But there are many parts of this country where manufacturing is very much alive, albeit in a different form. The monolithic industry model — steel, oil, lumber, cars — has evolved into something more nimble and diversified…

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As Mark Dwight, who started SFMade in 2010, explains, “For decades we have developed a culture of disposability — from consumer goods to medical instruments and machine tools. To fuel economic growth, marketers replaced longevity with planned obsolescence — and our mastery of technology has given birth to ever-accelerating unplanned obsolescence. I think there is increasing awareness that this is no longer sustainable on the scale we have developed.”

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Things made in places like San Francisco or New York command a desire-by-association (though I’m also sure creative individuals in less name-brand locals could adopt many of the business synergies and sustainable efforts discussed here). To be sure, there may be a higher cost of doing business in major metropolitan centers like these, but at the same time what gets made is largely driven by design and by consumer demand. ..

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