False advertising!


If there is one thing that gets me riled up, it’s this.

A few years back while looking for union made boots online, I found a store called “Union Made” online. I excitedly reviewed the options. Upon closer investigation I found out that their products are not, in fact, union made.

UNIONMADE is the name of company, and they have storefronts in California and you can buy their products online.unionmadefalse

For a while they even had a union bug (the sign that a product is union made, with the union’s local on it) as their company logo.  The AFL-CIO sent them to ceases and desist letter.

This falsification is a slap in the face to every man woman and child in this c0untry and around the world who fought and sometimes died for the right to a union, to organization and a voice and dignity on the job.

I could rant about this all day but I will spare you and just link to some articles of people who have researched this.

When asked, Todd Barket the store founder said: “It had nothing to do with unions. I’m surprised that people took the name literally.”

So buyer, beware. Do not shop at UNIONMADE.

More info:

Gawker- Unionmade: Retailer of Expensive Fashions That Are Not Union Made

AFL-CIO: Unionmade isn’t

Huffington Post: There Once Was a Union Made

Bulk tee-shirts

Convincing a group you work with to buy Union Made in the USA for their bulk tee-shirts is a way to make a difference on a bigger scale.

Planning a 5k, a family reunion, or any event this coming year? Instead of ordering bulk Gildan made in sweatshops tee-shirts, think about ordering ethically made tees to get printed.

I have two suggestions- EthixMerch and USA Promotions.

I have tee-shirts printed from both, and they come out great.

If you have a favorite print shop you want to support, ask them if they can source made in the USA or union made tee-shirts to be printed on. The more we ask, the more the industry will have to shift.

The summer camp I used to work at and still volunteer with Pilgrim Lodge switched over years ago to buy Sweat-Free teeshirts for the camp store. They sell hundreds of shirts a year, so it makes a big difference. Plus, it’s a great educational opportunity to the campers and counselors.

They currently use EthixMerch and they also print some shirts with Full Court Press out of Westbrook, Maine, who sourced USA made teeshirts and then printed them locally.


Will it cost a little more? Probably a little. Is it the right thing to do? Absolutely.





Winter coat

I am a lucky girl and my mom got me a new warm coat for my birthday last month. I needed something warm and sturdy to wear carrying in firewood and such chores that other coats can’t handle.

Carhartt makes a few of their coats in the USA, union made by UFCW (my very union!)


I picked light brown but they have black, blue, etc. This one is lined and has a hood, it’s very warm. It is men’s sizes only on this coat, but the small fits great with room for layers underneath. The waist and arm cuffs are tight and cozy.

Luckily this arrived in the mail the day before a blizzard, during the Get Out the Vote effort on the election, so the timing was perfect. So I can say I have tested it and the flannel lining is amazing and warm.

Thanks, mom!



Buying union made in the USA tires is simple but a little time consuming. Tires are a big purchase so it’s great to make sure I’m investing in good union jobs.

United Steel Workers (USW) represents the workers at a number of tire plants in the US.  As with many items, it’s all about tracing the tires to which plant they were actually made at.

I take my car to Don Foshay’s in Hallowell, and Chris there was fantastic at helping me find union made tires– thank you Chris!

I went online and printed off this list off this list from USW. What’s great is that each tire has a DOT number, and that number includes letters that signify exactly where they were made.

I faxed this to Chris at Don Foshay’s, Chris faxed it to his warehouse, made a couple of calls, found the tires that fit my Ford Focus, and ordered them.  They were on my car within a couple days.

I got B.F. Goodrich tires and they are great. What a difference a good pair of tires makes.

Baked Beans

In my house growing up, supper most Saturdays was baked beans and red hot dogs on buttery toasted buns.  Best meal ever. b&m

B&M Baked Beans are made in Portland, Maine by the good men and women of the Bakers union (BCTGM), Local 334.

Most Portlanders know of the factory just off Tukey’s bridge. I was lucky enough to get a tour of the plant a few years ago. The workers were friendly and they patiently answered my nonstop enthusiastic questions.

They cook the beans in HUGE pots, and they get mustard and molasses in such bulk you would be amazed.  It’s pretty heavenly.

They also make the brown bread there.  All the fixings for a classic hearty Maine meal.

Paper Plates

Headed to a cookout or camping? Having a big party? The plates you are eating off of may have been made in Maine by union workers.

I always get Chinet paper plates if I am going to use disposable plates. They are chinetmade right in Fairfield, Maine at the Huhtamaki plant.  They are crafted by the good women and men of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 449.


When you’re camping, you can just toss the dirty plates in your campfire after the meal. They are lightweight but super durable.  Love ’em!

Buy Chinet and you are support good jobs right here in central Maine.






Nothing worse than dull knives! If you are trying to cook and you have terrible knives, I know how you feel.

Lucky for me, Andy got CUTCO knives for the kitchen last Christmas to replace the old ones.

CUTCO knives are made in the USA, by the good women and men of the United Steelworkers.

They have a great selection and they work well.




Men’s Work Pants

Here’s a find I have been so excited to share!

I was looking high and low for men’s work pants, as my sweetie pie Andy had a birthday coming up and he really wanted some new pants.

He doesn’t wear jeans, he wears duck pants, like Carhartts. But I was struggling to find Made in the USA work pants.  I know most Carhartt products are made overseas these days.

Finally I found that one pair of Men’s Carhartts are Made in the USA, and even better, they’re union made. AWESOME.

They are the Men’s Double-Front Work Dungaree.  Here’s the link: http://www.carhartt.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10101&storeId=10051&productId=32060&langId=-1

Please note- not all of the Carhartt pants are made in the USA– as far as I can tell, it’s just this pair.

His birthday was yesterday and he opened the box, so I can finally post about it on the blog.carhartts

Hiking Boots

My old LL Bean hiking boots had been purchased in 2002, so I guess it was okay that they were toast. I got a good decade out of them and they went many places with me.

Imagine my excitement to discover union made, made in the USA hiking boots! The company is called Danner and the workers are organized with UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) Local 555.

Check them out: http://www.danner.com/

Super comfortable, very supportive, and very waterproof. Love ’em. I bought these about a year ago and they have been all over Maine with me already.

Danner boots