Friday, March 19, 2010

Boycott Burton

It's time to boycott Burton products.

I'm not a Burton-hater. Jake Burton's done a lot for the industry and I appreciate those efforts. However, when you stop manufacturing in the United States, you lose my support.

I'm not naive. I know some jobs have left us and won't come back. But the latest news (thanks to Rocky at is more than I care to tolerate. Burton has stopped making snowboards in the United States.

Why does that matter to you?

There are lots of reasons.

The first is jobs. Our economy is stagnant. For a manufacturer to remove jobs from a stagnant economy is totally irresponsible. Most of Burton's boards are sold in the U.S. and I would venture that the vast preponderance of their higher end boards are sold here. If we don't have jobs, how can we buy them? Are the folks at Burton that uncaring? Obviously, the answer is yes. Now's the time to invest in America. They didn't.

The second is the environment. While Austria may have great environmental laws, China doesn't. So, when you buy a board made in China, you're investing in a process that reduces snow. That seems counterintuitive for folks following our sport. However, even if the country manufacturing the boards has great environmental standards, the shipping of the boards back to the U.S. creates pollution. Buy locally is an important part of the environmental movement.

The third is quality. When I toured the Never Summer factory (see that story here), I was so impressed with their craftsmanship and quality control. These weren't part-time temporary workers. They are folks who have been on the job for years and years and are invested in the product, both financially and with pride. If the folks making your board aren't interacting with riders, the quality will suffer. To learn more about the boards they make, here's a link to next year's Never Summer catalogue.

The fourth is pure patriotism. Look, I'm not the flag-waving sort. My patriotism is quieter than that. I served in the military. I care about the country. I work for the military. I don't give anyone a pass - I criticize our nation when it's deserved. However, I am an American. When I can do something that boosts the U.S., I do. Jake Burton obviously feels otherwise.

Do you have choices? Absolutely. Never Summer manufactures in the U.S. Venture, Unity, and Lib Tech manufacture in the U.S. There's a lot of choices there and while I'm a bit partial to NS, these are all good folks. You can buy local.

It's time to say no more. Insist that Burton move it's manufacturing back to the U.S. before you buy any more of their products. It's the right thing to do.

Want to read more about their move? Here's a link to the AP story. Here's a link to a Westword story on Colorado snowboard manufacturers. Finally, here's a link to the Burlington Free Press story where Burton admits to manufacturing in China.

No comments:

Post a Comment