Blue Canoe Made in USA Women’s Fashion

Blue Canoe ( has been making women’s clothing since 1994.  Laurie Dunlap, who created and runs the company, sought to make clothing that is versatile, fashionable, made with eco-friendly fabrics and (most importantly for our readers) is made in USA.  The result is Blue Canoe, which is located in San Francisco.  Clothing includes dresses, jackets, sweaters, pants, accessories – really a full line!  Fabrics are made from organic cotton and bamboo (which is made into rayon).

Blue Canoe Made in USA Dress

Above is the Draped Drawstring Dress.  It is all cotton and has a drawstring that provides an accent and partially cinches the hemline.  Quality is excellent, with solid construction, no loose threads and is symmetrically cut and sewn, which can sometimes be a challenge with stretchy cotton fabric.

Although cotton products have become relatively more common among made in USA products, I have seen fewer products that are made from bamboo.  It’s nice to see a range of fabrics, especially pesticide-free organics, being used for American-made clothing.  We commend Laurie Dunlap and Blue Canoe and making a quality product and keeping it in the USA at an affordable price.  Please support!


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Leather Toiletry Bags Made in USA

My wife just gave me a father’s day present from  It’s an amazing leather and waxed canvas bag.  The quality of the leather is excellent – to the touch as well as in appearance.  The zipper is oversized and metal and it is lined in what looks like thick nylon.  For $85 this was a great gift.

American-Made Toiletry Bag

The bag above is embroided by I redacted the initials 😉  That gives you an idea of their size.  Here are some more pics from their website:

leather made in usa toiletry bag

They can be bought directly from their website, but they’re also available on Etsy.

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Made in USA Lumbar Pillow

I have back problems that are worsened by sitting in bucket seats, airplanes, and plushy chairs.  I finally got a lumbar support pillow because I needed it.  I didn’t even think it would be made in USA.  Shockingly, for less than $20, the Original McKenzie lumbar roll is made in USA!  No-way, I thought, but it says so right on the label.  What’s more to say?  These kinds of things always seem to be made in China these days and it’s nice to see my expectations exceeded.

McKenzie Lumbar Roll

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Buying American-Made Tires

It used to be that if you wanted to get made in USA tires, you would simply buy Goodyear or Firestone and could be assured of getting domestic product.  These days, tires are a global commodity.  The major tire manufacturers, including Goodyear, Michelin, Firestone/Bridgestone, Cooper and Yokohama make tires in the US as well as abroad.  Assuming, for instance, that Goodyear tires you are buying for $500/4 are American and a set of Yokohama tires are imported may be erroneous.

This is what in fact happened to me recently.  This experience proves that you cannot trust tire retailers and have to double-check what they tell you.  One year ago, I visited Just Tires, and asked for Made in USA Goodyear Tires.  They were medium grade/cost and I was assured that they were domestic.  Of course, it turns out, they were made in Mexico.  That’s what you get for trusting the sales staff.

Next time, I checked possibly getting tires for my wife’s car at American Tire Depot.  I was told that basically “no tires are made in USA” and that they couldn’t find any such tires.  A cursory look around the shop showed me made in USA Firestones.  I left in disgust.  Finally, a few months ago, my wife went back to American Tire Depot (because she got a flat tire and the tires hadn’t been changed yet).  She requested made in USA tires that fit the car.  She had to leave it there so that they could special order these from a central warehouse.  In 2 days, though, it was done and she had verifiably American made Michelin tires on her car!

Lessons learned:

1) don’t believe the sales staff at tire shops – verify for yourself

2) you can get a made in USA tires from almost any manufacturer

3) you may have to wait a day or more to get the tires you want

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Chynna Dolls Women’s Swimwear

chynnadollslogo makes a variety of innovative and sexy bikinis and one-piece bathing suits right in Orange County, California.  I’ve personally spoken with Heather, the owner.  She started the company herself as a family business and manufactures all the garments in-house.  The workers making the garments are all direct employees of the company.


The work is definitely quality and they’ve been going strong for the last 10 years! Check out  made in USA bikinis and bathing suits at!

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Trayvax Rugged American-Made Wallet

Do you struggle to find the right balance between form and function when selecting a tactical wallet?Are you looking for a rugged USA-made wallet ready for your use and abuse?  Then look no further than Trayvax!

Made in USA Trayvax Wallet

Travax Made in USA walletThis is a very unique and interesting product.  The heart of the wallet is based on a metal skeleton(stainless steel or a combination of stainless steel and aluminum).  There may then be leather, parachute cord, straps, velcro and other adornments that come off of it.  The one I am reviewing is one of the flagship Element wallets, the “Mississippi Mud” that features leather, parachute cord and stainless steel.  The design is a hybrid billfold with wrap around leather to hold some credit cards.  There is a built-in bottle opener and grommet-hole for carabiner attachment.

Trayvax is all about made in USA.  Unlike most “assembled in USA of foreign and domestic components” apologists, all the materials for their wallets are US-sourced, as of this writing.    If you are looking for “mil-spec” this is it.  Trayvax is not made by a large conglomerate getting into the wallet business.  This is no offshoot of Calvin Klein, judging by the Trayvax Youtube videos, but a group of young people that came together to break the mold in product design and execution.

We wish you more success!

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Sun Hats by RoniGirl – fashionable and high quality sun protection

made in usa sunhatIt is very hard to find hats made in the USA.  Even the high end brands are made overseas these days, so I was happy to discover Sun Hats By RoniGirl.  These fashionable, high quality sun hats are made in the USA. They come in two styles and a variety of colors to match any wardrobe. They are also machine washable and come with a cute carrying case.

Roni describes her hats as follows, (as quoted from her website):

“The concept is simple. The inside lining of this hat has been created with a light weight UPF/UV resistant poly fabric (created from recycled water bottles) The fabric was chemically tested at a lab in North Carolina. The hat received a 99.98% UVB rating and a 99.94% UVA rating. We are only allowed to label 50+ however, as you can see the protection is even more qualified. The outside fabric is 100% cotton print or solid denim for a fashionable flair. The combined fabric/weave is extremely effective in providing sun protection.”

made in usa women's hats

In addition to the high quality, another great thing about this company is that with every purchase,  a donation is made to the Skin Cancer Foundation.  They also offer free Shipping within the United States!  

For more information, to read the interesting back story, or to purchase a hat, visit the Sun Hats by RoniGirl website

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Amy Matto Made in USA Dresses

Amy Matto Made in USA Fashion

Amy Matto is a woman’s apparel designer and maker based in the New York garment district.  In a previous post, I reviewed humorous t-shirts from Amy Matto that are made in USA with a tongue-in-cheek jab at off-shoring to China.  That was my introduction to Amy Matto, however, my eyes got big when I scanned her online collection of dresses that are made in USA.

Really, the designs are timeless and classy but also very exciting and modern.  The picture below is of the Jane V-neck dress from the Spring 2015 collection.  The quality is very high The dress is made of 100% Italian silk) and retails $304.  It is unlined, but I think that is appropriate for spring/summer.

What was striking about Amy Matto’s collection overall is not just the apparent quality, but the versatility of the design.  The majority of the product is right at home in office, casual and going out environments.

made in USA dress


Given price and quality, I would purchase Amy Matto over the Chinese junk offered at BCBG and the like any day, yet the pricing is not much higher for her dresses that are made in USA and not China.  Frequently, the fabrics are Italian.  Some of the dresses are on sale for under $100!  No brainer!  Why buy Gucci or Chanel when you have Amy Matto?

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Amy Matto T-Shirts Made in USA

Amy Matto Made in USA Fashion

Amy Matto is a New York-based fashion designer.  Reviewing her line of women’s clothing, it appears that everything is made in USA, in New York.  The dresses are quite eye-catching with a variety of styles from beach to office.  (Note to self – get one for wife…).  Meanwhile, she launched a set of t-shirts for men and women that say “made in usa” in Chinese characters, to poke fun at outsourcing in the clothing industry.  I guess it means that we could end up even outsourcing the words “made in USA” to the Chinese language. :))

Here is a pic of me in the Chinese “made in USA” shirt (which is made in USA, by the way).

Amy Matto T-shirt


The shirt retails for $38 on the website.  It’s definitely a quality tee.  Highly recommend on the dresses, from what I’ve seen, by the way!

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Reshoring an Increasing Trend – Brooks Brothers

From – Why Brooks Brothers And Other Apparel Companies Are Moving Manufacturing Back Home

This article highlight the trend of apparel manufacturing re-shoring.  It seems to be most pronounced in this industry.  Although per-item production cost may still be cheaper in China and the Far East, the advantages to American-based manufacturing may outweigh:

  • quicker production turnaround
  • lower minimum production runs with higher sell-through percentages
  • less excess that has to be unloaded at lower prices, thus under-cutting profits
  • vertically-integrated production
  • appeal of American-made
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