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Monday, November 2, 2020 : By Erika Frantzve
“Made in the USA.” We should demand nothing less. We deserve nothing less. Now, more than ever before, consumers are digging deeper into understanding where their products are manufactured, produced, and packaged. The vulnerabilities of every company’s supply chain around the globe were displayed in full technicolor as the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll. From personal protective equipment (PPE) to wedding gowns, everything that we relied upon for foreign manufacturing was put on major backlog.
Yet now is the time for the American ingenious spirit to rise instead of run. If American business owners truly want to put the customer first, they have to put America first. And that means bringing manufacturing back home and making product right here in the U.S.A.
Over 300,000 jobs get outsourced out of the United States each year, with a whopping 68 percent of large U.S. consumer product companies sending American jobs overseas. Not only are jobs compromised by this decision but also the quality of the products themselves — all for the sake of mass production.
As an entrepreneur, I am currently in the middle of relaunching my Christian clothing line. However, as we began to scale up inventory and I said I was going to continue to make everything in the U.S.A., nearly all of my mentors in the industry laughed. “America doesn’t make clothes,” they insisted. But I refused to compromise the ethos of my company for the sake of slightly more favorable profit margins.
The fashion industry is supposed to be one of the most beautiful and forward-thinking, but it is also one of the most ruthless and detrimental to the environment, its workers, and consumers. The era of “fast fashion” that we are immersed in today lacks transparency and puts our world in a challenging position.
My goal with PROCLAIM Streetwear™ is to spread the Gospel throughout an industry that desperately needs it. I do not believe in compartmentalized Christianity, especially when it comes to transforming culture. Every item of clothing produced in our line has a give-back component attached to it, and Scripture is woven throughout. From the hands of those who assemble the garments to the consumer who purchases them — whether believers or not — they are exposed to the verses found in Isaiah 61, which foretold the mission and good news of Jesus.
My philosophy is: “Invest into what you believe in.” For me — a hardworking seamstress, manufacturer, and fabric mill owner — that is the American way of life.
Although the U.S. dyehouses remain backed up, fabric suppliers are pushing their limits, and the manufacturing plants are still overwhelmed with orders, the transition back to onshore has to start somewhere. I’d rather know that my company is putting money back into the American economy to support and empower the American worker rather than fueling a communist country, like China, that believes in religious persecution, atheism, and unethical labor (especially for children).
While many large corporations are investing in politicized efforts, as heightened geopolitical tensions continue to escalate, it is imperative that American businesses reinvest our time, energy, and money back into America. Our adversaries are waging economic war on our country. We must reassert our commitment to employing Americans and delivering high-paying jobs, especially to middle-class families.
So as the market begins to correct itself and business owners tweak their business model to find creative ways to fill the void of disrupted supply chain management, do not lose sight of Romans 8:28. God is sovereign, and even though things right now aren’t necessarily good, God will work all things together for good for “those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
As an entrepreneur, I know there is opportunity to be found in the middle of adversity. The “Made in the USA” label is the new quality standard. It is not a compromise — it is an investment in our citizens, our freedoms, and our country’s future.