I’ve been wanting to write this post for at least a year- maybe two. My husband was the one who inspired me and first educated me about choosing American made products. Whenever he would go to the hardware store he would always look to see where the item was made. If he could find what he needed “made in the USA” he would choose that item instead. It soon became a very rewarding kind of treasure hunt. I learned many factory workers overseas are underpaid and overworked, and they are often forced to lie about their living conditions, making their jobs seem much better than they actually are. As I learned more, I ravenously began searching for American made items for my family- companies that I could count on to deliver quality American made goods that my family and I needed (or wanted).
But whatever reason you choose to buy American made products (and that’s really another post altogether), here is my guide to help you do just that. I chose these companies because they care about the quality of their products, the care of their employees, the growth of our own economy and the impact their companies create on the environment. I think many of us believe it is simply impossible to find companies like this anymore, but that’s really not the case.
So… how did I compile my list? What was I looking for in great “American made” companies?
1) Easy to use website
2) Working links!! (So many directory type websites aren’t kept updated and stumbling on broken link after broken link is super frustrating. I didn’t want to put you through that).
3) Cute, fun things your family will love (because they’re really things I love too)
4) AFFORDABLE products! I’m sorry but there is no way I would pay $150.00 for a dress simply because it is made in America. If the cost is prohibitive, then I know you, like me, will become discouraged and resign to cheap goods made by underpaid factory workers overseas. I want to offer you something better.
And one more thing…I don’t get anything from sharing these companies with you or their products. I was really excited to find them myself, as a wife and mom, and simply want to share them with you too!
Green Toys “Made in USA. All products made from 100% recycled plastic” Baby and toddler toys, trucks, blocks, pretend play, outdoor play, shape sorters and tableware for everyday use.
My pick: We purchased their Green Eats Tabletop set ($12.99) for Marlee and love it!
The Green Eats Tabletop plate
Toys Made in America A directory of toys, books and clothes made in America. Uses an Amazon link to purchase toys from American made companies. For the clothes, pet toys and linens, they offer a list of links to each website. Directories like this one are often frustrating because many times the links are not updated and do not work. I still included this site in my list because it has many links that DO work, although there are some that don’t.
US Made Toys From their about page: “Our goal is to provide an offering of unique and fun toys that are made in the U.S.A”
Down to Earth Toys “Over 90% of our toys are made in the USA!” They also carry eco-friendly and fair trade toys.
My pick: I particularly love their made in USA Children’s Banjo ($84.95). A fun stocking stuffer would be their Wooden Earth YoYo ($4.50)
Toys of USA Classic toys made in America
Pure Play Kids “Creative, Wooden Toys, Made-in-USA Toys ,Waldorf toys and Organic Stuffed Animals”
My pick: Their hand painted wooden animal figurines, like this wooden raccoon ($11.95), are whimsical and perfect for a day of pretend.
American Plastic Toys Plastic toys made in America since 1962. Not sold online, but found in stores like Target, Toys R Us and Walmart. To find which stores carry their toys go here. Very affordable as well.
Palumba From their about page: “Palumba is the retail division of Camden Rose Inc., the primary manufacturer of the items in our selection. Camden Rose specializes in USA made, quality products featuring silk, organic cotton and premium hardwoods”
My pick: While some of their items can be a little more pricey, I think they are absolutely worth it. I love this child’s wooden place setting ($44.99) while their wooden doll plate (.99) and their wooden doll hanger ($1.25) would be perfect for a little girl’s stocking.
Holgate Toys “America’s finest wooden toys since 1789″
My pick: Marlee has been enjoying the Jumbo Lacing Wood Beads ($12.00)
Turner Toys To jump to their “made in USA” toys go here
Maple Landmark Woodcraft “Educational wooden toys, games and gift. Made in the USA!”
My pick: The Shape Sorter Bench ($23.00) from their Schoolhouse Naturals brand. Comes with a nice cloth bag, and I love that it even tells you which state it was made in.
CLOTHES AND FOOTWEAR
Cade & Co. “Natural leather slip on baby shoes. Handcrafted in America”
My pick: My husband and I are pretty big on the benefits on going barefoot, especially for our daughter, but when she was a toddler we were going on a trip and had to have shoes. We bought some slip on shoes at the mall, not knowing there was this amazing company making slip on shoes right here in America. I adore this yellow pair ($36.00)
Aurora Shoe Co. Uses only American made materials handmade in upstate New York.
BGreen Apparel Organic cotton apparel for men and women made in the USA.
My pick: Organic Heather Scarf ($14.00)
All USA Clothing Clothing for men, women, children and babies all made in the USA. They even have organic and eco-friendly options.
Texas Jeans Premium denim jeans 100% made in the USA and affordable too!
Earth Creations Natural clay dyed garments for men, women, children and babies. (Not all of their items are made in the USA).
My pick: Love this adorable “Play in the Dirt” toddler organic tee ($19.95)
FOR MAMA AND BABY
Nurtured Family A boutique for mom and baby. Specializes in cloth diapering, baby wearing, eco friendly toys, nursing bras, and natural remedies. Not all items are made in the USA, but many are. To jump to their made in USA products go here.
My pick: While a bit of a splurge, I really like the Hava Chic Baby Sling ($89.00).
Near Sea Naturals They focus on US-made fabrics and source only eco-friendly fabrics and notions.
My pick: For the crafter in your family! There are so many beautiful fabrics and notions! I used this Organic Cotton Stuffing ($10.48) for this pillow I made. Softest thing I ever touched!
Pure American Baby These products are also more on the pricey side, but I was impressed with their catalog of truly unique toys and gifts that honestly, I haven’t seen anywhere else, and all made in the USA. Like this waterproof Essential Recovery Sheet (from $46.95-$70.95) perfect for a home birth, recovery from birth or nursing. Or this Wooden Balance Board Walk ($191.00) or Reading Hideaway ($197.30). And this handmade sweater Santa Doll ($60.00) is simply adorable.
Two Crows for Joy All their products are manufactured in the USA. Their own brand, Adooka, is made by a family run team in Philadelphia. Many of their products are organic as well.
Klein Tools The majority of their tools are made in the USA.
Christmas in America “Christmas In America artificial Christmas trees are 100% made in the U.S.A. by our family owned and operated manufacturing plant in Newburgh, New York.”
DIRECTORIES AND MISC.
Proud American Trading Post “Our Mission: To Provide a vehicle for Americans to Buy and Sell American made Products. To Promote and Strengthen American Businesses both big and small. To give Americans great Deals in the Process.” While they have the usual men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, toys and bags, they also have some very unique items.
Lehman’s “Lehman’s ships old-fashioned, non-electric merchandise all over the world through our catalogs and website.” Many of their products are made in the USA although some are not. Many are also Amish made and hard to find anywhere else.
My pick: Marlee loves their Authentic Corn Child’s Broom ($14.95) for helping Mommy and Daddy sweep around the house. I also love their “Toys from Yesteryear” like this Wooden Ball and Cup Game ($7.95).
Made in USA Challenge To jump to their American Made Holiday Gift Guide 2013, go here.
Americans Working An extensive list of American made products. Again, some links do not work, but with a list this large you are bound to find what you are looking for on this site if you cannot find it anywhere else.
Made in USA Forever Based in California, this site was founded to provide and easy fun way to buy products made in the USA.
Christmas is such a special time of year. I hope sharing this with you will help you consider not just what you will be getting and giving this year, but how it was made and who made it. The true gift we can give away this year is to those whose work treatment is unjust and deciding not to exploit other human beings for the sake of one day of gift giving!
Feel free to leave a comment! Do you have a favorite “made in USA” item?