Thursday, December 13, 2012

More American-made, union-made gift ideas

(UPDATES with final graf to ADD ABC's series.)

We know how hard it is to find products actually made in America, but it's worth the try. Because the job you save could be your own.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing has a blog (click here) that's been featuring ideas for gifts made in the USA. Yesterday they featured toys, including Green Toys, products made from recycled materials by a company named -- wait for it -- Green Toys -- in California. Stuffington Bear Factory makes stuffed animals by hand in Phoenix. PurePlayToys is a website that sells mostly toys made in America. You can buy almost everything on the AAM list by mail.

The blog also features American-made outerwear, including coats and jackets from Colorado-based Freeride Systems and hats and gloves from Minnesota-based Wintergreen Northern Wear.

Our friends at Labor 411 go one better: They have a union-made, American-made shopping guide for the holidays.

For example, BCTGM workers at See's Candies makes Hanukkah gold coins. Our friends at UNITE HERE make Pendleton baby blankets. The UAW manufactures Louisville Sluggers for kids. And our brothers and sisters at UFCW makes lots of products, including duffle bags, board games and bourbon.

We found other holiday shopping guides featuring products made in America. One, the made in usa challenge, features products that are "safe, ethically made, eco-friendly and awesome." Those include clothing and accessories made from retired military uniforms at the Military Apparel Company.

For Made-in-America gifts for One Percenters, the Wall Street Journal (of course) offers a slide show featuring $195 skateboards and $4,500 suits. And most states have their own guides. Vermont, for example, has a robust page featuring crafts, maple syrup and cheese. You can support Michiganders (who need it more than ever now) by buying from the Michigan Made website. California has three directories: one so comprehensive it includes everything from audio equipment to tools (here), one focusing on manufactured items (here) and one that features food and gifts. Unfortunately, the last one uses FedEx, so we won't link to it.

Happy shopping!

P.S. We almost forgot ABC's terrific series on Made in America products. Watch it here.