Why I Didn’t Buy A New Suit For SAF This Year

Earlier this year, I was sitting in a Congress member’s office with a couple of flower farmers, talking about the issues facing American grown flowers and the importance of supporting our domestic flower farmers. The congressman acknowledged that he had no idea that over 80 percent of flowers sold in the U.S. were being imported. My colleagues and I explained that we were meeting with him that day to highlight the challenges facing our domestic farms, and that we had recently created a positive campaign encouraging the American public to buy local, American grown flowers.


Men’s Wearhouse campaign features a ‘Made in America’ suit by Joseph Abboud.

“Buy American flowers, eh?” he said when responding to our explanation of purpose. “I bet if I asked the three of you to take off all the clothes you’re wearing that were made in another country, I’d have three naked guys sitting on my couch.”

He was right.

As I sat there, I knew exactly where my suit was from: jacket and pants were made in Italy, shirt was from Malaysia, T-shirt was from India. All imported. (My tie was Made in the U.S.A., but I didn’t know that at the time).

It’s common knowledge today that the majority of the U.S. textile industry has been taken offshore for cheaper labor, less regulation and better margins. So the last time I bought a suit, I can assure you I hadn’t included selecting “Made in America,” a point of criteria.

I just assumed it wasn’t an option.

Then I saw this Men’s Wearhouse commercial.

Inspiring right? Feels like a comeback. Something I want to be a part of.

Having just launched the Certified American Grown Flowers brand with a coalition of passionate, hardworking flower farmers from around the country, this commercial spoke to me. Where my suit is made matters. Supporting these American craftsmen makes a difference. I have a choice.

In the same way, the Certified American Grown Flowers campaign has been developed to drive consumer awareness. You can choose to buy American grown flowers.

Hardworking flower farmers in many communities in this country are growing fresh, beautiful, local flowers. Every day. Despite the large presence of imports in the market today, there is a choice.  A decision to be made. A decision that matters.

We are asking people to look for the Certified American Grown Flowers brand or the CA Grown brand when they buy flowers. We’re pointing out why it matters and how they can be part of the solution. We’re informing them about an important choice.

So, while I planned to buy a new suit for the Society of American Florists’ annual convention – the fanciest affair of the year – my plans have changed. My next suit will be Made in America. When I get back from convention, I’m going to get one. Maybe two. Because it matters.


Where have you made similar commitments to support ‘Made in America’ products?

Did you know there was a Certified American Grown Flowers program for flowers?

Please share your answers and thoughts in the comments section below.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “Why I Didn’t Buy A New Suit For SAF This Year

  1. I’m confused (not hard on any given day) — I would think that you’d want to buy a new “Men’s Warehouse” suit for SAF this year.

    I’m thinking the message is: “Buy FLOWERS often, and make sure they’re locally grown.” See you at SAF… I’ll be wearing my locally assembled clothing 😉

    • a new suit this year was my goal. however, when it finally came down to pulling the trigger and learning about these American Made suits, I had missed the sale they were having. Always one for a good deal, I’ll have more time to focus on getting what I want when I get back.

      Not all is lost though; it gave me something to blog about this weekend.

      See you there. I’ll be sporting my old italians…

  2. Thank you to Chris Hoke for sending me this comment:

    Also buy American crafts by American craftsman / artists ! My husband and I did juried art shows for 10 years. We designed and made contemporary folk art and rustic furniture and accessories for the home and garden. Sales went downhill and we closed the business. A lot of Americana folk art made in China, plus many American flags. Folks need to be educated to buy one well made quality item that will last for years, rather than ones that last only a season. So I agree with you. People need to support ” made in America ” items. And beware of Made in usa ( or Usa ) a town in China! – Chris Hoke

  3. I hear the ad like this: “Our Italian vendors sourced cheap textiles to be assembled by US robots.” I hope I am wrong, but 40 plus years of listening to congressional speak has give me the unfortunate ability to detect BS.

  4. Kasey, this is a great post and very thought-provoking! We make hundreds of daily micro-decisions about the macro issues of “country of origin sourcing” in all categories of life. In the category of big purchases, it was buying a US-made Ford last year (the first American-made car we’ve ever owned). In the smaller purchase category, I only buy American-made floral design tools and supplies. That’s a challenge, but It is possible to find nearly everything US-made for my workshops, photo shoots and personal projects. Sadly, there is no domestic source for knit gardening gloves (plenty of leather work gloves are US-made, though).http://www.debraprinzing.com/2013/06/11/an-all-american-floral-design-tool-kit/

    Here’s a link to my blog post: An All American-Made Floral Design Tool Kit

    • Thank you Debra!

      I have to admit, being a Chevy guy, I do like driving the new Ford Fusion when I get the chance! Ford has certainly stepped up there game. Congrats on your American Made selection!

      And thank you for sharing your resource to all-American Made Floral Design Tool kit! That is a great resource!

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