Monthly Archives: June 2014

Pollution is in your shopping bag too

The World Health Organization (WHO), reports that an estimated 3.7 million people die every year as a result of air pollution exposure, making air pollution the world’s single largest environmental health risk.

On this link to NBC News, there is a video showing air quality in a northeastern town in China, in a heavy industrialized area. The factories and power plants (which mostly burn coal) don’t clean their exhausts at all there, leading to days like this one, when people can’t be outside.

So think about it. Most of what you own is made there. Think about all the decorations, kitchen wear, clothes and shoes you recently picked up because you felt liked it, bored at the mall, whatever, that were probably made in China. The overconsumption of goods in America (and other countries) is polluting the lives of people on the other side of the ocean. Not a big deal that you bought those sneakers? Well, what is needed to run a factory? Energy. Produced in a coal plant. The more manufacturing one does in one place, the higher the energy demand, the higher the pollution.

And then there is that huge ship with all the containers, polluting the world while on its way with brand name sneakers across the pacific.

They more you shop and the more you shop Made in China, the more you personally contribute to the health problems of the people in that video and the overall pollution problem on earth. Think about it.

It’s a miracle (for my phone)!

A miracle has happened! I bought something made in USA at the Apple store!

I jokingly told my husband, “Welcome to China”, as we walked in. We were both looking for I-phone cases. Yes, I have a Chinese phone, courtesy of my company. (Not that there are many other choices when it comes to smartphones) “Designed in California – Made in China” is a common statement used to soften the blow when everything is imported.

img_2729-e1403210312906To my surprise and joy, I walked out of there with a very cute coral/pink and blue CandyShell from (*)speck. Designed in California – Made in USA. Yes folks, this really happened, and I have pictures to prove it! I don’t know if it’s the best cover with the best shock resistance out there but I am an office girl, I don’t need that much protection other than from scratches, smaller bumping and purse-riding.

I wouldn’t purchase this online though, I am sure they also source in China. If they didn’t there wouldn’t be a need to have the “Designed in California” part on their products (right?), plus “Made in USA” would be all over their site… everyone knows by now that’s smart advertising. Anyway, I found one, made right (here).

A Fashionista can’t do this – lucky I’m not one

Almost 6 months into the challenge and it probably goes without saying that I haven’t bought a lot of clothes this year. Yes, stylewise I am at a standstill.

I’ve been looking for cute, ethical garments, but most of the things I liked were off limits. It’s very frustrating to find that the high dollar stores (Anthropology) and the low dollar ones (H&M) all sell clothes from the same places; China, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

More specifically, good looking Made in USA clothes are even harder to find!

Eileen Fisher has a made in USA line, and of course American Apparel is all made in USA, but unfortunately for me, neither brand is really my style. I did discover that you can search on Nordstrom.com after Made in USA and a bunch of things come up. Don’t check out the women’s ballet flats section though – utterly depressing… but lots of lovely dresses and active wear. And as far as I understand, you can return items at a store near you.

As stylish + USA seems somewhat impossible, I surrendered and got some Tory Burch flats and wedges made in Brazil recently. I looked at matching bracelets but they were all made in China. So what happened to all the leftover leather from the Brazilian shoe factory? It wasn’t enough to make bracelets?

I’ll have to accept that I’ll be a bit untrendy summer of 2014 (“that’s so 2013!”). Maybe I’ll get my groove back and find some cute things in the fall. I just need some extra energy, prepare for failure, hope for success, plan to spend a whole weekend shopping and read a gazillion tags…

I can do this!

To my dear Crate & Barrel; Thanks for making it easy to shop made right (here)!

We moved into our house 2 years ago, and only now have we finally decided on a bed frame for our master bedroom. Yes, we take our time. The winner; a royal brown quadrant king bed from ever so stylish Crate and Barrel.

I love Crate and Barrel. I love their webshop too, because they actually list where the furniture is made! All online retailers, in my opinion, should tell you where things are made, but very few do. It makes shopping online so much easier and safer! Sure there are pieces from China, but at least Crate and Barrel tell you. I did a random check in all sections (furniture, accessories, towels) and it is always listed under “Details and Dimensions” or “Details”.

The bed we fell I love with, is custom made right here in North Carolina. The fabric is from Taiwan, that’s not exactly grand, but at least it’s all upholstered in USA.

The bed had a 6-8 weeks delivery (they had to make it for us!) time, but it was worth the wait! Not to go too much in to details about this, but their delivery service was great and when you call them, an actual person picks up the phone! Must be that friendly midwestern way of doing things, right?

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Now I need to dig through all our moving boxes, the ones that are still left unopened, to see what to put up on the walls. We’ve also decided to paint the nightstands blue, to add some color to the room.

See that little blue pillow? It’s made in America from Bed, Bath and Beyond! I am shocked they had something domestic!! I love that vintage look too, and for 24.99 – it was a steal.

Even the most common, mainstream stores can surprise you, just read the labels. And, hey, no judging on my bed making skills, please :)