And today, with so much overseas product manufacturing, it can be challenging to know what products are actually part of creating jobs and economic growth within the United States. Let’s take a look at some beloved brands to see what is truly “made in the USA”.
Made Overseas: Converse
Converse tennis shoes began in 1908 and became a fashion icon among pro-skaters and other street style lovers. Though Converse is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, they don’t manufacture their shoes in the USA. The company was sold to Nike in 2003 and production was moved overseas that same year.
Today, these colorful sneakers are made in Chinese and Indonesian factories. Though their branding has been to sell footwear that is “all-American”, they are not truly American-produced shoes. Don’t be surprised if you see just as many people wearing Converse shoes in China and Indonesia as you do in America.
Sold Overseas: Forbes
Forbes Media has had a tremendous influence on its American viewers through its digital media, print, and television outlets. The media giant reportedly reaches 75 million people each month. Forbes was sold to a Hong Kong investment group (Integrated Whale Media) in 2014, though their headquarters are still in New York and Steve Forbes remains the editor-in-chief.
In explaining the international sale, Forbes announced on their blog that they were shifting from print to digital content most likely in an effort to gain an even larger audience.
Made Overseas: New Balance
Though New Balance, the well-known athletic shoe brand, claims to be an American company, the shoes are actually made overseas. New Balance is headquartered in Oregon. Though they claim to have an American design, even new models aren't 100% made of American-sourced materials.
In fact, New Balance materials are mostly sourced from overseas, including their outer soles, which are manufactured in China. The shoes are labeled “made in the USA”, but there are many qualities about New Balance shoes that are not all-American.
Made Overseas: Dirt Devil
The Dirt Devil hand vacuum was created in 1984 by Royal Appliance Manufacturing. For decades, Americans have relied on this powerful vacuum to keep their homes clean. Dirt Devil is based in Charlotte, North Carolina but was bought by the Chinese manufacturer, TTI, in 2013.
China reportedly makes most of TTI’s products including Hoover and Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners. So, though the headquarters might be in the U.S., today the vacuums are most certainly made in China.
Made Overseas: Nike
Nike is certainly one of the most popular and iconic brands for both athletes and non-athletes alike. While the products have represented American style and athleticism for decades, China is making most of them.
Most of Nike’s shoes are made in overseas factories located in China and Vietnam. But when outsourcing labor overseas, it can be difficult for an American company to ensure ethical workplace standards outside of the United States. Most recently, it was reported that Nike products were being made under forced labor at one of their Chinese manufacturing plants.
Made Overseas: Ray-Bans
Ray-Ban sunglasses were founded by Bausch & Lomb in 1937. The sunglasses have become another iconic, American brand and became especially popular after they were worn by Tom Cruise in the film "Risky Business". But despite gracing American faces for so many years, Ray-Bans are not even made in America.
Bausch & Lomb sold the company to Luxoticca in 1999, which moved the production of Ray-Bans to an Italian factory. Gradually, more factories were opened outside of Italy, including locations in China. Today, the best way to make sure you have American-made sunglasses is to buy vintage Bausch & Lomb frames.
Made Overseas: iPads and iPhones
Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple is certainly one of the most beloved brands in the United States and worldwide. But the brand that was started in the U.S., actually has China manufacture its iPhones and iPads.
While inexpensive labor may be a factor for Apple’s overseas production, they also have their products made there for a very unusual reason. Reportedly, the creation of iPads and iPhones requires rare earth elements (such as copper, gold, and silver), and China controls 97% of the earth’s supply of these elements.
Made Overseas: Tesla
Tesla, the pioneer in American electric vehicles, has been applauded for its brilliance in green technology and design. The company is headquartered in the U.S., but the CEO, Elon Musk, decided to create a production factory in Shanghai, China.
Tesla still maintains its production plant in Fremont California, and although it has been touted as one of the “most American” cars, only about 50% of the parts are made in America.
Made Overseas: Motorola
It is challenging to find products that are truly made in America and, with cell phones, it’s nearly impossible. Motorola began as an American company owned by Google, but that was to change in 2014. That year, Lenovo, a Chinese smartphone producer, bought the company.
While Motorola’s headquarters are at least still in Midwestern America (Chicago, Illinois), like so many other products, their manufacturing takes place in Chinese and even Indian factories.
Sold Overseas: Segway Inc
Segway, the futuristic-looking self-balancing electric scooter, was first released in 2002. Segway scooters soon became a popular way for tourists to explore new places and even for security guards to get around easier. Segway is still based in New Hampshire but unfortunately struggled in the American market.
Because of the struggles, the company was passed through several owners until it was sold in 2015 to Ninebot, a Shanghai-based tech company that produces short-distance motorized transport devices.
Made Overseas: LL Bean
LL Bean, the brand known for its outdoor gear and apparel, has supplied Americans with what they need to venture into the wild since 1912. The company is located in Freeport, Maine where they manufacture their signature boots, outdoor apparel, and household items. While they do make many of their products in the USA, they also have factories in China, India, Mexico, and other overseas locations.
All American Reviews states that LL Bean does, in fact, manufacture many of their products in the U.S. (about 425 out of 5000 products) but this makes their American-made products less than 10% of their production line.
Made Overseas: American Girl Dolls
With a company name like American Girl, you would think the brand would be made entirely in America. But in fact, the varied collection of American Girl dolls are manufactured in China.
The company originally made the dolls from their base in Middleton, Wisconsin before being bought by the big toy brand, Mattel in 1998. Today, Mattel makes most American Girl products in Chinese factories, including their doll clothes. So if you are looking for a real American girl doll, you will have to look elsewhere.
Sold Overseas: Uber
San Francisco-based Uber founders, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, first developed the concept for Uber after sharing the cost of a ride with a friend. Their company has changed the private transportation world since its beginning in 2009.
Eventually, Uber was sold to its Chinese rival, Didi Chuxing, in 2016. Why sell to a rival? Well, CNBC reported that Uber had been losing $1 billion a year to Didi Chuxing and could no longer compete with the Chinese transport company.
Made Overseas: Craftsman States
The Craftsman brand has long-represented American ideals of quality and durability in the tools, lawn equipment, and work clothing they have produced. Department store giant, Sears, carried Craftsman products up until 2017. After that, the brand was bought by Stanley Black and Decker.
Since being bought by Black and Decker, many Craftsman products are now manufactured outside of the United States. All American Reviews reported that Apex Tool Group makes many of Craftsman’s hand tools and assembles them in China, but a select few are still made in America.
Made Overseas: Gillette Razors
Made in Boston, Massachusetts, Gillette Razors ran a bold ad campaign featuring their “Made in Boston” heritage. Some of Gillette’s parts are manufactured in the US while some of their product parts come from China.
They even receive many of their batteries and handles from other overseas locations, including Mexico and Poland.
Made Overseas: Calvin Klein
Known for its clean silhouettes and casual glamour, Calvin Klein was born in New York City in 1968. Although Calvin Klein ads have been plastered across the United States, the fashion label receives most of its materials from China.
Certain specialty materials, such as their leather, come from Italy but most of their other materials are outsourced from China, as their clothing tags clearly state.
Made Overseas: Oakley Sunglasses
Oakley sunglasses contain a “Made in the USA” label, but the brand has created some controversy about where their goods are actually manufactured.
Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Oakley was bought by Luxottica in 2007, which moved some of their production to a Chinese factory. It was finally revealed that 70% of Oakley’s parts are made in the USA, but that still leaves a weighty 30% that is outsourced from other countries.
Sold Overseas: Spotify
Digital music listening platform, Spotify, allows users access to millions of songs and albums as well as customized channels to suit individual tastes. All within the comfort of their own smartphone.
But in 2013, Tech Crunch noted that the music platform announced a share swap with China-based company, Tencent Music Entertainment. In plain language, this means that Spotify is now partially owned by China.
Made Overseas: Hush Puppies Shoes
Hush Puppies shoes have been an American staple since 1957 due to their comfort and classic style. The Hush Puppies brand is owned by Wolverine Worldwide and has headquarters in Rockford, Michigan.
Unfortunately, the beloved leather shoes are not manufactured in Michigan but are instead produced in a Chinese factory. Still, Hush Puppies shoes remain beloved by many Americans to this day.
Made Overseas: Huffy Bikes
Huffy Bikes have been headquartered in Ohio since 1887. Huffy was revolutionary in their development of a convertible bike in 1949 with the first-ever training wheels for children.
Many bike models and years later, Huffy sadly closed 2 of its U.S. based factories, moving their production to China in 1999. Huffy also has factories in Mexico and Taiwan, with 70% of its materials coming from these off-shore locations.
Made Overseas: Fisher-Price Toys
Toy brand, Fisher-Price, has filled homes for years with its wide variety of toys for kids of many ages. Fisher-Price falls under the umbrella of the larger toy brand, Mattel, which outsources production from Chinese factories.
Disturbingly, the brand has had to issue many recalls of their toys made by Chinese vendors in 2007 and in 2020 due to dangerously high levels of lead. The company has since promised to regain its customers' confidence once again.
Made Overseas: Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson is another brand that personifies the rugged, free-spirit American. The motorcycle brand was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903 and was one of two automotive brands that survived the Great Depression. Despite the success, Harley Davidson motorcycles did not remain a fully American-made product.
Today, though they have plants in Wisconsin, Missouri, and Pennsylvania, the company shocked many of their loyal customers when, in 2018, they moved their production overseas. Today, many of their electric components are made in China.
Made Overseas: Melissa & Doug Toys
Melissa & Doug toys are a favorite of consumers for their classic, wooden designs and bright colors. But if you’re looking for American-made toys, Melissa & Doug will unfortunately disappoint.
The toy company is headquartered in Connecticut, but they manufacture the toy parts in China. What’s more disturbing is that their toys were found to pose potential health risks. In both 2008 and 2009, there was a recall of 26,000 of their toys due to the discovery of excessive levels of barium in the surface paint. So, when it comes to purchasing safe toys for your kids, it may be better to buy closer to home!
Made Overseas: Barbie Dolls
Barbie dolls are some of the most iconic toys not only in America but across the globe. The dolls were originally conceptualized by Ruth Handler to be a 3-D version of a paper doll. Today, the Barbie doll has come a long way from the simple, fashion doll. Now, Barbie dolls are doctors, scientists, athletes, and businesswomen who represent the “American dream” for many young girls.
But these “American dream” dolls were never made in America. They were first manufactured in Japan in 1959. And today, being owned by outsourcing giant, Mattel, Barbies are made in Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian factories.
Made Overseas: Radio Flyer
The cherry-red Radio Flyer Wagon has become a symbol of an idyllic childhood in America. Radio Flyer wagons were originally made in Chicago, but after the company changed their materials from metal to plastic, they began outsourcing.
The Chicago factory could not create the plastic parts so, in 2004, the company turned to none other than China. Today, though some of Radio Flyer’s products are still made in the Midwestern U.S., around two-thirds are made in China.
Made in the USA: Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
Though China produces some of the parts, Little Tikes Cozy Coupe (the toy car for toddlers) is manufactured in Hudson, Ohio.
The founder of Little Tikes, Thomas Murdough Jr. originally started the company in Ohio in 1969. The fact that the company remains in the USA over 50 years later is truly remarkable considering how many companies have factories overseas. The Little Tikes website even features a section devoted to their toys that are made in America.
Made in the USA: Pyrex Glassware
Pyrex glassware is known to be a versatile and aesthetic way to prepare, bake, and store food in the kitchen. The Pyrex brand features a variety of products from measuring cups to mixing bowls and has been a staple in American kitchens since its founding in 1915.
The sturdy glassware is actually made in Corning, New York and in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. So you can bake your next casserole with full confidence that your Pyrex glassware was made in the USA.
Made in the USA: Zippo Lighters
Zippo lighters were first manufactured in 1933 in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and have even become collector’s items today. They first became popular during World War II, representing the steely grit of the US Military.
The good news is that Zippo is still made in the USA. Another interesting fact is that the company also provides jobs to inmates (who assemble the lighters) while they are serving their time.
Made in the USA: Crayola Crayons
If there is one brand that is synonymous with childhood fun, it's Crayola Crayons. The bright colored crayons first appeared to the public in 1903 and are still a childhood staple today.
Parents may be happy to hear that Crayola Crayons are entirely made in the USA. In fact, the factory in Easton, Pennsylvania makes over 3 billion crayons per year and around 650 crayons per minute.
Made in the USA: Post-It Notes
The 3M company did not start making the simple yet life-changing Post-It Notes until 1977. The product was created by accident by 3M employees, Art Fry and Dr. Spencer Silver. The two, who were trying to create an aircraft-building adhesive, realized they may have had a new product on their hands.
The handy notes, that now demonstrate American creativity and ingenuity, have been made in Cynthiana, Kentucky since 1985.
Made in the USA: KitchenAid Mixers
KitchenAid is known for creating durable, multi-purpose kitchen tools, like their famous stand mixers that come in a rainbow of colors. KitchenAid has been made in Greenville, Ohio since 1941. Along with the stand mixer, they also make other small appliances.
Though the brand outsources a few of their parts from China, their primary manufacturing plants are in South Carolina, Ohio, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
Made in the USA: Igloo Coolers
Coolers have become an essential item for any situation where a refrigerator is needed but not available. The famous Igloo cooler brand began creating coolers in 1947 and they are still made in Katy, Texas today.
According to the Igloo website, the coolers are made in a 1.8 million-square-foot, three-building facility. Truly capturing the individualistic spirit of America, the brand has branched out from the simple cooler to now feature special sizes, prints, and designs so you can make your cooler all your own.
Made in the USA: Hershey’s Chocolate
The Hershey brand has become synonymous with quality Chocolate since 1900. And for well over 100 years, the delicious confection has mostly been made in America.
For decades, the American public has enjoyed Hershey’s chocolate bars, chocolate syrup, and, of course, chocolate kisses. The Hershey Company does have a handful of production plants in Brazil and Mexico but is still headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania. They also have production plants in multiple U.S. locations.
Made in the USA: Slinky
Intended to be a metal part for warships, the original Slinky toy was first invented in 1943 by Richard James.
It is pretty remarkable that an object once created for war became a beloved children’s toy. The invention was hardly a fad and became a highly entertaining toy that has delighted generations. The metal Slinkies were first sold in New York and today, the plastic Slinkies are made in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, and Plymouth, Michigan.
Made in the USA: Airstream
Few things speak to the American soul more than exploring the open road. Since 1952, the Airstream brand has captured that American essence in their trailers. The trailers are not only highly functional, providing many of the comforts of home while traveling, but also have a classic, high-shine design.
All Airstream trailers are proudly made in the USA at their factory in Jackson Center, Ohio which provides jobs for hundreds of Americans.
Made in the USA: Lodge Cast Iron
Lodge Cast Iron is not only made in the USA, but it is also a family-owned business. Lodge Cast Iron boasts lifetime durability for their products. This, along with their quality craftsmanship, can certainly be handed down as an heirloom within families.
The versatile and ultra-durable cast iron skillets and cookware have been manufactured in South Pittsburg, Tennessee for over 123 years.
Made in the USA: Whirlpool Appliances
Since 1911, Whirlpool has been supplying American households with essential appliances. Headquartered in Benton Charter Township, Michigan, Whirlpool makes everything from refrigerators to dishwashers. They also have factories in Tennessee, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
According to All American Reviews, Whirlpool employs 28,000 Americans and is also a part of the Maytag and Roper brands.
Made in the USA: Hallmark Greeting Cards
Hallmark, the greeting card mega-franchise, has been confronted with some confusion as to where they make their cards. Hallmark finally addressed this lack of clarity, stating that, while they do receive some of their gift items from China, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka, most of their greeting cards are made in the USA.
The card company is headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, and has production centers in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Kentucky, among other U.S. locations.
Made in the USA: Lay’s Potato Chips
A staple for nearly every barbeque, holiday, or family event, Lays potato chips have become one of the most American snack foods. Owned by Frito-Lay, the chips are made from potatoes that are sourced from 120 different farms.
Lay’s doesn't favor a particular region of the U.S. as the potatoes come from Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Washington, Maine, and California. So next time you open up a bag of Lay’s, you know you're biting into an all-American chip.
Made in the USA: Gibson Guitars
Gibson guitars have embodied the rock n' roll soul for over 100 years. And for those 100 years, the guitars have been made in the USA.
Highly recognizable electric models, like the Les Paul and SG, are produced in the custom Gibson shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Their semi-acoustic models (like the Gibson ES series) are also made in America. Truly an all-American instrument, Gibson guitars have been seen on famous musicians like Sheryl Crow, Joe Perry, and members of Aerosmith.
Made in the USA: All American Clothing
As its name clearly states, All American Clothing is, well, all American. Founded in 1992, the USA-based brand creates closet staples like t-shirts, jeans, and activewear. Founder Lawson Nickol was passionate about creating a brand that was durable and high quality. It also provided jobs to the local community and practiced ethical manufacturing within the United States.
Nickol also wanted to make sure that All American Clothing was a positive work environment for employees and that customer’s opinions were valued. These are essential values for any brand.
Made in the USA: Round House Jeans
Round House Jeans has technically been around since 1903 when it began as Round House Workwear. Named after the railroad repair station, the brand has transformed over the years but has a rich history, including creating khakis for U.S. soldiers during World War II.
Today, Round House Jeans still make workwear and jeans along with hats and kids' clothing. Manufactured in Oklahoma, they still claim to be the largest manufacturer of American-made work overalls and jeans.
Made in the USA: Stetson
Another long-standing brand, Stetson was founded in 1865 by John B. Stetson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
What began as a wardrobe staple to shade travelers’ eyes from the sun, has become an American icon; invoking images of the rugged, Western United States. Today, Stetson has branched out from cowboy style hats to include fedoras, knit caps as well as their own clothing line.
Made in the USA: Darn Tough
Based in Northfield, Vermont, Darn Tough creates high-quality socks that are made to last. The thick socks are available in colorful patterns and are made for those who love to exist in nature; go hiking, camping, and more outdoor exploring.
The company is committed to overseeing the entire creation process, including designing, testing, and manufacturing their socks rather than having these steps take place outside of the United States.
Made in the USA: Hickey Freeman
Born and based in Rochester, New York, Hickey Freeman began making fine, tailored suits in 1899.
Along with its high-quality style, the Hickey Freeman brand strives to produce suits that are especially comfortable and that flex with the body. All of the processes that go into creating each suit take place in their Rochester factory from sleeves to collars.
Made in the USA: Randolph Engineering
Aviator-style sunglasses have become synonymous with classic, American cool since General Douglas MacArthur sported the first pair during World War II.
Today there are a few brands to choose from, but Randolph Engineering designs and handcrafts each pair of their sunglasses in Massachusetts. Though their signature style is the aviator design, Randolph also creates other frame styles, including pieces crafted in 22k and 23k gold!
Made in the USA: The Things We Keep
A rather modern, all-American brand, The Things We Keep was started in 2011 in Brooklyn, New York. The brand prides itself on creating one-of-a-kind items that are made by hand.
The Things We Keep encompasses both minimalistic, geometric jewelry (rings, necklaces, etc.) as well as a handful of houseware items.
Made in the USA: Allen Edmonds
Allen Edmonds began creating handcrafted shoes in 1922 in Belgium, Wisconsin. The brand stood out almost immediately for creating shoes that were remarkably comfortable, stylish, and durable.
Allen Edmonds features many classic and contemporary styles that suit both simple and ornate tastes.
Made in the USA: Winter Session
Winter Session designs and creates leather and canvas goods from their warehouse in Denver, Colorado.
What makes their brand unique is the clever product designs they have made from leather and canvas. The husband and wife co-founders wanted to make sure that their products (such as bags, wallets, planters, and more) were unisex and could easily complement their consumer’s lifestyles.
Made in the USA: All-Clad Cookware
All-Clad cookware is known for its four-stage creation process that yields some of the most efficient and durable kitchen essentials. All-Clad was founded in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania in 1971 by John Ulam. Ulam was exceptionally savvy about metals and knew how their manufacturing process could create better kitchen products.
For nearly 50 years, All-Clad has been making professional quality pots and pans. Today, they have also added bakeware and electric appliances to their product line including waffle makers, toasters, and slow cookers.