How much extra will you pay for goods made in Canada?
Almost two years ago, I called up Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss for an MSN story on manufacturing in Canada.
Reiss noted it was tough, but the right thing to do. That he sells his jackets and outerwear in the ballpark of $600 a pop surely makes things easier.
But outside the high-end space, can any everyday brand succeed in making its goods locally? More to the point: how much extra are you willing to pay for things that are produced in Canada?
Over the years we’ve had multiple campaigns promoting local goods, most notably “Buy Canadian,” which sprung up as the recession churned on.
Though for no other reason than because the recession was churning on, the initiatives seemed to fall flat. While there is a sturdy, rock-solid argument for supporting locally-made goods, in a down economy that’s not a luxury most Canadians can afford, counterproductive though it may be.
So what we did was continue to shop as usual, buying up goods made in China and Peru and Vietnam and India.
When I was preparing the aforementioned feature on manufacturing in Canada, a rep for Roots told me it was “near impossible” to produce goods in Canada at a price that consumers will find reasonable, which is why Roots long ago stopped making most of its products in the country it calls home.
All this bringing us to today’s point. While Levi’s jeans are most often manufactured outside the U.S., there is one line of the denim that’s still made in America.
A single line of Levi’s making headlines lately, called 501 jeans, are produced at a single factory in Greensboro, N.C., a mill staffed by old hands that haven’t yet had their jobs outsourced.
It’s a wonderful sentiment, but of course the consumer pays: in stores in the U.S., the American-made 501 jeans cost a nauseating $178 a pair.
If we narrow things down to say that, yes, many of us would be willing to pay a premium for locally-made goods, where does it stop? What is the breaking point before we throw up our hands and say, “I just can’t do it. Give me the pair of pants stitched in Cambodia.”
Are you willing to pay extra for goods made in Canada? If so, how much? If not, why?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money