carrda04

New Member
I can think of no better inaugural post than to ask a question that has been nagging me since I picked up my first of the "new" BB Made in USA Original Polo shirts. The image below is of a more recent generation than my first purchase (the only noticeable difference to me being the removal of the "Makers" in the label and slight button-hole placement adjustments), but it demonstrates the same issue:

How can the shirt be "Made in the USA of imported fabric" and yet also made of "100% American Supima Cotton"? I have reached the point where I no longer think I must be missing something. Unless someone can correct me, I am ready to declare this an far-reaching error!

BB Label.jpg
 

drpeter

Senior Member
And who said colonialism was dead?
Touché ! As a former colonial subject, I can confirm that this is very close to the original colonial project: The coloniser extracts raw materials and resources from the colony, takes it to his country to make finished products, then sells that product back to the people in the colony. Add punitive taxes to such products and you have the subject population reeling. Gandhi explained this logic to workers in the cotton mills in Manchester, and they understood why he was boycotting English clothing in India, and what's more they supported him!

Now the pattern of exploitation isn't quite as obvious, or even one-directional, here. Let's say American supima cotton is being taken to Italian mills to create shirting, and then that shirting is sent Stateside to be finished into actual shirts. The pattern of "exploitation" is not quite the same, or perhaps not quite as nasty, as British colonial practices. As attorneys often ask: Cui bono? Who exactly is exploiting whom?
 

Mr. B. Scott Robinson

Advanced Member
I guess there are no longer any mills operating in North or South Carolina that can produce the cloth at a competitive price to supply the BB factory in Garland, NC?

Or maybe Luxotica was made an “offer they couldn’t refuse” to make fabric in their home country?

When I was in the construction business, I was shocked to discover that lumber could be cut in the Pacific NW, shipped to Indonesia, made into doors in a factory there, shipped back to the US, pass through the entire domestic wholesale/retail supply chain, and be sold in Home Depot for less than $100 per unit.

I found it both amazing and terrifying. It is also a system that is rooted in access to very cheap fossil fuel.

Cheers,

BSR
 

OCBD365

Starting Member
Yes, you wrote "buying online", which implies that the shirts bought online are somehow different from the shirts bought at brick and mortar. That is also incorrect.
I didn’t mean to imply that. I’ll have to check the ones I still have but the two I bought in store behaved the same as the several bought online.
 
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