Published on November 28th, 2012 | by Sky Barsch0
Keeping it Local, in a National Sense | From Vermont Sports December 2012
Each year, we put together a list of holiday gift ideas to run in the December issue. Around August, we start getting e-mail pitches for products to include, some absurd (celebrity-event -designer Matthew Robbins’s book: “Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings!”), some repetitive (dozens of iPad/iPhone cases), but a lot are very much worth considering. It’s impressive how the outdoor industry continues to one-up last year’s designs by bettering waterproofing, shaving weight, improving durability, increasing comfort, and becoming greener and more sustainable. There are a number of ways we could theme the gift guide—plenty of angles to choose from.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds the holidays can be too materialistic. The stress from endless commercials and appalling stories about violent Black Friday shoppers can outweigh the warm and fuzzy feelings we expect to have this time of year. So when we were putting together our annual gift guide, I wanted to include products that had a special quality—a connection to the true meaning of the holidays. To that end, this year’s annual gift guide includes only items that have been manufactured in the United States. You’ll see, as we write on page TK, that there are a surprisingly large number of outdoor gear products that have been made by fellow Americans. When you purchase something made here, the benefits are far-reaching. Some of these benefits (compiled by Todd Lipscomb, founder of madeinusaforever.com), are listed here:
- When you buy American, you support not only American manufacturers but also American workers, safe working conditions, and child labor laws. Foreign labor standards allow unsafe worker conditions in many countries.
- When you buy goods made in the USA, you help keep the American economy growing. Jobs shipped abroad almost never return.
- US manufacturing processes are often much cleaner for the environment than those of many other countries. Numerous brands sold in the United States are produced in other countries that use dangerous, heavily polluting methods.
- When you choose products made in the USA, you contribute to the payment of an honest day’s wages for an honest day’s work. Many countries have no minimum wage restrictions, or the minimum wage is outrageously low.
To further the positive effects on our economy this year, when you purchase American-made products, buy them at your local retailer, or through a local online retailer. Even if you shift a small percentage of your shopping to domestically made, and/or locally purchased, your friends and neighbors will feel the impact of your thoughtfulness. I hope our carefully researched made-in-the-USA holiday gift guide will be helpful for your shopping endeavors.
See you out there,