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American-Made Products Are the Future. Here's Why.

By Burgess Powell

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The majority of Americans prefer made in USA products, research suggests. According to a recent poll, 60% of Americans are willing to pay more for American-made products.

Why, exactly, do millions of Americans prefer USA made products? For starters, American-made goods may be of higher quality. This is because American factories, such as our facility, are held to higher quality standards when it comes to product design, material traceability, and customer feedback.

Shopping for American-made products is not only great for you and your business, but it’s a simple way to help your fellow citizens. Buying goods produced in the United States ensures that you're supporting businesses that pay their employees a fair wage and provide safe working conditions. Beyond that, selecting made in USA products bolsters communities in need of our help during times of turmoil and unemployment.

Here’s why choosing American made products is a smart move for you, the environment, and your community.

Made in USA Products Are Higher Quality

There’s a reason why 60% of Americans are willing to pay more for things made in the United States: USA-made often translates to higher quality. This goes back to manufacturing processes: domestic manufacturers are highly regulated by federal and state governments. Though this can contribute to overhead, it’s oversight is a good thing for the customer and the planet: Domestic manufacturers must follow more stringent quality control procedures, may have to provide material traceability (if they are a medical device manufacturer like us), and work more directly with their customers.

Ultimately, this may lead to higher-quality products, which last longer — a great thing for our planet .

More interaction with regulators and customers also produces better-designed goods. As an American manufacturer, we have firsthand experience with the quality processes mandated by our government. Beyond that, we have two decades of product design expertise. With the Casco Shield, for instance, we solicited feedback from our customers to fine-tune our design even after several in-house iterations.

Shipping Domestically Means Fast Delivery Times

One of the biggest problems faced by businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic is supply chain disruptions. At best, this means delayed shipping times and, at worst, an inability to access the supplies that we need. Why is this happening? American businesses and individuals are overly dependent on overseas manufacturing, which causes problems during global events such as COVID-19.

One of the biggest advantages of sourcing made in USA products is fast delivery times.

On a global scale, depending on imports for essential products — like face masks and face shields —means running the risk of running out of supplies.

The question of delivery times is more relevant than ever. Businesses are struggling to source the gear they need for reopening during COVID-19. When you choose foreign-made products, you may be faced with inflated shipping costs and slow delivery times. For educators looking for back to school supplies to summer camp reopening, timing is critical.

All of our products are manufactured and shipped from Sanford, Maine. This translates to streamlined production and fast delivery.

American made products

Made in USA Products Provide Jobs for Americans

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the United States is over 11% nationally , though may be higher in some states. This is up from 3.5% in February 2020 and does not take into account individuals who are unemployed but not actively searching for work.

One of the best ways to help fellow Americans struggling during COVID-19 is to support local businesses. That can be as easy as choosing American-made products, which are critical to restarting our economy.

Not only does paying attention to product sourcing benefit you — higher quality, faster delivery times — but it helps our economy and communities.

Made in USA Products Offer Better Customer Service

Have a question about a purchase? Smaller, domestic businesses are more likely to offer great customer support (and be located in your time zone). At SiliconeGear, we pride ourselves on our customer service. Have a question about our face shields? Email us and we will be in touch as soon as possible. We’ve answered thousands of questions about our products, wholesale opportunities and so much more. All you have to do is ask.

Support Fair Wages and Safe Working Conditions

One of the most compelling reasons to choose made in USA products is ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions for those who manufacture them. One of the sad realities of sourcing products from developing nations is the potential for human rights violations such as child labor and unsafe working conditions.

Facilities in the U.S. must ensure that their workers are fairly compensated and that factories meet safety standards at the bare minimum. In our case, we work hard to provide our team with a supportive, safe working environment in Sanford, Maine.

Beyond that, we are an ISO 13485 certified factory, meaning that our facility exceeds international quality standards for producing Class II medical devices. Though the products on this site are not medical devices, they are held to the same quality standards during production.

Shopping Made in USA Products Is Environmentally Friendly

Looking to reduce your carbon footprint? Goods produced in the United States are typically higher-quality. That means that they last longer, saving you money in the longterm and the planet from additional waste. At SiliconeGear™, it is our mission to make products that last. That is why our face shield headbands are made from medical-grade polypropylene and silicone. This makes them sanitization-safe and reusable.

Beyond that, sourcing things domestically means reducing the fuel costs intrinsic to international supply chains. When something is shipped from Maine rather than China, you are reducing fossil fuel expenditures and other hidden environmental costs.

Thirdly, looking for American-made products means supporting businesses that dispose of their waste in a more environmentally-friendly manner. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strict regulations on how factories recycle unused materials and air contamination, for example.

How to Find Made in USA Products

Interested in supporting American businesses? The best way to find out if something was manufactured here is to look for labeling. For example, “manufactured in USA” or “made in Maine.” Keep in mind that “designed in the USA” does not mean that it was made here. 

The more transparent a company is about its production, the more likely their products were actually made in the United States. For example, at SiliconeGear™, we try to be very clear about the fact that we are factory owned and operated. Our factory, Casco Bay Molding, is located in Sanford, Maine. All of our products are designed and manufactured in Maine.

Are Made in USA Products More Expensive?

Manufacturing in the United States is often more expensive than doing so overseas. If companies are focusing on quality, fair wages and working conditions, and great customer experiences, the cost of doing business naturally increases.

At the time of writing, the highest minimum wage in China (Beijing) is 24 yuan an hour, which is approximately $3.43. In the United States, the lowest minimum wage is $7.25 (it is $12.00 in Maine). In other words, the cost of hiring people to work in manufacturing is, at cheapest, twice as expensive in the United States. This does not include other expenses such as unemployment insurance, healthcare, safety procedures, and other processes that American factories must follow.

You may be wondering, how are the prices on SiliconeGear so affordable? As we are owned and operated by a factory, we are able to offer factory-direct prices. We also believe that offering fair pricing is the ethical thing to do.

Locally Sourced Products Are the Future

People care where things come from. They care so much that they are willing to pay slightly more—especially if that translates to higher quality and better design. And during times like the present, it's become increasingly apparent that, though buying USA-made products is great for our fellow Americans, it is also the economical thing for businesses to do as they restart. How can you operate a  business without fast delivery times, great quality products, and helpful customer service?

It is our mission to offer all that at factory-direct prices. Our goal at SiliconeGear is to empower those who work for us and with us with environmentally-friendly, durable products.

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