From the sidewalk

You guys, I’m astonishingly surprised and proud of myself in a way I may have never been before. I never imagined that my ideas about taking pictures of homes would bloom to what it is now. Not only have I had a blast taking photos of all these beautiful homes – getting outside to find them is another amazing challenge! Also, the fact that I get to have these made on Made in USA merchandise feels very good!

Here are just a few of the things you can get, I’m still working on more designs!

VIVA Amiga

VIVA Amiga

VIVA Amiga

VIVA Amiga

VIVA Amiga

VIVA Amiga

VIVA Amiga

Shopping responsibly and consciously links

Links posts are a dedicated space here for a roundup of links (that don’t fall into my normal post categories) that are sharing information about Made in USA, and as the title mentions, shopping responsibly and consciously.
Thrift Eye

Before I post anything else, I can’t even find the right words to express my sadness and anger over all the shootings that have happened in the last few days AND months. Black lives matter. LGBTQ lives matter. Immigrant lives matter. And we can stand together to fight inequalities and injustices. Speak for the voiceless. We need to make this an ongoing conversation in all our lives.


“The Associated Press and market research firm GfK polled more than 1,000 Americans…and discovered that 71 percent said they would like to buy items made in the U.S. but high prices and limited availability prevent them from doing so.” The article is behind an ad to join the website, but the article is so short, you can just read it behind the ad. It says most people don’t want to pay the price for Made in USA!

Research Shows Majority of Consumers Want Made in USA Apparel

Wow it’s hard to hear one headline and then another. But good to hear that people still want this – I guess what we need to do is revolutionize the way we think of buying clothes. “Among those who say it’s important that the clothes they buy are made in the USA, 79 percent say it’s because they prefer to support the U.S. economy, 46 percent believe U.S.-made apparel is better quality, and 30 percent believe it’s environmentally-friendly, according to the Monitor data.”

American Apparel uses crowdsourcing to seek new product ideas

“The Los Angeles-based company, which recently announced that it might start outsourcing some manufacturing to another U.S. clothing maker, is asking vendors to submit proposals for U.S.-made goods that would retail for $100 or less.” Crowdsourcing is a little misleading, since the crowd being asked are other potential vendors. But an interesting idea nonetheless.

Shinola’s founder shows how contradictory the FTC’s “Made in the USA” regulations are

Sometimes I wonder what things would look like if regulators (like FTC) put the work they do into regulating Made in USA, into punishing American brands that have sweatshops overseas…This is an ongoing conversation about is an item technically Made in the USA when built with parts made elsewhere? Shinola was dragged into this by the Federal Trade Commission. The article explains more, but I like this Shinola statement, “Until a change in policy clarifies for the consumer what it truly means to be Made in the USA, Shinola will always strive to do as much as it can in America with the benefit of an American workforce.”

Made in America: 9 Brands That You’ll Be Surprised Are Still Manufacturing in the USA

Did you know Shinola manufactures in the USA? I didn’t until I read the article above. It’s awesome to find out information about more brands. Apartment Therapy shares some home goods brands that are USA made! I would recommend to read the comments too.

PS. The picture above is from my yearly visit to the West Coast Craft show, featuring West Coast artisans. I never got around to sharing the pictures…oops!

Caveat emptor – Buzzfeed investigates “Made in China”

Have any of you been following these Buzzfeed stories about angry buyers who received their merchandise from Chinese wholesale retailers? It’s quite fascinating. It is the ultimate buyer beware moment we dread while shopping online. I think it’s best to say that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Always try to do your research on the retailer before buying anything online.

I wasn’t going to write about this topic – except the week the original Buzzfeed article came out, I was emailed by one of the retailers asking me to run ads for them. They must have missed the whole thing about me being very pro-Made in the USA. I just didn’t respond to them – but I know that other bloggers run ads for these companies and often take free clothes from them.

The original article is about how Facebook heavily advertises and misleads users towards these sketchy online retailers.

Buzzfeed investigates
picture from Facebook group

The people then began to use Facebook itself as a tool to warn other potential buyers – creating forums where people could share their woes and warnings. They were also using the ability to contact Facebook heads via Facebook itself, to shame them for accepting ad money from these retailers. Facebook had no choice but to respond – it looks as if action still hasn’t been taken though.

I found it even more interesting that Buzzfeed followed up for us all by ordering a spread of merchandise from the accused sellers and creating a whole other post about it. Most of the items were not as described, just as the people on Facebook had shown. Items tend to not be of the fabric described and sizing was off.

Lauren Zaser / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

A few of the things were wearable, but not of great quality and just not what the original picture presented. There was no original item, the retailers are stealing pictures from blogs and Instagram to sell items they do not carry in the first place. I haven’t heard much from the story recently – but I’m definitely following these types of stories as they progress.

Be part of the Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution

Do you ever ask yourself, “who made my clothes?” If you haven’t before, you really should now. Three years ago, after the horrible Rana Plaza accident, I couldn’t bear to shop irresponsibly anymore. Was I contributing to the death of these people by wearing cheap clothes?

You may have seen the web already being bombarded by the Fashion Revolution campaign to make consumers begin thinking that a human being just like you made the apparel you’re wearing. We need to humanize fashion more. I admit the campaign is a little commercialized, but they’re bringing attention to something HUGE.

We need to start demanding brands to treat the people at all levels of their production line with the same justice and equality that they would want for themselves and their own families, to start recognizing who makes the clothes (no matter where they are made), provide fair wages, and even urge all online retailers to adequately label where the clothes they sell are made. I’m tired of seeing places label their clothing as coming from “Imported” and you should too. You as a consumer also have to start scaling back the endless consumption that fills garbage dumps with discarded clothing. Read this WGSN article HERE to read a little more on how to shop responsibly within the high street retailers.

Fashion Revolution