... Why We Give A Sheet, And You Should Too!
We could wax poetic about the importance of buying your bedding and bath towels "made in America", but we feel it's important to add some context around the "why". So, in this post, we are going to go over why it's important to us and why we THINK it should be important to you, too!
1. The End Of An Industry
Manufacturing of wide woven fabric is almost completely extinct here in America. When we started to put together our supply chain in 2016, there were only 2 companies in the US weaving cloth wide enough to make a bed sheet. Fast forward to 2019, that number is now at 1. If you are wondering if that makes us nervous, the answer is, "Yes". Weaving is a key part of our product offering (See more about that process here) and if we were to lose this piece of our supply chain we would be in trouble.
BUT, that's why we are doing what we are doing. There should be more people and companies like us who are choosing to make products here and use the resources still available HERE. We don't want to wake up one day and not be able to manufacture a bed sheet here in the United States.
2. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!
While we are still small, it's amazing to see the number of people it takes to manufacture our products! And with those people comes JOBS! Our farm employees 5-15 people during the growing and harvesting seasons, our weaving partner employees around 300 people, our finisher employees approximately 100 people and our cut and sew employees 7-10 seamstresses. That's not even mentioning the supply chains for our towels or quilts. In total, we estimate our product influences roughly 1000 US jobs.
That is only the direct manufacturing, not including the other companies it takes to keep those facilities running. Everyone then supports their community, from locally owned stores and restaurants to little league sports and local Churches. It all builds on a solid job base. That's a lot of lives folks. Here in our country and in our communities.
3. A Standard Of Living
I completely understand the negative comments we receive on the price of our product. It's hard to look at a set of sheets that's roughly $200 and compare it to a set that's $69 or even $39. It's a lot of money, but believe me... it takes a lot of money to live here and it takes a lot of money to make a product here BECAUSE we employee people who make AT LEAST minimum wage if not more. To us, it's important that our employees can make enough to let their son play football, their daughter take ballet lessons or that they can take that family vacation to the beach this Summer. We believe a rising tide lifts all ships and when a standard is set it raises the bar for everyone.
4. Environmental Impacts
Not only is everyone paid fair wages but they work in clean and safe work environments. Our facilities meet all state and local environmental regulations, from air quality to wastewater quality. In fact, our weaver has an ongoing commitment to shut down their facility any time that energy is short. For example, if there are exceptionally high temps, they will shut down and conserve that energy.
Further, our supply chain is local so there is less oil used in the transportation of products through our supply chain. We manufacture in Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Missouri. That's a pretty small area and doesn't require tons of trucking. When you think about companies that transport their raw materials overseas to be manufactured and THEN shipped back... that's a lot of carbon emissions my friends... much more than the cows on our family farm could ever think about producing. ;)
Red Land customers should feel good that the footprint is truly sustainable, socially, economically, and environmentally.
5. American Agriculture
Some of us have seen it in the headlines... the plight of the American farmer has been getting more and more difficult. We have seen floods out west, hurricanes in Texas and the Carolinas and in some areas we are seeing tough droughts this year. And all of that is really the name of the game for farmers — a lot is left in God's hands when it comes to planting a crop over thousands of acres.
But I think a lot of us have forgotten the work that goes into providing the fabric of our lives or the food on our tables. That's why it was so important for us to share about our farm and what it takes to grow this crop we all enjoy in a safe and sustainable way.
And no, we don't farm organic cotton. I hope we do a decent job of explaining why. Our cotton isn't hand-picked and it isn't hand weeded either. We farm thousands of acres of cotton in a climate that is a hotbed for pests and weeds but it's a hot humid climate and cotton loves it. So we spray herbicides and pesticides ONLY when we have to... but sometimes in order to produce a crop and make a living... we have to.
It's important that we support our farmers... not demonize them. They are trying to not only feed and clothe their families but feed and clothe the world.
In conclusion... we hope yall care as much as we do!
I hope I've given a glimpse into our thought process and why we care so deeply about this company and what we are trying to build and grow here in the US! It's the best labor of love we know!