Many people discover SOM Footwear because they are looking specifically for shoes made in the USA. While there are a handful of shoe companies making great footwear domestically, they are not always easy to find. Smaller companies based entirely in the US aren’t necessarily as visible as some of the larger ones. And while many larger companies will have some products that are produced in the US, this does not guarantee that their entire catalogue is American made. Even the “Made in USA” labeling can be confusing at times. Buying American can really be a challenge.
As our friends at USA Love List explain, the Made in USA label could mean a number of different things. The labeling is loosely regulated in a way that can leave a lot up to interpretation. The Federal Trade Commission provides guidelines for how labeling should be applied, though the requirements are heavily centered on textiles and automobiles. The easiest definition is that “all or virtually all of the product” is made on US soil.
For our part, our shoes are produced entirely in the USA, under one roof. It is in our Colorado factory that we take raw materials, cut and shape them using our patterns, and create shoes. While not all of these materials are domestic, we try to source as much of our shoe as possible from the USA as well. Being able to put that little flag on our shoes is a great way for us to acknowledge that our shoes truly are made in the USA–from start to finish.
We are even more excited to see that we are not alone in this adventure! CBS recently featured Suuchi Ramesh who started the clothing design and manufacturing facility Suuchi, focused on providing personalized inventory to companies and retailers alike. Rather than locate her factory outside of the US, Ramesh chose to open shop in New Jersey. From her perspective, the benefits of being a domestic factory outweigh any cost savings from being outsourced. The control over the speed, personalization, and quality of her items make Ramesh confident in what she is producing. Today Suuchi is rapidly growing and attributes a portion of its success to being committed to producing in the USA.
It can be difficult to find these types of companies sometimes, especially if they are small, but there are resources available! A great place to start on your Made in America journey is USA Love List, a collection of all things made domestically that is easily searchable. The Stars and Stripes Collective is another great resource dedicated to clothing and accessories made right here in the USA. If you are up for the challenge of buying American, the rewards can be great. Coming with that “Made in USA” stamp is a quality product and the support of a business that may be located just down the road.