Why Made in America Matters: A Bead & Reel Collaboration

One of the challenges in creating a more mindful fashion industry is that a lot of common terms, ideas, and words don’t always have a clear or unified definition from person to person and brand to brand. This ends up being confusing for everyone involved from companies to consumers so I decided to bring together voices and styles from members in the Bead & Reel Network to take a deeper look into some of the more complex issues in fashion.

I invited Network content creators and brands to participate, and this week we’ve joined together with Chakra Intimates, an eco-friendly, spiritually-inspired luxury lifestyle-brand that offers a sense of personal power with hand-sewn Chakra-aligned, ethically sourced gemstones and sustainable fabrics.

I asked: Why is supporting American made supply chains and manufacturing important to you?

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For me, the American made designation is tricky because it’s not a legitimate certification, which leaves things open to interpretation. Technically, the FTC requires that any product labeled as Made in America or Made in the USA be “all or virtually all” made in the United States, but they don’t police this. They leave it to brands to self-regulate and because of that many of them either do it wrong (perhaps sourcing cheap textiles from Bangladesh and doing final assembly here) or exploit the system by pushing into the “American-made” space as an ethical marketing play without tackling any other issues (interconnected) like sustainability or workers’ rights.

So, Made in America is important but consumers have to keep their wits about them because it’s not equivalent to, say, a Fair Trade logo, which ensures set wages reach the farmer or maker through enforceable audits.

Chakra is a prime example of a brand that gets Made in America right and doesn’t exploit the laissez-faire regulations. Their entire product from fabric to production is done in the States and they directly oversee their artisans in LA. Chakra also integrates sustainability by using Modal as their main fabric (a step above petrol-based fibers like nylon and polyester that often dominate this category). Plus, the namesake “chakra” gems are ethically sourced.

Featured: Chakra Intimates Vitality Bralette

 
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It's good for our economy and supports our people working here in America when American supply chains choose to create a business here. I know it can often times be more expensive but keeping things local is so beneficial in many ways.

Featured: Chakra Intimates Vitality Bralette

 
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Being Made in America doesn’t inherently guarantee that something was made with living wages (and it often doesn’t), but, when done correctly (both legally morally) I love to support American made brands.

When we buy products which were Made in the USA we are supporting our neighbors and local economies - as well as helping rebuild a once thriving (now dwindling) US apparel industry. Additionally, designers who manufacture in the States are often able to have better oversight of their products, having easier access to their factories and tighter quality control based on closer proximity.

Plus it can also cut down on transportation and therefore the many environmental (and financial) costs in flying fibers and fabrics around the world for different steps of the manufacturing process.

Chakra Intimates is not only Made in America but their fabric is as well!

Featured: Chakra Intimates Vitality Bralette

 
 

A NOTE ON ETHICS IN WRITING

All writers were gifted an item by Chakra Intimates and all opinions are their own. Affiliate links are used in this story.