My Great Non-Sweatshop Jacket

So there is quite a saga (someday going on the activism page in a much more clear format, but in the meantime this is kinda the grain silo of this here bread factory) going on with my new made-in-the-USA jacket.

like this one but all blackThe jacket, for those of you who missed it in passing a few weeks ago (I’m not even going to bother finding the post in the archives myself), is a Carhartt (that’s Carhartt). Carhartt, in the US, is primarily worn by blue-collar workers, construction workers, and the like. You have to search to find a dealer, and once you do they probably won’t stock any jackets at least; you’ll have to order it on faith. I did and I’m very happy. It is like the one pictured (left) except all black. The thing is warm and tough, two important features for Sarajevo. I also got some Carhartt jeans, but be careful–the place I was at only had one pair that were made in the US…they have moved most of their jeans production to Mexico. The jeans are really fantastic too, though.

All of that was going to wait until the activism/intelligent consumption page went up sometime this summer, but it is all backstory for this:

Carhartt Europe

Steve sent me an email regarding my original post and was like, “Oh, yeah, Carhartt is a big brand over here,” …skaters and club kids and all that. I was like, “GET OUT!” It’s still hard to believe…but somehow folks over in Europe turned the whole non-brand into a huge-brand. Not at all what I was going for–I was more attracted by the idea of it being a blue-collar non-brand than I am by the fact that it is a big brand in my favorite continent…but I guess this proves I’m a European at heart–I know what’s cool without even trying! Ha ha.

Only problem–since the two Carhartt divisions are SO seperate, are the Carhartt clothes you buy in Europe made in decent conditions or are they made in China or one of 100 Pacific islands where no-one cares about workers? Steve did some field research for me in London, and the tags did not indicate place of manufacture! This is something I have never encountered in the US, and now I’m wondering if this is a law in the US, that you must indicate where a garment was made. He also pointed me to this guardian article about human rights violations in US territories…although I have seen tags indicating territories (as opposed to just “made in the US” it says “made in the US {insert territory name here}”) and have stayed clear of them as much as possible.

So the verdict is still out on Carhartt Europe; but for those in the US, if you want some clear-conscience jeans or jackets check out the Carhartt site and find a dealer near you. Just check the tag!!!

See also: Red Wings, the made-in-USA boots that I got; really like them too!

Campers (english site), made-in-Spain (last time I checked) shoes that I also have and really like!

More non-sweatshop brands to come when I get that activism page done…