Fashion handmade in America helps support local economies and creates American jobs while supporting hand crafted artistic expression. Have you ever considered whether this is the kind of production used to make your necklace or handbag?

Fast Fashion Contributes to Unemployment

Close to 95% of all clothing purchased in the US was manufactured overseas by 2007.[i] So it should not be a surprise to know that there are very few fashion houses creating clothing and accessories in the US. Fast fashion is mostly to blame, but we must also be aware that our demands have created the fast fashion monster. Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to find out why.

Back in “the good ol’ days,” Americans wore handmade garments created right here in the US. As a result, people bought fewer clothing items. And what they owned was usually handcrafted in small shops that followed a two-season production cycle: winter and summer. People didn’t have money to waste on clothes that would fall apart in less than a year. They purchased items that would last for decades, handing them down to future generations.  Each piece of clothing was custom-fit and quality was of the highest importance.

But when the war ended, several factors collided that changed the course of fashion forever.

  1. Peoples’ bank balances grew, which meant they bought more fashion than ever, increasing the demand for production.
  2. Assembly lines started to churn out inexpensive clothing for the masses.
  3. Factory worker wages in America rose as the country became wealthier.
  4. Fashion houses looked for ways to cut costs, realizing they could increase their profits if they reduced their labor expenses.
  5. Overseas markets opened up with millions of people willing to work for incredibly little money.

The result: The manufacturing of cheap clothes was offshored to Africa and Asia where labor and materials were inexpensive. This marked the beginning of the end for clothing handmade in America. And so the era of fast fashion was born. No longer was quality and custom fit the priority.

Fast fashion today means pumping out cheap, trendy clothing to meet the rapid pace of the new 10-season fashion production cycle. The result is poor quality garments made by people working in slave-like conditions, which are then shipped thousands of miles across the world.

Reinvigorating American Jobs with US Handmade Fashion

Thankfully there is a way off of the fast fashion roller coaster. Applying old-world fashion-making principles like custom fitting and manual stitching, Hearts is working to recapture the benefits of quality, handmade fashion. Our pieces are durable and high quality so they’ll last for years, wearing beautifully with time.

We’re proud to support American jobs. Over 50% of all products you’ll find on Hearts.com are handmade in the US. Most importantly, we adhere to strict labor standards to ensure no one is forced to work long hours for low wages to create Hearts fashion. All of our eco fashion is created by artisans who receive fair wages, safe working conditions, and the benefit of working with a community doing what they love.

We love handmade fashion for its personality! We believe there’s beauty in imperfections. Look closely at any Hearts’ piece and you’ll see the individuality of the artisan. It’s evident in a unique stitch length, custom embroidery techniques, and flourishing brush strokes. Each individual handmade fashion item is a work of art.

Plus, handmade fashion is better for the planet. Quality, timeless fashion is worn for years, which means less textile waste. And by choosing locally-produced fashion made in the USA, we ensure minimal shipping energy costs, which helps fight climate change.

At Hearts, we choose to support fashion handmade in the USA as a powerful way to create a more sustainable economic system, transforming the market from profit-centered to people-centered.  We hope you’ll join us in recreating the fashion system!

To learn more about handmade in the US fashion items and industry, put on your scuba gear and dive deeper.   

Process - Handmade in the USA - hearts.com.pdf

[i]  Ethical Style: What Happened to Made In the USA? (2012, February 16). Retrieved April 2, 2012, from GOOD.is: http://www.good.is/post/ethical-style-what-happened-to-made-in-the-usa/