You really can’t find to many places in this country more American than Northwest, Indiana. Most people probably haven’t even heard of this small area sandwiched between Chicago and South Bend that the locals call “The Region”, and even fewer probably realize it’s been the hub for most of our countries steel manufacturing for over 100 years. NWI’s first city, Gary, was even founded by the United State Steel Corporation in 1906 and has been the back bone for American Made Steel ever since. Why do I know this? Because this is where I grew up, and at an early age I was taught to love and respect all things made American. It wasn’t so much that people told you to buy American, it was just that if there were two options, it was rare that you would buy something not American Made; even if it cost a little more.
Fast forward several years later when on a whim while living in Hawaii some friends and I decided to start the first functional fitness apparel company that we were going to call Life AsRx. I knew next to nothing about apparel, and to my dismay I quickly realized that almost everything you could buy or make in the apparel industry was made over seas. What was even more shocking was that almost every major sports apparel brand our there had their products made 100% overseas even when they had more than enough resources to do it in the states. It is in fact such a standard in the industry to go overseas for production that most people don’t even consider getting apparel made in the US and “people in the know” will laugh in your face if you tell them thats what you want to do. So, like all the other apparel brands before us, we succumbed to the standards and bought our products from company who’s items are made overseas.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people from other countries don’t deserve jobs, but there is something deeply rooted in my DNA due to where I was raised that makes me really want to produce some American Made products, or for there to at least be that option. Now, after almost eight years in the apparel industry and a lot of trial and error, I am happy to say we are about to release a new line of custom apparel manufactured in the U.S. This to most might seem like a small step or a minor deal, but to me it’s a giant leap in us having the ability to create more American Made products in our line. That is something I am very proud of.
-Marcus “Badger” Dedina