The holiday shopping season has officially begun, and for most of us, that means the hard work of being Santa Claus starts now. While your first inclination is probably to go for the path of least resistance, scouring stores with tons of options and a dot-com at the end, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) wants you to hear them out on why not to go that route just yet.
We’re always hearing about the benefits of buying local, but not as much about buying what’s actually made locally. That’s probably because it can be really hard to know until you actually pop into a local shop and start checking labels. That’s why AAM offers its annual Made in America Holiday Gift Guide, a rundown of picks from all 50 states and Washington D.C., with tons cool ideas for presents at a variety of price points.
On this list, you’ll find everything from organic cotton bedding to golf balls — and they’re all made in the U.S. For example, a company called American Plastic Toys is bucking the trend of China-made toys by producing and assembling 125 different playthings in Walled Lake, Michigan.
Check out the full list, and you’ll probably come across some locally made products you may not be familiar with. For example, my home state of Wisconsin is on the list for something out of Green Bay that’s not Packers-related, or even cheese or beer-related: Au Naturale cosmetics are vegan, organic, and paraben- and cruelty-free. If that’s not up your alley, maybe you'll want to check out a 3D-printed showerhead in the shape of a T-rex, made in New York State.
No matter what you decide on, you can feel good about supporting American businesses this holiday season.