As a company with a ninety-two year history of crafting our jewelry here in the United States, we’ve long held the belief that made in America works. This is true for our country as a whole as well as for the communities in which we all live. At Leber Jeweler Inc, all our Earthwise Jewelry is made here in our Chicago workshop to ensure our highest social and environmental standards are met.
Currently, most jewelry you see at your local jeweler both large and small is produced overseas, often under sweatshop-like conditions. This is reflective of a larger shift across broad sectors that has cost the United States 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, as many companies have sought to outsource production to locales where human rights, labor, and environmental issues are hardly an issue and low cost labor is reliant on an often-exploited populace.
We believe global trade needs to benefit all parties along the entire length of the supply chain for it to be considered successful. It cannot be predicated on a reliance on underpaid labor in the developing world. While many large companies turn a blind eye to the exploitation in the name of increasing their own corporate profits, this strategy only costs American jobs by creating an uneven competitive playing field. It also forces developing countries’ workforces into the untenable choice between working for below-living wages or not working at all.
A new film entitled American Made Movie explores the topic of outsourcing and the potential for US economic revival. It makes the case that American manufacturing is still viable and that its survival is critical to our economy. To quote one interviewee, “What the country is realizing now is, making things is important.” It’s showing in several US cities, including here in Chicago from August 30 through September 5.
It’s good business to invest in our own communities and to know the true costs of goods in terms of social and environmental impact, so we encourage you to examine the origin of the products you buy. Whether it’s food, clothing or jewelry, you can make a difference that will affect our country’s and our world’s future.
You can watch the film trailer here.