It’s no surprise that many beautiful luxury items come from some of the most prestigious places from around the world, like Italy, France, and Germany. These countries have built a legacy of craftsmanship and skill over the past several decades. But what about luxury items made in America?

“Made in America” has always been a movement synonymous with artisanal craftsmanship and quality to support the American economy, showcasing not only the beautiful craftsmanship in the building of the garment but also the craftsmanship placed into the materials and fabrics also made in America that comprise all or almost all of the finalized garment. But “Made in America” brands have seen a drastic decline over the years because of an increase in American production costs due to American manufacturers having to close their facilities for the inability to compete with the extremely low costs of overseas production.

What does any of this have to do with you?

why american made luxury mattersIn an era where many of the most beautifully handcrafted garments and products from around the world are at your fingertips in an instant, I wanted to share with you why I have become so committed to building The 16th Bar as an American Made Luxury Brand.

It’s easy for some brands to simply say their products are “Made In America” but behind closed doors, all the materials and goods are being imported and the final product is only assembled or even just packaged in America. This to me, is not the same thing.

When I began this brand, I learned very quickly why so many “American” brands chose to manufacture internationally. It was nearly impossible to compete with their pricing, and as American manufacturers began closing down due to lack of work, it became a spiraling domino effect. With no work, manufacturers were forced to close their doors. And with no manufacturers, new brands had nowhere to go but overseas. And thousands of American jobs were lost. During these challenging times this year, it has meant even more to me to maintain that promise I made years ago. That I would find a solution regardless of the circumstance to keep the brand American made.

But I want to explain what “Made in America” truly means according to the Federal Trade Commission. By their definition, “Made in USA means that “all or virtually all” the product has been made in America. That is, all significant parts, processing, and labor that go into the product must be of U.S. origin.”

To meet guidelines, my goal is to only use fabrics, wools, leathers, buttons, zippers, snaps, labels and even packaging that are sourced from here in the United States. And every jacket will be built inhouse.

But it’s not about bragging rights to say The 16th Bar is American Made. Being American, it has always been important to me to support our local communities, whether that’s supporting our hometown or across the country supporting New York City, and although the world is OUR community, it’s important to take care of each other and our little piece of it.

But again, what does supporting Made in America mean for you?

ABC News shared that “The United States has fewer manufacturing jobs now than we did in 1941, but if every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S.-made goods, it would create almost 10,000 new jobs in this country.” And spending only $64 annually would create 200,000 more jobs. But the benefits don’t stop there.

  1. To begin, one of the most important benefits is realizing the positive impact on a healthier environment by buying American Made. Manufacturers in America also provide significantly cleaner facilities using less dangerous and less heavily polluting processes than many other countries can provide. This means less air pollution, less pollution in nearby water supplies, but also just as important, a significantly lower carbon footprint with shorter shipping distances from where the product is built to your home. (25% of the air pollution over Los Angeles can be traced back to China)
  2. Purchasing products that are made in America guarantee safer and fair working conditions and standards that cannot be guaranteed on products manufactured overseas and also supports an honest day’s wage for the hard work of thousands of our neighbors.
  3. Along with safer and cleaner facilities, buying American made products also means higher product safety standards for you and your family. Because of the lack of guidelines and standards in other facilities, many products are at risk of dangerously high levels of lead in millions of products shipped to the US, including toys. Because of our consumer protection laws and standards here in America, you can have the confidence and peace of mind that your products are made safely.
  4. Buying American made products that source fabrics and materials from within America also provide durability and longevity in your product due to the higher quality standards and guidelines placed on local textile mills and manufacturers. When a product is made well with higher quality materials, it will be with you for years.
  5. Not only are there quicker delivery times and less carbon footprint when you live in America and buy American made, but when you’re closer to the source, your options and possibilities to customize and personalize your orders and experience are much higher.

In no way, shape, or form, am I asking you to only buy American Made, as our local economy is still a part of the global economy, and supporting well-made products and brands from all over the world is vital. We live in an incredible time in history where we have the ability to reach anyone at any time in an instant or order our favorite products from our favorite countries with a push of a button. Each country has something special to offer, and supporting quality and craftsmanship from wherever it comes from allows for everyone’s economy to grow. It’s not sustainable to only buy American made as America is not capable of manufacturing the best quality for every single type of product. With countries like Iceland for example who have vastly different geological resources such as geothermal power, we each have to look at our individual resources and advantages for when it comes to supporting the best products from our home countries.

What I am asking, is that we each pay a little bit more attention to the products that we purchase. We all want to make a positive impact on the world, reduce our waste, and create less pollution. So let us be more conscious about our good efforts to make a positive impact on not only our local and global economies, but also our environment and still feel good that our purchases can provide us with quicker delivery, higher product safety, lower carbon footprint, and higher quality, beautiful craftsmanship for years to come.

The 16th Bar Designer Frankie Rodriguez Signature



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