In the October 2011 issue we're spotlighting all of our favorite American-made design. To lend a hand, we've asked Michael and Ruth Storc of the great site Design Patriot to share their top Made in the USA finds with us. Keep an eye out for a series of four posts from the duo. Here's their first on American-made school supplies.
With the lazy days of summer coming to an end, lots of us have to trudge out to the same old stores for pencils, binders, maybe even a protractor or two. May we suggest you avoid the crowds and shop from home, while doing a little good for the economy? Buy American! There's quite a bit of stuff on your list that is made stateside, and made tastefully we might add.
Duluth Pack's Child's Packs are timeless, guaranteed for life, and come in 12 nifty colors. They are made in Duluth, Minnesota by a company that has a history dating back to 1882. If you find yourself green with envy at your kid's cool new bag, don't fret. Duluth Packs makes these great bags, and many more, for adults too!
These 3-ring binders by ReBinder have so much going for them. They are a great neutral canvas for doodles, made in the USA, Seattle to be exact, priced right, and they are made completely from recycled materials. ReBinder is "the only true zero waste office supply manufacturer" and has some other products that are probably on your list like folders and notebooks.
There is no doubt that lots of schools are embracing technology these days. If your shopping list includes something to protect your kid's iPad or Kindle, look no further than stash bags. A one woman endeavor where all products are handmade from start to finish in Omaha, Nebraska "using quality materials and attention to detail" no matter what gadget you need to keep safe.
Since 1887, Roaring Spring Blank Book Company has been making school and office paper products. Through five generations, the company has retained its roots in Pennsylvania and its commitments to quality and community; they are one of the few paper companies that has kept manufacturing stateside. Not only do they make the classics, like this old-fashioned composition book, but they have a line of recycled paper products called Environotes as well.
Another American company with a long history of proudly making quality products in the US, General Pencil Company, in Jersey City, New Jersey, has been making writing and art supplies for more than a century. Their Cedar Pencil is the required #2 all students need, made from sustained yield California incense cedar wood.
Brook Farm General Store carries classic, stylish products with a farm-fresh yet modern feel, both on their shelves in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and online. They also make their own line of goods called Tourne which includes this natural gum eraser made in America.
On their website, Rebel Green explains their philosophy simply by writing, "we love good design and we care about the environment. You should never need to sacrifice one for the other." Part of caring about the environment for them means keeping their carbon-footprint to a minimum and manufacturing all of their products in America with sustainable, low impact materials. This gem of a company is headed up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Just about everyone knows about Nalgene's great products. You may not know, however, about their Grip 'n Gulp, a virtually indestructible, reusable, leak-proof, spill-proof BPA-free water bottle made for littler hands. Not to mention it's guaranteed for life and made in the Empire State. Need we say more?