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04/17/2009: "Home-Grown"
We've been noticing an increase in the number of US-based micro-manufacturers serving the bicycle world lately. A lot of them are T-shirt printing operations, but several are, like us, making serious efforts to create a freshly-designed line of clothing (or other items) that are made, as far as it is possible, in the US, to serve the US market.

This not only supports the local economy (which needs all the help it can get right now!), but helps lower the company's, and the buyers', carbon footprint, by reducing shipping costs. (Even if the cloth, for example, is foreign--and it's hard to find US cloth, though our charcoal gabardine is domestic--shipping cloth in bulk is less energy-intensive than shipping finished products, which take up more room and require more containers.)

A quick off-the-top-of-our-head listing:These are just a few that we know that make a point of local manufacturing; there are surely others (and if you know of them, send us a note).

Every country needs to make the preponderance of what it uses for itself; the US is no exception. Let's hope this trend--which we see glimmers of in product categories as diverse as quality beer and elegant bike frames--not only continues but accelerates. (It would be nice to see some home-grown electronics and appliances too.)

It'll make a better life and a cleaner world for all if every country has a foundation of self-sufficiency, and trades out of choice, not desperation.

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