Once I started my little Made in America Holiday Gift Guide series, I quickly got connected to that piece of the blogosphere really into the subject — uncovering a motherlode of ways to tap into Made in USA products. Up first, though, is that perennial favorite and mid mod essential that I cover every year: Don Featherstone flamingos lawn ornaments. Made in the USA since they went on sale in 1958, the Featherstone flamingos (accept no substitute) may be found at local retailers, or you can buy them easily from Amazon:
Second spotlight: Filson has been manufacturing and retailing outdoor clothing and accessories since 1897. It is based in Seattle, with a union workforce. Above: A woman’s wool cruiser. There’s also quite a large selection of outwear for men. Note, I spotted a few imported pieces. Filson gets snaps for identifying country of origin clearly on each item on the website. Prices are not cheap, but Filson seems to take great pride in their product — these are lifetime pieces. One of our readers, JKaye noted in my first Made in the USA story, about wool socks:
… I got my daughter a Filson women’s timber jacket last Christmas. She is a forester and actually wears it to work in, but it is so sharp that she also wears it out on the town (after picking the burrs off, of course). The quality is great and it will last forever. My husband has a Filson wool vest that he wears to work a lot in the winter because his office is so cold.
Up third: When I wrote about the Made in America LaGardo Tackett planters still available from Vessel USA, several readers piped up, “Gainey!” Yes, Gainey Ceramics is another California company with ceramic planters with a true midcentury modern pedigree and still locally made — 100% US-made with 100% US materials. (Blanks for the production fiberglass pieces, Gainey informs me, come from overseas. Gainey says their circle planter, above, is their best selling ceramic planter. I know my DH would love one of these, or one of the lovely bird feeders — they sure are snappy.
So… how do you get to the other 8,415 Made in America products? Well, on Black Friday the website AmericanManufacturing.org posted a story showing the results from searching “Made in USA” on several large retailers’ websites. The accuracy of this hunting method is totally dependent on how well these retailers “tag” each item in their online catalog. In any case, here are the results of AmericanManufacturing.org’s quick survey:
- Nordstrom — 5,465 products online Made in USA. I tried it — yup. Tip: You cannot search “made in usa” within categories, but, you can put the category in the search bar with “made in usa” to narrow your search. That is, search “made in usa womens” to get to those items.
- Macy’s — 2,413 Made in USA products online. I just did the search got 2,408 – so I am going to use my number. Homer Laughlin dinnerware from Macys — sweet!
- Sears — 500+ (their search function stops counting after this number) Made in USA products online. Warning: I found it very difficult to use this site. I am not confident all the products that come up via this method of search are really Made in USA — please read descriptions to verify…
Ummm, get the idea, you can try this at any website. Again, though, success pivots on their tags. Retailer-webmasters, get to it!
Moving on to my last resource for today, “Made In America Certified” is an organization that validates companies’ Made in America claims. It has 42 certified companies on its holiday gift list — companies that have completed the certification process. To be frank, most of these products aren’t what I’d call nifty gifties for the holidays, but this site gets on my list for its process — they are right: To truly trust that a product is Made in the USA, 3rd party verification is really smart. Made in America Certified also recognizes that there are different aspects of “Made in the USA” considering all pieces of the value chain. So, they have three different levels of certification — shown above.
The average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion, the National Retail Federation estimates. If that money was spent entirely on US made products it would create 4.6 million jobs. But it doesn’t even have to be that big. If each of us spent just $64 on American made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new jobs.