Why Buy American Glass? We're Here to Fill You In.
It's common knowledge that many of the products and goods we buy here in American are made in China, India, Indonesia, or any country with a low cost of labor. As American's we've really only recently become aware of just how much of what we buy is coming from overseas, and we've enjoyed years of ultra-affordable pricing on everyday goods (hello Walmart). But laws are changing quickly here in American, and today there are more people partaking than ever; that means an enormous increase in demand for affordable pipes. Chinese manufacturers, most likely capable of producing a quality product, are cutting corners and risking the health of the consumer in order to meet that demand.
Here at Renegade Glass, we love our local smoke shops. We know that just to survive and to meet your customers' demands for cheaper and cheaper pipes, imports are a vital part of your business. Our real goal is to educate consumers, and to encourage them to make an informed decision based on the facts. And those facts point to the fact that American made glass, while surely more expensive, is crafted with quality and health in mind. American pieces will last longer, survive drops better, and don't depend on a underpaid labor force to drive them forward.
Why Does Quality Matter?
Why doesn't this argument apply to computers, and cables, and little plastic doodads? Mostly because we are talking about your health. If you were going to take a torch to your laptop and inhale some of the fumes, you would think twice about the materials in use and the skill of the maker.
Here Are Just Some of the Ways American Glass and Import Glass Stack Up Side By Side
Materials: American glass blowers (like Renegade Glass) use pure borosilicate glass; it is the best pipe material because it has no toxins or other byproducts that could be released. Boro is also very durable and resistant to breaking from temperature changes. In an effort to cut costs, foreign manufacturers often use contaminated boro, or even a type of glass known as "soft glass." As the name implies, soft glass is very light, fragile and prone to breakages, but is also easy to pump out at high volume because it can be cast in a mold instead of blown.
Colors: A lovely display of colorful pipes is part of what consumers have come to love and expect from their local smoke shop. Foreign manufacturers, to avoid paying the additional cost for colored boro, will paint on the interior of a clear pipe with paint. Hopefully we don't need to spend too long explaining the serious health implications of this; pipes don't come with a warning label or a materials list. Particularly for those in our community using cannabis as a medicine, we strongly recommend staying away from colored import glass.
Annealing: The most notable difference between an American pipe and an imported pipe is the use of annealing to finish the product. This is the final step in American glass blowing, where the pipe is slowly heated to extreme temperatures and very slowly cooled back down. The resulting piece of glass is now exponentially more durable and resistant to breakages and temperature changes. If you've been paying attention, you could hazard a guess that imported pipes are often not annealed at all, and you would be right.