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In the beginning Quantum Cat designs was a medium for personal artistic expression, and the need to find shirts that fit well enough for myself. At a later time the aroma of money to be made by having my own clothing line crossed my nostrils and sparked my imagination. After diving into the project of creating my own clothing line the desire to use the company as a means of artistic expression did not disappear, nor did the desire to profit from the proceeds of my clothing line diminish, however, the music of the company slowly began to tone in different notes as time passed. As the creation of my company progressed the desire to turn the company into a mode of spiritual expression began to take shape in my mind. I realized that I want my business to be an example of social consciousness in action and a means of putting some of my personal beliefs into practice. For starters, I have decided to keep the sewing contract work and T-shirt printing permanently in the United States. I regularly visit the factories in Los Angles where the work is done and have on many occasions chatted and shared coffee with the factory workers. I do source some of the fabrics that are sewn into clothing from foreign countries, but I try to be as mindful as possible about the social and ecological impact of my purchasing decisions. Aside from the desire to help the American economy I am also working to promote and sell more ecologically benevolent clothing.

I am planning on keeping my contract work permanently here in the USA because for better or worse I am an American and I would like to do my part to help rebuild a solid manufacturing sector in the American economy. I am only one person with a small company, but big changes start with one person. In 1989 a book by author Bruce Courtenay was published called The Power of One. In 1992 a Hollywood movie was released based on this book. One of the messages in The Power of One is that social changes start with one person taking a stand. Change has to start somewhere. I respect the lives and humanity of those living in other nations, and I realize that outsourcing of manufacturing and services from wealthy nations to poorer nations has resulted in the improving of billions of lives around the world over the last fifty years. Despite outsourcing lifting billions of people out of poverty in places such as China and India, Americans still need jobs and America still needs a functioning economy. An argument could be made that if service jobs provide a sufficient level of wealth in traditionally wealthy nations manufacturing can be outsourced without a loss of living standard. The problem with this argument is that in recent years as many service jobs as possible have been outsourced from traditionally wealthy nations like America and Britain. If America ceases to have a functioning economy America can no longer fill the role of consumer on a world level. A famous quote from a British parliamentarian concerning the outsourcing of British manufacturing and service jobs was: “We cannot just wash each other’s laundry”. The same principle applies to America.

I believe we have reached a point where the outsourcing of manufacturing and services has become detrimental to the livelihoods of Americans and people in other traditionally wealthy nations. I believe America can meet much of its own manufacturing needs and once again become a solid exporter of manufactured goods. For American consumers buying American made items might mean paying a bit more, but the American economy needs your support. What comes around goes around. I believe America is now in a position to export more manufactured items. China, South Korea, and other traditionally less developed nations have now reached a point of economic development where wages are no longer so low and not as competitive as they once were compared to traditionally wealthy nations. In many newly wealthy nations the populace now has enough wealth to function as consumers on a world level.

Without delving into the details, let us say that the garment industry in many parts of the world has a poor track record concerning how workers are treated. Cheap clothing displayed on the shelves of discount big box stores the world over comes at a certain ethical cost. As the reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. I am hoping that buying from Quantum Cat Designs can eventually become a way for a decent number of socially mindful people to vote with their money and send a message to large clothing manufacturers that they do not approve of the poor treatment of garment industry workers around the world.

Quantum Cat Designs is also a clothing line for the ecologically as well as socially mindful person. We at Quantum Cat Designs are also interested in working with fabrics that have a low ecological impact. On the Quantum Cat Designs web site people can find write ups on many different fabrics. Part of the intent of creating the fabrics information section on my web site is to provide a place where a mindful person can learn more about fabrics that are more ecologically benevolent than cotton. Until I began researching different fabrics, I had no idea that cotton growing was such a large scale environmental problem. Over the course of my studies into different fabrics I also became aware of the huge amount of landfill space given over to used garments and how the breakdown of fabrics in old discarded garments effects the environment. After some study in the area of fabrics I came to an understanding that changes are needed concerning the environmental impact of how fabric is produced and where it goes after it has ceased to function as wearable items of clothing. Quantum Cat Designs does not exist solely to promote more environmentally friendly clothing items, but that is one strong aspect of what the company does.

As for incorporating some hand woven textiles into various items of clothing made by Quantum Cat Designs, I try to be as careful as possible to ethically source the cloth from collectives and make sure the cloth has been sold under fair trade arrangements. Thus far the hand woven traditional cloth I have used has been sourced from women owned and operated weavers collectives that to the best of my knowledge are helping rural women in poorer nations work with dignity and make some badly needed extra income. Some of the traditional cloth sourced out of the Himalayan regions of Nepal provides a nice source of income for the rural women during the winter months when farming work has slowed down. It is hard to know for sure if all of the money gets where it is supposed to be going when buying from weavers collectives, but I do the best I can when considering where to buy my textiles.