Made Local, Made in America

March 08, 2019 3 min read

Everything we make, we make right here at home. That's been our commitment from day one, and it will continue no matter how big we get.

Why it Matters

Manufacturing locally allows us to contribute to the local economy, especially important in small rural communities like ours that have seen a decline in traditional income sources over the years. By providing employment opportunities to residents of Oakville and the neighboring towns, we're giving people the option to stay and work in the communities they grew up in and care about rather than having to look elsewhere for a living wage.

Being here allows us to lead by example. Our visible presence can provide incentive to other businesses and entrepreneurs weighing their location options, proving that you don't need to be in a metropolitan area to have access to a skilled workforce.

Staying local also means staying connected. We establish relationships with local schools and nonprofits, supporting them through monetary and product donations for fundraising events, volunteerism, and participation in local advocacy efforts for the betterment of our region. Partnering with organizations like the Chehalis River Basin Land Trust and GRuB whose missions parallel our company values enables us to make a difference beyond the workplace.

We design, develop, and manufacture all our signature products right here in our Oakville production facility. That means hands-on quality control from the drawing board to the shipping room. When we say we stand behind our products, you know it means we can vouch for every stitch. If you ever experience an issue with one of our items, you know you can go direct to the source for resolution.

By keeping manufacturing in house, we also control the environmental impact of the entire production process. We long ago implemented practices that enable us to repurpose raw material remnants to achieve our goal of being zero waste. Centralizing production also allows us to minimize our carbon footprint. No transportation fuel costs shuttling product between manufacturing and shipping facilities. It starts and ends here.

On a larger stage, manufacturing in America means compliance with government standards of safety and employee protection that ensure a secure work environment, standards that are nonexistent in many countries. US fair wage and child labor laws offer protections not available in regions of the world where mass-market goods are produced cheaply at the expense of workers' rights and just compensation. Add to that US environmental regulations aimed at lessening the impact of domestic manufacturing on the health of the planet, and unregulated offshore producers fall short on all counts.

While we don't need regulations to motivate us to provide the best for our workers and act consciously to minimize our environmental impact--these have always been core tenets of our company culture--we appreciate being part of a larger business community that operates to these high standards.

We're in Good Company

A few of our favorite businesses making good stuff in the USA and doing good things in their communities.

Red Ants Pants

Based in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, owner Sarah Calhoun has done amazing things with her small company that makes workwear tailor-made for women. The company's success enabled the creation of the Red Ants Pants Foundation, which supports rural communities, develops roles for women in leadership, and helps preserve family farms and ranches. In her inspiring TEDx Talk, she tells the story of her business and how locating it in a small Montana town impacted the community and influenced the company's evolution.

Frost River

Building on a legacy handed down through generations of North Woods loggers, traders, and adventurers, Frost River utilizes old-world craftsmanship and American-made components to create waxed canvas packs and travel gear as tough as the rugged region that surrounds its Duluth, Minnesota, home. They're also a driving force behind the city's burgeoning Lincoln Park Craft District, where artisans, restaurateurs, brewers, and craftspeople are transforming empty storefronts in a previously rundown section of town into a vibrant community hub.

West Paw

The first pet product company to become a certified B corporation, West Paw makes durable, eco-friendly dog toys and accessories using sustainable materials and processes. The company recently donated $50,000 to the Trust for Public Land to create a dog park in its hometown of Bozeman, Montana. Volunteerism is part of the company culture, with employees receiving pay for time spent at local animal shelters, food banks, and schools, and at events like the local Fix-Up Festival, which provides home repairs to low-income neighbors.

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