Official 2009 = change
The world is changing. We as citizens of the world are responsible to make good choices to help guide the changing world towards the better good of everybody. Sometimes it’s hard for Americans to concern themselves with everybody. We’re stubborn, we don’t want change, we want to drive SUVs, guzzle gas, have big suburban homes 45 miles away from our job with a 24hour, 7 days a week leaf blower service. We want everything to be manufactured here because that’s “American” and that’s how things should be.
But the fact is America has to change. We have to change where we live, how we transport ourselves and basically start from scratch or simply scrap many non-efficient, redundant industries that are limping along and unfortunately doing more harm than good to our country and in-turn the world. We are no longer a manufacturing country. And this is not a negative thing or something that’s un-American to admit. It’s just a truth and the sooner we all can accept it the sooner we can move forward and focus on what we as a nation are good at. One thing we’re really good at is building brands and marketing them. Even better, these things that we are good at are more labor intensive than the manufacturing industry. As manufacturing technology progresses machines take human jobs making it a shrinking job market. You can’t ask a machine to build a brand or market it. You can’t ask a machine to sell a product for you.
How do these changes affect Official? We have our products manufactured where they can be made with the best quality and most efficiently thus leaving the most minimal carbon footprint as possible. Our products and components of our products are made in countries like Italy, Bolivia, Peru, Japan, Hong Kong and China. Originally we were making our products solely in the USA but with some research and careful consideration we came to the realization that this was doing our country and the world more harm than good. When we were making our products in the US we were having to travel to different US cities to source fabric, have the labels made in one factory, silkscreening done in another factory and the product sewn together in another factory, then that constructed product would be shipped to our warehouse for finishing, stickering, labeling and packing. Oh, the finishing, stickers, labels and packaging all were shipped from different factories. This manufacturing trail was riddled with inefficiencies and a ridiculously deep carbon footprint. Now that we’ve moved our manufacturing overseas our products are made in factories that can produce all of the components necessary to compose the product ready for shipping. In fact the products can be packaged and drop shipped to distributors from our factory. We used a point system to evaluate the inefficiency and carbon footprint left by our manufacturing here in the States opposed to manufacturing overseas. 1 point for each inefficiency recognized and time something was transported by petrol fueled vehicle before it landed on a retailer shelf. US manufacturing = 15 points, Overseas manufacturing = 5. This was a bold discovery and made it clearly evident that it was irresponsible to continue manufacturing here in our home country where we just simply don’t manufacture things efficiently anymore. It’s ok to admit, we are great innovators and creators, we’re actually pretty damn good manufactures. Just not efficient or relevant in the day and age of this world’s economy.
“Made in the USA,” is an irrelevant term for our company. The brand, the creativity, the ideas, the marketing, the sales, the shipping are all contributing to the US economy. But in our case the manufacturing was not a positive contribution at all. In our point of view it was actually hurting our economy and our environment. Official is “Made in the World,” taking the world’s best interests into consideration and allowing us to focus on what we are good at and our respective manufacturing partners efficiently focus on what they are good at.
We’re incredibly proud of our country but the people of America aren’t the only ones we are proud of and want to partner with and build with. We are proud of the different countries and cultures that contribute to producing our product. We’d like to think our products are building an ecosystem that reaches from an elderly lady in Peru knitting Alpaca to the burgeoning skate phenom rocking the beanie she knit when he’s filming a line for his “sponsor me” tape.