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Global Sourcing

Global Sourcing

Concerns about global sourcing and overseas manufacturing come at a time when Americans are worried about further declines in domestic manufacturing. It should be no surprise that a number of customers ask why we simply don't make more of our products in America, especially when environmental and social issues are at the forefront of our mission.

Well, we know that sourcing domestically and manufacturing closer to home are important parts of responsible production. We believe that an important environmental argument can be made for manufacturing closer to the point of purchase, but there are some specific challenges in our industry that make domestic manufacturing a long-term goal rather than an immediate reality. While we consciously try to manufacture as much as we can in the US, the global race for cheap manufacturing and low cost goods has made it challenging to make our products in the US without increasing their costs considerably. We do make some of our products in the US, and we hope to make more.

We also measure the environmental impacts of our products, tracking them from a cradle-to-grave life cycle approach. This exercise has really opened our eyes. We have found that efficiency in our supply chain reduces our environmental impacts. For example, having distribution facilities on both the east and west coasts lets us ship goods more efficiently and reduces the need for extensive trucking. Even though our goods are made in Asia, we learned that ocean shipping contributes only a small percentage to the carbon footprint of our products (some 12%). Compared to more carbon intensive airfreight and trucking, the transportation impacts of our goods were smaller than we expected.

While we are proud of the environmentally preferable products we offer, we are actively seeking still more sustainable versions of all of our renewable content fibers and biopolymers. Despite our relative size, we want to move the needle toward more robust environmental solutions and further distance ourselves from non-renewable resource use. We are confident that soon, you will find more and more of our products made right here in the U.S.