Cold Case Gear - Made In The USA
When Cold Case Gear started back in January of 2018 there was a decision to make. Should we have our products made in the USA or have them made elsewhere. For us it was a pretty simple matter. We are committed to making our products here in the USA for a number of reasons and if you're interested, or perhaps thinking of starting your own business, I'll detail what went into that decision below. However, I don't believe that making products in the USA is always the best choice for business or the planet, but we will get into that later.
Manufacturing products truly is no simple feat, no matter where you try to do it. For Cold Case Gear, we wanted to make things as simple as possible and dealing with US factories is inherently much simpler. Timezones don't impact day to day choices and mailing items back and forth takes far less time and less money. If you are a single founder trying to make your business happen you'll appreciate that you can just pick up the phone and call someone.
A huge reason that we wanted to make our products in the USA is that this greatly reduces the footprint that we leave on the planet. In the three years that we have been in operation we have mailed at least one hundred packages back and forth with factories or suppliers. if you choose to use overseas manufacturing you are going to be dealing with a lot of air freight and airplanes leave a major carbon footprint on the planet. When you place a large order from overseas it is going to either come over on a container ship or air freight. All of these options command huge resources. If you keep things local they can be shipped via ground freight or if you're lucky enough to live close to your factory you can even pick the order up yourself.
This is a bit of a double edged sword. While manufacturing in the USA typically is going to cost more on the labor end of things, many factories here won't require the types of minimums that factories overseas do. I remember when Cold Case Gear did our first production run, we were able to have them made in the USA in a small factory that was able to manufacture just five hundred units for us. We had been in talks with a factory overseas that had a minimum order quantity of three thousand. When we did our Kickstarted, this allowed us to raise just ten thousand dollars versus over fifty thousand.
Cold Case Gear is proud to support the American economy and contribute to our nations wealth. By making our products in the USA we are either creating jobs or helping to retain jobs. We help people pay their rent or mortgage and we are proud of that. The bottom line is this. When you make your products in the USA you're helping to fuel the furnace that keeps this country running.
The last reason I'll detail for why we are a Made In The USA company is in regards to both ethics and quality control. When we pick a factory in the US we have first hand knowledge of the factory conditions and can easily pay a visit if we so choose. We are not interested in having people in our employ who are being treated unfairly or paid terrible wages. This is a huge part of why things that are made in the USA cost more. We are also able to pay closer attention to quality control. Having our products made and warehoused in the US means that we can see each and every item and give it our stamp of approval before we ship it out the door.
It's not all black and white though.
There are plenty of highly respectable companies that make products overseas. It's important to remember that manufacturing is a small piece of the puzzle for many companies. Some companies might employ 50-75 people here in the US but they manufacture overseas. These companies are still providing good jobs and helping to fuel our economy. Just because things are made overseas also doesn't imply they are not of the highest quality. There is a reason that so many things ARE made overseas. By producing things at a lower cost this leaves more money to do good things. Many companies do take these extra profits and put them to good use. Maybe that is donating to environmental causes or passing some awesome savings on to the end consumer with great sales. Perhaps it's spending millions on researching how to make a more environmentally friendly DWR or a more environmentally friendly process. It could even be as simple as being able to provide the best customer service possible and taking care of any issues that arise. So let's not write off companies that manufacture overseas or make a blanket statement about refusing to support them. Instead, dive into what they do as a company because you might be surprised to know!
The bottom line is this, however. If you want to have your products made in the USA, they're just going to cost more. That is a fact. If you want to support everything that "Made In The USA" means, you're going to pay a premium. We can't have it both ways unfortunately.