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What happens when I submit a recommended Made in USA supplier for SHOP Red White & Blue?
🇺🇸 MADE IN USA
The first step I take is going directly to the company’s website to see if they are indeed selling products that are American made.
Often there will be a Made in USA mark on their website. Companies are only allowed to display that mark if they have met Federal Trade Commission guidelines. The FTC regulations state that in order to legally display this mark the company must have products where “all or virtually all” are domestically produced, manufactured and assembled here the United States of America. If that mark is displayed, I know that the business makes the cut.
For companies that do not display such a mark, as the Executive Editor of MPM, I start by going through the prospective company’s website in detail. The “About Us” and “FAQs” pages are a treasure trove of information! I love reading the back story of why the founders started the business and how they figured out how to get their business off the ground supporting other manufacturers here in America.
One thing that has been consistent in every actual Made in USA business is that the founders and owners are down right proud to be bringing production and manufacturing Back To America. They state it right there on those informational pages, if not their home page.
🌎 SOURCED OUTSIDE THE USA
There are times when I find companies that will write “Designed & Shipped in USA”, “Designed, Printed, Fulfilled & Shipped in USA”, “Designed & Fulfilled in USA”.
Those are red flags for being a true Made in USA company. The companies using these phrases are likely using imported materials for their products. Many times, with enough mouse clicking on individual products, one can see under product descriptions that the materials are in fact imported. Often times they will state where materials are imported from.
The “all or virtually all” loophole that the FTC allows for companies is there for certain industries where raw materials may not be readily available here in America. If we list these kinds of companies, it will be with the 🌎 emoji preceding the name of the company.
Human Rights Pledge
Many smaller manufacturers and producers have taken the step to sign a Human Rights Pledge. They have vowed that they are not importing any materials from any country that violates human rights. This means those countries that do not take the conditions of the workers seriously.
In addition to making sure workers are kept in safe working conditions and paid livable wages, no children will ever be involved in the production of said materials when a company is signing these pledges.
What materials are difficult to source in the USA?
Microchips for many different electronics and games are rarely produced here in America. We simply do not have the minerals in our part of the globe needed to produce such parts.
The tannery industry was decimated by the EPA many years ago. This means many leather artisans are left with few options other than importing their leather from Italy or elsewhere. Most gem stones are not available in America and must be sourced in other countries for Jewelry makers.
For such companies I continue researching through the websites to gain more insight as to where the imported materials are coming from. When I can not find the information on their website I send them a message to inquire as to where their materials are being sourced.
Why would you reject a company where the products are assembled here?
The big concern of course is are the materials coming from Countries that have atrocious human rights violations? As consumers, we have been conditioned to take the “see no evil” approach, but at MPM, we refuse to do that. We reject any company that uses raw materials from countries with a poor human rights record. That of course includes China.
No information on the website
When I cannot find the information from the website itself, I send a quick message to ask where their products are manufactured. Depending on how they reply, or if they reply, they either make the cut, or they don’t.
The last piece I research is true ownership of the companies.
Many are simple to figure out, they state it right there on the website. Some of the larger companies or ones that have been around many decades often times have been sold to larger companies that become a Parent Company.
Through further research I then make sure that those parent companies are not affiliated with Countries that use slave or child labor, or commit Human Rights atrocities.
We strive to ensure that the companies we have selected are Made in America and owned by Americans.
It is our hope that the companies that are importing materials that are readily available here in America would reconsider their suppliers once we state our criteria when they reach out to be showcased on MPM.
We of course can help lead in the right direction for that transition.
The companies that MPM has decided to showcase will be ones that are able to display the mark of Made in USA, or are companies where the materials needed for their production are not being imported from Countries that violate Human Rights.
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