Do you love a great deal on a t-shirt or TV? Sure, we all do. Yet, sometimes when we shop, the lower the price we pay, the less we pay: people. People that make the goods (factory workers) and people that sell the goods (aka indie store owners) are the victims in the discount-pricing rush.
Today’s Times shares that making a bathing suit in Sir Lanka costs about $4 per unit while in Portugal it may cost $16. In NYC, the minimum wage is $15/hour—making production in NYC almost impossible.
This topic relates to Bridge’s brands and retailers. We want to sell quality goods by people paid a fair wage, preferably domestically, and we want to ensure that indie stores are able to compete with China’s unofficial partners, including Amazon and big box stores.
“If you want to pay your sewers a living wage, that’s where the cost comes,” said Araks Yeramyan, the creative director of a namesake line
of swimwear, lingerie and loungewear. “If you’re not going to make in China, … it’s the actual sewing that costs the money.”
Ms. Yeramyan produces her label at factories in New York City, where the minimum wage is $15 an hour, and New Jersey, where it’s $13 an hour — that’s about the cost of a one-piece swimsuit sold right now on the fast-fashion website Shein
“You’re paying for people,” Ms. Yeramyan said.
We agree. When you shop local at an indie shop, you are investing more in people around you. Studies show that shopping local keeps more money in your community. It helps more of your schools, roads, and other public services, and raises wages and your neighbor’s skill-set.
Bridge software is designed and coded in America. I often receive suggestions to off-shore development work but I believe that would be hypocritical. How can we say 'shop local,' but then 'hire far away'? We believe in shop local and hire local. Yes, it may cost more--like making a bathing suit domestically, but our communities benefit more. It’s, as Ms. Yeramyan said, about people.
Read more about my philosophy regarding shopping local and hiring local:
Read the full NYT article about swimsuit production:
View Post at ShopLocal.org