On my drive home from work yesterday, I caught the middle of a report about KEEN shoes and how they were opening a factory in the United States. It got me thinking about the economic aspect of social responsibility. The reporter was polling people asking if they knew products were American-made, were they more inclined to buy the product? Most of the consumers in the report stated that yes, this was important to them. I realized that without really thinking about it, this has become something I look for, in addition to environmental and health responsibility, as well.
A few years ago my brother and sister-in-law requested gifts that hadn't been made overseas. My brother had just returned from a military deployment in Korea, and there was a scare with chemicals in some toys with China. It was nearly impossible to find reasonably priced toys that were American made, or even simply not made in China.
Since then, I've been more inclined to buy from company's that proudly boast their American made products. With my brother's recent deployment in Iraq and the economic downturn of our own American economy, I continue to find it more and more important to support manufacturing in the U.S. In addition to financially supporting my home country, I find it more environmentally responsible because the goods don't have to travel quite as far.
I bought my own pair of KEENs this summer simply because I wanted the toe protection while walking my dog. Now I will wear them even more proudly this coming summer, knowing that KEEN is doing more to invest in American manufacturing.