We offered applause for the reality TV powerhouses when they sourced their products in the United States. That appears to no longer be the case – with one notable exception.
Love them or hate them, the Kardashians are everywhere. The team of sisters grew their empire from reality show personalities to business moguls. From shapewear to skincare, the Kardashians have products in multiple markets.
America’s modern socialites used to have a strong track record of sourcing their products right here in the United States – we even praised Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner for doing so! But now it seems the Kardashian Made in America kraze is over. The sisters are outsourcing overseas (with one exception).
Let’s break it down, sister by sister.
We’ll talk about Khloe first, because she was the Kardashian sister who embraced American-made in her product line. It was even in the name!
The youngest of the Kardashian sisters (remember, Kendall and Kylie are Jenners) launched her denim brand, Good American, in 2016. Good American is marketed as a body-positive line of clothing that aims to be inclusive of all sizes. And originally, Khloe committed to manufacturing her product stateside.
AAM even ran a story in 2018 exploring the high quality of these American-made jeans. We liked them!
But unfortunately, Khloe’s commitment to Made in America seems to have run out.
The Good American website once proudly declared that products were assembled in Los Angeles. This claim appears to have been scrubbed, and Emma Grede, Good American’s cofounder, officially announced in 2018 that the company had to decided to step away from its American-made commitment.
Grede commented: “When we decided that for reasons of cost, which is a top priority for our customer, we were going to start making some things overseas. Because our name is Good American, we saw the irony.”
The true irony of this statement is that the retail price for a new pair of Good American jeans can run well above $100, which is actually higher than Made in Chicago jeans from Dearborn Denim. It seems like Good American’s decision to ditch Made in America had more to do with the company’s profits than consumer costs.
The offshoring of manufacturing by Khloe Kardashian begs the question, where are these “Good American” jeans made now? There’s more irony coming!
Now, this is especially odd because the Kardashians are publicly very proud of their Armenian heritage. The sisters frequently referenced it on their first reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and Khloe’s older sister, Kim, even took out a full-page ad in The New York Times condemning deniers of the Armenian genocide. So, it seems rather strange that Khloe would choose to produce her product in a country that not only led a genocide of the Armenian people, but continues to deny it.
But we digress. Whether it be Turkey or somewhere else, it is clear that Good American Jeans are no longer Made in America.
Let’s talk about Kylie. In 2019, the then-21-year-old made history as was declared by Forbes to be the youngest billionaire ever. While that claim was later disputed, there was no denying that Kylie had made a whole lot of money via her make-up line, Kylie Cosmetics.
And as we wrote about at the time, Kylie Cosmetics was manufactured in the United States, by Seed Beauty in Oxnard, California. That facility was home to six innovative lines of products, including some of Kim Kardashian’s company KKW Beauty.
But in the years since, there’s been some love lost between the Kardashians and Seed Beauty.
You may remember Kylie Cosmetics website shut down mid-pandemic, with Kylie citing a desire to rebrand with new formulas. But there was more to the story.
Kylie Cosmetics had also found itself embroiled in lengthy litigation with Seed Beauty, which had filed suit against the Kylie Cosmetics, KKW Beauty and Coty Inc., which had purchased large stakes in the sisters’ companies. The Made in USA manufacturer alleged that Kylie’s company had been sharing trade secrets with Coty. The suit appears to have been settled in 2021.
The Kylie Cosmetics website did indeed relaunch, where it is currently selling items like the Birthday PR Box, priced at $175. As of Aug. 17, 2022, the company claimed its “[o]ur formulas are made in the USA and Europe, with globally sourced ingredients.”
Of note: Kylie recently visited the “Kylie Cosmetics Lab,” located in… Milan, Italy.
Kim Kardashian has pursued a number of entrepreneurial pursuits over the years, perhaps most notably with her shapewear line, SKIMS. We actually wrote about SKIMS in 2021, when it was announced as the “official underwear, loungewear and sleepwear” for Team USA at the Summer Olympics.
We criticized the selection of SKIMS for the official designation, especially considering Ralph Lauren – which had previously been criticized for sourcing from overseas – had worked hard to ensure the outfits for Team USA at the opening and closing ceremonies were Made in America.
SKIMS isn’t the only big product on Kim’s plate. Her most recent endeavor is a new, high-end skincare line called SKKN by Kim. The brand was inspired by Kim’s goal of bridging the gap between professional dermatologists and people seeking to improve their at-home skincare routine.
Marketed as an “indulgent, at-home experience,” Kim’s nine-step skincare method is billed as being crafted consciously, with all products being cruelty-free, vegan, and developed without gluten or sulfates. And “the products are made and formulated in the United States,” according to the company’s website.
Well, look at that.
Kim seems to have picked up on something we’ve long argued, which is that you cannot truly have an eco-friendly product if it is sold in the United States but made overseas. Not only does it up the carbon footprint of a product to make it abroad and then ship it halfway around the world, but many countries overseas do not have as strict environmental laws. Sourcing locally is more sustainable.
So, credit where credit is due: Bravo to Kim for making SKKN by Kim in the United States. We hope that she’ll also boost her domestic manufacturing for her other products – and that her sisters follow her lead.
And while the Kardashians may have (mostly) turned their back on American Manufacturing, many companies are still proud to make their products right here in America. Check out our Made in America Directory for some high-quality, American-made options.