Fiber, stores & origin

Yesterday I left Thor to his own devices for several hours and walked around San Francisco. After I emerged at Chinatown gates, I visited a large retail store – the one where for years Thor has been buying his khaki slacks. (I seemed to be the oldest shopper there, and all the nice clerks who approached me were young and very trendy.)

I decided to check both fiber content and country of origin of the clothes. I found only one item for sale (a leather belt $49.50) made in the US; everything else came from (in alphabetical order): Bahrain, Cambodia, China, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jordan, the Phillipines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. (Keep in mind these are the countries where the clothes were made; there was no indication from which countries the fibers came.

Oh, as an aside, all the men’s clothing I looked at was a cotton-cashmere blend (effectively eliminating machine washing) or 100% cotton. It wasn’t until I was on the women’s floor that I saw synthetics (including 100% polyester).

In any event, to those who advocate the slow food movement (a movement that has not wreaked havoc on US grocery chains), perhaps it’s time to seriously address a slow clothes/slow fiber movement.

I will think about this more … but right now my latte and knitting require my attention!


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Fibers, Slow Clothes/Slow Fiber. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fiber, stores & origin

  1. I have no doubt it has something to do with cost – production cost, tariff issues, etc. And have you noticed that when you do manage to find something out of, say, cotton, the instructions warn you to hand wash in cold water and line dry?! I believe that is because the material has NOT been preshrunk and the garment is poorly made and will not withstand much “abuse.” (argh)


  2. MmmYarn says:

    Slow clothes / slow fiber is difficult. There is far less choice if we choose the USA, so little that it’s hard to find it in the stores. I haven’t shopped for a while; the last time I did I found one shirt made in the USA. I first balked at the price, then checked its origin and bought it after all. The fabric, though, was made elsewhere. I find slow yarn and spinning fiber are easier to find than garments.
    With regard to fiber content and the 100% polyester in the women’s department: I do wonder why it is that dressy work-appropriate sweaters for women seem to nearly always be a rayon and polyester blend. I bought one once and was cold both in the office and out. What a waste of money. I gave it to a more warm-blooded friend.


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