Firefly and New Balance May 24, 2013

It’s great to see two Boston brands representing American production and fabrication: New Balance and Firefly Bicycles. Although, it’s a little weird to go through that whole speech and end with “1 out of every 4 pairs of shoes we sell in the USA is made or assembled here”.

  • http://twitter.com/holliscx Hollis Duncan

    Yeah the way they added that disclaimer at the end w/ mouse type leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth about New Balance which is a disservice to Firefly et al. If 75% of its shoes are made overseas, NB is the benchmark of hypocrisy.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      I wouldn’t go as far as to call them hypocrites, because at least they’re making an effort. I’d just rather them tone down the patriotism.

      • http://twitter.com/holliscx Hollis Duncan

        Let’s get to 50% first then we can agree to disagree

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          yep… I saw so many bootleg New Balances in China. I had no idea so much of their production was overseas… :-(

          I always owned the Made in the USA models.

          • tomas erro

            i have had (and still have) usa models, england made ones and asian ones. sorry to say so, but best ones are allways the ones that come out of flimby factory in great britain

      • AJAustin

        So according to this only 25% of their product is “excellent” leaving the consumer to conclude the other 75% is shit? I agreed with Prolly that 1 pair is better then no pairs but making a big stink about the greatest of American ingenuity and manufacturing is a pretty big statement. Seems like its just for show.

    • Sean Curran

      What does it mean under the disclaimer though? I dont quite understand what they are saying? “where the domestic value is at least 70%, we label our shoes made in USA.” Does this mean that 70% of the sales in the US are made here? if so, thats pretty damn good if you ask me.

      Also, they have 3 massive factories in maine, and 2 in MA, one in Boston and one in Lawrence, and I know they are building a second factory in lawrence in the near future, so maybe these numbers will go up.

      I think what they do is pretty damn good. The quality is much higher than most at the same price point.

  • Jamie McKeon

    is “domestic value of the shoes” a function of the labour spent in the USA to produce them?

  • Harry Major

    The 70% thing means: if the shoe cost $10 to make, and $7 of those was spent in the US then its labelled made in the USA. This is common, companies can include design and marketing into this cost, so in reality, there are million of products out there that are labelled as made in X but infact the manufacturing was all done in far east. This is a very common practise.

    • Sean Curran

      interesting (and disappointing), and something to looks for in the future, thanks.

  • Harry

    I kind of question the point of a patriotically made in ‘x country’ product when such a small percentage of the population could ever dream of owning said product. Id rather see thousands riding Taiwanese bikes than 1 privileged individual riding the worlds’ most beautiful firefly.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      A Firefly is the upper echelon of made in the USA bikes. You can get any number of bikes for less than a 1/4 of the price of a Firefly. Made in the USA isn’t a privilege, it used to be a way of life until companies became greedy.

      Chris King, White Industries, PAUL, Profile and other manufacturers make products in the USA that are totally obtainable for the general cycling population, you’ve just got to be smart with your money. Buy cheap, buy twice.

      And believe me, things are cheap from Taiwan and China because there are NO regulations. No health codes, no environmental regulations, nothing. If you saw it, if you breathed it in, you’d have a different view on the world.
      For me, the privileged people aren’t the ones riding a bike like a Firefly, they’re the ones who knows that globalization is polluting and destroying the Earth and still choose to buy components made in China / Taiwan when their native country (Japan, Italy, USA, whatever) make products domestically.

      • Harry

        I can say first hand you are correct about the poor conditions of China…I toured there in 2011 and was sick within an hour of stopping in Linfen, a town which has been called the worlds’ most polluted.

        A strong reason that whole situation exists is because the world’ is happy to have China as its’ cheap, nasty factory.