Tag Archives: homegoods

If you’re gonna put a US flag or state on it, then please, make it here.

Nothing drives a “not made in China shopper” crazier than souvenirs and patriotic merchandise made in China. (That is if the shopper in question is not in China shopping for these things, but in for example Texas.)

At a recent shopping outing at HomeGoods (just browsing!), my friend and I ran into this:

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Texas state pride – made in China.

First let me say this, there are things that people buy that kind of have to be imported, sometimes for very good reasons. One example I can think of right now is bamboo. Bamboo is a sustainably harvested plant, very often grown in China and East Asia. It’s durable in use, considered eco-friendly, but doesn’t grow here.

As for the Texas wall art, there is no excuse. Let’s take a second to note what it is made of, namely, some sort of wood, stain and white paint. Hmm, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen these materials in Texas before!

The sad thing is that some proud Texan will fall in love with this simple painting (not sure what to call it really), take it home, hang it and feel good about it. Probably never reading the tag that says made in China on the back.

So, shoppers, read the tag and refuse local pride made overseas!

And makers, if you’re gonna put a US flag or state on it, then please, make it here.

At the end of the day, this is why we need to stop trade agreements like the TPP, folks! What a waste it is to import items we already have (wood, stain, paint, cardboard) all while outsourcing labor and adding polluting transport to our oceans. It should never make economic sense to do so.

Read my take on the TPP (Transpacific Partnership) here and add your name to the petition to stop it here. Right now it looks like there won’t be a vote on the TPP this year, which is great (!), but we still need to campaign against it.

I’m hooked on these utility hooks!

Just in time before the weather turns drop dead hot and all the mosquitos south of Maine come to spend their summer (dining) in Houston, we had a chance to tidy up a bit in the yard. Among other things, we hung our ladder, a bike and a few cords in the shed.

How did we do it? The Elfa system! Mostly made in Europe, this is a great option to the made in China selections at Lowes and Home Depot, which for me is a no-can-do.

You may have already noticed that Elfa has completely taken over the smart storage section of the Container Store. Well, it is actually owned by said American chain since 1999, but headquarters are still in Sweden. I will admit that the Container Store people always attack us when we browse, trying to sell us all the smart and awesome Elfa stuff. It’s so tempting! Good thing is, as long as you don’t need (or fall for) the full walk in closet re-model, it’s just as affordable as the next well-made utility hangers and hooks.

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The hooks we bought ($14.99) are made in Poland and the quality, size and functionality is superb! They were very easy to mount and came with the needed screws. (The ladder is an extension ladder by Verner, made in our backyard, Mexico.)

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I’m super excited about the not made in China tidiness. Not so much about the mosquitos to come.

This weekend’s shopping spree: Action packed and NOTHING made in China.

The mission: Black skinny jeans.

Place: Nearby Mall, Houston.

Time: Saturday morning.

The challenge: Only shop clothes made in USA (or at least not made in China!)

First, I decided to give H&M a chance for a change. I don’t shop there much since I don’t support their Sweat Shop methods and almost everything cute is made in China but I was in the mood to browse. They actually have a new collection now called the “Conscious Collection”, which supposedly does some good for the makers of the garments, aims to be climate friendly, ethical and sustainable. Not enough for it to be labeled Fair-Trade, but I did find a lovely blouse with giraffes. Come on, how could I resist?! Giraffes!! It is made from 65% post-consumer material. Only $18.

Next, I laughed out loud at Marshall’s over this hilarious tag: “Democracy – made in China”. LOL.

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After that (and no purchase), I went to Nordstrom Rack, my new favorite place.

I tried on a very trendy, blue-black mélange LNA sweater ($39) and a Chaser Brand pink tank ($25). Both made in USA (California of course!) and both got to come home with me. Sorry for my lack of selfie finesse.

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Last but NOT least, aka the grand finale, I found Citizen of Humanity black skinnies in my size hanging at the clearance rack. Yes!

I had practically given up at this time, it was almost 2 pm and I must have looked at 20 pairs already. Tag said “Made in USA” so I tried them on – perfection. Only $60! That was it for the day. Stop while I’m ahead.

Not made in China shopping IS possible, folks.

Mission completed.

And when it’s hot and ready, then dreidel I shall drink

There’s nothing like enjoying hot spiced wine, with a loved one (or two) on a cold December night. The smell of cinnamon, cardamom and red wine fills the house and creates that Christmas feeling. Add a few ginger snaps, music and a fire place; it’s perfection.

This year I actually got myself a little present (say what!) – 6 oz. tumbler glasses, which we will use only for these cozy winter nights. Made in USA, of course, with tiny blue winter leaves. Or winter leaves is what I thought it was until I read the label… “Dreidel tumbler” it said. Oh, what the heck, I like dreidels!

And I love it when Christmas decorations are in unexpected colors, like blue. Where I bought these cuties? All-time favorite, also known as the land of inspiration (and empty wallets); Crate and Barrel. At only a few dollars each, for once I didn’t break the bank.

Happy Holidays!

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I’m a scrapbooker and scotch glue is my stick

Maybe only HGTV junkies like myself know this commercial. “I’m a painter and Scotch blue is my tape”. Well, I am a painter (occasionally) and scotch blue is my tape*.

But this is about glue. Who knew one could blog about glue?

Something as simple as buying glue stick is a challenge for a not made in China shopper. Recently on a late Saturday night – being super crafty – I ran out of glue and had to get some ASAP. First visit: CVS, where they carry the Elmer brand of glues. That’s what the kids all use, right? And guess what, it’s made in China. Panic. The content of a glue stick is proprietary, which is understandable (and convenient for the manufacturer too).

Second stop: Walgreens and they had Scotch glue – which turns out to be made in Mexico. So freaking excited. Excited about glue! I guess I can say I do enjoy the small things in life! The results: super cute scrapbook pages, if I do say so myself.

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*Scotch blue painters tape is made in USA or Mexico.

 

Not a fan of fans

It’s been a while since I made an update on my blog. Work has been extra busy and I’ve made some long overdue family visits (that’s a great excuse!). What I have been doing, in the name of the challenge: looking for that outdoor ceiling fan I mentioned a couple of months back. I was hoping to find something not made in China or at least previously owned.

But…not even the downtown stores, with fans I can’t afford, have fans made here and not there. I went looking for a previously owned one, but without success, so I ended up at Lowes. Ultimately this led to my second felony since I started the challenge.

Unlike my last felony which happened by accident (online shopping!) this one was due to pure defeat.

Oh well, new month new spirit. August will be awesome!  On the “to find list”? Shoes, shoes and more shoes.

A place of trash, a place of treasure

The Homegoods store is a place of treasures and I’ll admit, sometimes trash. But I always look around when I pass by for inspiration.

I was happy to discover that right now they have quite a selection of wall art made in USA. My husband and I picked up some ocean themed art, finally (!), for the master bath. I’m not sure what the brand is but they were all American made and perfect for our color scheme in the master. We also found some gorgeous, rustic frames, made in Mexico.

PTM images, maker of said frames, apparently manufactures most of their wall art and frames in Mexico at their own manufacturing facility. It’s quite unusual to find frames ‘not made in China’ nowadays, so I was definitely excited to find them and read that! They also have a statement on their web-site about creating jobs in USA, which they are doing by growing their business and keeping a good relationship with our neighbor Mexico. Designed in USA, made in Mexico – I can live with that! They also recycle production materials (wop wop) into new products. PTM’s headquarters are in California.

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All this knowledge gathered, from a simple shopping spree at Homegoods and then Google. This is why I am doing this challenge, to find new products and companies that do things just a little bit differently.

Home Depot online, and K-mart Online has this brand, I’m sure you can run into it other places as well.

For my plants, from Europe with love

I had been looking for a watering can for a while and found this cute one at Home Goods. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a plastic item like this one not made in China. This one is German. Ja, bitte.

Lucky me and lucky plants.  Now they actually have a chance of making it.

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I looked up the brand online, Koziol, and it is very interesting for sure. All their products are 100% made in Germany. So a safe haven for a NMIC-shopper like me (yay!).

I don’t mind supporting the Europeans, they need some income to that union.

Here’s a quote from Koziol’s webpage “We are a one-stop manufacturing shop. Modeling, development, construction, mold-making, production, shipping, marketing. Forget the Far East”. Yes please!!

They never use BPAs or softeners. All of their production waste is recycled into other products, so the production line is zero waste. To me, that’s so important when dealing with plastics and a must to be an eco-friendly company.

Love, love, love their concept and products. Check them out here.