As we in the United States celebrate Independence Day, we consider what it means to be a patriot. For business owners, patriotism might include founding and growing a prosperous business, one that employs American talent to create something that fulfills American demands. For consumers, patriotism might include rewarding American ingenuity with their business, feeding the American worker in service of a robust economy. To “buy American” is one of the quintessential patriotic ideals—and yet, in the age of globalism and internet-driven commerce, living up to that ideal can be difficult (“overseas labor is so much cheaper, it can’t be avoided”) or even nebulous (“with so many components coming from so many places, what even constitutes ‘American’ anymore?”)
For textile printers, however, the digital age has brought ingenuity that makes “buy American” easier, and more profitable, than it’s been in decades. Furthermore, the rise of conscientious consumerism—a byproduct of a more prosperous, interconnected world—gives producers considerable motivation to take advantage of this ingenuity. Consider:
- Human rights abuses continue to gain international attention, with textile production contributing more than its share of infractions and even shamefully accepted practices. Disturbing, even fatal cases such as this one are hardly isolated incidents.
- The environmental cost of textile production is considerable, producing wastewater, carbon emissions, and water pollution on an extreme scale globally. Apparel retailers trapped in antiquated production cycles see inventory waste (not to mention considerable profit loss) as they struggle to adapt to “fast fashion” trends.
- Tariffs, and the threat of tariffs, have impacted the American economy significantly, increasing the costs of products and components made overseas and generating a great deal of uncertainty for the coming years.
Add to these factors the persistent threats of economic and political instability across regions, and international businesses will find unpredictable long-term profitability, supply chain continuity, or both. As a result, bringing the complete production process back to American shores is not only plausible, but wise.
Textile printers find the key to successful onshoring in digital print technology. For those producing apparel, home décor, or accessories from whole cloth, the microfactory model allows the entire production cycle to take place in a single location, with a limited footprint, a limited ecological impact, and requiring less human labor—efficient end-to-end workflow, giving the business maximum control of its operations, generating high margins while satisfying those who demand responsible business practices. For those imprinting apparel on demand, the strategic placement of fulfillment centers with efficient, single-step DTG print technology ensures orders are fulfilled and shipped immediately, in any quantity and using certifiably green production methods, at the speed of e-commerce.
Print businesses looking to embrace the pride and security of American-made goods have better options today than they’ve seen in a very long time. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about helping your customers “buy American,” and Kornit Digital wishes you and yours a Happy Independence Day.