December 18, 2014
Adapted from Union Plus article from Consumer Reports
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Green and red may be the predominant colors of the season, but a lot of shoppers have red, white, and blue on their minds when it comes to holiday shopping. While many industries have outsourced jobs and production overseas or south of the border, Consumer Reports tracked down goods of all stripes that continue to be made in America, a significant buying consideration for some shoppers. Given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, 78 percent of consumers would prefer to buy the American product, according to a nationally representative survey by Consumer Reports National Research Center.
After decades of outsourcing, domestic production is becoming increasingly attractive to manufacturers in various sectors including technology, energy, appliances, even apparel.
If you’re among those who are motivated to buy American, here’s a list of widely known firms that make or assemble products here. But take note: Parts and materials may come from domestic as well as foreign sources. Also, not everything a company manufactures is necessarily American-made. Sometimes, it’s a particular line or two, or just a handful of products.
For instance, Red Wing Shoes of Red Wing, Minn., makes just two collections here, its Heritage and Handsewn footwear. Also, in the age of globalization, firms may have manufacturing facilities in multiple countries to meet international demand. Massachusetts-based Acushnet, maker of Titleist golf balls, has a plant in Thailand. How can you discern a product’s heritage? Inspect the packaging for country of origin information, which is required by law for goods produced abroad. You can also contact the manufacturer to ask which products are the real deal. Another good starting point to identify homegrown products: Check out sites such as madeinusa.org,americansworking.com, and madeinamericaforever.com.
Kitchen and housewares: All-Clad, Nordicware, and Lodge cookware; Lasko, known mostly for its fans; Dacor, Wolf, DCS, and Viking cooktops, ovens, and ranges; Sub Zero refrigerators; Maytag and Amana washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ranges; KitchenAid small appliances including stand mixers; Kirby and Oreck vacuum cleaners; Wahl shavers, trimmers, and grooming devices; Bunn-O-Matic coffee makers; Pyrex glassware; Tervis Tumblers (insulated acrylic cups and ice buckets); Lamson & Goodnow and Cutco cutlery; Vitamix blenders; Harden Furniture; Framburg lighting fixtures.
Apparel, footwear, and accessories: American Apparel; Woolrich (mostly blankets and throws); Texas Jeans; True Religion jeans (only core items such as the “Ricky” jeans); Wigwam socks; Allen Edmonds shoes; Kepner Scott childrens shoes; New Balance athletic shoes; Wolverine footwear; Pendleton woolens (notably its Portland Collection and the company’s wool blankets and throws); Stetson hats; Chippewa boots; Annin flags; Filson; LL Bean; Land’s End; Orvis; Brooks Brothers.
Tools and home care: Stihl power equipment including string trimmers, blowers, and chain saws; Purdy paint brushes and rollers; Channellock, Moody, and Stanley hand tools; Maglite flashlights; and Shop Vac wet-and-dry vacuum cleaners.
Miscellanous: Lenovo computers and tablets; McIntosh Labs high-end audio components; Grado Labs headphones; Gibson and Martin guitars; Steinway pianos; Crayola crayons; Wilson sporting goods (NFL footballs); Hillerich & Bradsby (Louisville Slugger wooden baseball bats); Tamrac camera bags; K’Nex, Little Tykes, and Tinkertoy toys.