Buy American Sources

buy american sources, buy US,

The cart stops here. (Image by Mike “Dakinewavamon” Kline)

Shopping is cheaper and more convenient at big box stores. And on that giant site that shares its name with South America’s longest river. But we know more all the time about the environmental and economic impact of our spending choices. Our wallets really do change the marketplace.

Yes, it’s more complicated than making an effort to buy what’s produced in our own country. We live in a globally interdependent world. What we use to communicate, fuel, and enhance our lives is a combination of innovation and resources from around the globe. Plus, I’ve read convincing articles about why people in the developing world need factory jobs to pull their families toward greater prosperity. I just have trouble reconciling that concept with the millions of child laborers still at work today, the grim details about sweatshops turning out electronics and shoes, the conditions at textile factories like those in Pakistan where hundreds of workers died in a fire two months ago behind barred windows and locked doors, and again last week in a factory fire in Bangledesh. Besides, that gotta-have outfit on sale doesn’t feel like a great bargain when we look at wages. Most clothes coming to the US are made in China where the minimum wage is 93 cents an hour. Second largest importer is Vietnam, where wages are 52 cents an hour. Third largest is Bangladesh, where it’s 21 cents an hour. Ouch. Gotta have more fairness.

I’m not a fanatic, heck, I buy wonderful imports on purpose, but I’ve also walked out of Bed, Bath, and Beyond when I couldn’t find a single thing on a wedding registry that wasn’t imported from places in the world where working conditions and environmental standards are appalling. And I admit to a personal bias. My husband was unemployed for nearly three and a half years, his job loss related to outsourcing. He’s lucky to be back at work, considering the the US trade deficit recently set a new record.

In my house, we make our own or repurpose whenever possible. When we can’t, we do our best to buy from artists, craftspeople, and from ethical companies.  We also try to search for products locally as well as in our home country. Buying quality items means we need to purchase fewer goods. It’s a simple effort, really.

Here’s a handy list of companies that are not only based in the U.S., but also maintain production here as well.

Purses, bags, belts, backpacks, computer cases, and more

Fox Creek Leather 

Phunny Bags

Maple Leather

Bailey Works

Cilo Gear

Green Guru

Custom Hide

Libaire

North Star Leather

Luggage, travel accessories, cases

Tough Traveler 

Drifter Sport

Fuerte Cases

Clothes & other necessities

Kate Boggiano women’s clothes

Bamboosa bamboo fiber clothing for all ages

SOS From Texas organic cotton clothes for all ages

Little Capers superhero t’s and capes

Akwa men and women

Texas Jeans men and women

Squeezy Tees shapewear t’s

Green 3  clothes and goods for all ages

Justice Clothing employee-controlled cooperative

Montauk Tackle performance shirts and hoodies

American Apparel

Ibex wool performance wear

Diamond Apparel cotton shirts

Race Ready performance wear

GreenEdgeKids

Belevation maternity wear to support the belly

Sweet Dreams Maternity Wear

Aero Tech cycle wear

Soark running apparel

Chuck Roast flame resistant fleece

Esperanza Threads clothes made by a fair-wage cooperative

Baby

Rock Me baby clothes

Bamboo Baby clothes

Rock-a-Thigh Baby thigh high stay-up socks

Twinkle Baby bonding dolls, hats, blankets

Thirsties cloth diapers

Tidbit wool diaper covers and blankets

BottomBumpers all-in-one diapers

Castle Wear organic clothing and bedding

Cade & Co. slip-on baby shoes, clothes

Bear Feet Shoes

Carousel Designs baby and toddler bedding, nursery decor

Naturepedic organic crib-sized and other mattresses

California Baby skin care products

Heavenly Hold baby sling

Belle Baby Carriers

Boots, shoes, & socks

Wigwam socks

Point 6 socks

Okabashi shoes

Danner boots

CYDWOQ shoes

Solmate Socks lively socks

Wheelhouse Designs novelty socks

Oakstreet Bootmakers

Wright Sock

Vintage Shoes

Toys

Artifact Puzzles artistic wooden puzzles for all ages

RoyToy natural wood building sets

Eco Kids non-toxic art supplies

Green Toys durable, recycled plastic toys

Wiffle

LockRobots interlocking sets

King Dirt tricycles

Fractiles magnetic tile toys

Uncle Goose wooden blocks, including foreign language and special needs

Hand Trux make your hand a backhoe

Taurus Toy make-a-marble maze

ZomeTool building systems

Step2 preschool-age toys

Skullduggery kits and sets

Big Wheel yup, the one you rode

Kitchen

VitaMix 

Champion Juicer

Regal Ware pots and pans

360 Cookware pots and pans

Lodge Cast Iron cast iron and stainless steel

Anchor Hocking baking and serving glassware

Liberty Tabletop flatware

Warther cutlery

Lamson & Goodnow cutlery

Rada cutlery

Hartstone Pottery stoneware dishes

Vermont Bowl Company wooden bowls

Mosser Glass pressed glass

Handcrafted Wooden Spoons

Fuller Brush Company cleaning products, cleaning tools

Green Clean cleaning products

Active Lifestyle

Darkfin webbed gloves for water sports (also awesome for costuming)

Equinox camping gear

Nomadic Stoves camp stoves

Nunatak sleeping bags, down jackets

Enlightened Equipment backpacking quilts

ZPacks ultralight backpacking gear

Bike Friday folding and travel bikes

Bowery Lane Bicycles

Eco Speed bike assist

Lite Speed bikes

Cohort USA skateboards

Never Summer snowboards

Unity Snowboards

Northern Lites snowshoes

Body Care

Daybreak Lavender Farm soaps, lotions, spa products

Dr. Bronner soaps

Beecology shampoo, soaps, creams

Fruit of the Earth aloe-based products

Garland Road Soap Company 

The Soap Lady

Man Stuff lotion, shampoo

Have other suggestions? Add them in the comments!

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she's a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, ponder life’s deeper meaning, talk to chickens and cows, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art. Blog: lauragraceweldon.com/blog-2/ FB: facebook.com/FreeRangeLearningCommunity FB: facebook.com/SubversiveCooking FB: facebook.com/laura.euphoria Twitter: @earnestdrollery
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3 Responses to Buy American Sources

  1. Tessa says:

    Great list! I was looking through the toy list and Step2 has products made in China- thought you should know. I did find the perfect gift for our grandson- thanks!

  2. good2kno says:

    I love my Rickshaw messenger bag, made in San Francisco.

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