What do you think when you read the words Made in USA? To us, these three words stand for something more important than making great products. We’ve made deliberate choices about our manufacturing process because we understand the impact those decisions have. And while these words may mean something different to everyone, to us it comes down to responsibility, quality, and happiness. Responsibility We feel it is up to us to manufacture in a way that creates a positive impact on the environment and our community. When a business makes a product overseas, they are not required to adhere to the same standards for waste disposal as in the USA. These standards were created to protect the environment from serious issues like poor air, water, and soil quality. Even if the business is taking precautions, the country itself may not have the best infrastructure in place to properly deal with waste. There is also a heavier dependence on fuel in overseas manufacturing. It takes a phenomenal amount of oil to transport raw materials and finished goods to and from their point of origin if they are across an ocean. These gas miles dramatically increase the carbon footprint of a product, a measurement that reflects how much something contributes to climate change. By depleting a non-renewable resource and releasing tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, the product has degraded the quality of the environment significantly more than one made locally. Moreover, there are less regulations that ensure healthy and appropriate accommodations for the workplace. Laws that protect men, women, and especially children from working too many hours may not exist or be enforced. Codes that reduce the risk of hazards like fires, structural collapses, and sick building syndrome are a standard part of operating a business in America. We don’t have that guarantee if we hop the pond. Quality It’s important to us that every Flowfold product meets a high standard of quality. There are many steps involved in the manufacturing process. To ensure that every finished item is top notch, we focus on the details of performing every stage correctly. We’d be silly to think that making a quality product is impossible to accomplish in an overseas factory. Lots of large brands are doing so every day, and we know that skilled craftspeople exist all over the world. But there is just something different about cooking a good meal in your own kitchen, isn’t there? We feel it is important to have intimate knowledge of our own manufacturing process. That way we can continue to perfect it for our own specific products, tweaking our materials and methods until we are 100% satisfied with the results. Happiness Sometimes the bare minimum is a far cry from ideal. It’s not enough to simply adhere to US laws that protect our manufacturing team from unsafe working conditions. We want everyone on the team to be happy with their work and the space they do it in. Take a look in our workshop and you’ll find large windows that bring in natural light and a fresh Maine seabreeze. You’ll find Max, one of our talented makers, listening to her choice of music while she sews. She has flexible hours so she can commute from her home on an island without stress. Her giant Bull Mastiff puppy snores peacefully behind her unless he’s playing with the other pups in the office. This isn’t typically what you envision when you think of manufacturing, but it’s our vision: We want the people who actually make our products to be happy while they do it. We feel that the words “Made in USA” are very important. They describe a product that is more than the sum of it’s features or design. It’s a more thoughtful approach to the way we create. What do you think?
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