I really want to be more responsible with my purchases. I see people everywhere struggling to find work, unemployed, or just barely making it.  Now I’m going to get up on my soapbox and lecture for a minute. STRUGGLING IS NOT NECESSARILY A BAD THING! It teaches us to be fiscally responsible, frugal, and cut unneccessary expenses from our living. For example: Do I really need the delicious Almond Joy bar staring at me in the grocery store checkout? Nope. Do I really have to have the latest skinny jeans? Again, nonotreallyatall.

Speaking of having things, sometimes my phenomenal husband just drives me nuts, and I hear his voice ringing through the house: “Hun, where’s the  (insert ANYTHING we own rightinhere) ?” I get it. I stay home with the girls, I know where it’s all kept. But whatever he’s looking for is usually right there if he’d just look. American consumers are the same way. We know what we want, but sometimes we don’t know where to look. That’s where I’m hoping this blog will come in. I’ll do the legwork to spotlight different American companies that are hopefully not too expensive.

So I’m going to make a promise to you, my reader. I’m swearing off my favorite store for a year, the Gap. Their sales are great and their clothing fits me well. But nothing’s locally made. Instead, I am going to purchase only US made clothing, clothing from yard sales (because even if it’s foreign made, the money still goes directly to an American) or clothing I’ve made.

I’m going to do a little price comparison between another store I like, American Eagle, and American Apparel stuff from Etsy.com.

You’d think they both manufacture everything in the US since the FIRST word you see is “American”, right?

Negative. Only one does. In fact, American Eagle doesn’t sell a SINGLE item that I’ve seen produced here in our country…So you can spend 19.50 + shipping on this: http://www.ae.com/web/browse/product.jsp?productId=2301_3485 and get a shirt that’s cute, but not made in the US–it’s creating jobs somewhere overseas…

or you could spend 12.50 + 2.50 shipping on this:

And contribute to the local economy TWO ways: First, you’re supporting a local artist who hand-screenprints these shirts, and second, the shirts themselves are made in the US by a California based company called American Apparel who is sweatshop-free and creates lots of American jobs. I think that’s a much more win-win situation, don’t you?

 Picture uploaded and linked with permission from Adam at Elementalshop. Take a look at their Etsy page, they have more than just this and it’s all US made and very reasonably priced! http://www.etsy.com/people/elementalshop#

 Now I realize that people have different tastes – there are lots of different styles on Etsy. This scarf by Zenthreads is breezy and could probably coordinate with anything. Click on the scarf and it’ll take you right to the Zenthreads wesbite, which has pillows, shirts, dinner napkins, and other fun stuff.

On the American Apparel website, there’s a link that demonstrates how to wear this scarf ten different ways. You can use it as a headwrap, a shirt, etc. Pretty versatile if you ask me! I love the fact that it reminds me of an old farmhouse (home, perhaps?).

The great thing about Etsy is that you can choose colors of the fabric and the screenprinting. Most of the shop owners are extremely friendly and helpful, and always willing to help you figure out sizing

 

Ok great, but nothing to wear for a night out on the town? Look at this cute dress from flytrap on Etsy!

  

 The point is, there’s tons of American made clothing out there if you look hard enough. Etsy is a great source for lots of it, and has a feature where you can enter your zipcode to get even more local.

Where/When was the last time you actually saw a piece of clothing made in the US? I’d love to hear your comments!

 

Putting in the disclaimer that I wasn’t paid or compensated in any way to post the info about any of the clothing that I posted . I just think it’s cute and affordable.

5 thoughts on “The Gap between us… (goodbye, my favorite store…)

  1. Meagan Baker

    This was a true eye opener and I’m anxious to see the results from your study. Old Navy is one of my favorite stores if not my favorite and they have their things made from a variety of countries none of which are the US. Crazy!!!!

    Reply

  2. Amber

    I love the ‘shop local’ feature that Etsy has. You just type in your zipcode, and you can shop from people in your area. I have had people let me pick things up too, which saves me on shipping!

    Reply

  3. Angie Elder

    So I was at the mall today & your blog made me pay more attention to where things are made. Have you even been into the little store right near the center of the mall called francesca’s collections? I was not there long, but in the time that I was there I picked up 4 adorable tops & ALL of them were made in the USA!!! You’ll have to stop by there next time you are in the area!! 🙂

    Reply

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