Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Made in the USA: Your 'vote' counts

I'm trying to "Buy Local;" I am trying to support manufacturing in the USA. It is very hard.

I've been wearing Jockey underwear for over 20 years. Most of my collection is "Made in the USA," So when I set out to buy more, just a few weeks ago, I crossed my fingers that they hadn't outsourced their operations. As I riffled through the racks at J.C.Penny, I was pleased to see that Jockey still manufactured in several countries -- including the USA -- and clearly marked the country on the package. It only took me about 5 minutes to find my size that was "Made in USA."

Thrilled, I decided that this stroke of good luck was worth some positive consumer feedback. I went to the Jockey website and sent them this:

I just wanted to send a quick note of feedback to praise the fact that you've continued to use USA manufacturers for your women's underwear, and that you so clearly note this on the labeling. I spent about 15 minutes in the store the other day, picking thru the Elance bikinis to find a set that was Made in the USA as opposed to in El Salvador, or Honduras, etc. I want to support american manufacturing, and I appreciate Jockey continuing to do so, as well.

Within about 24 hours, I received this response:

Thank you for contacting us.

It was very kind of you to take the time out just to tell us how much you like the fact that our Elance Bikinis are made in the USA . My manager said he would include it in a special report he sends thoughout the company documenting consumer feedback. So, hoping you don't mind, we'll be sharing your kind words with many other people here at Jockey, and I'm sure they'll find them most gratifying.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of additional assistance.

Tamara Crane
Consumer Relations Representative

Wow. Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that they are perhaps questioning their continuation of USA manufacturing? That perhaps this feedback is really important, and that it will become part of the bigger decision as they weigh the pros and cons? That's certainly the way I feel, and I'm thrilled that someone is actually listening to my opinion as a consumer. It is always said that you vote with your money, but I think that words can cast a vote, too. I imagine that they must be wondering how many people really care vs. how many people just randomly pick up a package. This feedback helped them.

I imagine there are other companies in the same situation. If you care about the decisions they make, I suggest taking 10 minutes to send an email. It appears that our consumer vote does make a difference.


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