Walk into any big-box store, pick up an item at random off the shelf, and look at the label. Chances are you’ll see the same three words on the tag: “Made in China.” Depending on the product, it might read “Made in Mexico” or “Made in Taiwan” – but it will rarely say “Made in the USA.”
It wasn’t always this way. Decades ago, many or even most products on store shelves were American made. But since the late 1990s, American manufacturing has seen a steady decline. Many U.S. companies have moved their factories – and the jobs they provided – to other countries where labor is cheaper, such as China and Mexico.
However, there are some signs this trend is starting to reverse itself. Since 2010, reports cite that more than 300 companies have moved production back to the United States, creating about 240,000 new jobs. As a result, that “Made in USA” label – though still rare – is slowly making its way back onto more products.
One of those companies is PURE. All PURE products are manufactured in America, and the benefits for the company, the consumer and our country hit home when you take a look.
Darin Blackhurst, PURE’s Director of Research and Development, weighs in on what sets PURE goods ahead of others not produced in the U.S.A. “Knowing that our products are made here gives me a lot of confidence in their superior quality,” he says. “Some of the PURE ingredients are sourced from foreign markets because they are naturally derived from those places, but each ingredient, regardless of origin, goes through rigorous testing to ensure its safety and purity. Being made in America also ensures that each finished product is free of contaminants like heavy metals, bacteria and other harmful substances.”
This puts PURE products ahead of the game when it comes to quality and safety. But there are so many other great benefits to manufacturing goods here at home. Let’s dive in!
Reasons to Buy American-Made Products
According to a 2015 report by Consumer Reports, 80% of American shoppers say they prefer to buy goods made in the United States. More than 60% say they’d even be willing to pay 10% more for an American-made product.
Shoppers have many different reasons for choosing American-made goods, including the following:
- Jobs. The most common reason shoppers give for buying American is to help save or create jobs in the United States. According to a 2015 report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI)the U.S. lost a total of 5.7 million manufacturing jobs between 1998 and 2013 – partly because of the Great Recession, but mostly because of trade imbalances with foreign nations like China and Mexico. In addition to our products being made in America, PURE is adding to this list of homegrown jobs, as all of our IBOs (Independent Business Owners) are small business owners here.
- Lower Carbon Footprint. Products made overseas have a higher carbon footprintthan U.S.-made goods. Goods made in China or India have to be shipped all the way across the ocean to reach American stores, burning fossil fuel and spewing out greenhouse gases with every mile they travel.
- Less Pollution. One reason it’s cheaper to make goods in developing countries is that many of them have few or no regulations to protect the health of the air and water. Many factories overseas that produce goods for export to the United States also produce large amounts of hazardous chemicals that pollute the air, water, and soil. A 2014 paper by a team of Chinese researchers, published in the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that the U.S. has effectively “outsourced” much of its air pollution to China, where more than 33% of sulfur dioxide emissions and around 25% of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide come from the production of goods for export.
- Human Rights. In addition to having weaker environmental regulations, the countries that produce the goods Americans buy often have no laws to protect the rights of workers. A 2015 report from the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rightsdocuments how Chinese workers who produce toys for American brands such as Hasbro, Mattel, and Disney work 12- to 13-hour days and sleep on plywood bunk beds in crowded, dirty, and freezing dormitories. An earlier report from 2006 uncovered child labor at a factory in Bangladesh that produced clothing sold by Walmart and JCPenney. Conditions in these foreign sweatshops can even turn deadly, as in the 2013 collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 employees.
- Health. The lack of environmental and safety regulations overseas doesn’t just put foreign workers at risk – it can also threaten the health of American consumers. In 2007, dozens of types of children’s toys made in China were recalled because they were unsafe. Some posed a choking hazard, while others contained dangerous chemicals like lead paint and kerosene, according to The New York Times.
- A Stronger Economy. Buying American-made goods doesn’t just support the workers who make those goods. Its benefits also ripple out through the entire economy. So, when you buy from a PURE IBO, you are not only shopping ‘local’ because all of our goods made in America, but you are boosting the economy by choosing to buy from an American small business owner. So buy American, buy PURE!