New Balance Sued For Misleading Made In Usa Label
Freddy Fang | Jan 3, 2022
First announced in a report from The Fashion Law, New Balance is being sued for their trademark Made in USA namesake. The fast rising brand has long promoted their Made in USA products as being made in America, displaying their commitment to producing high quality sneakers domestically using ethical labor practices. However, this new lawsuit denotes that the slogan is ultimately false advertising and misrepresentative of their products.
The plaintiffs, Matthew Cristostomo, Anthony Bollini, Spencer Verrilla, Derrick Evans, Clifton Bradley, and Robert Kaminsky, have accused New Balance of misleading customers by promoting their sneakers as American made. The words Made in USA, an American flag, and other American symbolism can be seen on the packaging and actual product itself.
Cristostomo and Co. describe the Made in USA sneakers as actually being constructed with 30% foreign labor. This doesnt fall with the Federal Trade Commissions definition of domestically produced goods, which requires almost all if not all of the product to be produced in the United States. Currently, New Balance sources its soles from China.
Stay tuned to Nice Kicks as more information about the lawsuit comes to light.
Where Is New Balance Made Is It In The Usa
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New Balance is an American sports footwear and apparel brand founded in 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts. Its one of the biggest sports brands worldwide with Adidas, Nike, Skechers, and Puma. But can you answer the questions: Where is New Balance made?
I cant remember having a pair of New Balance shoes, but I did sell many to customers when I worked for Sports Direct. However, I do have some running tops that I really like.
New Balance is an American brand, but that doesnt mean all its products are made in the USA. To confirm, I have decided to review hundreds of product descriptions on the New Balance website to verify if the brand lists where the products are made. I also visited a couple of New Balance stores and some stores that sell New Balance products, checking multiple items. So lets find out where New Balance is manufactured.
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New Balance sells several models of footwear that prominently claim to be Made in USA,’ reads the complaint. However, the sneakers have as much as 30% of their components made outside of the United Statesincluding the sole of the sneakers, which is an important aspect of the shoes.
According to the complaints, the plaintiffs would not have purchased the sneakers if they knew that the shoes were not entirely made in the U.S. Additionally, the plaintiffs argue that they were deceived into paying a price premium for products they believed to be entirely made in the U.S.
New Balance takes pride in our longstanding commitment to domestic manufacturing it is a valued part of our heritage and culture, New Balance told FN in a statement. Our four New England-based factories currently employ approximately 1,000 Americans who work to produce our athletic footwear. Our brands success has been built and sustained by our unwavering belief that making things matters and by the craftsmanship of the men and women who work in our factories.
The complaint noted that in 1996, the FTC notified New Balance about its deceptive claim of its shoes being Made in USA and also highlighted another class action settlement in 2019 over the same issue.
In a statement, New Balance said it aims to to be transparent in all consumer communications, prominently disclosing that where domestic value is at least 70%, the brands footwear is labeled Made in the USA.
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Collaborations And Brand Ambassadors
The company has launched products in collaboration with apparel company Aimé Leon Dore, NBA star Kawhi Leonard, and British fashion designer Paul Smith. The company’s brand ambassadors include Boston Red Sox Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, entertainer Jaden Smith and US Olympic sprinter Sydney McLaughlin. In July 2021, it was announced that South Korean superstar IU will be partnering with New Balance as a brand ambassador for its “We Got Now” campaign.
Policing Made In America
For decades, New Balance has branded itself an American-made footwear company. On its shoe boxes, it proudly asserts that it has been made in the U.S. for over 75 years. But over the last three decades, it has repeatedly come under fire for misrepresenting its products. A Wall Street Journal investigation from 2014 revealed that only about 70% of New Balance shoes reflected domestic content and labor. And in the 1990s, the FTC brought an enforcement action against New Balance for making these claims about domestic manufacturing, but eventually dropped it after a contentious legal battle.
The latest class action lawsuit, which was filed in December, continues this fight. The five plaintiffs argue that New Balance sells several shoe styles that feature an American flag and the word USA on the tongue of the shoe, meant to suggest that the shoes are made domestically. But the suit argues that these shoes contain as much as 30% of materials made overseas. This is a problem, the plaintiffs say, because consumers are willing to pay more for products they believe are made in the U.S.
Paul says these crackdowns are good for U.S. manufacturing. Consumers should feel more confident today than they did a couple of years ago, though we still have to be vigilant, and the FTC needs to put more resources into enforcement, he says.
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Verdict: Are New Balance Shoes Made In The Usa
No, not all New Balance shoes are made in America. They claim that 1 out of every 4 pairs of shoes we sell in the USA was made or assembled in American factories, by American workers. They key phrase there: made or assembled. New Balance gets many of their materials overseas, including their outer soles, which are made in China. Many of their popular shoes, like the 1540s, are made in Vietnam.
Additionally, New Balance is likely fooling you in their marketing. They label products to be Made in the USA when they are only 70% domestic! Heres the direct quote from their website: where the domestic value is at least 70%, we label our shoes Made in the USA. There has been an ongoing legal dispute since the 1990s with the FTC and New Balance. The FTC has a all or virtually all standard when it comes to using the Made in USA label, which it seems New Balance was in violation of.
Here is the statement from their website. Even though they do not make their products 100% in the U.S., it is a plus that they are still supporting American manufacturing with over 7,000 local employees.
Unfortunately, we cant seem to find any New Balance shoes that are absolutely 100% made in the USA. Here are some popular products that they list in their Made in the USA section on their website:
- New Balance 990
Where Is New Balance Made
Most New Balance products are Made in Asia, including China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. The American brand also manufactures in the USA and the UK.
New Balance is one of those brands that, in my opinion, want to hide where their products are made and want to give their customers a perception that the majority of their goods are made in the USA.
Read: Where Is Adidas Made?
One of the reasons why I believe this is because they dont state the country of origin on their website, and you have to wait to get the physical product to verify it. This is very common in many brands .
When you buy a physical product, you can check where the product is manufactured since the US legislation, and EU rules require the brands to determine the country of origin for any imported goods when it comes to physical goods.
Now check the image below that I screenshot from New Balances website.
New Balance is proud of producing 4 million shoes in the USA every year , and I think thats great. However, on the New Balance website, you have a collection of shoes named Made In USA, but the shoes from that collection dont even represent 10% of the shoes they have on the website.
When I was in New Balance stores and other stores that sell the American sports brand, I didnt find one single product, Made In USA. When it came to shoes, I only found shoes Made In China.
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New Balance 99x Series
The shoes have been updated sporadically since the original 990 all models have used the 99X numbering format and some model numbers have been reused throughout the years.
On the 30th anniversary of the shoe in 2012, the New York Times reported, “The 990 has a cult following: according to New Balance officials, it was favored by Steve Jobs, and has also been worn by the actors Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Hilary Duff. Forbes, BBC and other media also reported how Jobs wore the shoes frequently.
Design of the 990 in 2012 was led by New Balance Senior Designer Andrew Nyssen.
Cristostomo Et Al V New Balance Athletics Inc
Filed: December 20, 2021§ 1:21-cv-12095
A class action contends that New Balance has falsely marketed its sneakers as Made in USA because as much of 30 percent of the shoes components are made outside the country.
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A proposed class action contends that New Balance has falsely marketed its walking and running sneakers as Made in USA because as much of 30 percent of the shoes individual components, including the soles, are made outside the country.
The 45-page lawsuit alleges New Balances Made in USA claim falls short of how the phrase has been defined by the Federal Trade Commission, whose regulations require all or virtually all of a product to be made in America in order to be advertised as such. According to the complaint, New Balance has been called out by the FTC for its deceptive representations but has nevertheless continued to use the Made in USA claim for its MADE shoe series given consumers are willing to pay more for sneakers they believe are made in America.
Had Defendant disclosed that the Sneakers were not in fact Made in USA, Plaintiffs and members of the Classes would not have purchased the Sneakers or would have paid less for the Sneakers than they did, the case argues.
The specific New Balance sneaker models the lawsuit claims have been falsely touted as Made in USA include:
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What Sneakers Are Made In The Usa
Learn which sneakers are made in the USA: Did you sneakers where did sneakers get their name from? Sneakers make very little noise when you are wearing them, as if you were sneaking in hence it got its name. Most countries has their own production of sneakers, brands like ADIDAs, PUMA, Balenciaga etc. are few of the top most reputed brands for their sneakers collection.
America too is one of the leading countries in manufacturing sneakers. Up until now sneaker companies in the USA has produced some of the most versatile sneakers in terms of color, design, style and pattern. If you want to know what sneakers are made in the USA, you are in the right place! We have listed them all down in our article.
New Balance Lawsuit Shows How Flimsy The Made In Usa Label Actually Is
When you buy a product with the words Made in USA splashed on it, how do you know the brand is telling the truth about where it was really manufactured?
Thats the crux of a new class action lawsuit against New Balance. The case, filed by five consumers, argues that the sneaker brand misleads customers by marketing many of its shoes as locally manufactured when, in fact, as much as 30% of the content of these shoes are actually produced overseas using foreign labor. Beyond misleading customers, this goes against the regulations established by the Federal Trade Commission that companies can only label their products as Made in USA if they contain noor negligibleforeign content.
This case raises broader questions about whether consumers can really trust the Made in USA label and if theyll continue to pay a premium for goods that claim to be American-made. Its an issue that could be a growing concern as some companies consider shifting their manufacturing back to the U.S. in an effort to avoid the disruptions that are currently paralyzing the supply chain.
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New Balance Made In Usa
“Wir haben unser erstes Paar Laufschuhe im Jahr 1938 in Boston, Masachusetts produziert und uns seither zur Herstellung in den USA verpflichtet.”
Mit dieser Entscheidung lag New Balance nicht nur wirtschaftlich verdammt richtig, sondern auch qualitativ halten sie mit ihren “Made in USA”-Modellen ein extrem hohen Standart, der uns immer wieder überzeugt und daran erinnert, dass die Produktion von hochwertigen Schuhen auch viel mit Erfahrung, Geschichte und Hingabe zu tun hat.
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Is New Balance Made In China
Yes, many New Balance apparel, accessories, and footwear products are Made In China.
In the 2020 annual report, New Balance says, We outsource the production of our products to independent manufacturers, which are primarily located in Asia.
The American sports brand has on-site supervisory offices in China and Vietnam to help independent manufacturers with anything to ensure the products are manufactured according to the New Balance guidelines.
Read: Where Are Asics Made?
We all know many brands manufacture in China due to the inexpensive materials and cheap labor. However, in the 2020 annual report, New Balance states that they are transitioning footwear sourcing from China to Vietnam due to the uncertainty for all US businesses that source or market in China . Some American brands like Nike, Columbia and Levis are doing the same.
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Shining A Spotlight On Usa Made
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$170 For New Balance Classics Is Made In Usa Worth The Premium
If youre essentially getting a standard product a New Balance classic shoe for a made in America premium, is that price hike really worth it?
Over the weekend, I visited the Need Supply flagship in Richmond, Virginia to check out their recent remodel. The verdict: Feels like an Everlane Shoe Park. Neither good nor bad, just an observation. One apt comment overheard from a gentleman perusing the fragrance and magazine section with his girlfriend: Theyve got an interesting setup up going on
Making my way around the corner to the mens shoe rack, I eyed a pair of New Balance 996 classics. Less bulky than your everyday 574s. Simple, subdued, with an aesthetic point of reference somewhere around the year 1986 or thereabouts. Ideal, in other words. I imagined the perfect getup for these: white polo shirt, khaki shorts, no socks. The perfect setting: a warm spring day, working the clutch in a late 80s model BMW 325, sunroof back, windows down, Drakes new album on repeat. You get the picture.
Remembering the student-friendly prices for the 574s back in college, I turned the shoe over expecting something reasonable, maybe $90. Instead I was hit with sticker shock: $170. Turns out these are Made in the US
What youd normally expect to pay for a pair of New Balance classics: $65 $90.
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New Balance Sued For Exaggerating Claims On Its Made In Usa Sneakers
New Balance is being sued for falsely marketing its sneakers as being Made in the USA, according to The Fashion Law.
Plaintiffs Matthew Cristostomo, Anthony Bollini, Spencer Verrilla, Derrick Evans, Clifton Bradley, and Robert Kaminsky claim that New Balance is misrepresenting the quality of its sneakers with its American flag tongue badges, Made in the USA and Made in the US for over 75 years markings.
The plaintiffs claim that as much as 30 percent of the parts of New Balance shoes are imported overseas or made with foreign labor.
A rep for New Balance told The Fashion Law in response to the suit that the company takes pride in our longstanding commitment to domestic manufacturingit is a valued part of our heritage and culture, noting that its four New England-based factories currently employ approximately 1,000 Americans employed to produce our athletic footwear. Additionally, the rep stated that New Balance seeks to be transparent in all consumer communications, prominently disclosing that where domestic value is at least 70 percent, the brands footwear is labeled Made in the USA.