Happy almost Thanksgiving, Raleigh!
I took my own advice and bought this ultra cute, ruffle-sleeved top from TJMaxx yesterday! As you guys know, I’m livin’ for ruffles this season, and this sweater is slightly cropped, so it fits into my thrifted high waisted mom jeans well. Woo!
Sometimes it’s nice to know where your clothing comes from (and with TJMaxx, that could be anywhere), so I did a little research on my top to learn more about the company who created this piece.
The tagged brand is Love By Design, which is owned by the wholesaler “By Design.” Their creative team is based in New York City, and according to the By Design website, the clothing is manufactured in factories throughout Asia, which is very common in the retail industry.
My particular shirt tag read “Made in China” — however, it’s still possible that some components were subcontracted to other factories in neighboring areas. According to this 2017 article on Quartz (which is an informative, short read!), some (not all!) “Made in China” tagged garments are even being sent out to North Korea, where workers can be paid less. In the words of the author, “International supply chains in fashion are notoriously opaque.” And he’s right.
(A quick break from my semi-accidentally serious tone so you can see how cute my outfit is:)
(Good right? Now we’re back to the FaCtZ, below)
I’m sure you guys are like “omg Theresa this is boring and it’s Thanksgiving and can’t you just settle with appreciating your cute outfit bc who cares who made your shirt!!!!!!11!!”
But I can’t resist! This is straight up my alley, as most of you know I’m getting my degree in Textiles.
Right now I’m enrolled in an online course on retail supply chains, and I’ve been doing a LOT of research on this stuff recently. I’m about halfway done with a *20ish* paged paper on the (very often controversial & not very transparent) supply chain behind fast-fashion giant Forever 21.
On the consumer side of things and as a college student, of course I know how tempting buying cheap things is — you see me in this cute $16 top, right? How could I resist?
But it’s also important to be aware of what you’re getting, how it was made, and *who* made it. (And newsflash: just because your shirt was “Made in the U.S.” doesn’t even mean that it was made completely ethically!!)
This Thanksgiving, let’s not forget to be thankful for the fact that as consumers, we have a choice on who we’re buying from and what brands & supply chains we’re supporting with our money! 🙂