Street Talk: How Important Is Made in the U.S.?

The footwear industry is taking a new look at domestic manufacturing. As prices in China continue to rise, some U.S.-based brands are seeking opportunities at home. But does it matter to young consumers? Footwear News recently took to the streets of New York to find out.

ZARIN AHMED

Residence: Queens, N.Y.

Do you own shoes made in the U.S.? “Not sure.”

Perception of products made here: ”In terms of design, whenever I think of U.S.-made products, I think of American Apparel [basics]. Everything that’s fashionable in my wardrobe isn’t from the U.S.”

Would you pay more for U.S.-produced footwear? “It would depend on how they look. I’d love to support economic growth in America, but I’m on a budget. And I don’t have time to think about the lasting effects of buying a pair of shoes.”

AMANDA FRANKLIN

Residence: Raleigh, N.C.

Do you own shoes made in the U.S.? “Yes. I think Converse is made in the U.S., [but] that might be it.” [Some Converse footwear is made in China.]

Perception of products made here: “I don’t know which products are made here, which is part of the problem. I’d think American quality is generally equal or even greater [than that of foreign goods]. Design-wise, it’s probably more conservative.”

Would you pay more for U.S.-produced footwear? “It’s not so much about being made in the U.S. as quality and design.”

DEVINE CHARLES

Residence: New York

Do you own shoes made in the U.S.? “I believe so.”

Perception of products made here: “Even though the economy goes [up and down], it’s all about labor [costs].”

Would you pay more for U.S.-produced footwear?
“I’d be willing to pay more to help the economy, but not to support the [company] CEOs. “

NAKEYA TAYLOR

Residence: Newark, N.J.

Do you own shoes made in the U.S.? “I don’t think so.”

Perception of products made here: “As for quality, [some shoes made in the U.S.] might be better [than others], but more of what’s made outside the U.S. is better quality.”

Would you pay more for U.S.-produced footwear?
“If it’s going to be a better quality. I’m about quality.”

CHELSEA ELAINE BELL

Residence: Honolulu, Hawaii

Do you own shoes made in the U.S.?
“I think so, but I’m not positive.”

Perception of products made here: “They’re probably better quality, I’d assume.”

Would you pay more for U.S.-produced footwear? “Yes. I don’t agree with child labor, so if [shoes] are being manufactured in a different country that supports that, I wouldn’t feel good about myself.”

 

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