Friday, July 3, 2009

Seven Quick Takes

(Hosted by Jen)

1. So I bought some great made in France house brand lipstick at Sephora. I got home to realize, though that Sephora Bags have "Made in China" stamped at the bottom of it. I was thinking it was frivolous to get a bag for a tube of lipstick... In the future, I'll refrain from getting unneeded bags, I think (good for not having bags all over the house, too!)

2. At H&M I found something that I have been looking for for months! A thick, nice, black leather belt that is not made in China! Made in Sweden in fact. There were even two styles to choose from! I was thrilled. I can finally wear my Utilikilt I got for Christmas.

3. The reason I ventured into the Mall at all was to find out whether Charter Club towels at macys were made in China or not. The perils of online wedding registries! So little choice, so little labeling. They are made in India, if you are curious. :) I bought all the towels they asked for. Bedsheets, toilet mats, and some other assorted Charter Club household items are also not made in China, so I recommend this brand, overall. Macy's online labeling, on the other hand, not so much.

4. Claire's items seem to be having a Taiwan vs. China war, where many virtually identical items were made in one or the other. I found a nice headband and some tights made in Taiwan, though, which made me happy.

5. Speaking of H&M, I'm quite happy that they retain such a large portion of their items made in countries other than China. I got two pairs of jeans on sale made in Turkey, and a skirt made in Bangladesh, so all in all a good day.

6. A certain someone I'm related to is asking for fancy Copic (by .Too) markers for his birthday. He is fortunate that they are Made in Japan, let me tell you. They are also amazing markers, I have some myself. 

7. Sorry for not posting anymore --- mostly I have not been shopping much. Today was a shopping spree, so that was nice, and the China related frustrations made me revive this blog. I got some Victoria's Secret Intimissi underwear today, they are made in Italy, and quite nice to boot. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

7 Quick Takes

In imitation of Jen....

1. American Apparel -- All the generic items you could want, no obnoxious logos, all made in the USA, in Downtown LA. Avoid if you are offended by immigration reform or primary colors. Nice quality. I bought some shirts as a gift, there.

2. Papyrus -- I have previously been underwhelmed by the fact that 100% of their gift bags are made in China. However, not all their wrapping paper is made their. About 60% of the their wrapping paper is unlabeled, the rest is made in Switzerland, India, China, or the USA. I went for Switzerland.

3. Crate and Barrel -- More positive news from this store. Much more of their Glassware is made elsewhere since the last time I went there! The vast majority was made in Eastern Europe, with some Italian, and american pieces, with the occasional chinese martini glass. I'm warming up to them again. They are very good about labeling in store, too.

4. I found a perfect shampoo for problem scalps like mine at Lush. A++ to Rehab. Sadly, it is very pricey, compared to the rest of their shampoos. I still bought two bottles, it was that good. Don't be fooled by what they say that it is for "dry, damaged hair". Works fine for oily hair with damaged scalp. But given everything else irritates my hair, I deal. (some of their solid shampoo is good, too, but my favorite, Reincarnate, is discontinued).

5. My Red Oxx Amethyst Flying BoxCar came in the mail! It is built to survive the apocalypse, and is super roomy. It has metal latches instead of velcro, molded plastic zippers, a sturdy id tag, a comfy shoulder strap, and is a very nice color. I can fly carry-on only from now on, I think. It is also very light.

6.  Phaidon Wallpaper City guides are Made in China. Why are travel guides so ubiquitously printed in China? Am Sad.

7. Looking for ribbon, I found that most cloth or metallic ribbon was not made in china (usually Taiwan, but it varies). However, most curling ribbon is made in china. It might be one of those things like fake leather for shoes and books that just gets manufactured there (and seemingly nowhere else?). 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bookshelves and Ikea

I purchased bookshelves on Saturday. From Rodney's in Central Square. They sell real pine bookshelves for not much more than say... Billy Bookshelves from Ikea, that are particle board and, although I cannot confirm this, I highly suspect they are made in China. I still have to go to ikea to investigate. 

Anyway, as a sort of price comparison, a Billy half-tall half-wide shelf costs 49$. Mine cost 65$. The half-tall, full-width one costs 69$ at ikea, but 79$ at Rodneys. No assembly required, too. And real wood. Considering the Billy shelves are flat-packed, they are basically slabs of wood cut to the right dimensions and some holes drilled in. If you like the assembly process, go to Home Depot, get some 2x10's and some screws (They cut wood for you there!) and a piece of plywood, and you get the same "materials" as a ikea shelf for a quarter of the price. And you save the gas all the way to Ikea (but you will lack swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce). 

Before I slander Ikea too much, though, I'd like to note that Ikea does have some fine not made in china things. This bunk bed, made of pine, is one of the few bunk beds in the market not made in China--it is made in Finland. Also, these glasses  are not made in china, either, as I found out at a party this weekend (the glass contained wine, so my recollection of where they were made is a bit fuzzy).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brand Post: Red Oxx Bags

Everything Made in The USA! Hurray! I think I'm buying my next bag from here instead of a Zuca Bag. Yes, It has no wheels, which I'm sad about. But the bags seem very light and spacious, and have a no questions asked lifetime guarantee. And most importantly, look good and come in a variety of colors. I love colors. Also, I'm not sure they are censoring themselves or not, but I did not see anything reviewed with less than 5/5 stars. That is amazing to me.  I'm thinking of getting a messenger bag to replace my dying purse and a carry-on week bag for traveling. We'll see. I'd like to see one in person first, but I don't know what stores carry it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Store Post: Petco

I have a cat. So I have to buy kitty litter, at least until I figure out how to do this. I wanted to switch to crystal only litter this week... I used to use it, but my cat was not *as* partial to it as clumping litter, so when he lived with other cats, it meant his litter box remained unused. However, since he is alone now, I figure I could switch back. However, every crystal-only litter in the store was made in china. Happily, all tidy cats clumping litter of all sorts of additives seemed to be made in the USA. I picked the small spaces one. Hooray! Cat has litter. But I might seriously consider this toilet training thing, at least once I fix the downstairs toilet...

Also, A lot of the "boxed" petco carpet covered cat jungle gyms were made in china. The unboxed ones tended to be made in the USA. Not sure why. 

All the electric water fountains I saw were made in China. Especially Drinkwell, but a few others, too. The Le Bistro Waterers and some other "inverted jug" waterers were not made in China, so that was a win. I did not buy an automatic feeder because of the fatness of my cat. 

I almost bought some sort of miracle shedding tool, but it was made in china. I think it was called the "furminator" or something.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Store Post: CVS

No, I'm not going to analyze every last thing in CVS. Just a couple of things. Like Oral-B satin tape floss is made in Ireland. Colgate total Advanced Paste is not made in china (but I can't find the box, don't know where it is made). Magic Erasers both original and Extra Strength are made in Germany. Woolite Dry Cleaner's Secret are made in the Usa. As is Tide powder original formula. Clear blue Fertility Monitor Test sticks (Useful for the Marquette Model) are made in the UK (for now). Instead Softcups Menstrual Cups are made in Canada (I had to call, though). Gillette Venus Blade Cartridges are made in the USA, but the razor handles  are made in China (so your refills are ok, not the handles). 

Living Without Made in China tells me Febreeze is made in the USA.

Swiffer Duster Refills are made in China.

So you can find good things at CVS, if you are willing to look at labels. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Store Post: Lush

I love Lush. Toiletries can be a tricky thing to get not made in China. I like this store for other reasons, too, though. I first bought their soap when I was in Berlin in January 2004, and their only stores in the US were in California. They screwed up ringing up my credit card and gave me two sample soaps, it was great.  I've loved them ever since. The soap I bought lasted me a long, long time, and I don't think I've ever been truly disappointed with something I bought there. I've even converted some people to the store. 

Many of their products are made in store, with the name of the person who made it. Some of their more complicated products are made in their main facility in Vancouver, Canada. And many of their products are amazing. They had a product -- sadly currently discontinued -- that did wonders for my chronic dandruff. Got rid of it like nothing else. Since that product was discontinued, I changed to another shampoo of theirs, Rehab, that also did wonders for my scalp and I have healthy hair again -- within two washes. Their soaps all smell wonderful. They also have lots of "packaging free" products, like bar shampoos, bar body butters, deodorants, etc. 

Their products are a bit on the pricey side, especially for soap. However, although their shampoo is more pricey, I found it nicer for my hair, and I really only need to use a tiny bit to do the same task. Very efficient. Same with body butter bars and solid shampoos.