Proudly made in the USA!
In today’s world of globalization, it’s a rarity to look at a label and see “Made in the USA.” But as American consumers and producers begin to understand the benefits of sourcing products and employees locally, more and more brands are jumping on board and staying home.
Overall, manufacturing products in the United States is a surefire way for consumers to know that what they are purchasing was made ethically. Plus, it employs local citizens and contributes to the local economy. While there are many famous companies that have always produced in the United States, such as Pyrex and Kitchen-Aid, more are cropping up every year across all industries.
Kitchen and home
When life hands you hundreds of pounds of peppers, you make hot sauce. At least that’s what Robyn Jasko did when she overplanted her Pennsylvania garden in 2012. Homesweet Homegrown began as three flavors of hot sauce made with organic peppers and ingredients such as chia seeds and cacao. Now after the most successful hot sauce Kickstarter campaign in the website’s history, the Jaskos’ sauces are found in more than 140 grocery stores across the country. They also create a variety of salts, including Habanero Salt and Smoked Ghost Pepper Salt, using the same non-GMO, no-pesticide ingredients.
When Emily Doubilet met Jess Holsey at a party, they combined Emily’s environmental passion with Jess’s entrepreneurial spirit to launch Susty Party. Based in Brooklyn, New York, the company produces compostable party tableware from renewable resources, from plates and napkins to cutlery and beyond. Not only that, but the adorable products are created in partnership with non-profit factories that employ workers with disabilities or that donate to other good causes. Susty Party has received praise from the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, and the female duo behind the company was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2014, among many other accolades.
Another company using recycled materials is Loll Designs of Duluth, Minnesota. The outdoor furniture manufacturer has been innovating their industry since 1997, now making most of their furniture out of single-use milk jugs. The sleek, modern designs span colors and sizes in pieces including Adirondack chairs, chaise lounges, dining tables, planters and plenty more.
Ashley DeRamus of Birmingham, Alabama, is one successful businesswoman. As an advocate for persons with disabilities, she began her own foundation that is dedicated to advancing the quality of life for others with Down syndrome. In 2012 she also launched Ashley by Design, an American-made fashion line for women and children with Down syndrome. They, like Ashley, often have difficulties finding properly fitting clothing for their body shapes, but she hopes to alleviate those headaches with her new line.
Another force to be reckoned with is Carrie Hubbell, the woman behind the customizable bag line Carrie Dunham. When she was in business school, she found it impossible to find a functional, fashionable laptop bag. After taking several fashion and design courses, she launched her brand and hasn’t looked back. Her products, made in the United States, now include iPad and tablet cases, camera bags and a growing repertoire of handbags that can be found in boutiques across the country.
Finding a swimsuit that is comfortable, stylish and flattering may seem like a lofty goal. When Altrichia Cook wanted to sport a bikini that covered stomach imperfections from having children, she took matters into her own hands and made her own high-waisted swimsuit. Now at the helm of Allusions by A. Lekay, this Tampa, Florida, designer creates bold, beautiful, hand-crafted suits that have gotten widespread attention. In fact, Nikki Minaj sported one on the July 2015 cover of Cosmopolitan, and other outlets including Redbook, Marie Claire and more are also singing A. Lekay’s praises.
Health and beauty
The pioneer of the natural health and beauty world is no doubt J.R. Watkins. This Winona, Minnesota-based company has been crafting all-natural pain reliever ointment, hand lotions, body soaps and more since 1868. The products, manufactured in the same factory for over 100 years, are aromatic and pure, and are sold around the world, setting the bar high for other American-based bath and body companies.
Much newer to the scene is Revive Bath + Body, a socially conscious brand from Atlanta, Georgia, that uses no chemicals, synthetic preservatives or chemically made fragrances. Their high-quality products include lotions, loofah soaps, sea salt bath soaks and more. Founder Caitlin Abshier fell in love with making soap and turned it into a career in 2010, then expanded her company’s mission to mean something deeper. In 2014, Revive partnered with the nonprofit HavenATL to employ local women exiting the human trafficking industry, providing job skills and stability.
Many industries across the United States boast companies that recognize the value in creating American-made products. Often the founders are driven by a mission of sustainability or philanthropy, influencing other businesses to think twice about their resources. It’s likely you can also find products that are made locally in your community and accomplish the dual mission of “buy local, buy USA-made.” ■
Sources: allusionsbyalekay.com, ashleyderamusfoundation.org, carriedunham.com, homesweethomegrown.com, jrwatkins.com, lolldesigns.com, reviveyourbath.com, styleblueprint.co and sustyparty.com.