Does L.L. Bean keep it Made in America?

Posted by Anonymous on 06/23/2011

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Since this post was originally published there's been more news about the American outdoor gear company. 
August 2011: Bean Boots are still made in America.
For more American made fashion, visit our Fashion Friday blog. 


We’ve blogged before about the lack of American-made goods at large chain retailers like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target. But how does a store like L.L. Bean—a company that prides itself on selling quintessentially “American” goods measure up?

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Field Coordinator Dan Lawson decided to hit the shelves of L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, ME to find out. Here is his report:

On a recent trip to town, I decided to check in at L.L. Bean to see just how much of the products they are selling are still Manufactured in either Maine or the good old U.S.A.

But first, a brief History of L.L. Bean, the man, the legend:


In 1911 an avid outdoorsman named Leon Leonwood (L.L.) Bean returned from a hunting trip with cold, damp feet and a revolutionary idea. He enlisted a local cobbler to stitch supple leather uppers to waterproof rubber boots, creating a comfortable, functional boot for exploring the Maine woods. This ingenious invention - the Maine Hunting Shoe - changed outdoor footwear forever and, a year later, began one of the most successful family-run businesses in the country.

The first Maine Hunting Shoes were sold exclusively via mail order. A 1912 flyer proclaimed: "You cannot expect success hunting deer or moose if your feet are not properly dressed. The Maine Hunting Shoe is designed by a hunter who has tramped the Maine woods for the last 18 years. We guarantee them to give perfect satisfaction in every way." To this day L.L.Bean backs its products with the same quality guarantee.

By the time Model Ts were rolling along the streets of Freeport, L.L.'s three-page fliers had become thick catalogs full of field-tested gear, all-weather outerwear and men's and women's clothing "designed for comfort as well as style." Besides doing brisk mail-order business, L.L. began selling direct to retail customers, attracting customers from around the world to his flagship store in downtown Freeport.Although almost 100 years have passed since L.L. Bean began, its guiding principleshave remained the same: an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and a firm belief in the value of authenticity.

Now for a little of my early experience with L.L. Bean: They are an icon here in Maine, and sell everything from Hunting Boots to Flannel Shirts and book bags for students. I had purchased some items from the L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine, mostly as gift for friends and relatives back in the early 90’s. 

When my daughter was in Junior high it was brought to my attention that she required a L.L. Bean Book Bag to lug her books and whatever else it would hold back and forth to school. It had to be green with white monogram initials (school colors a must). It was 24.99, in 1997, kind of pricey back in the day. It came with a 100% guarantee.  I called her and asked if she still has it, not only does she still have it--she's still is using it. Pretty impressive, 14 years of use and still going. My next question was does it say where it was made? She looked and said Made in the U.S.A.

Well there, I was feeling really good at this point, and was looking forward to my trip to the store to do some investigating and find out where their products are made now.  The Results are listed below:

Old Town Canoes, many models and styles, Made in Old Town, Maine (off to a good start)
Aqua Bound Kayak paddles, Made in the U.S.A.
Harmony Kayak paddles, Made in the U.S.A. 
L.L. Bean Urban Backpack, Made in the U.S.A. 
Multi-Sport Drystuff sack, Made in the U.S.A.  
Watersport Wear Windbreaker, Made in the U.S.A.
 L.L. Bean classic Logo T-shirt, Made in China
L.L. Bean Stowaway Backpack, Made in Viet Nam
L.L. Bean Lady’s Backpack, Made in Viet Nam
L.L. Bean Mens Knit Shirts, Made in China
L.L. Bean Hooded Logo Sweatshirts, Made in India
L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag, Made in the U.S.A. 
L.L. Bean Aluminum Bottle Canteens, Made in China
L.L. Bean Ditty Sack, Made in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. 
L.L. Bean Infinity Jugs, Made in China  
Big Agnes Sleep Bags, Made in China
Gunn Creek Sleeping Bags, Made in China
Summit Sleeping Bags, Made in China
Life Preservers, Men’s, Women’s and Child’s all Made in China
L.L. Bean Helix Fishing Waders, Made in China
L.L. Bean Fishing Shoes, Made in China
L.L. Bean Flannel Shirts, Made in Viet Nam
L.L. Bean Tassel Loafers, Made in El Salvador
L.L. Bean Men’s Chino Pants, Made in India, and China
L.L. Bean Logo Flip Flops, Made in China
L.L. Bean Dockers Shoes, Made in China
L.L. Bean Men’s Boxer Shorts, Made in Sri Lanka
Over 40 Different Men’s Style and Brands of Socks, All Made in the U.S.A.
L.L. Bean Towels and Facecloths, Made in Turkey
L.L. Bean Large Duffel Bags, Made in China
Classic Maine Adirondack Double Wooden Rocker, Made in Viet Nam
L.L. Bean Women’s Coats, Made in Bangladesh 
L.L. Bean Women’s Fleece Jackets, Made in El Salvador
L.L. Bean Women’s Raincoat, Made in China
L.L. Bean Men’s Blazer, Made in Viet Nam 
L.L. Bean Women’s Jeans, Made in Mexico
L.L. Bean Runabout Classic Cruiser Bike, Made In China and priced at $319.00
Fly rods, found a few Made in the U.S.A.
Fly Reels, All were Made in Korea 
L.L. Bean Soy Candles, Made in the U.S.A.
L.L. Bean Moisturizing Lotion, Made in the U.S.A.

The last item I searched out was the infamous L.L. Bean Student Monogrammed Book Bag, it took me a while to find the same label on the inside, much to my dismay is now Made in Viet Nam.

My Daughter Kim was very interested in the results of my visit to the store.  She took it to the next level and wrote to L.L. Bean:

Kim Lawson to L.L. Bean: When people think of Maine, they think of a few things, including L.L. Bean...so, why are your backpacks (among many other items) made in China? I understand, maybe not being made in Maine, but not in the USA? As a resident of Maine, I feel kind of betrayed. It's not like you guys are Wal-Mart, and are known for being a sleazy company, and your stuff is not inexpensive by any means. If they're being made in China, they should be a lot less expensive, considering how much you're saving on labor.

L.L. Bean to Kim Lawson: Hi Kimberly - Thank you for sharing your comments with us. We source our products from all across the globe including the US. We are one of the last US multi-channel merchants to still own and operate a manufacturing facility right here in Brunswick, Maine where we make out iconic products such as the Bean Boot, Maine Hunting Shoe, dog beds, Boat and Totes, leather belts, and more. Our goal is to provide quality products while still offering value -- all with our 100% satisfaction guarantee and always shipped free.

 

65 comments

Anonymous wrote 38 weeks 5 days ago

Out sourced U.S. products

It's sad that we are out sourcing everything now. Even finding any local produce is impossible. I asked my daughter in law a manager at Publix. She said, it's the cost and restrictions. Well, we can all start going to local farmers markets. We are the consumers. And eventually if we all, and it would have to be ALL got united and refused to buy this imported stuff, it would stop. Believe me, it would stop. They are robbing us of our jobs and we have only ourselves to blame. We are like lemmings. Makes me wonder what the Chinese have written on the back of their products. After all, we are just about owned by China, debt wise. Will the last American please take down the flag.

Anonymous wrote 40 weeks 1 day ago

LLBean clothing

Now I realize why some of the clothing I bought here just didn't have the quality they used to have and I ended up returning them. This is a real disappointment. In the end it is money and greed that counts. Good old America! "All about getting ahead and ripping off the next guy"! The worst part is the prices are sky high and the quality isn't worth the cost. I may as well shop at lower end stores such as Kohls or Walmart for some of the same and/or comparable items.

Anonymous wrote 41 weeks 20 hours ago

Response to post #2

You my friend need to wake up if you are a everyday person honestly believing what you're saying. If you are not, you're evidently one of the many liars and deceivers pushing the global economy lie down everyone's throats. Ever since man started roaming the globe there has been international commerce, a global economy. All this new global economy is, is a business buzz phrase, the ability of business (corporate crowd) and finance (Wall Street) to get rich by destroying our working middle class AND country period. The price you, me, or anyone pays has very little to do with the actual cost it takes to manufacture the item being sold. Like Kim's letter mentioned, L.L. Bean is still charging premium prices for items they're having made overseas for pennies on the dollar. What they're charging has no reflection of what they're paying to have it made. Many of the foreign made items these businesses are selling for premium prices could be made here in the U.S.A. for the same price and still make a profit, (LIKE THEY USED TO) just not the idiotic profits they're making by paying poor workers in foreign lands five cents an hour to make. There are still a few decent paid union textile workers making clothes here in the U.S.A. and the items they're making are good quality and cost no more than a lot of the imported junk, even less than some of it. That's right, decent paid union workers are making pants and shirts here in the U.S.A. and they cost not much more than what most stores are selling their tax robbing, send the money out of our country, imported junk cost's, in some instances less. Certainly not the ridiculous $175 for a pair of pants or $100 for a shirt people like you love to say, or parrot, to defend the destruction of our country. Any U.S. citizen who believes this new global economy is real or a good thing needs to have their head examined. Jobs sent out of our country benefits no one but the scum bags that are sending them out, or the equally vile people who are willing to make maximum investment returns by destroying our country. The money all the new millionaires and billionaires popping up around the globe in places like China, India, Russia, or wherever U.S. jobs were sent to, is a direct reflection of the money our country has lost due to lost jobs. A shifting of wealth OUT of our country. Not to worry though there are certainly U.S. citizens who are making insane fortunes aiding and abetting the rape of our country and people. From your tone you might be one of them.

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect UNION, establish justice, INSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY, provide for the common defense, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE (of all our citizens, not just a chosen few), and insure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and out posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.

Allowing the business community and the stock markets to run rampant, destroying our job base and the ability of our working public to support themselves and keep our country funded is so far from the outline of our Constitution it's a crime. For the last thirty plus years both of those groups have done more damage to this country than any terrorist, foreign or domestic, could ever do, but they're getting filthy rich doing it. If it doesn't stop our country is sunk, if it isn't already.

Anonymous wrote 44 weeks 3 days ago

Made in USA

I purchased many products in the past from L.L. Bean.... But have not made any recently and probably will not.... Considering they "source there products from around the globe". Just wonder how business would be if the people in the USA don't have jobs and can't afford to buy products from L.L. bean? Where would they be then? Just a thought. Has anyone ever thought they could gain business by going back to basics and offering products only made in USA.... Think u would be suprised.

Anonymous wrote 45 weeks 6 days ago

Take it easy...

I am surprised so many of you only 'just' noticed that most of LL Bean's merchandise is imported. That fact is the entire textile manufacturing industry moved overseas in the 90s. You people that complain about this are NOT willing to pay $175 for a pair of pants or $100 for a shirt. Believe me....you're not, I know you're not. If you were you would buy at Filson, or any of the other high end vendors that keep a lot of production in the USA [at a cost]. If you read a lot about the company history of LL Bean you would understand that they never manufactured all of their own merchandise. Even back in the 40s and 50s they were outsourcing to other American companies. And in fact they have always had some high quality items and some middle quality items, even 60 years ago. Their strategy is to offer a lot of stuff, stand behind it and move on to the next thing, if they get a lot of returns of something they know it's not up to snuff and they discontinue it. The great items have stood the test of time. LL Bean's strength has always been in curating their audience and bringing them what they want. Even the rubber bottom boots, their most iconic item, are not really made in Maine, the bottoms and tops are made by other companies and they are sewn together in Maine by LL Bean. I am not criticizing LL Bean, in fact I buy lots and lots of clothing from them, I love LL Bean. I am just pointing out that you have the wrong idea about the situation. There's no use griping about them outsourcing to Asia, there's not really any other way to market items to the people that want to buy LL Bean products without doing that. It's the same with every other vendor too. If you really want USA made merchandise...it's out there. Feel free to buy it. IMHO LL Bean is doing a great job.

Anonymous wrote 47 weeks 5 days ago

Decline in quality

"Made in America", made L.L. Bean. So it seems ignorant to think one could keep this love for a product by importing from outside the U.S.A.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Back packs

I had several LL Bean bags as a child, all made in the USA. I thought it would be great for my kids to have back packs and lunch boxes from LL Bean because I assumed they were still made in the USA. I was very disappointed that the majority of their items are now made in China.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Imported

This is the one word I'm beginning to see more and more in the LL Bean catalog... I was contemplating buying a couple of the regular size Carefree Unshrinkable Tee Shirts... I was liking what I read in the product description... Then I saw the word "Imported"... Followed by the price of $18 each... I decided not to buy from LL Bean... It wasn't the price, it was the thought that this tee shirt was probably made in China and I didn't have the energy to call and find out where the tee shirt was made... If I had read "Made in the USA", LL Bean would have had another sale by someone who has bought from LL Bean for 25 years... I'm not so sure that this will be the case down the road... as I discovered this morning, that my 5 year old LL Bean Boots with the rubber wrap around and the leather uppers... had split on the rubber part on both boots. These boots sit in the garage and are worn, no more than 10 days a year... Don't get me started on the declining quality of products at LL Bean.

Glenn Stewart
Livermore, CA

Anonymous wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Men's Baxter State mittens

I have bought in the past from LL Bean, both a mens large red parka (size tall not regular) and the Mens State Baxter blue down filled mittens. The red parka is made in Bangladesh and the nylon shell is very THIN and the cuffs are already ripped (towards my wrists) and I have only wore it maybe 25 times since I purchased it 4 years ago. The velcro on the left cuff was not stiched evenly (it's sideways). I did not complain to L.L. Bean because the next parka will be the same thin shell.

The blue down filled mittens according to their website measuring instructions I purchased size small, they were too small so I shipped them back, I re-ordered size medium and they were still small. I gave up on sending them back as I didn't want to bother L.L. Bean by having them think I am a bad customer. I gave these mitts to my girlfriend at the time and a week later she dumped me, LOL, maybe it was those mittens, LOL. I purchased these mittens 4 years ago as well and at that time there were no reviews on them now there are 17. Some stating the sizing issue which L.L. Bean does not address in their website nor the fact that they are actually gloves on the inside.

I got a reply from L.L. Bean regarding the mittens after I contacted them stating I could send them back but I no longer have them as they are aware.

Conclusion: L.L. Beans does have 100% customer satisfaction even if a product has been purchased years ago and used alot or little. Also another plus is now free shipping to Canada. The downside to L.L. Bean is "some" poor quality products as a result that they are now being made in a 3rd world country that likes to make things cheaply in terms of quality yet the prices are high when we buy them.

I am now thinking of purchasing a mens long insulated rain coat and down filled mittens from these places that sell moslty "made in Canada" outdoor clothing that are world class and very low priced (with the exception of Canada Goose-expensive this year:2013):

taigaworks (dot ca)
sportsmansguide (dot ca)
quartznature (dot com)
canada-goose (dot ca)

Sidney
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Canada

Anonymous wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

It is really difficult to find a store that has 100% USA goods

Hi There,
Your feeling is the same exact one we had, when we launched our business.
Our Company, Keep America, was created in order to create more jobs in the US for Americans.
We are one of the only retailers that sell only American made goods - we don't necessarily make them, but we do give small and medium business alike the opportunity to distribute their products online to all who are interested in buying high quality products, at reasonable prices, made in the USA only.

Please visit us: www.keepamerica.com - our initiative has received national coverage this past year, and we hope that slowly we will be able to make a difference in our economy.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me: elinor@dsdventures.com

Thank you,
Elinor

Anonymous wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

LL Bean not made in U.S.A. Anymore!

Just got a jacket from Bean. It was made in Vietnam and didn't fit right even though it was my size. Also not the same good quality as a jacket I got from them several years ago that was made in the U.S.A. Good bye LL Bean. Maybe you can still sell to the weather channel. I guess employees have to wear what they are told. Buyer Beware! Poor quality merchandise and higher prices than ever!C

Anonymous wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Junk now

My family has purchased from LL Bean (when we could afford it) since the 1950s. I own and wear a pair of pants my dad got before I was BORN-over 50 years ago.
I have returned almost every item I bought from them since 2007. The outsourced clothing is terrible.
The fabrics are made from thinner fabric, made from thinner thread. This means the items don't hold their shape, are see through, and shrink with every wash. The very fiber is poorer quality to begin with.
Sizing is erratic.
Colors bleed more often than not.
I make my own clothes now, or buy items with the idea that they won't last a year.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

LL Bean still a mainstay of Maine/NE economy

I've seen quite a few comments expressing some level of outrage at LLBean for producing many items overseas. I understand that, but please keep in mind that the store is still essential to the Maine economy. Not only do they still produce some important products, like their canoes and their boots, in Maine, but the store in Freeport draws shoppers to midcoast Maine. Years ago, LLBeans sold a lot of items made by crafters in Maine, but unfortunately the global market squeezed many of these items out because they could not compete with cheaper goods, especially those made overseas. I hope people will not stop shopping at LLBeans, because if you do, then Maine will lose one of its most important businesses that still does produce high-quality merchandise, including many American-made items. And they stand by their guarantee like nobody else. (I do not work for LLBeans, and never have, and I don't even live in Maine - but I have shopped there for years and hope they'll continue to offer high quality merchandise and a great business to support.)

Anonymous wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Down Coat

Just returned a long down coat after wearing it once while walking my dog on a windy mountain. Bought it because it was LL Bean, had nice tight cuffs at the wrist, and a hood. After we started walking I put my hands in the----non-existent----pockets. They were deep enough for me to put my hands in only to my knuckles! What good is a coat like that? As I was returning it I noticed that it was made in Bangladesh. I don't know whether no pockets are part of their outsourcing cost cutting, but they won't be getting any more of my money.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

thank you for your research

thank you for your research and for this article. as of Jan 1, 2013, my family has decided to do our best to buy USA made. After days of reading on line, I have found many products made here, and am grateful. We are also doing a lot of re-thinking about our spending habits. We know now that we will be paying more for many of the items, but should in turn get better quality, therefore, not needing to constantly replace. For example, I have found that Duluth Trading Co. sells men's jeans that are made here. The quality is wonderful and they don't need replaced as often as jeans made in Asia, of lesser quality. I will still buy the US made products from LLBean, when I find I need that certain item. one thing, when shopping this way, we are asking ourselves, "do we really need it??"... There are many "made in the USA" websites that help a lot if anyone is interested in finding products that are made here.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

L.L.BEAN STILL OFFERING FREE SHIPPING AND RETURNS

LOOK, I AM STILL A CUSTOMER.. 20 YEARS AND COUNTING, MOST OF THEIR BOOTS STILL MADE IN USA.. WILL EVEN BUY THEM USED ON EBAY...NOW AS FAR AS THE CLOTHES..I LOVE THEIR FLANNEL LINED CHINO'S AND WHEN THEY DON'T FIT THAT WILL GLADLY EXCHANGE THEM WITH FREE SHIPPING TO A PAIR THAT DOES FIT.
YES I COULD GET MAD CAUSE THEY AREN'T MADE IN USA OR EVEN NORTH AMERICA ; BUT THE ENTIRE TEXTILE INDUSTRY HAS MOVED OVERSEAS.. EVEN WHAT USED TO BE NY GARMENT DISTRICT HAS MOVED.. SO WHAT CAN I DO BE FAITHFUL TO AN AMERICAN MERCHANT THAT IS TRYING TO DO THEIR BEST UNDER DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

When companies outsource

When companies outsource manufacturing, they save money not only in wages, but benefits. Wages are lower in China, India, and these other countries. Companies also don't have to provide health insurance, 401k or retirement plans, paid time off, or any of the other things expected of an American company. They are practically using slave labor. The overseas factories also use inferior materials produced at other non-USA factories. People who are treated poorly are not good workers. Most of these items are of inferior quality and won't last, yet we are expected to pay the same for them?? You may as well shop Walmart. It's like generic food items. Same factory, different label.There are still some things made in USA, including jeans. You have to search for them (NOT levis). If we had a universal healthcare system, it might encourage more companies to make things in the USA. Healthcare costs for employers are very high and this affects hiring and benefits. How many strikes and plant closings can be attributed to issues over benefits? This usually takes precedent over wages. No one can afford healthcare in a system that refuses to change for political reasons. Having universal healthcare does NOT make a communist country (and haven't we realized they were never much of a threat anyway? It's individual countries with insane, power hungry rulers and those that don't want us to interfere-particularly Muslim countries which make many of these products!)

Anonymous wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

No longer proud to wear L.L.Bean

I was in Maine at the world famous LL Bean store in the early 90s. It was the highlight of my New England road trip from Tennessee. I bought tons of items. In Nov of 2012 I was in Albany NY for a couple days. I was se excited to happen upon a L.L. Bean store there. However, after a few minutes inside I was amazed. Everything I was interested in was made in an Aisian country. I expect this out of other department stores. Thats why I dont go in them. I will still buy the American made boots. And the rest they can Keep. At 47 I have always cherished my L.L. Bean items. However, I am no longer a fan
Whatever pinhead made the dicision to outsource such a quality brand should be FIRED and then Shipped to china!
Very Very disappointed. Brian Keller

Anonymous wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

lLBean. Not made in USA?

I was shocked and disappointed to see how many LLBean items are manufactured in China!! I, as a long time customer, will shop elsewhere in the future. It is exasperating as a consumer to see this outsourcing trend continue , and being supported by this essentially American company! American jobs are at stake and LLBean should be ashamed! Please bring ALL your manufacturing back to the USA.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

L.L. Bean not made in USA

I just got my catalog for Christmas shopping and I always thought their products were made here in the good o'USA. After reading this article I'm not going to purchase anything else ever unless they change to being made in USA. I used to buy all my gifts for family from them. I'll have to get it somewhere else. Too bad and shame on them!

X loyal customer,
Idaho

Anonymous wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

ll bean

I recently bought a LL Bean sweater at a thrift store for 3 bucks. I got it home and saw it was made in India,Ithought it was a knockoff. I guess there stuff isn't all american made. That's the american way!

Anonymous wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

And The Prices are still high?

I noticed the same thing recently when shopping at LL Bean. Made in Singapore, Made in Vietnam, Made in China. etc. What puzzled me was that LL Bean still prices these items as they were made in the USA. The savings from outsourcing are all profit. It bothered me so much I walked out. Why pay those prices when you can get the same thing elswhere for much cheaper!

Anonymous wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Made in America

I am disgusted with these companies. They maximize their profits and are disloyal to the people who purchase their products. We can made a difference by not purchasing the ones made in china. We need to support those 1/2 million american citizens out of work and push companies into manufacturing in America for Americans.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I won't be Christmas shopping at L.L. Bean

Good grief. So much for shopping American!

Anonymous wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

L. L. Bean is still manufacturing in the USA

While I too wish that more of the items in the iconic L.L. Bean catalog were still manufactured in the USA, it should be noted that there are more than 100 items that are still American made. In addition to the Bean hunting shoes and tote bags, they carry several New Balance shoes, indoor and outdoor furniture, and boating and canoeing items are made in the USA. I am aware that many of the clothing items are now imported, but consumers should do everything we can to purchase the American made goods offered, as well as to encourage Bean to increase the number of soft goods from American sources.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

LL Bean synonymous with Quality

LL Bean, Lands End and other names synonymous with Made in America are now mostly produced in China, Bangladesh, Peru, Vietnam, anywhere but where the jobs and opportunities need to be.
I am saddened by the lack of quality that is now part of the American clothing landscape, it pains me to say but soon nothing will be made in America. It is a choice of each and every CEO and corporate structure to off-shore the jobs that should be here in our nation to countries that have lower wages, lower benefits if at all, and of course no retirement benefits for the workers. It seems to me that we're in the midst of a concerted effort to turn America into a third world country.
What is even more surprising to me, the fact that these companies like LL Bean keep their PR machines pumping out the "Made In America" nonsense coming to us.
The solution to this enigma? Stop purchasing any clothing or product that is not truly Made In America. If we the people can do this, then there will be changes made in the corporations and stores that we give our money to.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 43 weeks ago

Made in America

I was about to buy a jacket from LL Bean when I noticed in the description it is imported. No indication of what country it comes from. Not that it matters. I just feel they're trying to pull the wool over our eyes in hopes someone will think it's some sort of chic European made product. Did a google search on American made products and found a comparable design from All American Clothing Co. at cheaper price.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Imported articles from LL Bean

I recently received an LL Bean catalog and, as I am looking for a quality winter coat I perused it intently. What I found was a lovely wool blend coat for $199.00. I was ready to order until I read the word imported. I won't spend $200 for something I may be able to wear for only a few seasons.

I have found with imported clothing that the material is inferior to what I was able to buy when things were manufactured in the USA -- with material made in the USA. I will be calling LL Bean and asking them not to send their catalog.

I was taught ( I am in my 70s) to buy quality and expect to keep it. I bought a Land's End wool jacket 25 years ago which I am still wearing. The only thing wrong with it is the lining has worn through under the arms. Pretty good for 25 years of wear. Unfortunately, Land's End has gone the way of other clothing manufacturers> I guess I will continue to wear my jacket and old sweaters.

I would really like to know the profit margin on the coat I was looking at.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

American Made

Many companies that were known for producing and selling quality American made products had a need to outsource production for some, and in some cases all, of their products due to competition that was knocking them out with cheaper products. Most people dont really appreciate detailed quality and wont generally pay more for it, if it looks the same and seems ok they will buy it if it is cheaper. What many folks dont realize is that while quality items can cost a bit more at the gate, it is are far less expensive over time due to their ability to last through years, if not decades.
I buy products from companies that sell American and imported items and generally purchase the American stuff whenever possible if it has the quality. That is the way to get them to understand that American made items (as long as they are quality and priced reasonably) are the way to roll, especially in these times when we are getting back on track here in the States.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

"One world order" uttered by President Bush in 1988

The subject is the reason manufacturing jobs have moved over seas. The people who control the wealth changed our economy from a manufacturing base to a knowledge base economy. Prior to this change, American manufacturers were protected by the Tariffs to level the competion playing field against foreign low pay labor. China is a Communistic country with horrible human rights issues and no freedom for which this country stands for. So why are we buying what is produced by China?

Anonymous wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

I am deeply disappointed. I

I am deeply disappointed. I will never purchase from LL Bean Again.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Organized Labor

I believe that when the whole offshoring movement began, the difference in price between the established American manufacturing community and the newer foreign outfits, mostly in poor and 3rd world countries, was relatively small. However, it was also very real. As a result, what began as a trickle of offshored jobs soon became a flood, and now, the “established American manufacturing community” is a poor shadow of its former self. This changes things tremendously. Since in many or most industries, there is no existing American alternative, it would be necessary in most cases to start one from scratch. This exacerbates the difference in cost, and perpetuates the practice of having most things made overseas. I believe the key to all this is, strangely enough, organized labor. Since labor has always been essentially international, this really is more of a return to original priorities. If foreign manufacturers who work for American corporations were unionized, not only would the lot of their workers improve, the difference in cost would tend to level out. Not only that, those operations would themselves become the target of migrant/international labor, perhaps even for American workers who can't find jobs here (this has already begun as a trickle in places like India).

Anonymous wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Andy

Does anyone actually know the Maine company that makes the LL Bean tote bag, the one seen everywhere? Please email me direct andynola1@gmail.com.

Thanks

Anonymous wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Made in America

We do our very best to buy only products made in America. Checking labels adds to the shopping time but makes us feel a lot better. Many times we have found items Made in America that are less expensive than similar items on the same shelf that are made elsewhere. We will coninue shoping at LL Bean but will only buy their American products.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Made in USofA

Made "cheap" in China translate to more profits, and higher CEO bonus/salary and perks. "If" CEOs demand outrageous salaries and profits, American made products same/similar price. Has nothing to do with "regulation". It has everything to do for the "1%".

Anonymous wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

you have options!

Sure, we would all like to see everything LL Bean sells be made in America. However, the price of manufacturing anything in America today is outrageous. Between regulations and labor costs it just can't be done economically. If you need to buy american you have options. Go check out Filson and find out that comparable products to LL Bean that are made in America go for twice or three times as much. Look at all of the boot companies that still make american boots and see that their boots are far more expensive than their imported counterparts. We can put on blinders all we would like but until America once again becomes manufacturer friendly, most people will have to deal with buying from overseas, even for higher end products.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Made in America

I thought I was the only one who noticed or cared until I found this while web-surfing. I sent an e-mail to L.L. Bean and received essentially the same canned response. My suggestion is that they change the name of the store to Bean Mart. That way Leon Leonwood could be disassociated from something I'm sure he would have found repulsive.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Made in America

Look in the L.L. Bean catalog and you will get your Answer. ALOT of things Bean sells is NOT made in AMerIca.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Where to buy a flannel shirt ?

I have been looking to buy a few simple, old fashioned plaid flannel shirts.
Maybe I am being too picky, but I can not find what I want.
Size: Large,
Made in the USA.
I went to the LLBean website and at least found some flannel shirts, my size, but they seem to be all imported.
Same story with almost everything these days. Our food too I bet.

If anyone is serious about changing this lack of "made in USA" situation then we better stop buying the imported stuff. Sometimes we have a choice. Don't go to KMart, Walmart, Target, etc. if you want something made in the USA. Expect to pay more for things made in America. Pay it and demand high quality. Start complaining by not buying things that are cheap and imported.
Retailers have already gotten the message that Americans want imported goods in order to save a few bucks. If we change our minds they will also. Don't blame all the loss of manufacturing jobs and loss of quality products on the companies that sell. American buyers should at least share the responsibility. Look for and demand high quality and made in America goods.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

responses from companies like LL Bean

I too have quit purchasing from LL Bean but they insist on spending money on sending me catalogs. I once bought some of their famous boots over 10yrs ago because my Hermans Survivors finally wore out. First pair fell apart at the seams within the year. Yes Bean replaced them free of charge and they wore well but never as long and well as the Hermans too bad.
I have commented to number of companies about their made in China products. I have had to inquire with a few who forgot to indicate the country of origin. ALL the companies give me the same B--s**** about quality and blah blah blah. It is total company talking points.
See recent articles on the APPALLING conditions (leading to death sometimes) as Apple computing plants in China and that is just one indicator. I know high level managers who tell me what the conditions are like.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Made In America? HAH!

Thanks to 1 of the worst presidents, ronald reagan, the usa's free trade begins w/ don Reagan [from merryll] opening up the doors and halls of congress for the buying & selling of congress men & woman by corporate america to the highest bidders!

where's the trickle down bhoener? republicans are the new commi

over 60,000 mfg. plants sent to china & the other bric nations & mexico.
tens of millions of jobs sent with the mfg. plants.

until the american proletariat unites & picks ups arms against our unconstitutional tyrannical govt, these congressional terrorists, wall street terrorists & corporate money nazi's will continue to destroy this country from the inside out.

china could not defeat us in korea N or in vietnam so they read the art of war & defeated us through our weaknesses! our glutenous greed & materialistic consumerism! woo hoo! go china!

now americans cry cry cry! boo hoo!

well guess what, it's not china, its the De-criminalization of felony investment crime in credit derivatives & credit default swaps & the deliberate & intentional mortgage fraud for the later exponential profit from the bought & paid for, newly DE-criminalized, highly felonious credit default swap, UN-regulated investment insurance!
A 92 year felony! made a felony in 1908 by the congress because it wiped out the economy and was the foundation for the great depression!

our us congress & wall street sold out the usa for their own profft! traitors all~

now your broke, its no joke, can't find work or a decent wage!

since regan, 10 trillion are republican & 6 trillion are democrats.
democrats spend at home, republicans send it over seas!

Anonymous wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Betrayal is a Good Word...

I am so disappointed to read this information. My father grew up in Maine, and to our family, the name LL Bean was synonymous with quality and the Maine pioneering spirit.

The LL Bean PR machine is proud to boast of the jobs it provides in Brunswick, ME. The question is -- how many more employment opportunities would there be in Maine if any of their manufacturing weren't outsourced...? Outsourcing simply increases profit margins and who benefits from that? Shame on the executive leadership at LL Bean for succumbing to greed. How many houses, boats, cars, TVs or gadgets do they need to help them forget that they have eliminated jobs for Americans?

I have shopped a lot at LL Bean over the last 30 years. I will not shop there again. An era has passed and I am grieving the loss.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

L.L. Bean

I never been to L.L. Bean, what type of store are they? Are they pretty similar to Walmart and Target? Do they have any Pool tables for sale? I didn't know if they sell any sporting goods as well.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Still a quality American company - nothing like Walmart

While I too wish LL Bean still sold more items made in the USA, as a maine resident and former LL Bean employee I am glad that LL Bean has done what is necessary to stay in business and to be one of Maine's largest employers. I am also proud that they still offer an guarantee and work with manufacturers to assure quality and decent working conditions.(Something we desparately need these days.)

I was an employee when the company reluctantly started sourcing more products overseas. They were proactive in sending staff to manufacturing facilities to assure product quality and to assure that there would be no "Kathy Lee moments." And this was before there was a Kathy Lee moment.

Take a look at LL Bean's commitment to quality, the environment and social responsibility. They are leaps and bounds ahead of many other retailers and still maintain some US manufacturing while offering that great guarantee and employing so many Maine people.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

made in America

We used to stop at L.L. Bean every Christmas Eve on our trek from Maine to NH to spend the holidays with our children. We took pride in the fact that most of the products were, indeed, made in America. However, one year we could not find a thing made in the USA that we were looking for. That same night, a salesperson approached my husband and asked if he would do a survey. Wrong person to ask! We had been clothing manufacturers until most of the contracts were sent overseas so we were very sensitive about made in America. Yea, he did the survey and really let the officials know how we felt. Used to be you could look in the catalog and see "made in USA". Now it says, "made in USA and imported" Sorry to say, we do not shop Beans anymore.
Anna Lawn, formerly of Palmyra, Maine and Jaffrey, NH.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Imported buried in text

As I glanced through a catalog from LL Bean .I noticed that the word Imported for almost all of the product description is buried in the middle of the text.Disappointed my wife and I can no longer be part of the scam we new once as LL Bean.

Eddie Maguire,NY NY

Anonymous wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

it IS disappointing

Shopping at LLBean was a Christmas tradition for me. My criteria was quality and value. As I became aware of the negative impact on our own economy not buying American made products, my standards were raised. I want to help generate jobs here. I just tried looking on their website, and even asked for their help to find clothes made here. None of their clothing is made in America.

It doesn't take proof that the cost of shipping the products to here has to be off set by low wages, sweat shop conditions (long working shifts, unsafe conditions), and no regulation on environmental impact. I don't want to support that system.

I wrote an article about how it boosts our economy to buy, Made in America. check it out:

http://www.cookremodeling.com/1/choose-made-in-america-to-boost-our-economy

Anonymous wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Made in America

I have been an LL Bean customers for a while. Today, I was shopping the site for Christmas gifts for family members. I began to add to my shopping cart until I remembered to check to see whether the products I was about to purchase were still made in America. Sadly, they were not. At that point, I cancelled my order.

For me and my family, when spending our money and remaining loyal customers and good citizens, it's either made in America or not. It's just that simple.

Until things change, I'll spend my money elsewhere.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

made in America

I found this site the same day I found an LL Bean catalogue in my mail.

When I called 800-554-2326 to ask about two items, I was told they are made in El Salvador. If everyone who receives a catalogue made a similar call, LL Bean might get the message.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

made in china - owned in china?

MY recent trip to LL Bean at Tysons Corner showed me that LL Bean is mostly made I China. There were so many LL Bean products made in China I guessed that LL Bean was owned by some Chinese company. I was especially disappointed because there are great products made here in the USA by US citizens that LL Bean could sell many more products made in USA. I will not buy from LL Bean again.

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