In the retail sector there has been a big movement to support goods with known origins. Price and convenience are no longer the sole characteristics that store owners and customers are thinking about. Consumers assign value to knowing where the fabric comes from, who manufactured the product and why the good is a certain price. The trend is transparency.
There is just something cool about being able to say that the particular jeans I am wearing are made of 14.5oz denim sourced from Okayama, Japan, sewn in Brooklyn, New York and have a leather patch crafted in San Juan Capistrano, California. If a customer knows where their dollar is going they will feel much better about spending a little extra money. At the end of the day, it is comforting knowing that your purchase is allowing various artisans to continue doing what they love. In addition, the quality of the goods is exceptional. An artisan has equity in the product they produce when the customer knows who touched a particular good in every step of the manufacturing process.
Many businesses are thriving with transparency as their backbone. APOLIS prides itself on “empowering communities world wide.” They are a brand that locates a community that can produce a particular good extremely well. The community then serves as the manufacturer of that particular product. The brand is socially responsible by creating opportunities. Retailers are doing their part as well. Stores like Lone Flag in Del Mar, California carry brands like APOLIS, promote the brands message and give customers the information they need to support small and local businesses. Furthermore, big name retailers like Nordstrom are carrying brands such as Filson that make quality goods through a transparent process. Even if a company cannot produce all of its goods in house in the United States, many are becoming more and more aware that is important to know and disclose where every step of the manufacturing process is occurring.
Though most of the garments sold in the United States are still imported, customers seem to be placing importance on knowing the process behind manufacturing. Consumers and retailers alike take pride in knowing where particular goods come from. The trend is not necessarily “Made in America” the trend is transparency.
Written By: Griffin Carlborg, LARA Vice President
Seen in Delta Sigma Pi's Alpha Magazine Fall 2015 Issue