High-quality, long-lasting and local--the qualities we know every good product should have. So how come we as a nation continue to buy things that are far from that description?
The Made in America Project ponders this question. "Many designers and manufacturers are overcoming business challenges and pressures to outsource. They, along with consumers, value what has steadily diminished," say founders Micha Thomas and Jaime Lawson. "We believe their stories and designs deserve a dedicated digital and physical platform." Through a labor of love they created that platform: the Made in America Project. With the MiA shop kicking off their "5th Season" Summer Series, it's never been a better time to start buying locally and responsibly.
In honor of Independence Day, we've rounded up a few more places on the internet where you can shop for Made in the USA goodies with ease and a clean conscience.
Hipster, leather, metallic and wooden stuff, plus a range of bow ties! Expect a lot of neutral tones and a heckuva lot more good karma when you shop American-made. Great accessories for a 4th of July barbecue or picnic, like this cute woven two-pie basket or cooler, or "one of the world's best-performing hibachis"--made in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. They even have a map on each product page with a cool radar graphic that shows you exactly where the item was made.
Need a gift for the girl who has everything (including a moral compass) but don't want to break the bank? Check out OHSAY USA. They have tons of adorable and useful knick-knacks for under $20, like this cute goldfish iPhone cord organizer. Comes in a variety of colors.
With a name inspired by Rosie the Riveter, you know it's socially conscious. I love this one because it's focused specifically on women-owned businesses. Let them give you a helping hand to throw feminist bashes with this dandy relish tray.
Straight up adorable. Lila Mae is like if Zooey Deschanel were an online store, complete with flirty shopping categories: "Hello Gorgeous," "Hey Handsome," "Oh Baby." (I picture Zooey saying each in her voice, i.e. dictating the entire site to me. It's really fun to read that way.) I can even see Zooey carting her iPad to a teaching job on New Girl in this gingham case.
I always liked the design of Bombay Sapphire bottles, but had yet to see them repurposed in a non-trashy collegiate way, until now. A more useful form of recycling than helplessly lining them up on top of a shelf.
Show off your state pride at Independence day events with patriotic accessories.
And who doesn't want a starfish bracelet made out of reclaimed brass?
The name is a little questionable, but it's worth it. Everything here is so amazing. Cool cheese-slicer thingies. Pillows with the most adorable prints of farm animals. Designer hanging planters. Tank tops with sailboats on 'em. The list is endless. In such a cavern of wonders it's hard to choose what stands out, but the message of this pillow resonates personally with me.
That stands for Made in United States, silly! Wow, these clothes are gorgeous. The front page greets me with a slideshow of sassy rockabilly-type ladies staring intently into my eyes. I love how the site has an updated Americana feel, slick and exciting but still totally homegrown. A local online retailer from which I'd actually buy a party dress.
So, how are YOU going to show off your national pride this 4th of July? Ready to walk the walk, or just talk the talk? Tell us in the comments below.