Clothing: JM 🍁

Name: JM

Products: Undergarments, shirts, sweaters

Manufactured In: Montreal, Quebec

Where to Buy: Online, some stores (the Bay)

Website:Β jm.ca

Canadian Owned: Yes

JM has been making underwear in Montreal for 35 years. They are clear on their website that their underwear is made in Montreal, but their other items, shirts and sweaters, are not as clear. We’ve reached out to the company for clarification and will add more information as we receive it.

One Reply to “Clothing: JM 🍁”

  1. Hello! Thanks for gathering and compiling all this wonderful information. I think buying Canadian is a good plan regardless of tarrifs or no tarrifs.

    The challenge, as I see it, is two-fold:

    First, we Canadians (and North Americans in general, for that matter) make/fabricate so very few products. We’re no longer a nation of makers and hewers, but one of consumers. Thus, it’s difficult to find Canadian-made ordinary, everyday products, unless they’re in a niche market or a specialty item, for which prices are through the roof.

    Secondly, the price difference between a made-in-Canada item and a comparable product made in Bangladesh or Vietnam or Haiti (or, yech! China!) is mind-boggling.

    Here’s an example: At Wal*Mart, a Fruit of the Loom (or George, or some other brand) package of four boxer briefs sells for about C$5 per underwear. Canadian companies Stanfield’s (Nova Scotia) and JM (MontrΓ©al-based, my native home town, so I’d like to be doubly supportive) sell similar underwear (Ok, maybe they’re a bit better quality — or so their marketing claims) for about C$30+ each (yeah, *each*). That’s a six-fold difference! Who in their right mind would pay that? Patriotism and national support can only go so far.

    That price differential can be somewhat explained by thinking of the whole Canadian-made industry as a cottage industry or a niche/specialty market. Many people are willing to pay a premium for local or niche/specialty products. So am I, to a point. But six-fold? Not a chance.

    So the trouble, as I see it, is that non-Canadian products made in developing countries (aren’t I being politically correct, and not calling them “Third world countries”?) are dirt cheap by virtue of slave labour there, cheap transportation, and cutthroat prices at mass retailers like Wal*Mart. Whereas Canadian products rely on workers with high wages and high expectations, and possibly a bit of hype because “we’re Canadian, eh!”

    There’s just no way that a Canadian company can match such rock-bottom prices. So what’s the solution?

    Well, it’s back to the same basic idea: the consumer must be willing to pay extra for a Canadian-made product. How much extra? Market forces will dictate that, supply vs. demand and all that. Which is why I don’t see the Canadian-made industry making its way out of that cottage/specialty market, not unless they somehow lower their prices to a reasonable difference (over the non-Canadian products’ prices).

    By the way, I support Canadians and Canadian companies as much as I can. Ideally, I’d like to buy a Canadian-made product in a Canadian store, but often I have little choice in the matter. I hate to shop at Wal*Mart, but it does support local employees who are Canadian. If I can find a Canadian-made product there, even better, although it ultimately supports Sam Walton’s US empire. On the other hand, I’d love to shop at The Bay and other Canadian-owned [higher-end] companies (and that’s getting increasingly harder to determine — appearances can be deceiving) but I can’t always afford it. Never mind six-fold, often my breaking point is a 30% difference.

    In the end, we got what we asked for: lots of variety for inexpensive products, Canadian jobs be damned. That’s how Wal*Mart rose to where it is now.

    Another example: I can buy a book at Amazon.ca for C$14 (to fund Bezos’ retirement fund!); the exact same book sells at Indigo.ca for C$20. Do I really want to pay a 50% premium to support a Canadian-owned company? I’d have to think twice about that.

    All this to say, buying Canadian is a great idea, but can’t always be justified, unless you think of it as an extravagant splurge for this one special item you absolutely *need* to have right now.

    But, in the end, I do try to support Canadian businesses as much as I can, so websites such as yours are invaluable to help me decide when I can afford to do so.

    Patrick Demets
    Calgary

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