ALIGN | Issue No. 19

Greetings,

On Wednesday, we polled ALIGN readers to learn what compels you to buy “Made in America” products. At the bottom of this issue you can discover which factor was most popular, but we’ll summarize by saying this:

It’s a healthy impulse to care that the things we buy are an investment in our own country’s strength and our own neighbors’ welfare. This mindset is commonly insulted as “protectionist,” “unrealistic,” or hostile to the “free market.” It’s dismissed as unenlightened and even derided as knee-jerk “nativism.” 

Rest assured: wanting your country to thrive is not a negative trait! We don’t listen to anyone who suggests it is. And you shouldn’t, either.

We serve as a resource for any American who shares this inclination, and are pleased to showcase two more proudly made-in-the-USA brands with this in mind.

The Better Alternative

On Wednesday, we featured Duluth Pack’s iconic bags and travel gear. For readers seeking a less rugged look, Cinda B. makes women’s luggage and bags at their Fort Wayne, Indiana factory. 

Their colorful designs can compete with popular women’s brand Vera Bradley, who controversially switched to manufacturing their merchandise in China in recent years. For many products, Cinda B. even offers a lower price point, which is a feather in their cap and a knock against the naysayers (who insist lower prices are not achievable through domestic manufacturing).

Source: Cinda B. Facebook

Business Spotlight

R. Riveter creates beautiful and durable handmade bags and wallets in the United States. Their products begin in the hands of individual creators located around the country before being finalized in their Southern Pines, North Carolina fabrication shop. Much of their merchandise is created with recycled material from military surplus (wool, leather, and more). Their products are designed to waste less, to last longer, and to invest in and celebrate American craftsmanship.

Source: R. Riveter Facebook

The Bigger Picture

We asked our readers, “What compels you to support American manufacturing even if products are pricier?” You answered:

36% Economic strength: it creates jobs

25% It just feels like the right thing to do

22% National security: it builds up our industrial base

17% Quality: it produces longer-lasting projects

This insight from our readers emphasizes that rebuilding American manufacturing is not just an economic issue, but a moral one —  we feel compelled to support our fellow citizens and we strive to strengthen our nation. In sum, it strikes us as “the right thing to do.” Many of us know firsthand how offshoring hurts families and towns. 

Some legislators have begun efforts to bring manufacturing home. Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley are at least attempting to address these issues, seeking to end reliance on foreign manufacturing of key pharmaceuticals and other essential supplies. We will be paying close attention to leaders who take American manufacturing seriously and can find solutions to these crucial issues.

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