For generations, the strength of our country rested on the power of our factory floors, both the machines and the men and women who worked them. Our country’s identity was forged and stitched by generations of makers. It’s where doers and dreamers came together forging products of legendary and iconic status.
And while a quick glance at storeroom shelves today might lead you to believe that American craftsmanship and ingenuity are dwindling commodities, the truth is, “Made in the USA” is making a big comeback. Both here and abroad “Made in the America” still means something special: quality, dependability, ingenuity, reliability—products that feature cutting edge technologies and innovative styles.
Made in America Still Matters…
The very notion of “Made in America”—at least from a marketing standpoint—is altruistic and born of national pride… a sort of “tug on the heart strings” between a proud manufacturer and willing customer. And while federal and state regulations are shifting the definition of “Made in the USA,” we believe that the underlying idea of what it stands for is what remains important: quality, value, job creation and ingenuity.
This Independence Day, let’s celebrate the idea of America. Let’s celebrate the American entrepreneurs and risk takers that are revitalizing the strength of our nation. Let’s celebrate the beauty of American craftsmanship, creativity and production. Whether your activity of choice is hiking, climbing or bombing down neighborhood hills, a crop of patriotic upstarts and longstanding heritage brands are working hard to ensure that you can find the product for your passion, manufactured right here in America.
Headquarters: Portland, Oregon
Over 80 years ago Charles Danner carefully stitched together his very first work boot with a needle and thread, crafting it to withstand the logging industry in the rugged Pacific Northwest. In 1932 he opened his bootmaking business, risking his future on a stubborn belief that, regardless of the economy, superior craftsmanship mattered. Today, Danner boots can be found on job sites throughout the world because the care and dedication to quality that Charles Danner put into that very first pair of work boots remains the same.
Building on the same traditions and high standards of quality instilled by Charles Danner and his family generations ago, Danner continues to design and manufacture a complete line of hiking, hunting, uniform, work and lifestyle boots in its world-class factory in Portland, Ore., USA.
Headquarters: Northfield, Vermont
In the Green Mountains of Northfield, Vermont stands a Hosiery Mill with a sign inside that boldly states, “Nobody ever outsourced anything for quality.” Since the outset, Darn Tough Vermont has held firmly to the belief that when you’re really serious about something you make it yourself. And so it is. Every pair of socks is still manufactured in Vermont – not because it’s the easy thing to do – but because they believe it’s the right thing to do.
Made with the industry’s highest knitting density, Darn Tough socks diminish blisters and bunching for long lasting comfort from the office to the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for the best hiking socks on earth, stylish lifestyle socks, or a new lifelong running sock Darn Tough has got you covered. Each sock comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee and is designed, tested and manufactured in Vermont for unrivaled comfort, durability and fit.
Headquarters: Denver, Colorado
The story of Kota begins in the garage of founder and former Navy pilot Mike Maloney. Back in 2012 Mike began crafting boards, creating the art himself, and then handing them out to local riders in the street so he could implement their feedback to enhance the design. Now, six years later, the brand continues to demonstrate a penchant for crafting high performance longboards with a refined style.
Taking inspiration from the historic military aircraft flown by the intrepid Knights of the Air, the team at Kota has developed a skateboard that beautifully represents what long boarding was always intended to be – smooth, responsive, and supremely fun. Handcrafted in Colorado and made from American Hard Rock Maple in Wisconsin, every Kota skateboard has a classic, natural, and timeless style that readily appeals to riders of all ages. And for those who want to put their patriotic tendencies on full display, pick up the Macchi M40 and shred on in true Red, White and Blue style.
Headquarters: Portland, Maine
L.L. Bean has been an American tradition in the outdoor lifestyle arena for over 100 years. And so it makes only makes sense that one of this nation’s most iconic brands is home to one of America’s most iconic boots. Often imitated, but never duplicated, L.L.Bean duck boots have been customer favorites since 1912 when the brand’s founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, returned from a hunting trip with cold, wet feet and a revolutionary idea. By combining rubber bottoms with soft leather uppers, he created a waterproof, non-slip boot like no other. Today, L.L. Bean’s legendary duck shoes are not only iconic, but still handcrafted from start to finish in Maine, one pair at a time.
The rubber bottom of the Bean Boot is made by a machine, but after that it’s handmade by 200 people who split their time between three shifts. All in all, making the boot takes about 85 minutes’ worth of labor. But it’s not just about manufacturing location, all the materials L.L. Bean uses are primarily sourced in the United States. Much of the leather comes from Maine at a tannery, and the shearling is from Texas.
Headquarters: Sulphur, Louisianna
Family-owned businesses have always been the backbone of the American economy. Today, Smith & Sons carries on that tradition with the new generation of American family craftsmanship. These top-shelf American made blades will not only be your friend, but your wingman through thick and thin.
Based in Sulphur, Louisiana, Smith & Sons Knives has been serving their customers since 2007 by building high quality, handcrafted knives that masterfully blend precision, power and performance. Built for hard working hands, every Smith & Sons Knife offers an elegant design with a tenacious soul ready for a lifetime of use. Even better, every aspect of the brand is touched by a Smith family member. Whether it’s the hands that forge one of the Brave blades, or the hands that type out responses to your email inquiries- this is a family affair from start to finish.
Headquarters: Portland, Oregon
The story of the long-lost American watch business is really the story of American manufacturing, with jobs and production gone overseas to save costs. But thanks to a renewed interest in American-made goods, there is an American watchmaking revival starting to take place led by brands like VERO.
Established in 2015 by Chris Boudreaux and Danny Recordon in Portland, Oregon VERO crafts unique timepieces using high-quality, locally-sourced materials. The brand polishes, builds and assembles every case by hand and they print their dials in house. All VERO watches are designed, prototyped, tested, and serviced all in Portland, Oregon. The brand handles all warranty and service issues for the life of the watch. In the end what all this means is that VERO timepieces are more than an accessory; they’re keepsakes that can be passed down to future generations.
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington
Therm-a-Rest is just a stone’s throw from the Space Needle. Founded in 1972, the brand has become synonymous with quality and dependable gear designed for a more comfortable night in the great outdoors. Since the beginning, one of the pillars of the Therm-a-Rest philosophy has been to make what they sell. While 10 percent of units sold in 2016 were made overseas, the brand still designs and manufactures the majority of its gear in the United States with a focus on innovative, long-lasting, useful sleep systems and camp comfort products for the outdoors.
This unique commitment allows the brand to develop new technologies and prototypes quickly, without waiting for a shipment from some far-off factory. It provides the opportunity to maintain far greater quality control than could ever be achieved when someone else is building the product in another factory. Repairs are made on-site, often by people who have made the products from scratch, and they are made with the same tools, technology and raw materials that go into making our products every day. That kind of service, combined with a limited lifetime warranty, means Therm-a-Rest products provide more than just unbeatable comfort; they provide peace-of-mind.
Headquarters: Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton Tec, has been pioneering new technologies and building lights to power outdoor adventures since 1975. Today, more than 40 years since their founding, all of Princeton Tec’s facilities remain located in three New Jersey towns (Bordentown, Trenton, and Berlin) within a one-hour radius from where it all started.
As a Made In The USA manufacturer, Princeton Tec understands that honoring the men and women who handle the products, from idea to engineering to the shipping labels, is the only way to maintain a passionate brand. Along with a growing Outdoor sector, the company also provides specialized lighting solutions to tactical and industrial users, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and all branches of the military. The brands dedication to American products and workers will continue as Princeton Tec was recently awarded a state grant that will enable them to build a larger facility to house even more American workers.
Headquarters: Portland, Oregon
While some manufacturers are finding ways to bring manufacturing back to the United States, Leatherman never left. On July 5, 1983 Tim Leatherman incorporated Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. based on a few simple, but fundamental principles: manufacture the highest quality products that deliver excellent value to the consumer, while providing good, living-wage jobs to the local workforce. Thirty years after their founding, Leatherman is still going strong crafting their iconic multitools and knives that are as rugged as the conditions you’re testing them against.
Do a small portion of parts still come from vendors outside the country? Yes. But the brand makes more than 8,000 tools per day in a facility that runs all day and all night for most of the week. That manufacturing takes place at a 90,000 square foot space in Portland Oregan – a tangible testament to Leatherman’s success in producing quality products on American soil.
Headquarters: White Salmon, Washington
Orange Screw is a family owned business based in White Salmon, WA in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. Born from necessity, the Orange Screw is an innovative and convenient ground anchor made of 100% recycled materials and manufactured in Vancouver, Washington.
For the uninitiated we promise that Orange Screw is about to become one of the new staple of your outdoor gear stash. Featuring a patented helical shape refined by years of prototyping in an array of soil and weather conditions, the Orange Screw offers outstanding holding power with an unmatched ease of insertion and removal. Beyond the product, this family brand recognizes that manufacturing useful and long-lasting products in the United States is vital to the economic and social health of our local community and nation.
Headquarters: Durango, Colorado
Here’s the deal: Your body is constantly in flux, seeking to replenish the fluids lost through your daily activities. Even light exercise can quickly deplete your body’s percentage of water, leaving you suffering the symptoms of fatigue. No fluid means no function, and suddenly your left stranded on the trail with an overtaxed and exhausted body that refuses to take another step.
Created by Jeff and Jenny Vierling in Durango, CO and embraced by adventure junkies everywhere, Tailwind Nutrition is the latest all natural, vegan endurance fuel to keep athletes and fitness gurus hydrated throughout their workouts, long backpacking treks, rides and races. Since 2012 when they launched the company from their home kitchen, the brand has seen unparalled growth. To date, Tailwind Nutrition has kept their family business environment, opened a manufacturing and warehouse facility in Bayfield, CO, grown distribution to over 600 stores and is available worldwide through international partners.
Headquarters: Union Gap, Washington
Liberty is committed to and respects the American Dream. Not only are they managing to craft a quality product in a highly-competitive space dominated by imports, Liberty BottleWorks is the ONLY American made 100% recycled metal bottle in the marketplace. Liberty’s stand is simple and straight forward: making products in America is not only a duty but an honor. Their bottles are made in America by American workers and hiring preference is given to those who have served our country.
More than just American made, Liberty BottleWorks has committed to an impressive level of Environmental Stewardship to protect the land we love. From day one, Liberty has strived to be a zero waste manufacturing facility. They are closing in on a 96% diversion rate. How do they do it? Not simply. Liberty built a factory that uses Super E Motors, Infrared Energy and Vacuum Recovery Units. They filter and reuse their own water three times. They recycle their own scrap. They repurpose nearly everything.