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Community: Made in California

by: Kevin Dorey

Attached inside every garment sold in the United States, is a label that informs the consumer what that item is comprised of, and where it was made. For much of my life, I was the type of person that would cut/tear all care and size labels from my clothes and toss them in the trash immediately. If any of you follow that mantra, we don’t blame you…labels can be extremely annoying. However when we set out to build this company, we wanted to build it from a foundation of sustainability and responsibility. Where, who, and under what conditions our apparel was going to be made was one of our foremost decisions as a business. The research and education behind that decision ultimately changed the way we look at all products now.

 I won’t stand on a soapbox and try to tell you that products made overseas are evil. Quite the contrary. Some of our favorite labels are sewn in Europe, Mexico, China and Southeast Asia and the quality can be excellent. However, for us the decision became quite clear that sewing our product domestically was right for us on a number of levels:

 First, and the simplest answer, is that community is an extremely important and overlooked piece of a healthy society. We wanted to work with people that we could talk to, become friends with. We found tremendous value in the idea that our cutters and sewers know us, and when they sew our garments they are sewing items for people they care about, and know that we care for them.

 Second, we sell the vast majority of our apparel in the USA. We can only hope that one day our stuff will travel the world, but only after it has taken the shortest possible route from our home to yours. Cutting down on shipping costs is very important to us.

 And last, the sad truth of the garment industry is that it is not too friendly to the environment. Fashion, as a whole, is the second most polluting industry on Earth, right behind the oil. Regulations in some foreign countries are more like guidelines and industrial pollution can often be a huge problem. We didn’t feel comfortable contributing to a problem. Rather, we want to be part of the movement that creates products with future generations in mind.

 We are very proud of the steps we’ve made to ensure our supply chain is responsible. You can wear your BELO clothing knowing that it comes from a place of love.

 Not all tank tops are created equal!

 *For more on the harsh impacts of the fashion industry, go check out the film ‘The True Cost’ http://truecostmovie.com