This Old House

I didn’t expect to be gone so long from here. I’ve been working through some personal issues that left me quite drained and detached, that I’m finally getting over that hill towards being myself again. So I’ve been focusing on feeling better. I’ve been dividing my time between going to the gym to strengthen my body, and my photography project.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will see that I love sharing my sidewalk snaps through #sffromthesidewalk. For some time, I have been wanting to get t-shirts printed with my photography but I couldn’t think of what to use. And then my eureka moment was realizing that photos should be of those old quirky San Francisco homes I love so much! But it was also extremely important to me that the apparel be Made in the USA. Because I have a full-time job, I can’t take on the manufacturing process myself. I was glad to find that Society6 prints their tees with American Apparel!

I only have one little home up, but more will be coming soon! I can’t wait to order one of the shirts for myself. Find them HERE. And the cool thing is that even though my goal was to have apparel, art prints and phone cases are available as well! More to come soon.

Society 6

Shopping responsibly and conciously links

Links posts are a dedicated space here for a roundup of links (that don’t fall into my normal post categories) that are sharing information about Made in USA, and as the title mentions, shopping responsibly and consciously.
Thrift Eye

Before I post anything else, I can’t even find the right words to express my sadness and anger over all the shootings that have happened in the last few days AND months. Black lives matter. LGBTQ lives matter. Immigrant lives matter. And we can stand together to fight inequalities and injustices. Speak for the voiceless. We need to make this an ongoing conversation in all our lives.

AMERICANS DON’T CARE ABOUT “MADE IN THE USA”

“The Associated Press and market research firm GfK polled more than 1,000 Americans…and discovered that 71 percent said they would like to buy items made in the U.S. but high prices and limited availability prevent them from doing so.” The article is behind an ad to join the website, but the article is so short, you can just read it behind the ad. It says most people don’t want to pay the price for Made in USA!

Research Shows Majority of Consumers Want Made in USA Apparel

Wow it’s hard to hear one headline and then another. But good to hear that people still want this – I guess what we need to do is revolutionize the way we think of buying clothes. “Among those who say it’s important that the clothes they buy are made in the USA, 79 percent say it’s because they prefer to support the U.S. economy, 46 percent believe U.S.-made apparel is better quality, and 30 percent believe it’s environmentally-friendly, according to the Monitor data.”

American Apparel uses crowdsourcing to seek new product ideas

“The Los Angeles-based company, which recently announced that it might start outsourcing some manufacturing to another U.S. clothing maker, is asking vendors to submit proposals for U.S.-made goods that would retail for $100 or less.” Crowdsourcing is a little misleading, since the crowd being asked are other potential vendors. But an interesting idea nonetheless.

Shinola’s founder shows how contradictory the FTC’s “Made in the USA” regulations are

Sometimes I wonder what things would look like if regulators (like FTC) put the work they do into regulating Made in USA, into punishing American brands that have sweatshops overseas…This is an ongoing conversation about is an item technically Made in the USA when built with parts made elsewhere? Shinola was dragged into this by the Federal Trade Commission. The article explains more, but I like this Shinola statement, “Until a change in policy clarifies for the consumer what it truly means to be Made in the USA, Shinola will always strive to do as much as it can in America with the benefit of an American workforce.”

Made in America: 9 Brands That You’ll Be Surprised Are Still Manufacturing in the USA

Did you know Shinola manufactures in the USA? I didn’t until I read the article above. It’s awesome to find out information about more brands. Apartment Therapy shares some home goods brands that are USA made! I would recommend to read the comments too.

PS. The picture above is from my yearly visit to the West Coast Craft show, featuring West Coast artisans. I never got around to sharing the pictures…oops!

Spotlight on: Reformation

You’ll be able to follow all of these spotlight posts here, but also keep up with my Made in the USA series here.

I found out about Reformation in the oddest way possible – at the thrift store!

What I thought was a typical weekend for me at the thrift store, going from rack to rack like I normally do, turned out not as typical. I noticed tons of brand new dresses from this brand Reformation! All made in the USA! I called up a very fashionable friend of mine who works in the industry (but has since moved out of San Francisco) and she let me know they had just had a sample sale in SF. So it looks like the loot I had come across were sample sale leftovers. I scooped up armloads of these items to try on. Sadly, the sample sale sizes were way too tiny for me, other pieces were true samples (aka garments that were not finished.) None of it came home with me, but petite industry friend was able to go back later and get lots of things for herself! And the more that I looked into the brand, the better I liked them for their sustainability endeavors.

“Created in 2009 by Yael Aflalo, we design and manufacture the majority of our limited-edition collections in our factory headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. All other garments are produced by responsible manufacturing partners here in the U.S. or abroad using sustainable methods and materials. We source sustainable fabrics and vintage garments while incorporating better practices throughout our supply chain to make beautiful styles at a fraction of the environmental impact of conventional fashion. It is our mission to lead and inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable.”

The brand is aiming to make transparency and sustainability of buying, caring for, and reusing fabrics a larger part of the fashion conversation (similar to how Everlane does.) I like their washing tips on their website! *especially since I hate laundry*
1. Only wash when needed
2. When you can, skip the dryer
3. Wash cold
4. Spot clean if you can, instead of washing the whole thing
5. Freeze your denim instead of washing

Oh yeah, their clothes are pretty darn cute too

Reformation, reformation clothing brand, made in the USA, sustainable fashion, upcycling

Reformation, reformation clothing brand, made in the USA, sustainable fashion, upcycling

Reformation, reformation clothing brand, made in the USA, sustainable fashion, upcycling

Reformation, reformation clothing brand, made in the USA, sustainable fashion, upcycling

Reformation, reformation clothing brand, made in the USA, sustainable fashion, upcycling

Reformation, reformation clothing brand, made in the USA, sustainable fashion, upcycling

Reformation, reformation clothing brand, made in the USA, sustainable fashion, upcycling
All photos from thereformation.com

Shopping responsibly and conciously links

Links posts are a dedicated space here for a roundup of links (that don’t fall into my normal post categories) that are sharing information about Made in USA, and as the title mentions, shopping responsibly and consciously.

There is no title to this link, other than I recently stopped by what was my old Made in USA favorite and found an unannounced change. See the sign above, a picture I took years ago. This time I when I went in, I noticed the signs and labels had chanaged to Made in China!!

See how their Our Story section now states

We produce most of our line in San Francisco & Los Angeles, where some of the best knits in the world are made. For our more technical styles, we manufacture overseas in the same fair and ethical garment factories that we would use in the states. The relationships that we build with our sewers are important to us, and we are confident that our product and brand are in good hands.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little disappointed. But a lot of brands have been moving this way.

Big Words, Little Actions

Susie broaches the subject of fashion and sustainability, and how it’s such a difficult subject – but that sustainability should not be a small slice of the conversation, it should just be the norm.

20 PEOPLE THAT ACCIDENTALLY DRESSED LIKE THEIR SURROUNDINGS

When fashion is influenced by anything and everything, follies like this happen more often! It’s pretty hilarious.

Is Your Product Truly American-Made? How Imports, Suppliers and More Play Into the Coveted Made in USA Claim

Now that consumers are driving the supply chains with more understanding of promotion and products, they’re finally questioning the origins of their products more. Can a company really claim their products were made in the USA when all the pieces came from another country? Some lawsuits are challenging that!

‘Made in USA’ jeans case settles

Case in point – man sues AG jeans for Made in USA label but finds out most of the pieces but the denim are made in other countries, feels manipulated for paying more for a quality item, class action lawsuit follows. Now you too may qualify for a free pair of AG jeans if you are part of the suit!