The topic of overseas manufacturing and jobs was a hotly contested topic during the presidential election, as many American brands still ship production overseas to keep costs low, at the expense of U.S. jobs and reported poor factory conditions (as seen through the catastrophic Bangladesh factory collapse in 2013).
What and where you choose to buy is a choice. And so, to help you weigh your options and in honor of the Fourth of July, Yahoo Style is celebrating five small fashion brands that keep production in the U.S. — while also pointing out five popular brands which, perhaps surprisingly, do not.
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Made in USA
The following brands represent an emerging league of designers that are keeping both design and production in the United States.
Staud was founded in 2015 by Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto. The covet-worthy line includes bell-sleeved blouses, feminine maxi dresses, utilitarian jumpsuits, bucket bags, and more ($110-$275). Staud is both designed and manufactured in Los Angeles. “It’s cliché to say LA is having a ‘moment,’ but it’s just totally true,” Staudinger tells Yahoo Style. “To be here and grow a business based here feels like we got in early on something that’s about to explode. There is this influx of young creatives, and to have the opportunity to collaborate and grow the L.A. fashion community is amazing. There is no shortage of talent here right now. The weather doesn’t suck, either.” (Photo: Courtesy of Staud)
The Palatines, a footwear brand, was founded by Jessica Taft Langdon, and both designs and manufactures in Los Angeles. Langdon’s past experience working at Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, and Everlane come through in her unique modern, colorful footwear collection, tailor-made for summertime ($260-$485). (Photo: Courtesy of the Palatines)
Lily Ashwell founded her eponymous line in 2012. The collection includes vintage-inspired floral print dresses, feminine silk dresses, tops, and more in a Socal meets England vibe ($85-$450). The line is designed in Venice, Calif., and manufactured in Los Angeles. (Photo: Courtesy of Lily Ashwell)
AUrate was launched in 2015 by Sophie Kahn and Bouchra Ezzahraoui who first met in 2009 at Princeton graduate school. Together, through their work experience in fashion and finance created an ethically sourced, jewelry brand that is entirely designed and produced in New York City. The collection features minimalist style jewels fit for the modern day working woman in need of elegant jewelry ($50-$2,900). (Photo: Courtesy of AUrate)
Ona Rex was founded by Ashley Balding in 2014 and is entirely designed and produced in Nashville, Tenn. It can best be described as a contemporary fashion brand that blends a bit of quirkiness, modernity, and eccentricity into one. Each collection is played off of a specific theme. In particular, the Pre-Fall 2017 collection incorporates colorful paracords througout Balding’s vibrant, whimsical dresses in colors like canary yellow and baby blue ($345-$575). (Photo: Courtesy of Ona Rex)
Not Made in USA
You will be surprised to learn the following iconic American brands are not actually made in America.
American Eagle, despite the word “American” in its name and its patriotic-themed clothing, does not produce its clothing in the United States. Instead, many of the fashion brand’s factories are located in Asian countries like China. (Photo: American Eagle)
Puma, one of the biggest athletic brands in the United States, collaborates with American celebrities like Kylie Jenner. But it extends its production outside of the United States to areas like Vietnam in Southeast Asia. (Photo: Puma)
You probably grew up wearing classic Converse Chuck Taylors like this white, red, and blue one. Although the brand began in 1908 out of Massachusetts, it has since outsourced its shoe production overseas to areas including China and Indonesia. (Photo: Converse/Kohl’s)
Under Armour is one of the biggest American athletic apparel, shoe, and accessory companies. It was founded in 1996 by 23-year old Kevin Plank. At first, he worked out of his grandmother’s Washington D.C. basement when he created his first major breakthrough — the HeatGear T-shirt. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar company that manufactures most of its clothing outside the U.S. — in parts of Asia, South America, and Mexico. (Photo: Under Armour/Kohl’s)
Vans was founded in 1966 in Anaheim, Calif. The brand is easily recognized for its classic checker print slip-ons or color-blocked sneakers, alhtough the company has since moved its production overseas to China. (Photo: Vans)