Earlier, I listed the countries where the clothes in my closet were made. I just took them out, went through them and logged them in a spreadsheet. Weird? Yes, but after reading The World is Flat, and hearing daily about how China manufactures everything now from Toys (with lead) to Clothing (with low wage workers) to Cat Food (with rat poison) makes me curious about what I have bought, because like we found out when companies used to advertise “made in america” people don’t look at where things are made when they are shopping or buying. When the leading factor for deciding what to buy is always price, people only look at what they are getting and the price. Never the country where it was made. (unless you are my mother, she really does look at where things are made, just to exclaim that everything is cheap crap these days)
So, I also wanted to post where stores I had bought clothing items at produced those pieces. Just to balance out the data and give more insight into what we buy. Admittedly I just shop at certain stores, and this is only a list of clothing that I currently wear, so a lot of stuff I no longer fit into isn’t on this list and a lot of winter stuff isn’t also. It is also a list of things primarily from the past 2 years. There are assorted items from 3, 4 or 5 years ago, but most is from 2005 – 2007.
Ann Taylor Loft: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia (2), Siapan (usa), Vietnam
Anthropologie: Taiwan, USA, India
GAP: Hong Kong (3), Phillipines
H&M: Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, India, Turkey
J Crew: USA, China, Hong Kong (2), Hungary, Malaysia, Turkey
Kohl’s: USA, India
Marshall Fields (now Macy’s):England, Honduras
Nordstrom: India, China, USA, Hong Kong, Mexico (all these items were $50-100 dollars)
Old Navy: Cambodia (2), China (3), Colombia, El Salvador (3), Indonesia, Mexico, Moldova, Peru, Phillippines (2), Turkey, Vietnam (everything from Old Navy was under $30, hello $8 T-Shirts)
Target Cherokee: Bahrain
Target Merona: China (2), Guatemala, UK
Target Mossimo: Guatemala (3), Vietnam
Victoria’s Secret: Mexico
A few questions may come to mind after seeing these lists:
Who counts all their clothes like this? Apparently someone who wants answers.
You shop discount stores but not WalMart? Yep, long before they got bad press for mistreating workers and offshoring US manufacturing, I always thought they just offered the cheapest stuff there was. I’m ok with nice looking but cheap and limited quality as a result, but not cheapest. That’s just junk.
What does all this mean? I am not sure, but it looks like what is happening in China is really just a function of what is happening all over the world. And I predict that in 25 years there won’t be a cheap place to produce goods that hasn’t had economic development and has low wage workers. We will have developed it all, sold them cheeseburgers and shown them that you are not successful until you own a gas/oil burning car and they all buy them too. Hiring workers will be a lot more expensive everywhere and resources will be a lot more scarce. So we better get our fill of cheap stuff now. Because it is temporary.