Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sewing in America (Part 2): That's Sew China

This is the second in a 5-part series on the state of sewing and manufacturing in America:

An incredible proportion of our goods (be they sewn, molded, assembled, etc.) are made in China. If you TRIED to avoid buying "Made in China" merchandise, you would have a very hard time indeed. Sara Bongiorni, a journalist in Baton Rouge, lived for a year avoiding the purchase of any products made in China. She wrote a book about it, "A Year Without Made in China: One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy," where, according to Publisher's Weekly, she tells "often funny, occasionally humiliating stories centering around her difficulty procuring sneakers, sunglasses, DVD players and toys for two young children and a skeptical husband."

To get a sense of how these kabillion products are produced, take a look at these truly awesome photoscapes by Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky. I've been rendered speechless by natural sights like the Grand Canyon and man-made architectural wonders in Europe, but when I saw Burtynsky's "Manufactured Landscapes," my mind was truly, truly boggled. I could not even imagine, or believe how big these factories are.

The output from just ONE day or work would probably fill every shelf of your local big box store. Imagine hundreds of megafactory complexes, operating 365 days a year.

What does this have to do with sewing?

That'll be covered in the next post. Have a great weekend, everybody.

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