the quality?
I have a ton of dresses, and the ones made in the US are as good if not better than the others. The rest are mostly the same. I do have some hiking socks that are way nicer – they’re thicker and seem to last longer.
What are your favorite brands or pieces?
Soprano dresses and tops (I have at least 2 or 3 of them). Tops and sweaters from Moa Moa. Flying Monkey pants and jeans. Hue brand socks.
What else do you want people to know?
It’s basically impossible to find made in the US shoes. Almost everything else I can find, though: dresses, tank tops, jeans, socks, bras, undies.
Certain brands are made outside of the US, but if you look at their website, they’ll specify that they’re made in sweat free factories.
All clothing was made in the US unless otherwise noted.
Absolutely: Von Maur
Thanks for reading!