The good thing about Earth Day is it serves to make us all give some thought to our planet and how it’s holding up. Driving more fuel efficient cars or recycling more water bottles are the typical things people come up with for ways that they can improve their impact on the earth. But, one thing few Americans consider, but should, is where their consumer purchases are manufactured.
To address our fears about harming our world in the process of building our loungewear/sleepwear business, JJwinks, we realized that one of the most important things we could do for the environment was to be Made in America. We saw our goals of sustainability involving lowering our carbon footprint and buying local to be intertwined.
Purchasing products made locally means they have less distance to travel in order to get to you, which means fewer fossil fuels being burned for shipping, which in turn reduces the carbon footprint of the item. So, by buying American-made products, you’re supporting local industry as well as helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to Fashionista, July 17, "In the U.S., there are national, state and local laws in place that regulate how workers are treated (i.e. minimum wages, overtime, safety) and how resources are used (i.e. water usage and recycling, waste processing, use of chemicals) that keep things in check."
Another thing which helps keep American-made products more sustainable is the reduced amount of packaging necessary for transport. When shipping products overseas from various factories, all sorts of protective packaging is used, most of which is unsustainable. Endless plastic bags, “clamshell” containers, styrofoam inserts, packing “peanuts”, and boxes not made from recycled materials; the list goes on.
So the next time you make a fashion purchase, remember that where it is made is as important as how cute that piece of clothing makes you look. Well, almost, but you get the picture. It’s time for all of us to give deeper considerations to all of our purchasing decisions in hopes that sometimes the smallest of changes can help our planet. Now, go get your JJs on.