Made in America

I’m been writing a long, moving article in my head. It is how we should buy American-made goods to support domestic industry for economic diversity and fair-waged jobs in the manufacturing sector. I was going to appeal to the grossly lopsided balance of trade we have with China, and consider the present and emerging environmental impact of having production so far removed from consumption. I also think it is vital to promote fair working conditions by our purchases, rather than be comfortably agnostic to others’ suffering.

So I’ll promote two who-know-you-could-still-get-that-made-in-America moments.

1. In addition to the above, I’ve just about given up on leather. I recently bought a pair of “vegan” shoes — simple black Oxfords, like I always wear — made in the US. Got a belt to match, too. Hubby and I went to Pangea Vegan Products in Rockville, Maryland. (An easy walk from Twinbrook metro station, for the car-free out there.) The do mail order, too. The shoes are light and breathe much better than I thought leather-free shoes would; the “leather” is a blend of cotton and polypropylene. They aren’t cheap, but they compare to Rockports and so I think the added cost is fair.

2. I got a pair of jeans, khaki slacks (plain fronts!) and two pair of boxer-briefs, all US and union made from Union House. Still waiting for them to arrive, and will write a follow-up. The pricing was on-par with department stores. The have a good selection for men; not so great for women. Fast, responsive customer service from Max when I asked about their returns policy and then, after I ordered online, goofed and ordered blue slacks by mistake. The company is a union shop, too.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Thanks. This is a great resource especially Union House. I have become very good at getting some nice finds at thrift stores which is a great way to reuse and not directly support the sweatshops. Every now and then though it’s nice to get something new. I wonder if we could contract with Union house for UU logo sweatshirts.

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