Green Tree Organic Clothing has been in business for 2 years now and we’ve put out a total of 8 designs. Our goal was to offer inexpensive organic cotton panties and intimates that are made in the USA. If you followed along with us that first year, you’ll know the process was much more trying than I had ever imagined. Fortunately, our process is now fairly stable and our small line is doing quite well.
Unfortunately, rising prices of everything from fabric to elastic to sewing has kept us from expanding into more colors, more designs and men’s items. We have been reluctant to raise prices because we really wanted to offer an economical, Made in the USA option. If you look at the PACT model, they started off sewing exclusively in the USA. Prices continued to rise until most of their panties were in the high $20 to low $30 range. Eventually, they gave up on manufacturing in the USA and started manufacturing in India. It brought their costs way down and their panty prices are now all under $15. On the flip side, Blue Canoe has continued to manufacture in the USA and their price is now $34 for a single panty (though we sell Blue Canoe panties at a small discount everyday for $30 each).
So what’s a small business to do? Here’s our plan.
• We will continue to manufacture in the USA and keep as much of our processes local.
• We will be raising prices in January both to reflect our higher cost and to offer wholesale so we can get USA-made panties in brick and mortar stores.
• We will expand the line of PACT underwear that we carry to offer a less expensive organic cotton panty alternative for those who really want organic and just can’t afford the Made in USA prices.
Green Tree Organic panty prices will go up between $3 – $5 each starting in the new year. This is early warning for you to stock up now. There are a few sizes/colors currently sold out, but our seamstress is working on them and we should have everything back in stock before Christmas with at least a couple of weeks left at the old pricing.
What are your thoughts on this? Manufacturing in the USA has certainly been in the news a lot lately. Is price more important than local jobs?