Yellow bracelets. Multicolored puzzle pieces. Even 26.2 stickers on a rear bumper. We all know what these symbols mean.
But what about blue shoelaces? If New York apparel firm Flint and Tinder has its way, you’ll soon start to recognize the colorful laces as more than just an eccentric fashion statement.
With a growing community of supporters on Kickstarter, the blue laces are poised to become a symbol of American manufacturing.
When Flint and Tinder asked over 1,000 retailers why they don’t carry more domestically produced products, the overwhelming answer was that customers don’t care about where products are produced. And with that, The Blue Lace Project was conceived as a way to prove those retailers wrong.
According to Jake Bronstein, Flint and Tinder’s founder, the blue laces are a wearable way to show your support for the war U.S. producers are fighting daily.
Manufactured by one of America’s last shoelace makers in Portsmouth, Ohio, the blue laces are made of triple-dense, double-waxed canvas with aluminum tips. They are so strong that American strongman Matt Mill was able to pull a 13,000-pound truck with them.
The laces cost $5 a pair. Money that could “help break the ongoing cycle of outsourcing, offshoring, and making things cheaper, faster, and worse,” Bronstein says.
Why is breaking that cycle so important? Some reports indicate that the U.S. has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, every $1 spent on American-made products fuels another $1.40 in spending elsewhere in the U.S. economy. And if each of us spent just $64 on American-made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new U.S. jobs.
Flint and Tinder project they will need $25,000 pledged to begin manufacturing the blue laces on a large-scale basis. So far, Kickstarter shows they are already at the $96,876 mark.
If blue shoelaces are a little too funky for you, Flint and Tinder also offer mens underwear and a unisex zip-up hoodie that are both 100 percent American-made.
Photo courtesy of Jake Bronstein