Passaic Factory Fears China Will Get Girl Scout Work

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) — The owners of a family-run New Jersey factory that makes uniforms for the Girl Scouts of America said they may be forced to close or lay off workers if the organization takes its business to China.

Jackie Evans Inc. employs 90 workers at its plant in Passaic, a once-booming manufacturing city in northern New Jersey, about 10 miles west of New York City. They’ve been the making uniforms and sashes for the sole client for about a decade.

The Girl Scouts told the company a few weeks ago that it would be seeking bids, including one from a company in China, according to Domenick Monaco, the son of owner Mario Monaco.

“Our main motive is to keep jobs in the United States, and find a fair way to keep prices affordable,” Domenick Monaco said, who helps run the company. He said his family was exploring ways to come up with a bid by the mid-November deadline, including seeking grants or government help to keep prices competitive.

Barry Horowitz, vice president and general manager for merchandise for the Girl Scouts, emphasized that no decision has been reached.

The organization is soliciting proposals from four companies. Two are overseas, including one in China, Horowitz confirmed.

“We are engaging in good business practices,” he said in a telephone interview Friday. “Like any manufacturer who uses fabric, we have an obligation to deliver the best value to our members and their parents. We can’t know if we’re doing that unless we test the market.”

Domenick Monaco said despite his family’s good relationship with the Girl Scouts, the loss of the contract would likely mean the end of the business his father has worked in since 1968.

“I cannot compete if they (Chinese manufacturers) are setting their prices at half of what I’m making,” Monaco said.

The only uniform components that Girl Scouts are required to buy from the organization are sashes, which retail for $5.50 to $6.50, and vests, which run from $15.75 to $20, Horowitz said.

He said it is possible a new vendor would produce the apparel more cheaply, enabling Girl Scouts to lower the price it charges its members, or at least keep the price from rising in the near future.

Some are concerned, however, that farming out the work to a place like China could result in Girl Scout uniforms being made by child labor in poor working conditions.

State Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. wrote the Girl Scouts’ president to say American scouts could wear uniforms made “in part by young girls who would be deemed not old enough to work in the United States.”

Horowitz said the Girl Scouts are diligent about checking out potential suppliers to prevent such problems.

“We have a strict arrangement with vendors that they need to ensure that all appropriate laws are adhered to,” he said. “We’re very rigid about who does our work.”

Horowitz would not critique the quality of the Passaic company’s work, saying the main goal behind seeking bids from other suppliers is to ensure the best possible price.

He said the process should be completed by the end of the year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • GSUSA Daisy Leader

    Girl Scouts is not an America only organization. The pin the girls wear on the top of their insignia tab is a WAGGGS pin which stands for World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts.

    Why does it matter if the uniforms are made in America, China or in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Seriously, GS has the laws and promise to make the girls a better person regardless of their race, culture, religious beliefs. Girl Scouts makes strong girls, strong families and strong communities because of the abilities giving the girls the strength, courage, responsible, respectible, using resources wisely and the list goes on.

    Who really cares what country sews our uniforms for our girls–> Again, Girl Scouts is not an American only organization. My daughter has been a scout for 7 years in both the US and in Germany on a US ARMY overseas base and let me just say this, let them use their resources wisely!

    Daisy Leader, Girl Scouts is my life and has been for 7 years. Instead of woorying about this worry about something you actually have a say in, “You probably have a bigger fish to fry!”

  • dil9you

    I am not Pro-China but I see a lot of close minded comments. Inflation would be through the roof without China for the past 10-15 years. US Consumers are cheap and not willing to pay therefore businesses have to find a way to cut cost. I think it’s OK to stop importing from China but at the same time US businesses such as Apple; GM; Microsoft; McDonalds; Coca-Cola; Pfizer, etc…..should stop collecting profits from China and cease operating their businesses overseas. It’s funny the people who are against Chinese imports never think about how much money some US corporations are making overseas. Chinese goods may be junk but the US Treasury that China bought may be junkier. Junk goods/Junk Treasury is a fair trade to me.

  • Latest Chinese Girl News - myBlog

    […] more on CBS New York :Chinese, Girl, Latest, news No comments for this entry […]

  • CSI

    Lets face it everyone. Thank you for serving our country. But you cant stop it. There is always going to be something if not almost everything made out of the united states. You cant fight it. If you want to stop it just stop living. No food, sneakers or cloths. Need to develop your own James town. Just don’t poison everyone. Put it this way they pay more for their uniforms you pay more for their cookies. Then like most of Americans you will complain about that. All there is, is an endless complaining.

  • ezflyer

    Just like everything else in America, nothing is made here and the quality of life suffers because of it. Plus, the quality of the product suffers as well and I for one am tired that we pay good prices for a product on for it to fail, break or be recalled due to lead etc…these companies just worry about profit here in the US…one day, nothing will be made here and they will own us.

  • rosemary

    Juliette Gordon Low will be spinning in her grave! What is Mr. Horowitz thinking? I thought uniforms were not REQUIRED by the girls. What, are cookies next?

  • Alauterb

    Thanx to the Barry Horowitzes in this country, some of my family members are unemployed in the textile/garment industry! This guy should resign! – not having to pay his salary would benefit the GirlScout organization!

  • bf

    Who wants girl scout cookies made in china. Not Me… Let their parents pay for the scouts!

  • Marina

    Mr. Horowitz: Shame on you. What country are you from? Are you aware of what the Girl Scout Pledge says? I am currently deployed in Afghanistan, serving ‘my country’ against the acts of terrorism and what I see you committing is economic treason, against ‘my country’. Companies like yours should be more ethical and represent the essence of Girl Scouting. I recommend the Girl Scouts of America (GSA) to rescind your rights to manufacture anything you make and advise GSA go out for Bid and seek a new supplier, thus putting your company at risk to losing the business to some US company willing to keep the work in country. I was a Girl Scout in W. Paterson, 45 years ago, and want to share with you what this organization stands for and what the girls commit to.

    The Girl Scout Promise is the way Girl Scouts agree to act every day toward one another and other people, and the Law outlines a way to act towards one another and the world.

    The Girl Scout Promise:
    On my honor, I will try:
    To serve God and my country,
    To help people at all times,
    And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

    The Girl Scout Law:
    I will do my best to be
    honest and fair,
    friendly and helpful,
    considerate and caring,
    courageous and strong, and
    responsible for what I say and do,
    and to
    respect myself and others,
    respect authority,
    use resources wisely,
    make the world a better place, and
    be a sister to every Girl Scout.

    • Mario Jr

      Hi Marina,
      Hi the owners of Jackie Evans are two Marines who also send packages overseas. What do you or your team need. Semper Fi (

  • dave

    No Mr. Horowitz, this is NOT good business practice. You are teaching these Girl Scouts that greed comes before allegiance to their country. Everything these kids do, wear and promote should be American. FAMILY comes first.




  • Carlye Chasari

    China makes most of our critical medicine ingredients as well.
    You don’t see the drug stores,complaining ,do you? or the manufacturers
    nor your own Doctor. Nixon a Republican opened the doors to China in
    the late 1960’s and this is what we and the rest of the world gets.

  • Mike O


  • Richie

    I say if they give China the business the girl scouts need to withdraw being girl scouts. That would show them. That is so anti-american…forget the free enterprise. We need to stop buying any label made in China. Most of the stuff is junk quality…stay away from the dollar stores as well…mostly everything is made in China.

  • Michael H.

    I’ll never buy another Samoa again if these jobs get shipped overseas.

    oh who am I kidding. When is cookie season again?

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