I blanched at the length of the school’s “Required Items” list, but as I prepare to send my son off to boarding school for the summer I decided to turn this into a QUEST for American-made products!
Here are my favorite product discoveries so far:
US-made organic cotton towels by 1888 Mills in Griffin, GA: These soft and fluffy towels, white with subtle accent colors (I chose sesame), are dreamy and quite affordable. The 3-piece set, with bath towel, hand towel, and wash cloth, was just $14.88. The hard part for me was that they are only available from WalMart. (I know, I know! Egad.) 1888 Mills usually only sells in quantities to the hotel trade, and I was having a hard time finding a good source for their products. I guess this is an instance where I must give WalMart credit for making a wonderful American-made product available to the individual consumer. I did call 1888 Mills, and a kind gentleman indicated that there might be additional venues for their wonderful towels in the coming months. I will check back with the company and update my Bed & Bath listings when I learn more.
Cotton Sheets from Mayfield Manufacturing in Thomson, GA: This was another great find, since I needed several sets of twin sheets. I chose the 300 thread-count set, and the feel and quality is very nice. I did notice, however, that the seams are 7 stitches per inch, as opposed to the 8 stitches per inch I was accustomed to with the Martha Stewart sheets by Westpoint Stevens (the latter are now all imported). I am an EXTREMELY infrequent mender, so I pay attention to these things because items that go onto my mending pile almost never return. I also give high marks to the family-owned business in Michigan, US-Mattress.com, who carries the Mayfield sheets. Their customer service was very friendly, and shipping was quick.
Shower/pool shoes from Okabashi in Buford, GA: I had been looking for an excuse to try some Okabashi flip flops, and I was very impressed with their solid construction and extremely comfortable feel. These are not your dime-store flip flops, and they come with a 2-year guarantee! In addition to pairs for the kids, I finally got the brown and pink thongs I had been lusting after. I received free shipping, and our shoes came in just a few days. (My son slipped his on and said, “Wow, these are really comfortable!”)
Athletic Shorts by Sovereign Manufacturing in Allentown, PA: these are very high quality shorts made from a heavy, silky polyester fabric in lots of great colors. My son likes his shorts long, so I was able to order the Tall sizes from Big and Tall World.
Well, that’s the update from the shopping wars. I can’t vouch for his grades, but at least my son will be outfitted with nothing but the best!