USA WORKS Dilemma
[Read the update on USA WORKS, February 22, 2006]
[Update: December 7, 2005: As of this date, Sapko, makers of USA Works Jeans, has not placed a statement on their website about their intentions to restart jeans production in the USA. In addition, Hanks Clothing, which had been offering customers the option to specify "American-made only" when ordering USA Works Jeans now tells me that they no longer have sufficient stock of American-made USA Works jeans to offer this option. It was great while it lasted, so thanks to Hanks for making the extra effort...and, note that Hanks still has a Made in USA page to help customers find American-made products that they carry.]
Last year I bought a pair of USA WORKS jeans because I knew they were made in
My first inkling of trouble was a note on Hanks Clothing.com, where customers were being offered the option of specifying American-made or import versions of USA WORKS. The site mentioned a fire at the jeans factory that had put the company out of commission for the time being.
About a week ago, I received an email from a disappointed consumer who had ordered several pairs of USA WORKS jeans based on information on my site that they were made in
I did some investigating, and here’s the scoop. The USA WORKS jeans were made in a factory in
In the mean time, the company felt that it needed to continue to produce USA WORKS jeans to meet the needs of its retailers and customers. According to Baumgarner, “The importation of USA WORKS is not our favorite choice, but due to limited
Sapko brands also include FiveBrother work shirts, many of which are made in
The temporary importation of USA WORKS jeans poses a dilemma for both retailers and customers. “Buy American” retailers, such as AmericanMadeForYou, have decided not to carry imported USA WORKS jeans although this brand was a substantial part of their offerings. Others, including Hank's Clothing, have continued to offer customers the option of specifying that they will accept only American-made USA WORKS, understanding that their order may not be filled.
Consumers face a similar dilemma. Do we continue to support the company by buying their products, even though imported (at least partially from