New Balance Sued for Falsely Marketing Made in USA Sneakers

New Balance Sued for Falsely Marketing Made in USA Sneakers

According to reports, New Balance is now being sued for falsely marketing some of its sneakers as being “MADE IN THE USA.”

Earlier this month, New Balance was named in a new lawsuit over its “Made in USA” marketing. In a proposed class-action complaint filed on Monday in a federal court in Massachusetts, plaintiffs Matthew Cristostomo, Anthony Bollini, Spencer Verrilla, Derrick Evans, Clifton Bradley, and Robert Kaminsky allege that Boston, Massachusetts-based New Balance is misleading consumers in representing that its footwear is “U.S.A. Made” when its sneakers do not meet the federal standard, and “continu[ing] to knowingly make these misrepresentations because consumers are willing to pay more for products that they believe are actually made in the United States.”

New Balance has been pushing the Made in USA factor for years with the implication that their product quality is superior to other brands that mass produce in Asia. Alongside this, their well-documented commitment to quality and comparable price points have given New Balance a competitive edge — but according to the plaintiffs, this marketing leverage is misleading.

Image via New Balance

The plaintiffs claim that as much as 30% of the parts processed to make New Balance shoes are imported overseas, or made with foreign labor. This goes against the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) statutory “American” standard requires which states that “all or almost all” of a product to be made in the United States. Furthermore, the FTC state that “all the important parts and processing of the product must come from the United States.” — while New Balance currently sources its soles, “an important aspect of the shoes,” from two companies in China.

The plaintiffs also express that adding a disclaimer is simply not enough to educate consumers about the true manufacturing origins of the Made in USA-labelled products.

Stay tuned for further developments

You can read the entire filing here.

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