Is it a big deal that something is made somewhere perhaps special? Is it important that we as consumers buy local or made in an area that we can support? Or should we just use our purchasing power based upon the best price? I have been thinking about all these questions and think I may have some answers.
You get what you pay for…
We have all been in the Targets and Walmart’s that have been overtaking our regions. We see some of the stuff that is for sale in the mega stores and I always find myself thinking “how can they sell that for so little money” and then I take a closer look and get my answer. At best it will last a year and it’s made over seas. Yet people continue to spend hard earned dollars on this type of product. Why is that? Have we lowered our expectations so far that we are happy with a sub-par product? Have we lost our value calculator? Or just become lazy and it’s easier to just settle.
I believe that it’s a combination of all of these factors. Plus one very important trait that has disappeared throughout the country, We do not make much of anything anymore. So what can we do?
I think we can draw from Marc J. Dunkelman’s book “The Vanishing Neighbor” to draw some conclusions. In his book, he states that “we have lost touch with our middle-ring relationships”. Meaning that the relationships help us to diversify our thought and opinions. We have become a watered down culture and we just settle. This clearly flows through in our buying habits. And with the loss of manufacturing in our country, we really have no choice.
So how do we change this? Make a choice when making purchases. Do you know who made this? Do you know where it is made? Would you pay a bit more knowing that the product was better made and has a better shelf life?
Made in Maine means something to those of us that make our products here in Maine USA. It means that when we ship a product it has a bit of ourselves going out in the world. We are proud of what we make and we stand by it. Maybe that’s why we live and work in Maine USA.