Why “Made in USA” Matters

Having all our furniture made in the US allows for reduced shipping distances (and cost), more customizable pieces, and in-home delivery options.

Leland Thomasset

November 16, 2020

5 min read

Reduced Shipping Distance

In our increasingly virtual world, online shopping has dominated the retail landscape. The downside of shopping online is that everything needs to be shipped.

The US transportation sector, which includes trucks, ships, and freight, is a whopping third of all US global warming emissions. In other words, the process of moving goods from warehouse to recipient involves pumping large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Faster shipping times and free returns have only exacerbated the problem. This is doubly true when orders are manufactured outside of the country. Those goods are first moved to the US on container ships, which have a huge range of efficiency, then by trucks.

And unfortunately, choosing to do your holiday shopping through brick-and-mortar stores doesn’t help much. The reason being, it doesn’t matter where and when a product gets sold--it’s where and when a product is made that makes the real difference. If your online order is manufactured ten thousand miles away, it will either need to be transported ten thousand miles to your address or ten thousand miles to your local store.

So what can you do? Well, you could take the time to do some research and look for domestically made goods. But really, it’s up to retailers and manufacturers to develop a more eco-friendly shopping model.

That’s where Baru comes in: Instead of manufacturing abroad, we reduce our carbon footprint by making everything local--orders from New York will be made in New York, while orders from the San Francisco Bay Area are made in the Bay Area--with sustainably sourced materials. And instead of storing pre-made pieces in a warehouse, all our furniture is made to order.

Made to Order

One hundred years ago Ford’s “Model T” was a massive hit. The factory assembly line meant retailers could easily and cheaply sell the same product to a huge customer base. But now, mass production just isn’t as appealing. We don’t want the exact same thing as everybody else. And in the furniture industry, customization is not just a current trend, it’s very often a necessity. We want pieces that fit not just with our personal style, but in our individual living spaces.

Having our pieces made to order allows more customization. So you can select your preferred dimensions. And having them made in the US means that what we save on transportation we can spend on premium materials and finishes. So you can select your preferred look.

In-Home Delivery

Another benefit of having our furniture pieces domestically made: Baru can offer in-home delivery and setup. Like ordering groceries or takeout online, you save time having to drive to the store and pick up your items. Unlike Doordash and UberEats, however, we can assemble your order on site, too. And instead of saving yourself a twenty-minute drive, you’re saving hours of frustrating and unnecessary work.

Baru’s Vision

The farm-to-table movement has made locally sourced ingredients a staple attraction within the food industry. The goal was to cut down long distance transportation, reduce restaurants’ carbon footprint, and help foster more sustainable agricultural practices. And over the last decade multiple apps advising both eaters and producers on eco-friendly living and eating healthy.

Now Baru’s applying those same principles to the online shopping industry, combining local production with global technology. We are advocating for a shopping cart to factory movement, where your online orders are sourced and manufactured locally in the US--providing opportunities to local craftsmen and lowering our carbon footprint--instead of shipped from a warehouse on the other side of the world.

We envision an e-commerce world where the customer is at the forefront of operations; where a reliable and convenient shopping experience is both cost-effective and eco-friendly; and where “made in the US” matters.