Running shirts

When you go to an event and there is a tee shirt, it is almost always the cheapest made and it is imported.
You can imagine my excitement when I got my shirt for the “Polar Bear Tri” on May 3rd in Brunswick and I discovered it was in fact made in the USA.

Turns out the company is Atayne and their running gear is made in the USA.


I like the fabric, really light weight and breathable. I also like the cut, very comfortable.


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



Socks are the gateway drug to buying Made in the USA clothes. There are lots of opportunities, with many companies that manufacture socks in America.

My favorite are Darn Tough from Vermont. They last great. (You can pick up a pair from Brad and the crew at Epic Sports in downtown Bangor.)

Wigwam socks are great, a go-to for a thick warm winter sock, and I think they have lots of other types.

I get cute Goodhew socks from Summer at Valentine Footwear in Bangor.

Another option is Smartwool. I used to see imported Smartwool socks, but lately I have checked and most of the Smartwool I see has “Made in the USA” on the label.

I’ve been wearing Thorlo running socks and they are so comfortable.

For the Baxter hiking trip I purchased two pairs of wicking liner socks from Fox River, but as I recall not all of their socks are made in the USA so be sure to check.

Lamey Wellehan shoe stores across Maine carry many of these brands.

So, it may be hard to get into wearing made in the USA from head to toe, but jumping in feet first is easy.




Jeans- Lucky

Okay, first off, ordering jeans online is a very difficult thing to do, I get that.  I took the risk and it actually worked out.

I saw that Lucky Brand Jeans are making some of their jeans in the US. My favorite pair of Levi’s that I wear almost every day are looking pretty sad, so I had to take the plunge and buy a new pair.

Lucky for me (pun intended) the Made in the USA pair I wanted to try was on sale for $40 off! That made a big difference as they are pretty pricy. I would suggest watching the site for sales like that.

I ordered the wrong size the first time, but got it right the second try.jeans

I bought the Lolita Boot Cut and I like them alot.  I read online that the denim is made in NC and the jeans are made in TN and CA.


I had an LL Bean headlamp for several years but it never worked well. The end would fall off, and it would often not turn on at all until I whacked it a few times.  Finally, the end fell off and I couldn’t find it, and so it was time.

I went online and found Princeton Tec. They make their headlamps in the U.S., in New Jersey. According to this article, 90% of their product is made in the U.S.

headlampI got the “Princeton Tec Remix Headlight Black with Red” and we went on our inaugural trip to Baxter State Park in March. It has multiple settings including red which is great.


In anticipation of our winter hike into Baxter State Park, my sidekick Andy went online to find a backpack to pack in our gear.

After looking high and low for a Made in the USA pack, he stumbled upon one made right here in Maine, down in Biddeford, by a company called Hyperlite.

It’s very light weight and super water proof. He loved hiking in with it and he fit all of his gear into it. Great pockets and straps on the outside added capacity for water bottles, snow shoes, etc.

pack 2

pack 1

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.