Oftentimes it’s hard not to be overwhelmed with the deluge of the “next big thing” in initiatives vying for your attention - whether they be green, charity or some other movement. Even finding time for a more in-depth look to pilfer through and pinpoint the ones that are worth participating in is difficult.
However, there is one movement you won’t want to ignore, and in which you can actively make an impact with your home décor choices. A movement where your day-to-day preferences, as a homeowner, have an impact not only on designers and craftsmen across the nation, but your nation’s economy: Made in America.
By purchasing American products, more of our money will remain here in our country. This will also increase demand of these products, thus creating more jobs and income for everyone.
Many stores and design professionals across the nation have made the choice to support local designers and craftsmen.
Design Guide interviewed well-known Austin Designer Laura Britt for her expert opinion on the Made in America movement. She heads up both Laura Britt Design and Vervano, which is a sustainable American-made furniture line.
“Our goal is to support the many great furniture makers here in our town and in the United States,” she said.
Made in America boils down to three main components: sustainability, quality control and shipping.
More conscious efforts to find better ways to sustain our local economy in Texas and in the U.S. are important. Controlling the quality of the product is more difficult when there are language barriers. Also, the further shipping distance, the more pollution is put into the air.
“There are times where buying certain furnishings elsewhere makes sense depending on specialized craft, make, availability and the particular client’s esthetic tastes,” said Britt. “But the pieces we can control we like to keep centralized to the U.S.”
Embodied energy is the terminology used to sum up these three main components of the Made in America movement. It measures the impact of a production cycle by evaluating the amount of energy and resources that it takes to produce a product and then ship the product to the end user.
Of the Made in America movement, Britt concludes, “It’s not the norm or the way most people operate. Manufacturing is typically not viewed through this conscious vein of thinking. The way I look at it is when this is mainstream and considered ‘the norm,’ where no one’s talking about it in this way anymore, then we know everyone has paid attention and adopted this sustainable approach.”