Can You Buy ONLY Made in America for a Whole Month?

by - Monday, June 06, 2016

Tonight, we walked to Target, and their 4th of July and summery products slapped me in the face as soon as I walked in the store. Now, I love being festive, and I will celebrate the crap out of any holiday, real or Hallmark creation, so displays like these just make me happy. This one was especially committed:

Then I took a closer look. Totes patriotic? Try Totes embarrassing-

This is an adorable 4th of July sign. It's made in China.

An American bikini top, much like the ones the Founding Fathers wore when signing the Declaration of Independence. Made in America? Nope. Made in Cambodia.

Rosie the Riveter style hair ribbons. You got it, right? Made in China.

In fact, we combed over the store, probably at least 200 red white and blue items, and I found one thing actually made in the states- Bic lighters decked out to light fireworkd.

Now, I know I am not blowing minds here. The fact that these things weren't made in The States isn't a shock, but it seems to me that as we move from one patriotic holiday (Memorial Day) to another (the 4th), buying patriotic gear that actually works against American jobs and the environment makes absolutely no sense. Sure, you can probably afford more bikini tops, and you can get them easily. That's what our capitalist system offers us- cheap and easy, but it's clear that after the initial ease, the cost is much higher to us and to our country.

Did you know that 3.2 million dollars worth of American flags are shipped here from China every year? How can it be possible that you can't fold the flag incorrectly, but any old whoever can make it? Those could be American jobs, so why are we giving them away?

Secondly, as gas prices go up, and people struggle to travel to see family, so much fuel and so many resources are devoted to moving massive shipments of products internationally. We aren't doing the environment any favors by burning away fossil fuels this way.

In my opinion, one of the best things about Americans is their generosity and willingness to step in and help people in need. You see their eagerness to help others in crisis often, and it makes me feel proud of our people. These decorations, onesies, and paper plates are doing just the opposite. You know why it is so much cheaper to make things in China or Bangladesh or Honduras? Because the company doesn't have to treat those people fairly or with humanity and respect. In some cases, the hands behind these imports are literally treated like slaves. As a Christian nation, how can we stand for that?

Right now, political rhetoric encourages so much anger about the American economy (also, everything else- this election is the worst). There is a lot of talk about the economy as if it is totally out of all of our hands. The 1% has all the money and all the power.

No. Conceding to helplessness is a good way to stay angry, but it won't do much else. It's time that we all own our part in the way things are and takes steps to stop making being shitty so damn profitable.

Every time we buy some cheap piece of Americana made far from America, these are the messages we send the store and the company;

"I don't care, I just want what I want"

"Do whatever you want"

"American Jobs don't matter"

"The way you are running your business is totally ok with me! Take more of my money"

Is it ok with you? Me either. So let's change the message. Every time you choose not to buy that crap and to buy a Made in America product instead, this is the message you are sending-

"I will invest in Made in America products and American jobs"

"It's important to me that whoever made this was treated with respect"

The bottom line, if shipping all the manufacturing out didn't make them so much money, they wouldn't do it. If we want things to change, we need to change how we vote with our money.

So here is my challenge for you. One month- All American. Think of it as a prolonged 4th of July celebration. Committing to only buying Made in America (or used) for the rest of your life is a lot. It takes time, you have to read labels, and it can be more expensive (though that's why buying used is also REALLY important- balances out that cost!), and it makes life less cheap and easy.

But you can do it for a month.

For me, I won't buy one thing not Made in America from now until the 4th of July. You can pick your own month, but pick one month in 2016 and stop buying anything Made in Elsewhere. Almost everything has a Made in America option. If it doesn't, can you find it used? Can you wait a month? At the very least, buy your 4th of July goods from the US!

You can do it!

You can do it, and I will help. I know this can be daunting, and it can feel like nothing is made here anymore. We've all heard "Everything is made in China," but it isn't true! I have done a year's worth of research Check out my Mega List of Shopping Lists, including basics, clothes, house goods, and toys. Any question you have, ask, and I will help you track it down.If it really is a land that we love, one nation under God, let's show that by taking care of our land and all people by buying ethical goods!

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  1. I love this challenge! It feels attainable but not without some struggle. I will let you know how it goes come July 4th!

  2. I bought two irons yesterday, and while they were not entirely made in the USA, they were better than the entirely made in China ones. So, partial victory. Vote with your money!



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