Fashion or more notably, clothing is one of the basic human need. Our wearing of cotton denim jeans is a fashion staple and has been for many decades. America (and other countries) has a long time love of a good pair of US cotton denim jeans. You know, you have a favorite worn out pair you just can’t part with, EVER. No matter how tattered, worn or old they look. Some denim lovers probably feel as close to their jeans like family. Well, rightly so. It takes a family…..
Ever think about who grows the cotton that crafted the cloth to produce those jeans you’re wearing? Take a look at the tag on your jeans, do you know which fibers are natural and which are man-made? If not, you’ve got a lot of company. Read this great post “What’s This Talk About Natural Fibers?” by Janice Person
Some of the growing agriculture conversations and community actions going on lately, online and off, chiefly concerns our food supply system. Though that is a VERY important issue and long overdue for attention, we could however make more of an effort to connect our clothing supply system to those talks and actions. Not all of our family farmers produce food for markets. We need US textile family farmers too, they grow our cotton,wool and linen.
A really unique example is what the All American Clothing Co. (AAC) of Ohio is doing with their web site. Through the use of modern technology called ‘traceability’ they bridge the gap in education about your clothing purchases. As simple as a mouse click, the visitor or purchaser becomes an integral link in a chain of USA production that creates a personal connection to your pair of jeans. One small action can make a huge difference and show you the impact your purchase can make for many families. That click of your mouse can take you from “sower to sewn” and give added meaning to the term truly USA made. Stop and think for a moment,imagine:
“If every American cared enough to purchase one USA made garment per year the impact would be $9 billion. that creates an amazing amount of jobs for USA citzens.”-AAC
Next time you’re shopping for a great pair of jeans, a gift or just browsing around, check them out. They have other items too and prices are rather reasonable. You just might get a little more ‘farm to fashion’ wiser. When you do purchase a pair of jeans there, how about showing them off with a photo and proudly boast to your community:
“My jeans were grown and sewn in the USA”
Then share that photo across your social media accounts like facebook, twitter or pinterest. Use hashtag #USAcotton . If you live near AAC or one of the traceability map cotton farmers perhaps you can even arrange for a visit and take your photo on the farm!
Somewhere in the US, a family farmer (and others) will be thankful you did.
Sincerest thanks to Janice Person (Cotton 101). She lent me her time, invaluable inspiration and passion for cotton. Which encouraged me to write about this subject. Be sure to peruse her blog A Colorful Adventure and follow her @jplovescotton.
Thank you Alicia Wells of ‘Lucy’s Quilts’ for graciously allowing me the use of her amazing ‘denim quilt’ photo! It gave spark to my imagination. [I envisioned plats of denim farm fields ] I came across her blog doing research for this post and found out she’s a Puget Sound ‘farm’ gal too! Alicia crafts amazing colourful mosaic quilts out of scrap denim pieces! Go check out her blog and her many beautiful creations. Oh and her new garden shed too !
Thanks to American Cotton Growers (ACG), All American Clothing Co., Elk Brand Manufacturing Co. and its sister company W.E. Stephens Co and the many more involved that truly make MADE in the USA happen.
To learn more directly from other cotton growers here are a couple of young families you should not miss:
Ashlee’s -Across the Branch Cotton Elementary /
Jared and Jillian’s- From the Tractor Seat
Don’t forget to use hashtag #USAcotton when you share your new AAC jean photos!
Disclaimer: No stipend or favor was received for this post.