Staff Picks: Our Editors Name Their Favorite American-Made Item
American hats, skillets, and hot sauce. Let's go.
Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of all the things our editors have been digging on recently. This week, as we celebrate America’s birthday, we’re naming our favorite product from a 100%, American-made brand.
One thing I’ve learned for certain the last few years: love of country shouldn’t be as unconditional as we’re taught in school. That said, I’m still a big fan of the United States. And like any good fan, I make sure to rep my side with the right merch. Since most American-themed gear is the fashion equivalent of flipping someone off in a Hard Rock Cafe bathroom (“Back to Back World War Champs” … are you serious, people?), I had to search far and wide for my gear, and I settled on two hats from ’47 Brand’s Americana collection. True to form for the Boston label, the caps are stylish, meaningful and perfectly fitted. The hat on the left features the flag flown at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775 (with a New England pine tree atop a St. George’s cross), and the hat on the right of course depicts Benjamin Franklin’s famous “Join or Die” cartoon, which appeared in The Pennsylvania Gazette as early at 1754. — Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor
While best known for their hoodies, American Giant makes an array of shirts, polos, pants and shorts that pretty much dominate my casual wardrobe. Manufactured in Middlesex, NC, the brand’s t-shirts are particular summer favorites — while most people veer toward lightweight and slim, I find the sturdier construction yet looser fit of American Giant’s cotton tees work better for my non-skinny, heavy-sweating self. — Kirk Miller, Nation Editor/Managing Editor
One-hundred percent made and bottled in SoCal, Gringo Bandito will bring the fireworks to your taste buds instead of your backyard. Started 15 years ago by Offspring singer Dexter Holland, Gringo Bandito’s hot sauces were originally intended to be gifts to family and friends. But fans didn’t want to keep themselves separated (Jesus, Evan. — Ed.) from the spicy sauce, and the company grew into a nationwide brand. All natural and gluten-free, the sauces are legit hot with good flavor you’re not going to wanna get away from. On Holland’s part, pretty fly for a white guy. — Evan Bleier, Staff Writer
Founded in 2008 on a mission to produce high-quality goods that “involved as many of our fellow Americans as possible,” AT is one of the biggest success stories to come out of the American-made movement of the past decade. While they’re best known for the thigh-length raincoat to which they owe their name, I prefer this more versatile number, which weighs just 11 oz. and has snap-cinch sleeves to keep the rain out. Comes in two colors — red and blue, because America — and every unit is built by Better Team USA in North Jersey. Right now, it’s also on sale for $105 (full price is $165), so wish American happy birthday and yourself a drier, more stylish summer by picking one up. — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief
If there’s anything I brag about, it’s cooking. I’m damn good at it. But any home cook is only as good as the tools at his or her disposal, and, despite the final product, my road to dinner used to be super messy. For years I stubbornly and clumsily dressed salads and mixed meatball ingredients in too-shallow soup bowls; breadcrumbs and vinegars slopping over the rims every single time. Until I finally ordered myself a set of these all-American bowls. The biggest one holds enough salad to feed a crowd, the medium size is perfect for dredging chicken cutlets and the smallest makes serving dips super easy and better-looking than straight out of the jar. They’re microwave and dishwasher safe, too, but their best feature is how durable they are. These bowls are thick and heavy so yes, they might break a toe if you tend to drop things like I do, but they, themselves, won’t. — Ariel Scotti, Senior Editor
One of my goals this year is to stop using nonstick pans. I could get into the dismal conditions of the factories where many are made, but the simple truth is that they’re not up to scratch. That is, they’re literally not able to withstand scratches and you have to replace them way too often. Instead, I’ve been cooking everything on my Lodge cast iron (and have the Popeye forearms to prove it). Plus, all of their foundry seasoned cast iron is made in the U.S. and, according to their website, “always will be.” — Alex Lauer, Senior Editor
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