When we were living in Europe, one thing we noticed was that products were almost always local. And not just food. Chris bought new boots in Germany. The boots were made in Germany. I bought towels in Austria. The towels were made in Austria. I bought a cheap tank top at the grocery store in Italy. The tank top’s label said Made in Italy.
So why, here in the US, is almost everything made somewhere else? I understand that we want cheap prices. But the German boots Chris bought were €80 and they were quality leather boots. And the tank top I got from Conad in Italy was €8 and it isn’t falling apart like my Forever XXI tanks made in Sri Lanka.
I guess living overseas and noticing how things in Europe tend to be made in the country where I bought the item has me checking my labels more often here in the US. And I’m not just checking the labels on clothing. I recently bought the Brazilian Sunset Fragrance Body Mist at Ulta for $9.50 – a store brand cheaper/knock off version of Sephora’s Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist that sells for $32. They smelled similar and I just wanted something summery and new. After a few days of using the body mist, I noticed it said “Made in China.” Really? How much could it possibly cost to make this here in the US? And this is a heavy liquid – I imagine shipping this across the world is not cheap. I decided to throw away the Chinese chemicals and buy the US version at Sephora instead. I don’t want to wonder what foreign factory chemicals I am spraying on my skin.
I recently read an article: China-Free Dog Food? Don’t Count on It. It turns out, something can say “Made in the USA” but that doesn’t mean the ingredients came from the US. So your “Made in the USA” dog food might be packaged here in the US but the ingredients are globally sourced. I’ve started to notice this wording more and more on packaging.
Hand soap is a tough one. Most of the packaging doesn’t say where it is made AT ALL (hello, China). I was hoping Meyers Hand Soap would say Made in the USA. They are based in Racine, Wisconsin after all. But it doesn’t say it so I can only assume it is made somewhere else. I started looking at all of the hand soap in Whole Foods and not one bottle said Made in the USA. I decided if I am buying a foreign chemical, I might as well buy a hand soap for a fraction of the price at Walmart. I found this one at Walmart:
If you look closely at the Walmart hand soap label, you will see it says “Made in the USA from domestic and globally sourced ingredients.” So while it is made here, the chemicals used to make it might be from China. They most likely are from China. On a totally different note, this hand soap does smell really nice so until I can find a made in the USA hand soap, I will keep buying this spearmint and lemongrass Everyone for Everybody hand soap.
This article from Keep the Tail Wagging about Raw Dog Food Brands that Source Ingredients from China was REALLY interesting. Here is a clip from that article:
“Made in the USA” Can Be Misleading
A friend who owns a dog treat company informed me that the label “Made in the USA,” isn’t always a complete story. For instance, some brands source their chicken from US farms, and they make their chicken jerky treats in a US facility. However, they ship the chicken carcasses overseas for processing. Technically, the “Made in the USA” label isn’t false, but it can be misleading.
They SHIP the chickens overseas for processing!!!! How is that efficient?!?!
The labels on my European clothing, shoes and towels got me going on this research. Then James getting sick had me researching even more. Hopefully the European truly local trend will hit the US soon!