I am a total water baby. Born and raised in California with my toes in the sand and my heart in the Pacific - I am really damn proud to have designed, built and launched AU & Co. here in the Golden State.
My designs are very much inspired by the ease of the West Coast and classic silhouettes. I love the idea of our pieces being simply styled with a messy braid, a strappy sandal and the perfect red lip. Just add a nice caramel tan, and girl, those Beach Boys will be singing all about you. We’re not interested in trends, we’re all about timeless design. Each style is built for effortless wear for years to come.
With California charm throughout our brand, making our threads here is incredibly important to us. AU & Co. is for badass babes who believe in timeless, sustainable style and one of the best ways we can offer that is by being an American made brand. So, what does that mean for you? A. If you shop with brands like us you’re a total badass, and B. Just like the farm to table concept, it’s important to know where your clothing comes from. Let’s have a quick chat on why shopping that little tag that says “Made in USA” is really rad.
You’re loving your fellow humans
Ever notice how clothing made in the USA is more expensive than other brands? Well, that’s because worker’s overseas can make as little as $10.00 per month. Shit, could you imagine working an entire month for a six pack of beer? It is super easy for companies to keep their pricing low when the worker’s making their garments are paid wrongfully low wages.
According to The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, a 2015 report shows Chinese workers producing toys for American brands were working 12-13 hour days and sleeping on plywood bunk beds in crowded, dirty and freezing dormitories. In 2006 they found child labor in a factory in Bangladesh making clothing for American brands and we can't forget the collapse of a garment factory in 2013 killing over 1,000 employees. Those are just a few reported examples, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulating these issues overseas are underfunded and understaffed.
When shopping American made you may pay a bit more, but you’re investing in brands that make their garments in regulated factories. The quality of environment is not only higher, but wages, standards and level of work are top notch as well. We have high standards for our coffee, brunch and cocktails (because life's too short to drink bad booze) so why not expect more from the clothing we wear?
You’re taking care of Momma Earth
Beyond minimal rights for many workers overseas, environmental and safety regulations are not set to protect employees, consumers or our sweet Mother Earth. Not only are dangerous chemicals going into the air and water, but directly onto clothing. According to the New York Times in 2007, China was responsible for about 60% of product recalls - many due to dangerous chemicals on product made in their factories. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want formaldehyde hanging out on my crop top.
Even garments just traveling from overseas cause boatloads of pollution - literally. Americans buy 22 billion new pieces of clothing each year and only 2% of it is made in the US. A single garment cargo ship coming from overseas can produce as much cancer and asthma-causing pollutants as 50 million cars in just one year. Holy ship.
Overall, fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world - right behind oil. That is insane! By backing and investing in American manufacturing, you’re supporting development of renewable energy production, transportation and energy efficiency. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), “This sector is going to play a key role in reducing greenhouse emissions and reliance on imported energy, but we must create new policies with more research and development in those areas.”
That means the more we shop with American made brands, the more we invest in creating a cleaner fashion industry, keepin' mother earth happy.
You’re creating LOTS of jobs
Let me just kick off this section by saying this - according to the EPI, it is estimated that every US manufacturing job supports an additional 1.4 jobs in other parts of the economy. Isn’t that just so badass?
Manufacturing employs workers at all skill and education levels and provides jobs with good wages for workers without college degrees. That, my friend, strengthens the middle class because it offers millions with economic opportunity.
To put a cherry on top - that opportunity then trickles to high skilled jobs like technology development, engineering, design operations, transportation, testing and lab work according to the EPI. This domino effect is essential to American technology and innovation - you really can help tremendously by just shopping USA made.
This is all fabulous news! Little changes can make such a big difference, so ask questions, inspire others and expect more from the brands you shop with.
No one and nothing is perfect, but we certainly promise to always have heart behind our brand. Our loyalty to you, your closet, mother earth and all her wild things is our foundation. With that, we hope to provide a collection that makes your look, feel and inspire so much good.
So cheers to all the badass babes who want better!