On the Fourth of July, as we celebrate the country’s birth, we’d like to pause a moment and reflect on what it means to be Made in the U.S.A. Anyone who was born or has lived in this country a long time is, of course, made in the U.S.A. But primarily the phrase is used to talk about the importance of American manufacturing. At Orox Leather Co. we’re proud that more than 90% of our materials are U.S. sourced and that all of our products are made right here in Portland, Oregon.

Why does American manufacture matter? For a whole bunch of reasons. Products made in the U.S.A. create jobs and support the domestic economy. U.S. environmental and labor regulations are also, typically, more stringent, so U.S. made products tend to have less negative impacts. We’re active members of American Made Matters, a group of retailers and producers "dedicated to educating consumers on the importance of buying made in USA products." Every November they organize American Made Matters Day, which Orox is proud to participate in.

Orox is also proud to be part of the local maker movement. Our products are made in our Portland workshop and store, using techniques passed down over four generations. We’re thrilled to have our products featured in MadeHere PDX, a beautiful boutique of hyper-local products. As the name implies everything they stock from chocolates to glasses, kitchen products to clothing, is made in Portland.  MadeHere PDX is not only a lovely store; it is also a testament to the vibrant and growing local community of artisans and makers.

Relatedly, we recently joined Supportland, a terrific network of small, local merchants and makers. Supportland is using some of the same sorts of high tech strategies employed by big businesses to support a network of small, local businesses. They offer a rewards program for customers and opportunities for retailers and makers to partner with each other and connect with new and existing customers. Supporting local businesses creates jobs, keeps money in your local community and helps "sustain walkable town centers which reduce sprawl, car use, habitat loss, and pollution" (Supportland).

This Fourth of July we’re especially happy to be making in the U.S.A.  And our particular location in Portland, Oregon is a great place to be a craftsman.


July 02, 2015 — Mark Feldman