Tuesday, January 24, 2012

That Giant Sucking Sound?

I ain't gonna buy from crap-ass China no more. Or any place that serves simply as a manufacturing center for a U.S. or other First World country that should be making their goods at home. And if that means I have to spend more or buy less or buy second hand, fine.

(Anyone know how to make a pair of high heels?)


troll said...

If you had reached this conclusion 15 years ago, coupled it with strong advocacy for a sane USA regulatory environment and convinced 10 Million consumers do the same, you could have made a difference.

sparringK9 said...

ol H Ross got vindicated and then some.I can still hear algore laughing at Perot "oh that isnt going to happen!" waved him off as the crazy uncle like they do ron paul now/

your pledge will be an interesting challenge like the retail version of animal vegetable miracle.

thinking about Trolls comment: i take a different look at this: the difference you make is in your own life and that is enough for now. You can choose who and what you will do business with. More and more people are making that same choice. one things for sure - seeing resistance to the status quo as futile is most certainly not going to make a difference. you start where you are and give it a shot. and if you break down and jones for some "black cat" firecrackers? well, i wont judge. grherhahahaha

right on, Moi.

Jenny said...

Troll's comment reminds me of the story about a young boy walking along a beach, throwing star fish that are stuck on the rocks and dying back into the water. A man approaches and says "why bother, you can't save them all, it makes no differene" and the boy picks up a starfish, tosses THAT one back in the water and says,

"it makes a differene to THAT one."

Bravo, Moi. I applaud you. It ain't easy living an authentic life and I'm proud of you. And you're an inspiration.

Now, as for those BlackCat fireworks... yeah, let them blow their fingers off. Anyway, I buy them from the Indians. ;-)

Pam said...

Amen Sistah. Are there websites out there promoting Made in America products? There used to be that Union label we were supposed to look for, but then that brings up a whole union issue for me. Keep us updated with how you go about this.

czar said...

"I need a dump truck, baby, to unload my head."

Oops, wrong song.

"Judas!" (No, not you, Moi. You know what I mean.)

moi said...

Troll: Things were not this insane 15 years ago and I was not this aware. Wisdom is wasted on youth. Plus, never too late to start. At least for me. I don't care if anyone else shares in my madness.

K9: I don't know what I'm going to do about my running shoes. And underwear. Thankfully, my pledge does not include throwing out, selling, or giving away anything I already own (as much as I've come to hate Victoria's Secret, damn if they don't make a pair of undies that lasts and lasts). Or buying second hand. Damage already done. May as well support the local purveyor who is passing it along.

Boxer: At least ammo is made in the U.S.

Pam: Yes. And there are a few clothing manufacturers who manufacture here. Plus there is a movement with certain designers to bring manufacturing back to 7th Avenue in NYC, led, interestingly enough, by the Olsen Twins. And most high end blue jean manufacturers like J Brand and Seven for All Mankind use denim made in a factory in North Carolina, considered the best of its kind in the world. These items are not inexpensive, but I don't mind paying extra $$ if it stays here. I'll just buy less. And accessorize more.

Czar: One does have to wonder, what Dylan's been smoking. Oh, yeah. Never mind.

LẌ said...

Right on! Most of the stuff from China is shoddy and dangerous. I also try to avoid buying it as much as possible.

Anonymous said...

@K9 and Moi and Boxer,

Didn't mean to imply that personal boycotts are of no value. I've been boycotting China (difficult), Muslib dicatorships (easy, aside from oil) and Hollywood (easy and life-affirming) for a LONG time.

But I think that needs to be coupled with positive actions. For example, had we embarked upon a sane Energy policy 15 years ago, boycotting Muslib Dicatorships would be easy now. And 1.1 more Americans would be employed by an Industry that traditionally pays a good starting wage while offering a LOT of free training and advancement opportunities for the more ambitious. And those 1.1 million jobs would lead to many more ripple-effect jobs. Cato says the total impact would be in the 5 to 7 million range.

Anonymous said...


I'll bet you'll be pleasantly surprised by how little your personal boycotts impact YOUR budget.

I.E. I bought a new pair of Jorts to celebrate my smaller-waist. Took maybe a minute to find a pair not made in China and they were only 1 dollar more.

chick9 said...

New Balance is made in Merica.

I am a huge consumer of used goods. But like you said, I have a great Goodwill that is stocked by rich Buckhead ladies. It is full (chock full) of gently worn name brand stuff. Black Label Ralph, tons of J.Crew, Ann Taylor...no you are not going to find Blumarine there, but, I find what i need which is stuff that looks pretty good that doesnt have me weeping when i get acrylic paint on it.

Of course, for Chickory I almost always select vintage to stock it because it feeds my spirit in some way to have it look like I walked into my grandmothers homestead (if my granny had had a quirky artistic bent) grehrehaha

@Troll. no, not more Jorts. arrrgggghhh

sparringK9 said...

oh and boycotting hollywood needs to become a movement as hip as "upcycling" and "local economy". Moi, I know you will watch the oscars for the clothes but i say - just have it reviewed the next day on tom and lorenzo.

moi said...

lx: Right. There is that. God only KNOWS what some of that stuff is made from.

Troll: No, I do see what you're getting at. But again, never too late to start. Also, never too late to dress in REAL PANTS. Don't make me get on a plane.

Chick-Chick: S.B. contacted New Balance. Best they could tell him is that they ASSEMBLE in America. They could not tell him where they purchase their materials. Unfortunately, runners are very particular about their shoes and I've been running in Brooks Adrenaline trailer runners since Jesus first walked the earth. Switching is going to fork me up for a while.

K9: Actually, I also watch the Oscars for peeks at cute men, but then they open their mouths and something stupid falls out. I never learn.

Anonymous said...

Let us know if you find REALLY GOOD "Boycott China" and largely secular "Boycott Hollywood" websites after you conduct a thorough rigorous examination of them.

To date, I haven't found any. Most of them suck ass, in fact. Poorly researched tripe and badly organized features.

Ironically, the best one that ever existed was called "BuyLeft" and had the opposite intention.

To date, the best thing I've found is searchable databases of political donations. Dry stuff but at least factual and objective.

Some of the Hollyweirders who are pretty disciplined about keeping their yaps shut give a TON of money to lefty politicians and EXTREMELY leftist causes.

Jenny said...

Buying goods NOT made in China is like buying organic food... you'll pay more, but utlimatley you'll be happier. Chickory's GOODWILL!! Dear God, if I had that treasure chest in my 'hood, I'd never buy retail again.

@Troll - I hear what you're saying and you're right, but many people in this country want quantity over quality and that's where China "helped" them. To me, it's similar to all of the crap mass produced food that is sold cheap. Walk through any large grocery store and look at the amount of crapy, processed food that is available.

We need to become a LEAN country and that starts with how we consume.

Buzz Kill said...

So where exactly do you buy second-hand Victoria's Secret undies? Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Bwahahaha

Rafael said...


ABC News, with Diane Sawyer did a piece called "Made in America. http://abcnews.go.com/WN/page/map-find-made-america-goods-13917383

Here is another link where you can go and look up by category and state what you are looking for.:
http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/women.html (footwear is a category)

If nothing else, it's great that info is getting out there for people to make choices.


Jenny said...

@Buzz - BWAHAHAHAAHAHHAAHAHAHA. Well, after the whole Christmas thing,you might want to think diamonds, pal.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

I did reach this conclusion more than 15 years ago. I look at labels all the time for where a product is manufactured. If it's made in China. I will look for alternate. If I can't find an alternate. I change the question to see if I can come up with another answer for the product I need. Their products are crap, polluted and subsidized by a devalued Yuan.

The Chinese are the white elephant that no one wants to talk about, mainly because folks don't have the balls. They actively engage in cyber warfare, steal intellectual property the and their current military buildup is really only suited for 1 possibly 2 enemies. The Russians or us. The Russians would be number 2 on the target list.

As far as fashion goes, this is why I still have a 38 year old leather jacket.

moi said...

Troll: I haven't found any websites along the lines you speak of, but then again, I'm also not necessarily looking for solely Made in America. I will buy from any true blue company in any country making and selling a true blue product: a Mexican tablecloth, an Hermes scarf, a Turkish towel, for instance. However, NOT a pair of jeans made by an American company that outsources to China.

Boxer: I was in Santa Fe today for business and dropped in at a local clothing store. Beautiful cashmere and merino wool sweaters. All on sale, 50-75 percent off. "Oh, goody!" I thought. "I need a sweater!" Surely, SOMETHING here will be made in the US. Germany. France? Nope. EVERYTHING was made in China. Every single piece. I said to the sales gal, "How come?" She stopped texting for a second to give me a blank look and a shrug, "It's all made there." Fuck that.

Buzz: Dude . . . However, praise baby Jesus, Hanky Panky is made in the USA! A-#1 quality undies!

Rafael: Ooooo, very cool. Clicky-click on each state for a list of vendors. Thanks! As for footwear, thankfully, I have enough shoes to last me a lifetime. Most of the Made in US styles are kind of clunky.

Karl: Best. Avatar. Ever.

Pam said...

My dad was a Ross Perot fan back in the day. Where's he been lately? Did he die? I honestly can't remember. Can't imagine that he would not make an appearance in this climate if he was still around. Get this ... my dad was offered a job with Perot when he was starting his company. Turned it down because it was a gamble, he had a good government job and it would mean a move to Dallas which would be tough on us kids. Sigh! The things that coulda been. Anyway, do keep posting about brands and labels as you are much more aware of those things than me!

LaDivaCucina said...

Everyone in America wants to be paid a proper salary that keeps up with the cost of living, but yet they don't want to spend that money on consumer goods at a higher cost because they are made here, which is why WalMart is so popular, they want the dollar menu. You want it made in America by an American, well, you're not paying some Indian or Guatemalan pennies to make, it's going to cost you. You can't have it both ways, folks.

I get burned up seeing clothes for sale made in other countries, out of crap material, and then charge a high price for it. The Inc. brand at Macy's comes to mind. $75 for a polyester shirt made in Vietnam? I'll wait til it goes on sale, and maybe, just MAYBE, it might be worth $25.

And what about Apple? I heard an interview on the radio about a guy that was touring one of China's huge factories and kids as young as 13-14 are working in them. When the inspectors come, they put their oldest workers on the line and the kids are some place else. Surely Apple would know this...how could they not?

moi said...

Pam: Pam, I have a small list started and will post at some point. Great Ross Perot story! I have a couple, "If only my parents had . . . " stories, too. Don't we all. Parents.

La Diva: You hit the nail on the the head exactly. We want cheap because we want a LOT of stuff. The fact that I can watch a cashmere sweater at Dillards get marked down from, say, $200 to $45 by the end of the season says it all: the original labor to make it was so bottom barrel, the store is STILL making a profit at that markdown! Some people may blanch at spending $150 on a pair of Seven blue jeans, but you know what? They're at least made in the United States, from FABRIC made here, too, and they last forever. I've had my pair for five years now and they look fine. The cost per wear is down in the pennies by now. It's simply a matter of lifting and shifting lifestyle and attitude.

LaDivaCucina said...

Your philosophy about shopping is why we are friends, we are both believers in buying that ONE really nice piece, keeping it for years, taking care of it and then updating it! I've done that with shoes, coats, vintage clothing (changing out buttons, collars) I'd rather have one beautiful cashmere sweater than a bunch of throw away crap from Old Navy. But that's not the consumerism that keeps America going....How can a shift in attitude away from the "bigger, better, more" ideal work in keeping the economy strong? I'm positive there are some smart minds out there working on the consumerism of the future....isn't there?

moi said...

La Diva: I think maybe it is, slowly. But so much of it is the Cause du Jour for bored housewives that's it's difficult to be sure. However, the fact that consignment clothing and furniture stores do a very good business in this town alone is heartening. I buy almost exclusively from consignment, now. This thing has really been brewing with me for a while now (I made the pledge actually last year), but it really hit home when I was out shopping a few weeks ago to look for two things: a bathrobe and a black leather belt. I couldn't find either one not made in China.

Karl said...

Good morning Moi,

"a bathrobe and a black leather belt" A most interesting mental picture of that outfit.

moi said...

Karl: Add a pair of boots and a .38 to the picture and now we really have something.

Jenny said...

I just noticed Karl's new avatar. LOVE IT!!

troll said...

Are you going to stop using your products from the horrific Apple empire?

moi said...

Boxer: It's pretty Karl.

Troll: No, this doesn't include me tossing out what I've already purchased. Damage has been done. And what computer or phone isn't made in China? If there's no other choice, there's no other choice.

Aunty Belle said...

American made shoes:

Okabashi (fer the garden/ beach)
Chippewa boots ( hunting /hiking)
Sbibbca (farmer's mkt, casual lunch)
New Balance has some US made shoes too--some, not all.

I has some Munro pumps that is tre comfy fer long dashes through airports. Not THE most stylish, but workable.

Uncle say thar's an American cowboy boot outfit, but he cain't recall the name.

Tried Toad Lilly yet? US made. As is Commando Lingerie.

As ya might suspect, I has a third way--when ya cain't find it in US made, why not buy European made non-slave labor products? It'll cost ya' but the quality? Oh Sweet Pea...

Hanro and Zimmerli (Swiss) lingerie makers is tops fer Aunty--wears well, feels divine, worth the splurge. More playful? Once ya try Simone Perele, VS will be a distant memory.

I commend ya'--spread the gospel:
buy US made first, Euro made second. it will change the culture for the better.

Aunty Belle said...

From madeinusa.org

If the government won't help, then the people must do it themselves. Let's say 300,000,000 Americans each simply reallocated 1 dollar per day, spending 1 dollar less on foreign-made goods, 1 dollar more on American-made goods. (That's $30 per month, per person, and it is not an extra $30 per month, but just where you spend it!) After a year, this would add up to $109,500,000,000. What could the real, productive American economy do with an extra $109.5 billion? How about 2,737,500 new jobs paying $40,000 per year?

fishy said...

I buy clothes of mostly natural fibers, no synthetics. Mostly linen, cotton and silk or combinations of them. Because of this Lots of my clothes are made here and lots are made in Honduras or South America.

You do NOT want to hear my rant about the destruction of the furniture and textiles industries by the China phenomenon.

I LOVE the logic of the last comment from Aunty. I am ON this as of today.

moi said...

Aunty: Thanks for the sources! And like I mentioned earlier, I'm not opposed to buying from what I call other "first" economies, that is countries that actually make things, instead of making them FOR other companies. So I'll buy Made in Germany and Made in Mexico, if they are, indeed from a reputable company. I also frequent online and IRL consigners who sell designer second hand. I recently snagged a pair of Prada pants for $75 this way. Lined, beautiful detailing and solid stitching. Made in Italy from Italian fabric. Second hand really is the way to go with everything but shoes, undies, and swimwear.

Fishy: It's terrible, isn't it? Thankfully, a handful do exist (we recently bought a new sofa from a manufacturer in North Carolina, with materials made there), but for how long?