“Made in China”

Yes, there is a stamp that says “Made in China” on every piece of furniture… even the brands that have America in the name. Have you ever wondered why? I can tell you the real reasons. The first goes back to the mid 90’s: Government regulation in industry.

The EPA: Below is an excerpt from a formal posting by the EPA. You can find the entire form at : http://www.epa.gov/osw/inforesources/pubs/infocus/furnitur.pdf

If you are a furniture manufacturer or refinisher, your facility probably generates hazardous waste. That means you are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under a federal law called the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Under RCRA, you are required to follow certain procedures when generating, transporting, storing, treating, or disposing of hazardous waste. RCRA in Focus provides an overview of the federal regulations you are required to follow and the wastes that are likely to be hazardous in your business. It also provides federal recycling and pollution prevention options to help you decrease the amount of hazardous waste you generate.


One thought on ““Made in China”

  1. I remember when the Broyhill factories in North Carolina had to make changes in production in the mid 90′s in order to comply with EPA regulations. They had to cut VOC’s released into the air by a huge percentage over a short period of time. They made progress, but were unable to reach the standards by filtration so they tried using a water based lacquer. It was terrible. Eventually, Broyhill had some popular lines produced in China in an effort to cut pollution and they found out that it was cheaper to use the Chinese labor force.
    Unfortunately, just about all the furniture manufacturers discovered the fiscal benefits of outsourcing their production to China and other countries in Asia. Instead of having just a few lines produced overseas, most companies closed domestic factories and began having their entire lineup outsourced to that continent. While markups increased along with profit margins for retailers, the average quality of the product decreased. In recent years, I have seen the quality become more consistent with imported goods, but it will never be the same as the good ol’ days.
    My biggest concern is that these manufacturers are polluting the earth much more than any company did in North Carolina, and the jobs are gone. I miss the days when it was easy to find a stencil or label that said “Made in America”.


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