When I was pregnant with Cullen, I can remember obsessing over Amazon reviews and baby registry sites – feeling so overwhelmed and all-consumed by choosing all the right stuff for our impending bundle of joy. It is funny to think back on now, as it all felt like such a HUGE deal at the time. But like every new parent, I wanted to make what I felt like were the best choices for our baby, and so I over-analyzed and obsessed like (most) new parents do.
I remember laying on our couch in Fremont reading my local library copy of Baby Bargains, and reading the section all about choosing your baby’s crib. For some reason I got completely hung up on the info about chemicals, toxins, and looking for cribs that were locally made. I’m not sure why this particular item felt so important – maybe because I knew he’d (hopefully) be spending so much time in there? – but either way, I set out to find a crib that was made right here in the US of A.
We ended up choosing the Land of Nod Straight Up Crib, which served Cullen well for two years and is now being put to good use by Graham!
And while we have certainly bought and received products from all over the world in the two years we’ve been parents, I’ve done my best to look for things that are as environmentally-friendly and eco-conscious as possible. Pickwick & Weller is an apparel company that specializes in clothing that is ethically made in the USA. Right now they are hosting a Made in America campaign, asking people to remove one foreign made item from their closest and replace it with something made here in the US:
Did you know that 98% of the clothing in America is imported from abroad? Simply removing one foreign made item from your wardrobe and replacing it with an American made garment or accessory can create a meaningful impact on US job growth. In fact, if everyone in America spent just $20 on apparel made in the USA this year, we could create 62,500 jobs. Buying a small amount of American made clothing each year is one of the most surprisingly simple and immediate ways to put Americans back to work. We invite you to join the movement and take the Made in America Closet Pledge. By removing one foreign made item from your wardrobe and replacing with an American made garment or accessory you’re supporting ethical working environments and keeping valuable jobs in our country.
In the spirit of their campaign to highlight American-made products, I thought I’d share some of our favorite children’s’ brands and products that are made here as well…
These toys are all made entirely from recycled plastic, and there is a good mix of toys for all ages and stages. In our house, we have the dish set to go with Cullen’s play kitchen, the dump truck to move mulch chips around in the backyard, and of course – the trash truck! For little guys like Graham, there is also a nice twisty teether and a colorful set of stacking cups!
While we certainly have a mix of toys from all over, and a healthy mixture of plastic, cloth, and wood (and even – gasp! – electronics), I feel most passionate about the things that I know are going to be chewed and gnawed on. I try to be really mindful of the teethers and chew toys we buy, and look for things with no PVC, BPA, and other harsh chemicals. I really like these Lifefactory teething rings because they are made locally out of good materials, and they are a great shape and size for tiny fingers!
In addition to some of these “fancier” and sleeker newer brands, you might not realize that some of the kid classics are made in America too.
Little Tykes, anyone?
While I have done my best to not let our house get completely overrun with neon colored plastic, I can also recognize the value in having fun things for Cullen to play on outside (or bring in during the winter!) that are easy to clean and durable in all types of weather. I scored this ride-on tractor on Craigslist last year, and it was $20 well spent. He’s been riding it inside all winter, and when friends come over they love to take turns riding in the back.
And another amazing Little Tykes Craigslist steal – the Endless Adventures Tikes Town playhouse! I spent all of last summer scouring Craigslist for a playhouse that wasn’t pink and purple, and ended up getting this awesome schoolhouse for $30. Cullen absolutely loves it, and he even played inside when we got some snow last weekend.
Step 2 is actually the largest toy manufacturer in the United States – selling classic outdoor play items like playhouses, the cozy coupe car, and kids’ picnic tables. We bought our adjustable sand and water table from Step 2 last summer, and it was a hit all summer long.
We also love the Step 2 Van For Two car that we found on the side of the road in our neighborhood (and cleaned up!) earlier last year. The quality of these toys is long lasting, and they can really hold up to hard use from toddlers, and even winters left outside.
Who wants to go for a ride? :)
While I don’t think you can expect to do anything 100% naturally, I tend to be a stickler when it homes to beauty and cleaning products. All those chemicals scare me, and even more so when I imagine them on the soft baby skin of my kids. We love California Baby soap and bath bubbles, and it is our go-to sunscreen in the warmer months. I have a tube in the car, one at one, and one in my diaper bag at all times! Products are made in – you guessed it – California!
Last but not least, I thought it would be fun to include something that is not only made in the US, but is actually made right here in Yakima, WA – just outside of Seattle!
These awesome bottles are the only metal bottle that is made in America, and they are also the only bottles made entirely of recycled materials. These drink bottles come in both kid and adult sizes, and you can choose from a variety of gorgeous patterns and cap colors. Each bottle is designed by a different artist (many of whom are local to Seattle!) and their profiles are featured online along with their bottles. Love!
So there you go – a short round-up of some of my favorite USA products, in celebration of the Made in America campaign. Buying “local” can be as close to home as your neighborhood farmers’ market or independent shop, or it can simply mean checking the bottom of a toy to see where it was manufactured. But every small purchase adds up to make a big difference for jobs, for our environment, and for our communities.
This post was sponsored by Pickwick & Weller. Thank you for your continued support of Daily Garnish!