Good News and Bad News (Jo-Ann Fabrics Gift Card Giveaway!)

I’ve got bad news; it’s MONDAY again! Are you ready for another week? I’m not, but nothing’s going to stop it, so I say bring it on!

I’ve also got GOOD news! A GIVEAWAY! The Fourth of July is coming up soon, and to celebrate, I’m giving away a $25 gift card to Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts! That’s right. Delivered to your doorstep in an envelope signed and sent by ME.

And you thought it was going to be just another plain old week, didn’t you?

So, here are the rules. To enter, head to your closet — wait, not yet, finish reading this first — and take a look at the tags in your clothing. Count how many “Made in the USA” or “Made in Canada” pieces you find. Clothing made in the Northern Mariana Islands (a commonwealth in political union with the United States) does NOT count — Here‘s why. You don’t have to look at every garment or spend much time doing this; just take a quick gander and tally it up in your head. Then, post the amount here in the comments. I will draw a winner using a random number generator on July 5th (the contest will end at 8pm CST) and announce the winner on Tuesday, July 6th. You do not have to have the most “Made in the USA” items to win the contest; sometimes finding zero domestically-made items is as informative as finding many of them.

If you’d like a little deeper thinking while you’re looking, think about the store where you got your clothes and how much you paid for them. Notice how the least expensive clothes are made in China, the country that pays the most people the lowest wage, all in the worst working conditions.

Why am I asking you to do a closet check? If you’ve been following my blog, you know that working conditions and compensation at factories in developing countries, especially in the garment industry, are horrible. The United States, especially large U.S. companies, feeds off of and feeds into this sweatshop economy. And U.S. law, in its current form, allows and even encourages moving manufacturing jobs overseas as well as importing items from countries that do not have or do not enforce fair labor laws. So, I, and I hope some of my readers, are endeavoring to STOP personally supporting sweatshop labor in the garment industry by buying clothes from companies with stellar labor reputations, or, if that’s not possible, to make it ourselves (hence the gift card to Jo-Ann’s).

So go check your closet; I promise, it’s kind of fun to see where all your clothes came from. Think about what you’d do with $25 to spend at Jo-Ann’s. And, every time you purchase clothes, ask yourself who made them and whether the low price of the clothes is really worth the human cost.


25 Responses to “Good News and Bad News (Jo-Ann Fabrics Gift Card Giveaway!)”

  1. 1 Claudia Almandoz June 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I really love reading what you write Darla! How is the book coming along? I´m in the middle of taking apart my children´s rooms, looking for and disposing of (recycling as much as posible) all toys made in China, etc… not only for the same reasons I make our own clothing, but for health reasons as well. You know what? I feel guilty. I think I´ll post. But I have promised them I will buy beautiful handmade toya as often as possible. So, reading your blog helps me not feel as freaky as I can feel here in Mexico. Thanks! Clau (

  2. 2 ~Helena~ June 28, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Well I haven’t bought any new clothes in a long while. But everything I have bought all form Goodwill and Thrifttown I hope is praticing fair labor. But this a good point when shopping. Thanks for the insite.

  3. 3 Jennifer S. June 28, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    OK – I just counted shirts, and I have 4 made in USA or Canada. 3 were made by me, and 1 was made in Canada (and bought in Canada) 🙂 Wow.

  4. 4 Jessie C. June 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    I have 4 made in USA, none in Canada.

  5. 5 Nelda June 29, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I only have 3 items made in USA, I love you article, and is something I always discuse with my husband, weare a multicultural family, he USA and I’m Mexican, I love to do a lots of crafts, for our girls parties, some cloths, decorate the rooms, my husband always say I spend more money doing this, when in the market you can buy for less, also when we go on vacations, I can’t find many suvenirs for my family thas it is made in USA, you know I do not want to spend a fourtune in it, but always want something made from the place we been, no to buy something that it’s made in china

    greait article, I will show it to my hubby


  6. 6 random Cindy June 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Interesting. I have several things made in the USA but I think they all came from the company I used for my tie dye blanks, Dharma Trading. And surprise, my bathing suit made in the USA. I was also surprised to see how many different countries represented in my closet. And there was only one thing from China until I hit on my good silk blouses and suits, all the silk is from China. Of course most of my clothes were given to me by my mom. I didn’t count the items I made myself. My kids closets are more heavily American made but only because I make more of their clothes. But much of the fabric I use is probably not made in the USA, excepting the twill I use for pants.

  7. 7 D'Anne June 29, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Okay so this is really bad but I don’t have anything made in America or Canada. I am going to start making a point to look for and buy things made in the US.

  8. 8 Sandy June 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Wow, did this open my eyes! Only 2 shirts with “Made in the USA” on them. What amazes me the most are the 2 t-shirts I just bought with American images for the 4th of July both have “Made in Pakistan” on the labels. Walmart used to proudly advertise how their products were mostly made in the US, now you don’t hear that at all. Thanks for making me think more and be more concious about what I purchase. I do buy the majority of my clothes from Goodwill anymore, but I will still pay attention even then. I would love the opportunity to win the Joann’s gift card so that I can buy the fabric to make a skirt from the pattern I have been drooling over. Thanks!

  9. 9 Andrea June 30, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I just returned from vacation and everything is dirty but as soon as it gets clean I’ll let you know if anything was actually made in the U.S.!

  10. 10 Millie Green July 1, 2010 at 2:33 am

    My hubby is sleeping so I can’t look in the closet. But I can tell you there are at least a dozen items made in the U.S.A. by me. Everything else I bought at a thrift store or it was given to me by my mom. I do try not to buy items made in China and am aware of the sweatshop conditions in many clothing factories. I thank you for helping to make more people aware of this. And also thanks for the chance to get some help with my next fabric ticket; I love going to Jo-Ann’s! I hope you have a great day and thanks for doing this giveaway.

  11. 11 Amber H July 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    The only thing in my closet that’s made in the USA is the dress I made a few weeks ago. Rest of it’s been made in various countries.

    I’m really wanting to make more of my own clothes, so the more I make, the more of my clothes will be made in the USA.

    I have nothing made in Canada.

  12. 12 Stacey July 2, 2010 at 5:47 am

    There are about 10 things made in the USA but nothing from Canada. I love to sew and wish I had time to do more. My girls make a lot of there own clothes now that look great! There friends are always shocked when they fine out they didn’t spend high prices for designer clothing and their outfits look just as nice. One of my daughters has even started making some outfits/purses for friends!

  13. 13 pinksuedeshoe July 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    6 shirts, 2 pants, 1 dress Made in the USA. (Not including the things I’ve made myself, which like another person mentioned, who knows where my fabric was made…) Great post, it really has made me think about this issue. What a great idea for a giveaway.

  14. 14 Carla July 2, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I would have to say that 60% of my clothes is made here in the USA. Not bad. I was afraid it was all going to say another country. Thanks for the ideas, post, and the giveaway!!

  15. 15 Victoria Lester July 2, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I like this giveaway. It really makes us aware of how many items we buy have been produced in other countries. It makes me think about how much hard labor was put into those items and how little pay some may have received. It also makes me aware that in order to support the US / Canada Economy that buying US may be a better way to go.

    USA products in my closet: Eight
    Canada: None
    All other’s were made out of the country. Apx. 30 plus items.

  16. 16 Amber Parker July 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm


    I didn’t do a closet check, but I wanted to give you a link I found. My closet is most likely full of sweat shop made clothing, a thing that has been bugging my conscience lately. I’m blaming you for that, btw. However, as you know from my rant about Forever 21, even “Made in the USA” clothing doesn’t mean sweat-free. Are sweat shops here in the US better than those over seas? Yeah, probably. But, it still upsets me that this is happening in our country. Anyway, I know you have been reading on this (much more than me) and I really commend the effort you are making. It’s a really noble thing that many of us don’t have the patience to take on.

    This link touches on union labels, which according to the site are more likely to mean sweat free than Made in the US.

  17. 17 Heather D July 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    3!!! Crazy. The first two dresses I counted were USA and then nothing until a surprise shirt. Granted I didn’t count the shirt, skirts and dress that I made (does that make the number 9??)

  18. 18 Sarah C. July 4, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    About half my stuff was either made in the US or made by me – the rest was made in various countries. I’ll try to be more aware in the future! Thanks for opening my eyes….

  19. 19 Darlene July 5, 2010 at 6:50 am

    I love your contest theme!!! I have about ten Made in the USA clothing items. I would love to purchase more USA clothes but they are difficult to find.

    When shopping, I actively search for products made in the USA. You have to be careful when buying dog biscuits/treats. Many are made in China. I would never buy them.

    • 20 Millie Green July 5, 2010 at 5:44 pm

      I commented already, but I did get a chance to look in my closet. Most of my items were made in the USA, followed by India. I did find some items given to me by my mom that were made in Guatemala, United Arab Emirates, and Mauritus (I have never heard of that country before). I guess I need to talk to her about fair labor, or better yet find some good info to send to my dad, who will read it and care and maybe make more of an impression on her than I will…she is all about a “bargain.” Although, of course, slave labor is not a bargain!

  20. 21 Kate July 13, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Ooo, I’ve been needing to go to JoAnn’s for such a long time! I found these gorgeous blouses I’ve wanted to make!

  21. 22 morgan March 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Isnt the fabric at joann produced in china and subject to sweatshops also?

  22. 23 April 9, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

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  1. 1 Get Thee to a Hobby Lobby! « Everyday Chaos Trackback on June 30, 2010 at 10:56 pm

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