Guest blog: USA Pan

This guest blog post comes to you from my friends Tracy and Charlie.

USA Pans made in Pittsburgh, PA


Looking for a gift for the baker in your life?  We love these pans. We first got a USA Pan a few years ago and from the first time we used these pans we fell in love.

We have the square cake pan, small bread loaf pan, and two cookie sheets.

They have a wonderful non stick surface. Great storage. The baking sheets have a great lip on one edge to grab the pan but the other side is open so you can slide things off.

“They are so good, she won’t let me cook any of my stuff on them,” said Charlie. “Nothing savory.”

“I protect my pans” from the chickens and meats, she replied.

They have a wonderful non stick surface, but made with silicone not Teflon, so we are very glad that they are non-toxic.  Great storage.

Notecards / Greeting Cards

Normally I stock up on notecards at craft fairs from local artists, so I always have a stash. The other day I wanted to send a couple letters to my family out at summer camp, and I needed some right away. I stopped at Barns and Noble to get some.

Unfortunately, almost the entire selection was Made in China or Hong Kong. I looked at alllllll the boxes and packages and I was able to find two, out of probably 50, that were Made in the USA.

These lovely Van Gogh notes cards did the trick.  Often when I amIMGA1613 (3) buying a birthday card at a store, I check the back first.

If you take the time to look you can find Made in the USA!


Mug accessories

In another gift edition, my dear friends Liz and Cullen sure know the way to my heart.

For my birthday they gifted me accessories to turn a mason jar into a travel mug, made in the USA style.

Cuppow lids are super cool and make it easy to take tea or coffee on the go.

The Kurier mug sleeve is a delightful way to hold hot beverages without burning your hands. Made in Maine.



Hello Bigney’s List, sorry to neglect you. Campaign season took it’s toll on everything in my life outside of trying to elect a fair trade, made in the USA champion as Maine’s next Governor. That didn’t work out. Now I’m back.

I’ll be compiling a holiday gift buying guide in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned! Mostly this will feature items I have already written about, but I’ll do a post compiling a bunch of ideas for those out there who want to buy Made in the USA and ethically purchased gifts this winter.

STUMPED: Kid’s Shoes

I was excited to co-blog with my friend Colin.  Colin is 5, he lives in Greene, Maine and wanted summer shoes like crocs.  Colin’s mom and dad would like to Buy USA made, but “crocs” are not.

So Colin and I hatched a plan that I would find cool summer shoes for kids that are made in the USA, he would try them, and we would blog about it together.

Bad news. I cannot for the life of me find a pair of USA made or even Canada made kid’s summer shoes.  I have spent a while looking online, calling companies, and all number of things but with no luck.

Dear internet, help! Can anyone point me to a ethically made kid’s summer shoe for Colin? 


Colin, Age 5, looking for ethically made summer shoes



Rana Anniversary

Last week was a hard week, remembering the 1 year anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh and the 1,138 workers who died. Another 2,500 were injured.

It made me think twice about my blog and the way I talk about the effort to prevent these type of disasters. (Mass murders, you could say.)

We cannot shop our way out of the problem— and yet in a way that’s what I am trying to do here with this blog.  It is important that we as individuals take action through what we purchase, but it will never be enough.

  • We need to hold the companies responsible for this disaster and make them change their ways and ensure it never happens again.
  • We must require governments to enforce workers’ rights and workplace safety laws.
  • We must support the workers who are organizing in the factories in Bangladesh and around the world, and follow their lead.

Here is a link to an op-ed that Father Mike Seavey and I co-wrote for the Portland Press Herald on the occasion of the anniversary.  Please take a moment to read it and remember the workers who lost their lives.

Little Changed Since Bangladesh Factory Tragedy

Sign a petition to Children’s Place today asking them to pay up what they owe the workers and the survivors



First post! My name is Sarah and I live in Maine. Sweatshops make me sick. I spend a lot of time researching when I buy something. I try to support fair trade, union made, made in the USA, and local businesses as much as I can. It is not easy, but with some effort it can be done. Certainly not everything I buy is ethically made, but I am trying.

From cars to coffee to underwear, I want to know where it was made and what the working conditions are there.

I want to make it easier for others to buy ethically and sustainably made goods, so I figure I will share my research. Thus, this blog is born! My friend Ben Chin named it Bigney’s List.

Here I will share with anyone who is interested the Made in the USA, fair trade, union made, or Maine made goods I find.

Have suggestions? Please send them to me at

Please note: I have not personally visited the factories or spoken with the workers who make these goods. (Unless otherwise noted.) I am going on whatever information I can find. If you have reason to believe the products I mention are made under unethical working conditions, please let me know! It is always hard to be sure and sometimes there is limited information to go on.