Archive for the 'miscellaneous' Category


The Dos and Don’ts for an American-Made Fourth of July

Celebrate the holiday by supporting your local makers and manufacturers.

Get excited guys. It’s almost here.

The Fourth of July is upon us, which means barbeques, trips to the beach and plenty of fireworks. But whether you are staying at home or hitting the road, you can still celebrate the holiday in style — and support companies that create jobs here at home.

Here are our dos and don’ts for a festive Fourth.

Don’t: Support Sweatshop Labor with Your Attire

Red, white, and blue is the dress code for the July 4th holiday, and you’ll find plenty of options at your local retailer. The problem? Many of those festive-looking T-shirts, shorts and dresses are made abroad (cough Gap cough), often in sweatshops where workers toil in unsafe conditions. Not the kind of thing to support while celebrating a holiday that honors freedom.

Do: Outfit Yourself in Patriotic Gear

Fortunately, there are plenty of red, white, and blue outfit options out there that also are manufactured in the United States. Mizzen + Main creates men’s clothing, including BBQ-ready casual shirts, that are designed to “breathe, stretch, and wick away moisture” — and you can find them at retailers like Nordstrom. For the ladies, New Orleans-based Jolie & Elizabeth offers an array of pretty patriotic dresses, including lightweight seersucker for hot summer days. Accessorize with gear from companies like beachy Skipper Bags, flip-flops from Okabashi and Tidal, and sunglasses from Martasand Handmade Sunglasses. Looking for swimsuits? Check out Point Conception. Want something super patriotic? All USA Clothing has you covered. Still not finding what you’re after? Check out our Made in America guide for even more options.

Don’t: Fly a Foreign-Made Flag

There’s nothing that quite packs a patriotic punch quite like the American flag, but unfortunately many of the flags found in big box stores are made in places like China. Ditto for much of the America-themed party gear out there as well.

Do: Decorate with American-Made Flags and Accessories

Good news: It’s easy (and inexpensive) to find a flag that’s manufactured in the United States. Family-owned Annin Flagmakers have been making flags in America since 1847, and you can find their products at major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Another option: Valley Forge, which makes its flags entirely of domestic materials. You can find their products online, retailers like Home Depot, and at flag stores across the country.

On the decorations front, skip the big box party supply stores and check out the online options from Norton’s U.S.A., which offers everything from party plates to fun tiaras. Amazon also is a good place to look for American-made party favors like these patriotic tattoos and mustaches.

Don’t: Host an Unpatriotic (and Potentially Unsafe) Barbeque  

Outdoor cookouts are the among the most popular events of the July 4th holiday, but do you know where the food you are serving your guests is coming from? The U.S. imports a lot of food from China, and given China’s shaky history when it comes to food safety, it’s probably best to stick to local sources whenever possible. Meanwhile, we can’t think of anything less patriotic than drinking an imported brew on the Fourth.

Do: Stick to Locally Raised, Grown and Brewed Sources

It’s a great time to find outstanding local food and beverages, from organic options at your local farmer’s market to the aisles of big chain grocery stores. Grilling out? Ball Park, Hebrew National, Oscar Meyer and Johnsonville are all American-made, along with Arnold Bread, Country Hearth Bread and Pillsbury Dinner Rolls. You can also find plenty of Made in America condiments like Guldens, Heinz, and Vlasic (along with many other locally-made sauces).

On the beverage front, big brands like Landshark Lager, Coors, Sam Adams, Blue Moon, Miller Lite and Milwaukee’s Best are all brewed in America — and there are, of course, thousands of options from microbrewers and plenty of union-made options, too. Not into beer? Big brand wines like C.K. Mondavi, Michelle, Franzia, and more are among the union-made options available in most stores; hard liquors like Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Bullet Bourbon also are American-made. On the lighter side, soft drink giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo also produce a variety of beverages on U.S. shores.

You can serve your guests those drinks in Solo cups, Ball’s Mason Jars, or Tervis cups, all of which are manufactured in the United States. Meanwhile, Fiesta makes its colorful plates, bakeware and more in West Virginia, while Liberty Tabletop bills itself as the only maker of flatware in the United States.

Don’t: Fire Off Foreign Fireworks

The Washington Post reported in June that one Chinese businessman is now the largest supplier of pyrotechnics in the United States — companies founded by Ding Yan Zhong have sent 241 million pounds of fireworks into the United States so far this year. That raises significant questions about the overall competitiveness of the overall industry — and who wants to celebrate a foreign monopoly on the Fourth of July?

Do: Pick an American-Made Firework

American Fireworks was founded by an Italian immigrant in 1899, and is still family-owned and operated in Hudson, Ohio. Black Cat also offers a variety of Made in the USA fireworks for your outdoor celebration, and Diamond Sparklers are a great way to light up the night as well. But remember: Safety first, and be sure to verify that it is legal to set off fireworks in your area.

For more American-made options, check out our Made in America Directory. Is one of your Fourth favorites not on the list? Let us know on Twitter via @KeepItMadeinUSA.


China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China For Medicine

China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China For Medicine

By Rosemary Gibson, Janardan Prasad Singh  – Authors

Millions of Americans are taking prescription drugs made in China and don’t know it–and pharmaceutical companies are not eager to tell them. This is a disturbing, well-researched wake-up call for improving the current system of drug supply and manufacturing.

Several decades ago, penicillin, vitamin C, and many other prescription and over-the-counter products were manufactured in the United States. But with the rise of globalization, antibiotics, antidepressants, birth control pills, blood pressure medicines, cancer drugs, among many others are made in China and sold in the United States.
China’s biggest impact on the US drug supply is making essential ingredients for thousands of medicines found in American homes and used in hospital intensive care units and operating rooms.
The authors convincingly argue that there are at least two major problems with this scenario. First, it is inherently risky for the United States to become dependent on any one country as a source for vital medicines, especially given the uncertainties of geopolitics. For example, if an altercation in the South China Sea causes military personnel to be wounded, doctors may rely upon medicines with essential ingredients made by the adversary. Second, lapses in safety standards and quality control in Chinese manufacturing are a risk. Citing the concerns of FDA officials and insiders within the pharmaceutical industry, the authors document incidents of illness and death caused by contaminated medications that prompted reform.
This probing book examines the implications of our reliance on China on the quality and availability of vital medicines.


Editor’s Note: It is extremely difficult to find out where pharmaceuticals are made, whether they are prescription of non-prescription. There is no law that mandates where the medications are manufactures, so if you check the box or the label, most often it is not there. The next step to find out where the medications are made is the book China Rx, which is the book we are reviewing. And lastly, calling up the company itself. Even with this time-consuming test, you may still not get the answer.

What most Americans don’t know is that 80% of of pharmaceuticals are made in China or India but mainly in China. China has a virtual monopoly on antibiotics. As for my feeling about antibiotics, I have noted that sometimes “Keflex” or cephalexin are totally ineffective. I think cephalexin is less effective not due to increasing resistance of bacteria, but due to a decrease of the potency of the antibiotics because of cheaper manufacturing practices. Plus, the FDA does not have the funding to oversee potency of most medicines especially generics.

Of course, when one country manufactures most of the world’s pharmaceuticals, this means that monopolistic policies are soon to follow: Increasing prices; ability to ignore penalties; ability to create shortages at a minute’s notice.

The authors of the book recommend that the US Congress label pharmaceuticals a strategic asset and therefore China can not use pharmaceuticals as unfair leverage against the U.S. in the future. Certainly, it is not going to happen from this Congress.

The book: China Rx can be purchased at book stores or


From On-Line to Brick and Mortar in San Francisco

From On-Line to Brick and Mortar in San Francisco

There is a trend that everything is going digital even clothing. But, guess what? People like to try on clothing and shoes. What this article shows is that there are a several “digital”companies that are renting out physical spaces in San Francisco for consumers to come in and try out their stuff. It is no different than Amazon setting up a brick and mortar store. So, in one way, a lot of brick and mortar stores are going the way of the horse and buggy, but at this point in time, we still need them to try on clothing and shoes.

Digital is Put to the Test in S.F.

Digital Native Brands Test Their Concepts on SF’s Early Adopters

When it was time for 3-year-old direct-to-consumer shoe brand Rothy’s to open a physical store, founders Roth Martin and Stephen Hawthornthwaite chose Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights. In what was once a beloved neighborhood shoe-repair shop, the founders tapped interior designer Steven Volpe to create a wood-paneled space that reflected the brand’s mantra of “live seamlessly.” Upholstered surfaces are covered in Rothy’s recycled and 3D-knit materials, and the walls are entirely magnetic — making it easy to adjust wall displays (and fun to create an Instagram video-loop Boomerang).San Francisco was a “logical jumping-off point” for the digital native to make its analog debut, Martin says. The sustainability minded brand’s DNA, and its original customer base, is rooted here, for one, and the 600-square-foot space was a way for the brand to conduct consumer research, Hawthornthwaite adds — and it’s important to get the recipe right before considering other market.

The company’s biggest following is in New York — the San Francisco customer has been “a bit slower” to adopt the fashion side of the brand — but the densely populated, wealthy Bay Area customer base is made up of early adopters eager to experiment.

Rothy’s is part of a groundswell of online retailers that are setting up permanent shops this spring and summer, many for the first time, in ways that render San Francisco a retail testing ground. Residents are not only unfazed by fresh ideas and lofty goals, but they actively seek them out with the pride that accompanies a “told ya so” early adopter — whether it’s Asian food crazes, exotic spirits like Fernet-Branca, cult makeup brands or app-enabled transportation and services. Even Levi’s, Lyft and “likes” were once merely moonshots.

Now that appetite for disruption has trickled down to the traditional retail experience. Mall rats fill in for lab rats, and guinea pigs and focus groups have been rebranded an “engaged community.” Even A/B testing has gone analog. Instead of changing a variable in a website to see which version performs best, a physical store might offer two experimental patterns to see which sells best before making it available globally.

Bespoke, in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, offers interactive demonstration space for entrepreneurs.

Photo: Bespoke

Bespoke, a co-working space that opened in Westfield San Francisco Centre a couple of years ago, is perhaps the most literal interpretation of a retail testing ground. About 80 companies work in the space daily, including retail-tech startups, venture capitalists and innovation teams from larger brands. Global retailers often visit to be paired with technologists in the Bespoke network, says Bespoke director Judith Shahvar. Hemster, for example, is a tailoring startup that works with customers of mall stores that include Zara, Guess?, Express, Michael Kors and Kate Spade.

“The Bay Area’s mentality of innovation and experimentation infuses into the work culture in the city at every level,” Shahvar says. “A culture of innovation, combined with a strong venture capital presence and talent pool of technologists, makes San Francisco an ideal place for retailers to evolve with neighboring technology companies.

Plus, she adds, when it comes to beta tests, “residents have exceedingly high expectations for a product or service.”

Rothy’s was the first apparel brand to host a pop-up at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and is just one of many companies that first experimented with showrooms or pop-ups that have now manifested into more permanent locations, among them Allbirds, Modern Citizen, MM.LaFleur, American Giant and ModCloth.

This month, ModCloth will open its first permanent California store. Called FitShop, the space on Fillmore Street was largely informed by a temporary concept that the San Francisco brand tested near Union Square in 2015 to coincide with the brand’s first line of ModCloth-branded apparel. (The company has since been acquired by Walmart.)

Monica Caliri, left, of Los Angeles shops with the help of stylist Jenna Cianelli of San Francisco during the soft opening of ModCloth Fit Shop in San Francisco on Monday, July 27, 2015.

Photo: Dorothy Edwards / The Chronicle

Experimental features of the pop-up that made their way to the permanent store include a full range of sizes displayed together, up to 4X; the concept of a sample shop, in which the customer tries on clothes in real life (IRL) and then orders by mail; a selection of vintage clothes and accessories curated for the San Francisco market; and social shopping events.

“The demand for personalization — high-tech, high-touch — in this market allows retailers to test and trial various products, services and variations across a diverse audience that is vocal, expressive and discerning,” says Elizabeth Cooksey, ModCloth vice president of retail and customer experience.

One of the lessons of the 2015 pop-up was the array of occasions for which the customer shops, from dressing for work to weddings, in addition to a general sense of how much customers wanted to engage with the brand.San Francisco etailer Modern Citizen began a few years ago with temporary shops in Facebook, Sephora and Lyft offices, which founder Jessica C. Lee says allowed the brand to collect feedback and build relationships with a community of early adopters. After a short-lived storefront in Cow Hollow last year, Modern Citizen plans to return to Union Street to debut its first flagship store in the fall.

New York womenswear brand MM.LaFleur has opened its first San Francisco showroom; its last collection introduced “creative casual” to serve the San Francisco woman, for whom “what to wear in tech is such an interesting conundrum,” says director of offline retail Rachel Mann.

Founder Sarah LaFleur says that after 10 local pop-ups, she’s found that Bay Area customers “are more willing to take a chance on a brand they haven’t heard of.” San Francisco is the company’s third largest market, after New York and Washington, D.C., but because the real estate market is so competitive, it took three years to land the ideal location where the FiDi meets SoMa.

Local luxury consignment site The RealReal also ran into the real estate issue. Chief Merchant Rati Levesque says the brand wanted to open a pop-up in both New York and San Francisco, but New York came first because they could find the right space faster. The RealReal opened its two-month space in Union Square in November. Levesque says that although the market sizes of the two cities are significantly different, the San Francisco iteration had revenues that were “just as strong” as New York’s. (San Francisco preferred Gucci while New York clamored for Céline and Hermès Birkin bags.)

More Information

When retail gets a workout

American Citizen: 165 Natoma St., S.F.

Hint: at 2124 Union St., S.F. June.

MM.LaFleur: 23 Grant Ave., S.F.

ModCloth: 2033 Fillmore St., S.F.

Modern Citizen: 2762 Octavia St. (temporary showroom).

Rothy’s: 2448 Fillmore St., S.F.

Beloved basics etailer Everlane, too, experienced a delay in opening its San Francisco store after first putting down brick-and-mortar roots in New York.

New York street-wear brand Supreme is still waiting to open a store in San Francisco, and finally found what it hopes will be a space on Market Street near Seventh Street, but it’s not set to open until next year, pending approval from the city.

New York and San Francisco are often at the top of the list of retail openings, with San Francisco especially hospitable to newfangled ideas. Rent the Runway, for example, opened its first store-in-a-store in San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus in December 2016. The space lets shoppers rent the type of clothes and accessories they would normally buy in the high-end department store.

“We’d been wanting to come to San Francisco for a while — it’s our third-largest market in the U.S. after New York and L.A. — and realized early on how central food and homegrown institutions are to the culture,” says Glossier head of retail and offline experiences Melanie Masarin. This sparked the idea to test an entirely new format.

“We felt that the consumer in S.F. would respond well to the wacky idea of selling beauty products and fried chicken side by side.” Ultimately, the one-month experiment saw more than 20,000 visitors and allowed Rhea’s Cafe to stay in business, she says.

Local clothing consignment website ThredUp plans to open physical locations in Burlingame, Los Gatos and Pleasanton after a test store in Walnut Creek was successful.

Photo: ThredUp

A year ago, local clothing consignment website ThredUp opened test “smart stores” in Walnut Creek and in San Marcos, Texas.

“The Bay Area’s history with technical innovation — and today’s abundance of tech startups and disruptive retail brands — makes San Francisco-area consumers particularly willing to engage with new and different experiences. ‘R&D’ is a way of life here,” says ThredUp head of retail Heather Craig. ThredUp has tested concepts such as “immediate payout,” which allows consumers to bring in clothes they want to sell and be compensated immediately.

The brand closed the Texas store but now plans to open more locations in Burlingame, Los Gatos and Pleasanton, after retail tests in Walnut Creek “blew San Marcos out of the water” in terms of profitability and customer acquisition.

Testing grounds aren’t limited to stores, or fashion. Bird, a San Monica scooter-rental service, recently landed here because of the city’s heavy traffic and its goal to reduce carbon emissions. It also didn’t hurt that “transportation disrupters” have become synonymous with San Francisco. And e-tailer Brandless has experimented with “activations” on the Berkeley campus and beyond that don’t even sell product.

And, of course, there’s the desire to create something tangible that people will be compelled to share online, says Ross Bailey, who is the founder and chief executive officer of Appear Here, which matches companies with retail space to host pop-ups.

Water company Hint, whose headquarters is on Union Street, has been gradually expanding its real estate footprint as the business has grown. This summer, the brand will open its first official “store” there. The plans include a water bar, where customers can saddle up to try flavors while learning about the brand’s ethos in a space that will be designed to look and feel like a beach oasis. Chief executive officer Kara Goldin anticipates it will be very Instagrammable.

“This could be the next iteration of retail,” she says, comparing the experience she envisions being more akin to a winery. “It’s not about walking in to buy something or drink something but about experiencing ‘What does the brand stand for? What is the energy that I get when I go into this company?’”

For Hint, San Francisco was the only location that made sense — for now.

“There was no better place to launch besides here,” Goldin says, “not only because it’s the home of our product but because it makes sense in people’s minds for quality, healthy products. We didn’t think of launching anywhere else.”

Maghan McDowell is a San Francisco freelance writer. Email:



Baseball Equipment Made in USA

Baseball Equipment Made in USA

Baseball is back!

From the bats to the hats, Made in America is a big part of baseball.

For a sport that’s been historically dubbed as our National Pastime, baseball still lives up to its atmosphere of patriotism. But is the equipment that our idolized athletes rely on to perform still Made in America?

With the nationwide breadth of activity and competition baseball commands, it’s harder and harder to find products that are made in the United States. Hall-of-Famer Leo Durocher once said, “There are only five things you can do in baseball: run, throw, catch, hit, and hit with power.” Here’s a quick guide of gear manufactured by companies that support American jobs to help you do just that.

Bats: This product is about as synonymous with baseball as ice is to ice hockey. The almighty Louisville Slugger and its Kentucky-born brand still operate and manufacture in the United States, helping MLB all-stars like Ryan Zimmerman chalk up hits. It’s also union-made, by United Steelworkers Local 1693.

Balls: Rawlings is the supplier of all baseballs used in the Major and Minor Leagues. Although founded and headquartered in Missouri, the company’s official game balls are now manufactured in Costa Rica.

Bases: Schutt makes all the bases used in the MLB in Litchfield, Ill.

Gloves: There’s a lot of choices here, but many pros use Rawlings’ gloves. While the company’s larger market production has diversified overseas, Rawlings’ pro and custom models are made in Missouri. You can even have your glove tailor-made to fit your hand, just like National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton. Alternatively, Nokona Ballgloves out of Texas offer handcrafted gloves that are 100 percent American-made.

Protection: This is another area where the mass market has opted to produce overseas. But Schutt Sports still sells helmets, catcher’s pads, and other gear that’s been made in the United States. Just make sure to check the label before you buy.

Cleats: New Balance, headquartered in Boston, boasts some of the best baseball cleats in the game. A company committed to making footwear in the USA, New Balance is transparent that some of their production is overseas. Like helmets and pads, check before you buy.

Hats: New Era Cap Company owns exclusive licensing rights to the MLB (and the NBA and NFL) and makes the official on-field hats for the league. Founded in Buffalo, New Era makes many of their hats in their city of origin. Some of the company’s caps are still produced overseas, so it’s another case of checking the label. If you want your hat guaranteed American-made, check out Americap Baseball Caps, produced in North Carolina.

Editor’s Note

Interesting this article didn’t mention the major league uniforms. Another relevation is that the American baseball is no longer made in America. Since mid 2015, Major League Baseball off-shored their baseball manufacturing to Costa Rica. So what happens, the balls are made cheaper, but also made differently. These “new and improved baseballs” have flatter seams and smaller circumferences which causes an increase of home runs by 4%, according to writer, Ben Lindbergh and  Mathematician, Mitcel Lichtman in fivethirtyeight. In 2017, 6,105 Home runs were hit in the regular season, eclipsing the previous record, in 2000, a product of the Steroid Era 5,693 home runs. Isn’t that great? Major League Baseball owners by using a cheaper baseball, made in Costa Rica, now have a Home Run barrage. I guess, it is better than when all the owners (and I mean every single one of them) turned a blind eye to the open usage of anabolic steroids. Of course, MLB owners deny that the baseball flies farther. Yea, sure. Why not just put a superball in the center of the baseball and put aerodynamic dimples on the cover? Happy Home Runs and Strikeouts!

Thanks to the Alliance for American Manufacturing for the article.


Buying American Made Matters Video

Buying American-Made Matters

from the Alliance of American Manufacturers December 27, 2017



20 Best American Made Clothing Brands

20 Best American Made Clothing Brands From 

Unfortunately, not a whole lot of clothing companies operate this way. Simply put, it’s just easier for big brands to outsource the production of the clothing to countries with a lower cost of labor and a better manufacturing infrastructure. And honestly – we get it. It sucks that this is the way the global economy works, but it’s not necessarily something we’d hold against any brand. That being said, we do feel like it’s necessary to shine a light on some of the great stuff being done by the few men’s clothing brands that do still make their goods here in the states. So if you’re curious about the best American made clothing brands, look no further.

American Giant

Simply put, labor is more expensive here in the U.S. As a result – many of the picks you’ll find on this list tend to trend towards the pricier end of the spectrum. For some folks, that isn’t a big deal – but for others, high prices can lock them out of the market. Thankfully, there are brands out there like American Giant that are offering up quality apparel at an affordable price. Located in San Francisco, the clothing company has set itself apart due to its ability to offer up quality-made men’s basics for a reasonable price. Shorts, outerwear, great tees – you name it, they’ve got it.

Est: 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Known For: Men’s Basics

Visit: American Giant


A little less than a decade ago, designers Matt and Emily Baldwin noticed that their customers were increasingly asking for American-born workwear. Yet, when they started looking for things to stock, the couple simply couldn’t find much. Rather than wait for someone else to satisfy their customer’s demands, Matt started his own denim brand. Designed in Kansas City and built right here in the States, Baldwin is now ranked among the best menswear brands out there.

Est: 2009
Location: Kansas City, KS
Known For: Denim

Visit: Baldwin


Some choose to produce their clothing in the states out of a sense of patriotism. Others out of a sense of necessity. Seattle-based outdoor clothing company Beyond chose to manufacture their clothing right here in the U.S. for a combination of those reasons. Not only does having their factories right here promote American labor, but it allows the technically focused apparel company to audit the quality of their products in real time – ensuring that you get the best of the best right out of the gate.

Est: 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Known For: Outdoor/Tactical Gear

Visit: Beyond

Bill’s Khakis

Quality never goes out of style. That is something the founder of Bill’s Khakis realized when, in college, he came across an old pair of khakis from the 1940s. They were like nothing he had ever seen before – comfortable, durable, and well made. Bills Khakis was created in an attempt to replicate this type of clothing. Of course, an integral part of all of this is building everything here in the states.

Est: 1990
Location: Reading, PA
Known For: Menswear

Visit: Bills Khakis

Birdwell Beach Britches

Birdwell Beach Britches aren’t a Southern-Californian staple for nothing. Made by hand right here in the U.S., these two-ply board shorts are sturdy enough to stand up to years worth of lazy days on the beach or out on the surfboard. The business itself, originally started as a family venture, has itself been based out of Santa Ana for over 50 years. We can’t imagine it going anywhere.

Est: 1961
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Known For: Beach Wear

Visit: Birdwell Britches

Brooks Brothers

Ok – let us just get ahead on this one. Not all of Brooks Brother’s clothing is made in the U.S., but according to Forbes, around 70 percent of their suits, 10 percent of their dress shirts, and 100 percent of their ties are made in the Northeastern part of the U.S. Given the brand’s size and prominence (they’ve been around since 1818), we find this pretty impressive.

Est: 1818
Location: NYC, NY
Known For: Formal wear

Visit: Brooks Brothers

Buck Mason

Started in 2013 with quality in mind, Buck Mason has quickly established themselves as among the coolest men’s basics brands out there. All of their jackets, jeans, and t-shirts are made not far from their original studio in Venice, California – making it easier for the team to get the best fabrics for their clothing. A great pick for guys looking to build out their everyday or casual clothing.

Est: 2013
Location: Venice Beach, CA
Known For: Men’s Basics

Visit: Buck Mason

Ebbets Field Flannels

Named after the iconic ball-park in Brooklyn, Ebbets Field Flannels specialized in building out vintage baseball jerseys and caps. More than just re-using old designs, the Seattle, Washington based company uses old-school cuts and fabrics to give everything that extra authentic feel. Ideal for the guy looking to get some sportswear but doesn’t exactly embrace the New Era look.

Est: 1988
Location: Seattle, WA
Known For: Sportswear

Visit: Ebbets Field Flannels

Freemans Sporting Club

There was a period in time when just about any item of clothing was expected to last a long, long time. Freeman’s Sporting Club was started in an attempt to continue that tradition of building out quality menswear that will outlast its peers. They’ve been successful in accomplishing this, in part, because they are sure to use American tailors and sewers. When ever piece of clothing is ‘only a few hands removed’ from the original maker – that is just the type of quality you get.

Est: 2005
Location: NYC, NY
Known For: Outerwear/Formal

Visit: Freemans Sporting Club

Freenote Cloth

You can often tell a lot about a person by where they’re from. The same applies to companies. Based out of the San Juan Capistrano, Freenote Cloth embodies the same rancho aesthetic that their hometown has retained since its founding. Outside of having a distinct style, Freenote is also known for attention to detail. The fabrics, dye, and hardware used on all of their clothing is considered and intentional.

Est: 2013
Location: San Juan Capistrano, CA
Known For: Denim

Visit: Freenote Clothing


In much the same way that Levi’s got its start during the Gold Rush in Calfiornia, Filson earned its name outfitting fortune-seekers during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897. But C.C. Filson didn’t stop when the gold was all dug up. From the late 1800s on Filson has continued to provide tough, durable goods made right here in the states because sometimes, the old way is the right way.

Est: 1897
Location: Seattle, WA
Known For: Outdoor Gear

Visit: Filson

Grown and Sewn

Robert Wesley Magness built his career the old fashioned way; from the ground up. His first position in the men’s fashion world was working at Ralph Lauren’s shipping and receiving department in Texas. Eventually he found himself living in New York working as the Design Director at Polo Ralph Lauren. After a decade plus at the company he decided to start his own menswear label dedicated to building quality men’s clothing crafted in the U.S.

Est: 2009
Location: NYC, NY
Known For: Menswear

Visit: Grown and Sewn

Imogene and Willie

While most brands will trace their heritage back to the year they began, imogene and willie peg the start of their business to a pool party when they met in the 6th grade. The friendship they founded would endure decades, distance, and failed businesses. It wasn’t until 2009 that they started imogene and willie, a brand that expresses a love for the textures, sounds, and smells of Texas. While they specialize in denim, the brand boasts classic tees, denim jackets, and more – all built in the States.

Est: 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
Known For: Denim

Visit: Imogene + Willie

Iron and Resin

With one foot proudly in both the world of surfing and the other firmly planted motorcycle culture – Iron and Resin is a near-perfect embodiment of California’s free-spirited attitude. Rather than relying on far-away factories to produce their goods, they elected to build a good portion of their clothing right here in the states.

Est: 2012
Location: Ventura, CA
Known For: Surf/Motorcycle

Visit: Iron and Resin

Jean Shop

Founded in 2004 by Eric Goldstein, Gene Montesano, and Barry Perlman, Jean Shop has long been the go-to brand when it comes to quality, American-made denim. While the shop no longer exclusively source their materials from the states, they’re still a fantastic resource when it comes to picking denim jeans, jackets, and work shirts.

Est: 2004
Location: NYC, NY
Known For: Denim

Visit: Jean Shop

Mollusk Surf

Classic, understated beachwear made right here in the states is downright rare. One of the out there still doing it, however, is Mollusk. The Californian brand has all of their clothing (board shorts, sweatshirts, shirts, and more) designed up in Oakland and built in either Oakland or Los Angeles. They’re simple, attractive, and made to last.

Est: 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Known For: Beach Wear

Visit: Mollusk Surf

Rising Sun

If you are looking for solid, American made denim – then Rising Sun jeans are well worth your consideration. The Los Angeles-based brand embraces an old-time west aesthetic while putting a serious emphasis on quality built tried and tested gear. Built right here in the states, they’re ideal for everyday wear.

Est: 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Known For: Denim

Visit: Rising Sun MFG

Taylor Stitch

Started with the simple goal of creating a well fitting shirt, Taylor Stitch has grown into a brand to contend with. Trafficking primarily in classic menswear (although they’ve recently started producing women’s clothing), they design all of their clothing in California, and manufacture a good deal here in the states as well.

Est: 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Known For: Menswear

Visit: Taylor Stitch

Topo Designs

While a lot of American-made menswear brands opt for a heritage look, others like Topo have decided instead to forge ahead with their own style. That, in large part, is why we love them. They’re not your father’s outdoor gear company – but they’re just as capable, comfortable, and stylish.

Est: 2008
Location: Denver, CO
Known For: Outdoor Gear

Visit: Topo Design


This brand is so old it literally predates the buffalo-check shirt. Founded in 1830 in Plum Run, Pennsylvania, Woolwich has made a name for themselves by making quality cold-weather wear. While not all of their clothing is still made in the U.S., they have a dedicated section of their shop where you can pick up their American-made products.

Est: 1830
Location: Woolrich, PA
Known For: Outdoor Clothing

Visit: Woolrich

12 Best American Made Work Boots

There are a whole lot of great American made brands out there. Some of our favorites fall into the category of boot-makers. Take a look at what we think are the 12 best American made work boots out there.


Reservoir: American Made from New York to Michigan

Lifestyle Grand Rapids Magazine by Jesse Sheridan
American Made from New York to Michigan
Reservoir comes to Grand Rapids with its second location.

In the thriving Grand Rapids neighborhood of Uptown, Wealthy Street is home to many businesses, from bakeries to restaurants to local shops, like the new boutique Reservoir.

The boutique opened on Nov. 11 and sells a collection of American made brands.

Owner and curator Erin Murphy Doan shared a little about her inspiration behind the local shop.

“I started Reservoir as my own apparel label after working in luxury fashion for eight years in New York City. I soon discovered my love for other American made brands that shared my values of sustainability,” Doan said.

Doan opened her first store in Beacon, New York in 2012 and recently decided to open a second storefront.

“After five years of success, opening a second store seemed like the next move. I’m originally from Grand Rapids and our family spends almost half the year visiting friends and family here, so I couldn’t have imagined a better place to bring my store. I love the culture and artistic movement that is thriving in my hometown, and I am grateful I’m now able to be a part of that community,” said Doan.

The store carries a wide variety of products and brands to attract all styles.

“What I bring into the shop are simply things that I love myself. That said, my goal has always been to have a store where ‘there is something for everyone’ and from my perspective, it seems like I’ve been able to accomplish such,” Doan said.

The store offers apparel and accessories for men, women and children. It hosts independent labels, such as Kordal Knitwear and Fledgling Press as well as classic American brands like Pendleton, Fox River and Red Wing. Along with its outside brands, it also sells its own in-house label Reservoir.

At the roots, the shops are the same, but Doan is aware of the differences that could arise from New York to Michigan.

“While there are many similarities with the neighborhoods and styles of my shop, every place has its unique characteristics, I’m looking forward to the challenge, to discover the differences and work to run the best possible version of this shop for Grand Rapids,” said Doan.

Reservoir is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.


Thanks to the Alliance for American Manufacturing for pointing out this article. Celebrate the small businesses.

July 2018
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