Headed Outdoors This Summer? Check Out These 10 Made in USA Companies

Graham Turner Intern, AAM

Memorial Day Weekend is almost upon us, and as the weather warms up, people across the country are gearing up for some outdoor fun. Whether it’s summiting the nearest peak or simply relaxing at the park, here are some outdoor products to kickstart your summer, all made by companies that support local manufacturing and job creation.

New York's Nalgene is a maker of iconic water bottles that have a strong connection to adventure and the outdoors. These bottles come in many shapes and colors, and are billed as indestructible. So, no worries if you drop one down off the face of a cliff — it should be good as new once you get back to ground level.

Allegiance Footwear crafts incredibly durable boots for field, farm, and fashion. Proudly made in Mountain City, Tenn., all the company's products are labeled as Made in USA.

If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop online store, check out Cascade Designs. This brand is based in Seattle, born out of the ashes of Boeing’s massive worker layoff in 1971. They’re now a parent to a handful of outdoor-focused companies, including the mega-outfitter MSR.

If relaxing in the great outdoors with a good book is more your speed, look no further than Hummingbird Hammocks. This Alamo, Tenn. maker creates ultra-lightweight hammocks that are perfect for stringing up anywhere, anytime. They’ll fit easily in crowded backpack, and can support a LOT of weight.

Exxel Outdoors is an outfitter for camping and backpacking. On top of their tents and packs, Exxel owns the largest sleeping bag factory in America. Located in Haleyville, Ala., the facility produces the bulk of the signature sleeping bags they offer. You might recall that Exxel was featured in 2017 on our Manufacturing Report podcast — check it out here

Ever been afraid to take your favorite sunglasses hiking out of fear of losing them? Chums from Utah has you covered, making eyewear accessories and retainers that have become synonymous with their brand name. Selling a wide range of styles, materials, and colors, Chums even makes floating retainers ideal for fishing and boating trips.

Duckworth is an ethically sourced wool clothing company out of Montana. This team manages the production of their materials through every step of the process, and know their wool better than I know myself. No sheep is left unshorn here, as Duckworth bolsters an extensive product line of underwear, outerwear, and accessories.

Vermont based Darn Tough sells ultra-durable socks for all kinds of activities. From hiking, to cycling, to working, Darn Tough has the perfect pair for any and all of your needs.

Duluth Pack from Duluth, Minn. has been handcrafting canvas and leather bags since 1882. Backed by a lifetime guarantee and the workmanship of a skilled American craftsman, Duluth has designed numerous styles for the outdoors and day-to-day life.

Lastly, for the hardcore adventurer, Oru Kayak is a high-end coastal kayak manufacturer originating in San Francisco. These boats are durable, made eco-friendly with recyclable materials, and can fold like origami to fit in your closet. After Kickstarter campaigns, a Shark Tank endorsement, and thousands of sales, Oru is redefining the kayaking industry. Oru also been featured on the Discovery Channel.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Human Service Workers at Persad Center Vote to Join the USW

From the USW

Workers at Persad Center, a human service organization that serves the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities of the Pittsburgh area, voted last week to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The unit of 24 workers, ranging from therapists and program coordinators to case managers and administrative staff, announced their union campaign as the Persad Staff Union last month and filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“We care about our work and the communities we serve,” said Johanna Smith, Persad’s Development, Communications, and Events Associate. “We strongly believe this work and our connections to our clients will only improve now that we will be represented by a union.”

The Persad workers join the growing number of white-collar professionals organizing with the USW, especially in the Pittsburgh region. Their membership is also in line with the recent work the Steelworkers have been doing to engage LGBTQ+ members and improve contract language regarding issues that affect their lives.

“Workplaces are changing and evolving, and the labor movement is changing and evolving along with that,” said USW Vice President Fred Redmond, who oversees the union’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee as well as the USW Health Care Workers Council. “This campaign gives us an opportunity to diversify our great union while uplifting and empowering a group of workers who give their all for others.”


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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work