CafePress is currently holding an “All-American” “American Patriotism-themed Military Cap” design contest to celebrate Independence Day. Entrants are asked to design “patriotic” images in line with the theme of Independence Day and put them up for sale on CafePress’ military caps, which look like this:
Thing is, I just checked in with a CafePress sales associate, and it turns out that these Military Caps are all made in China. This is a fact CafePress neglects to mention on its website.
How does that fit in with the theme of American independence? How can designers possibly make the caps “All-American” when they are anything but?
Now personally, I don’t care whether an item is made in the USA or not, holding other things constant. I do care that CafePress is depicting its contest as “All American” and the creations of the contest as “American patriotism-themed military caps” when the caps are not American. That’s deception in marketing right there.
More important to me than that is that when you compare made in the USA products to products made in China, you are not holding other things constant. There are differences between clothing manufacture in the USA and clothing manufacture in China. How do the very low wages of textile workers in China reflect on American values? How does the disregard for environmental protection by Chinese textile factories match American idealism? How does the use of a system dissonant with American values of production qualify as patriotic?
No, I will not be entering the contest. I encourage you to avoid it as well. More than that, I encourage you to ask CafePress questions about its values in production. Consider it part of your patriotically-themed All-American duty.
You can call CafePress toll free at 1-877-809-1659, Monday – Saturday, from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.