We are the 3%!
According to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, 97% of apparel bought in the U.S. is made overseas. Not illumiNITE. Our company is one of the few apparel manufacturers (just 3% of all companies nationwide) that still produce clothing in the good ole’ US of A.
Many of our competitors contract out the manufacturing of their products to overseas companies. Workers subsist on pennies a day in substandard factories with poor safety records, so we can buy $2.00 tube socks (remember tube socks?).
When BackAtcha Apparel started running illumiNITE we inherited a ton of product made overseas. Since that day we’ve worked hard to move our production back to the States. Today 80% of our new gear is made locally, and we continue to make progress towards our goal – 100% of our products made in the U.S.A.
Most of our gear is made in small batches, because specialty clothing can’t be mass-produced. Your favorite illumiNITE jacket, shirt, or pants was probably made right here in Fall River, MA by an actual seamstress in our factory. A hands-on approach means we know every stitch and seam and won’t let a sub-par product leave our warehouse.
As more Americans seek out and buy goods made in the USA, companies that work with overseas manufacturers will be forced to change. That’s good news for the 3 million U.S. apparel industry workers (also from AAFA) and good news for the U.S. economy.
Luckily, illumiNITE already calls Massachusetts home.
This weekend we celebrate the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. As a small, woman-owned business, we’re grateful for the opportunities provided by a free and democratic nation.
Shopping local may not seem like a patriotic act. But, every time you buy products made in the USA a local family earns a living and companies that exploit workers overseas must reconsider business as usual. Together, we can make a difference.
Happy 4th of July!