Made in the USA - a new stamp of quality?
From cycling to fashion to food, brands are increasingly getting the looking glass out and training a keen eye at where and how their products are made. Over the past couple of years the number of 'Made in the USA' brands has grown here at Always Riding so we felt it was about time to have a look into why Made in America has become a label associated with quality.
Take a California based brand, in fact, a small brand anywhere in the world, one with a handful of staff if you will. They need to produce small quantities of their products ensuring everything from the finishing touches to color matching is spot on - the best way to do this? Either directly oversee local manufacture or manufacture 'in house' - plane tickets can be pretty pricey for small companies!
Another motivating factor for US brands is that they have the materials, know how and traditions to make such products - why look elsewhere when you have access to the best Cordura, XPAC, Merino, or great polyester blends. Couple this with hugely talented individuals that hand make bags or design patterns, logos and fonts and you've got a winning formula. Obviously there are lots of other advantages too - labour laws, environmental factors, employment.
Yes, there will always be brands, factories and designers that are more successful than others and a 'Made in the USA' does not guarantee quality or longevity. However what we do find it guarantees is that a brand is paying very close attention, throughout the process, to its manufacture. The list has grown here at Always Riding and as always we carefully curate our selection to ensure the Made in the USA brands we stock do offer faultless quality, durability and style.
Larger brands such as Chrome, or Defeet boast about US production and smaller manufactures and designers like Inside Line Equipment and Ornot have relied on it to ensure quality and style that sets them apart from competitors, hey even Chamois Butt'r is made in the US! In other cases, manufacturing is split - Niterider, Giro, and Crank Brothers make chunks of their products domestically to keep a close eye on their marquee pieces.
Inside Line Equipment for example, manufacture in house, allowing them to produce small runs of Ltd edition bags or take bespoke orders from customers - Walz Caps operate in a similar way - albeit on a larger scale. In an industry that is constantly demanding something new, different, exciting, being made locally allows the quick changes and short production runs necessary to, pardon the expression, stay awesome, in the cycling world.
We've compiled a Pinterest Montage with some of the finest US made offerings we have available, check it out!