Did you know that November 19 is American Made Matters Day? Of course you didn’t, until now! To be fair, it has only been around since 2013, and the celebration is pretty low key – no parades or fireworks – just a request to buy American made. The organization behind it, American Made Matters, was founded appropriately on July 4, 2009 with a mission to educate consumers on the importance of buying “Made in the USA” products. Sponsors include American made retailers, patriotic organizations, and local businesses who understand that American made matters, not just on November 19, but every day.
Actually, most Americans do not need to be convinced of the importance of buying American made goods. Higher cost of US made goods is probably the main reason that consumers buy products manufactured outside the U.S. In spite of this, a 2015 survey by Consumer Reports showed that 80% of American shoppers prefer to buy American made goods and 60% of shoppers are even willing to pay up to 10% more for them. The most common reason is quality, but there are other good reasons for buying American made goods:
- Jobs. Making products in the U.S. obviously creates more jobs for Americans which in turn, helps the economy. As American firms prosper, they expand and need more employees and bigger spaces. The need for additional space creates even more jobs for architects, construction workers, energy suppliers, and so on.
- Lower carbon footprint. Shipping goods from countries half way around the world to U.S. stores, burns large amounts of fossil fuel, churning out greenhouse gases along the way.
- Less pollution. Factories in the U.S. are much more highly regulated and do not produce the large amounts of pollution that many factories in developing countries release into the atmosphere.
- Human rights. Often the workers in developing countries have no human rights laws to protect them, resulting in working long hours in unsafe conditions with little pay, even using child labor.
- Health. The environmental and unsafe working conditions in some countries not only put the workers at risk but also the American consumers who buy the products. For example, many children’s toys made in China a few years ago were found to be choking hazards and/or to contain dangerous chemicals.
- The good news is that more and more manufacturers, retailers, and consumers are seeing the value of American made goods and committing themselves to making and buying them. So, hold the fireworks (which are probably not made in America) and celebrate instead by buying at least one American made product on November 19. But don’t stop there – make it a habit to check labels before putting something in your cart every time you shop. Speaking of shopping, the upcoming holidays are the perfect opportunity to show your support for American made products. Though the day may not have quite caught on yet, the movement is on a roll. Hop on board!Read more about American made goods: