Repost: Yea or Nay: Buy American

In our Repost Series, we re-publish classic posts from our archives. In light of our current economic turmoil, we thought this post, first published in Dec. 2007, was an interesting topic to bring back for discussion.

The personal is political and personal style is no exception.” – The Budget Fashionista

The recent recalls of products made in China has led to a resurgence of the “Buy American” mentality this holiday shopping season. While this may seem like a discussion best left for politicians on sunday morning TV shows, the push for American made goods has a direct impact on the closets of budget fashionistas world wide. Target, H&M, and most definitely Forever 21, rely on the relatively cheap labor of workers in developing nations to produce apparel and accessories for a population struggling to keep up with a myriad of financial challenges. It would be virtually impossible for Target or H&M to sell their items at such low prices, if their manufacturers were based in the US.  Even high-end designers (Michael Kors? Jones New York?), rely on cheap labor to produce their “bridge” (mid-level) lines.

On the real, few of us would be willing to give up our $20 handbags from Forever21 and our high-low pieces from Isaac Mizrahi at Target. We’ve become accustomed to accessible style and it has become as much a part of American society as, well, apple pie.

So, Is buying American realistic considering the financial and fashion pressures of living in America? Would you be willing to pay $5, $10 or more per garment if it was made in the US?  Do non-US citizens experience pressure to purchase items made in their home countries over those made in others?

Buy American: Yea or Nay?