Last update: April 2020
Here are some links:
- China Digital Times (summaries of news items in China) here are all the links that are tagged food safety in China.
Update: Even your shopping bags are made in sweatshop prisons in China… along with pre-peeled garlic which ruins the prisoner’s hands to make their nails fall off.
Most important things to replace:
- SERVING WARE & TABLEWARE – What you serve food on, eat from, and drink from, may contain lead or cadmium
- POTS & PANS – What you cook your food on – heat makes a difference
- CLOTHING/JEWELLERY/SHOES – Your skin is an organ that absorbs everything, replace your intimates at the very least
- FOOD – Don’t buy any sauces, food or products made in China, it is horribly polluted (which is where food grows) & the food could be tainted with cheaper, substitute additives and unfortunately, this includes tea
Most important things to remember:
- Avoid dollar stores of all kinds — They don’t really have any kind of quality check, you can smell it
- Avoid big box stores like Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Target for the above things (pans, clothes)
- Avoid fast fashion places — H&M, Forever 21, Zara, Mango, The Gap, Dynamite, Costa, Jacob
- Always check where it’s SOURCED — E.g. “Made in Canada but with fabric from China”
- If it’s too cheap to be true, it probably is — I live by this motto anyway: “Buy once, not twice.”
LIST OF COMPANIES AND WHERE THEY MANUFACTURE AND SOURCE THEIR GOODS
This is just a list I compiled as of the day I found out the information (around 2013, March).
If you are reading this list later than that date, please go to their website or ask them yourself to verify that they have not shifted production to China or other countries without basic quality controls.
If I haven’t listed a source, it means I called, tweeted, or emailed them to ask.
A lot of items may be “made in the U.S.A.”, but with fabric or items sourced from China, so be aware of this.
I am not saying that EVERY product from the company is made in the U.S. either, this is just the list of what I owned, and I’ve noted that.
I’ve also given a pass to a few rather expensive designer thrifted items Made in China because they were pre-owned, which makes them less harmful; although anything from cheap to mid-priced mainstream fashion retailers have been donated.
I am not saying that EVERY brand below is safe for you in and of itself (especially the makeup or toiletry ones), because this is just a list of where it is made.
You should still be aware that there are trace amounts of lead and other toxic chemicals lurking in your makeup and other goods.
There are no limits or bans on these poisonous items in the U.S.A. (Source), but Canada has done something so far (Source)
Lastly, I couldn’t give a crap that it’s “designed in Italy” or “designed in France”, but made in China.
You can just assume most of it is made in China if it is too cheap
Low prices = Cheap labour = Likely made in China
Below, I am going to try and list items NOT made in China, or popular brands.
If you want items made in Europe, or North America, you will have to pay the true cost of labour, not pennies an hour to obtain such a product from such a country.
Just think about it – how can you make a mug for $0.50? The cost of the materials alone, the labour, the shipping, overhead, marketing … Or how about a faux leather jacket for $10? TEN DOLLARS?
Just try and go to a store and buy fabric, even accounting for wholesale discounts, raw materials cost money. Then factor in the labour, the shipping, the overhead, people paid (employees) to coordinate all of it — it all adds up to quite a bit of money to the COST of the product.
Then at retail, they sell it for $10? Their profit margins must be very slim, and if they’re not, they’re cutting costs somewhere – in quality or labour.
All food that is made in China should be avoided.
Sauces, boba tea (tapioca balls, even ones from Taiwan) and the like, are off my list. I don’t buy anything from that country.
If you are a dog owner, I received this email:
“Stay away from companies that make jerky dog treats in China such as Dingo, Waggin Tail and Milo’s Kitchen. The FDA has not actually taken them off the shelf but they have stated (via trials) that the jerky treats can cause kidney failure.”
Corianne (reader who provided all the links above) also pointed out with her comments below:
- Fake Duck Blood – “fake duck blood was made from poor-quality pork blood and might be mixed with formaldehyde and industrial pigment, which are harmful to liver and kidney”
- Spraying vegetables with formaldehyde to make them look fresh for longer (a known toxin and used to embalm the dead)
- All these posts on fake chicken eggs
- Cat meat disguised as goat meat (it’s dipped in urine)
POTS & PANS & OTHER APPLIANCES
You only buy pots & pans once in your lifetime if you are careful and take good care of them.
Look out for deals on sets like with All-Clad, you can pick up a good range of basic pots and pans for about $700 – $1500 CAD.
Other cast-iron items like Le Creuset or Staub will run you about $500 per big pot, but they last like nobody’s BUSINESS.
- All-Clad: Manufactured in the U.S.A.; Be careful of other things like their woks which are not standard pots or pans, they may not be made in the USA, and are made in China. For instance their pasta pot is all made in the U.S. except for the colander insert (to drain the pasta). That is made in China.
- Food Processor: Magimix (Robot Coupe commercial food processors’ at-home brand) are made in France. All other food processors are made in China.
- Le Creuset: Made in France (cast iron cookware); they have a special method with sand, not with lead or mercury to make their pans look shiny. Watch out for their bakeware as some of it may be made in China.
- Staub: Made in France (cast iron cookware); they have a special method with sand, not with lead or mercury to make their pans look shiny
- KitchenAid: “Assembled in the USA”, but the metal pots themselves are made in Korea or India (check the bottom), with India being of lesser quality. I strongly suggest AVOIDING THIS BRAND for all items, because although they are “assembled in the USA”, their manufacturing is of low quality but at a premium price. A total rip off. If you want a food processor, try a Magimix instead.
- Vitamix: So far, it all seems to be made in the U.S. We own this one: Vitamix Pro 750
- Lodge Cast Pans – made in the USA
SERVING WARE & TABLEWARE
You only serving or tableware once in your lifetime if you take care of them. They will be expensive around $30 a plate, but how many do you need for a lifetime?
- Le Creuset: Watch out for their accessories & ceramics; they’re made in Asia (various locations including China)
- Corelle: All plates and bowls (we own the majority of these as they are price conscious) Made in the USA
- Staub: Made in France; Could be moved to China soon. Watch out for their bakeware.
- Alpico: Made in France (plates, mugs, bowls)
- Duralex: Made in France (glassware)
- Pillivuyt: Made in France (porcelain)
- Emile Henry: Made in France (check the bottom, it should be stamped or not)
I sleep on a Japanese-style futon on the floor, and this entire company makes all of their goods in the U.S.A. including bedding, furniture, pillows, tatami mats etc
FOOD-SAFE / FOOD-GRADE PRODUCTS
- Starfrit Plastic Lock Tupperware Boxes: China (check the product)
- Starfrit Glass Lock Tupperware Boxes: USA (check the product)
- Glad Bags and Wrap: Thailand (check the boxes)
- Johnson & Johnson Ziploc: China (check the boxes)
- Paderno: Strainers and the like, are made in the south of Italy (emailed)
- Green Toys: 100% recycled made in the USA
CLOTHING, SHOES & ACCESSORIES
If you are REALLY stuck, I really suggest going on Etsy.
You won’t believe the selection of what you can find there from vintage items to brand new items, and a lot of the sellers there are independent as well as careful about sourcing their items from certain areas or countries.
You can ask the sellers anything, but be prepared to pay a higher price than what you’re used to from cheap stores if it is good fabric.
- Maggies Organics: All clothing made in the USA and organic
- Stormy Kromer is made in the USA. (fabric may be outsourced for the last two but not much fabric is made in the US.)
- Darn Tough Socks are made in the US
- Carhartt Clothing – Made in the USA
- Ivanka Trump: Her shoes and clothing are all made in China.
- Everlane: SOME of their products are not made in China, some are made in Italy or the U.S.
- m0851: Leather sourced from Italy, everything made in Montreal or lately, India but the leather is thicker and not as nice.
- MM Lafleur: High quality women’s workwear all made in the USA all my reviews are here
- M.Gemi: Made in Italy. Fantastic shoes, I wrote a review here.
- American Apparel: All made (even the fabrics) in the U.S.A. (Source: Fully integrated vertical chain)
- Sterlingwear of Boston: All made in the U.S.A.
- Seamly.Co: All made in the U.S.A. and is sustainable fashion
- Rag & Bone: Made in the USA, of “imported fabric”; rather cagey and evasive when I asked where the fabric was from (emailed). Boots are made in China.
- Hunter: All rubber boots are made in China or Indonesia; Leather boots are made in Brazil, Italy or Spain.
- Brandy & Meville: Went in-person and everything I touched was made in Italy.
- Frye: Made in Mexico for the most part, need to check each style.
Allmost boots are made in France (I think just the vulcanized rubber ones might be) and way comfier than Hunter boots. Genny (a reader) wrote in to inform me that she bought boots for her son and they were made in China. Check the insole. (Source) Update (December 3rd 2013): Aigle has emailed me a note which I will footnote at the bottom of this page.
- Tilo Handwoven Scarves: Cashmere & Fine Wool (Inner Mongolia), Linen/Wool Blends (India) (emailed)
- Stanfields: All the men’s underwear, tops, and pants are made in Canada
- UGG USA: Everything made in Vietnam or China (emailed) Should note that real UGGS are made and kept & sold only in Australia; the brand you see in North America is the UGG USA brand name.
- Vans (Shoes): Made in “Asia”; Refused to answer my question about where in Asia, and gave me a glib “we’ve been outsourcing for X number of years”.
- Sam Edelman ballet flats: Ridiculously comfortable but they are made in China.
- Converse: Made in Vietnam and China, depends on the style
- Ted Baker London: Made in China for the most part. I’d say 99% if not 100%.
- Hugo Boss: Made in Eastern Europe (I can’t recall the country, it was either Bulgaria or Romani) of Italian Fabric (Men’s Suits), and the others are a hit and miss between Eastern Europe and Asia
- Clary Sage Organics: Made in the U.S.
- Jet Clothing: Made in the U.S.
- Longchamp: Everything made in China (emailed) and I hear unless it says “Made in France” heat stamped on it, it is not made in France.
- Wolford Tights: Made in Austria (expensive, but they apparently last a lot longer) (emailed) (Update: I snagged my nylons on splinters and they just brushed off. No run, no tear, no snag. A relief because they were $70 a pair, and I am extremely impressed.)
- Fossil: Made in China (Twitter: They were extremely cagey on Twitter; says they do reports & checks but they’re not available for public viewing on their website)
- Ecco: Made in China (says on the product)
- Stuart Weitzman: Leather from Europe, shoes made in Spain (email and on the product); Reader wrote in on March 22nd 2014 to let me know that she purchased a pair but they were made in China. CHECK!!
- Louis Vuitton: Says it’s made in France, but am suspicious as you can finish a product in a country but 99% of it could have been assembled/made in China
- Manolo Blahnik Shoes: Handmade in Italy (says on the product)
- Chloe Shoes: Made in Italy.
- L.K. Bennett Shoes: Made in Spain (says on the product)
- Lululemon: Made in China and various places; Extremely cagey when I asked them to clarify
- Repetto Shoes: Made in Dordogne, France (Source)
- Equipment: Made in China as of 2010; Great for silk shirts but they’re all in China now (emailed)
- Cosabella Lingerie: Made in the USA of European Cotton (says on the product)
- Victoria’s Secret: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their expose; they were the most reluctant and cagiest of all the companies, citing that they are a “global sourcing organization”.
- The Gap: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their expose
- Mango: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their expose
- Levi’s: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their expose
- Esprit: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their expose
- Diesel: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their expose
- Bennetton: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their expose
- Tommy Hilfiger: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their expose
- Emporio Armani: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their expose
- Zara: Made in China and various places; Greenpeace cited them in their exposé
- Kamik: Made in Canada; sold at Canadian Tire and Softmoc
- J. Crew: Everything is made in China except for some of their scarves (India) and their shoes are made in Italy (Personal checking / experience); Some of their cashmere is fabric from Italy but sewn in China
- Aritzia: Everything is made in China, however the fabrics might come from Italy or Japan – it will say on the tag
MAKEUP, TOILETRIES & ACCESSORIES
You can check on a lot of these products where they are made. They’ll usually state it on the sticker attached to it. Otherwise, you can email them.
- Oral-B Toothbrushes: Germany or Mexico (look at the bottom of the charger of the Oral-B Vitality electric toothbrush) (email)
- Tweezerman: Made in the USA (Source)
- Clarisonic: The brushes are made in the USA but the charger is made in China
- LightStim: Completely made in the U.S.
- Too Faced: Shadow Insurance is made in the USA (says on the products)
- Urban Decay: Naked Palette 1 is made in the USA; 24/7 Eyeliners in liquid and stick are made in Germany; Big Beauty Mascara is made in Canada (says on the products)
- Skinceuticals: The tinted SPF and Blemish+Age Defense is made in the USA (says on the bottle)
- Paula’s Choice: Made in the U.S. My long review of their skincare here and how it cleared my acne here.
- Foxy Originals: All jewellery is designed and handmade in Canada (says on site)
- Annabelle: Their Zebra Haute Bronzer was made in China; Their eyeliners in Germany; Their eyeshadow pots in Canada (says on the products); Mascaras from Italy (emailed)
- Marcelle: Their mascaras are made in Italy (emailed)
- Jane Iredale: Their eyeshadows are made in USA (says on the products) Their SPF powder is excellent.
- bareEscentuals: Made in the USA (Source)
- Josie Maran: Argan oil is sourced from Morocco and made in the USA
- AmazingCosmetics: Made in the USA (says on my tube of concealer)
- MAC brushes: Mac brushes are made in France, Japan or China. Check the end of the handle.
- Murad: Made in the USA (Source)
- Cargo: My blush is made in the USA (says on the tin)
- Tarte: The blushes I have (solid stick and liquid) are made in the USA (says on the product)
- Benefit: The liquid blush I have is made in the USA
- Chi Hair Products: Made in the USA (Source)
- Makeup Forever (MUFE): HD Definition powder is made in France (says on my product)
- Ciao Bella: Made in the USA (Source)
- Philosophy: Made in the USA (Source)
- Bath & Body Works: Made in the USA (Source)
- Kiss My Face: Made in the USA (Source)
- Orly: Made in the USA (Source)
- Savon de Marseilles: Made in France — be careful of counterfeits, you have to have the EXACT name stamped on the bars of soap (says on the bars and packaging). It must say: Savon de Marseilles not “Marseilles-style soap”
ELECTRONICS & ACCESSORIES
Most cables and chargers are all made in China
- Apple: Made in China with a specific supplier Foxconn (well-known)
- Canon: Cameras are made in Japan but their chargers are made in China (says on products)
- Belkin: iPad stand and mini charger are made in China
- Garmin: The GPS is made in Taiwan, the neoprene case is made in China
- InCase: All of them are made in China. Couldn’t care less that they’re “designed in SF”
- Dyson: All of it seems to be made in Malaysia. I love my Dyson Animal Vacuum. They still have not come out with a steam mop though *hint hint*, but their hair dryer is made in Malaysia as well.
PENS, STATIONERY & PAPER
- Stabilo Stationery Pens: Made in Germany or Ukraine (Source)
- Moleskine Notebooks: Made in China (Source)
- Moleskine Pens: Made in Italy (says on my pen’s box)
- UHU Glue: Made in Germany
- Staedtler: 75% made in Germany, the rest is “around the world” (emailed)
- Sharpie Markers and Pens: Japan (check the box)
- Expo Dry Erase Markers: China
- Bic Wite-Out Rollers: Mexico
- Uniball Vision Blue and Black pens: Japan (emailed NewellRubbermaid, you can ask for specific products and they’ll send a signed Country of Origin sheet)
- Papermate Blue Medium Stick pen: Mexico (emailed NewellRubbermaid, you can ask for specific products and they’ll send a signed Country of Origin sheet)
- Ricardo Beverly Hills: Made in China (says on the tag)
- Samsonite: Made in China (says on the tag)
- GoToob Tubes: Made in China
- Therapik (for bug bites): Made in China
- Knirps: Mostly made in China, although a few are made in Austria (emailed), you can find the list of Austrian-made goods here (emailed)
- MightyWallet by Dynomighty: Made in China
Most medicine is now produced in China – there is no getting around this, all the companies moved abroad.
- Johnson & Johnson Bandaids: China (mostly everything we checked on the box is made in China)
- GUM (interdental brushes): The yellow ones are made in the U.S.; the others are from China (check box)
- Oral-B and Colgate Manual Toothbrushes: China (except one type — check the box)
- Elastoplast: USA (check box)
- 3M Nexcare: Mostly the USA, but you need to check the box, sometimes it is not written
Aigle’s note on their products not being 100% made in France
I emailed them because I was quite upset that I was promoting a company that I thought made items 100% in France, when in fact they were not entirely made there (a reader emailed me and informed me of this).
I wrote to them and they very promptly replied (within a day):
We did not think about adding country of origins to our website listings because we obviously underestimated the importance it has to our US customers. Our mistake.
Please see attached for the most recent list of country of origins I have received from Aigle.
Most adult boots are handmade in France to the exception of a few such as the Venise or Polka boots, which are made in either Slovakia or China.
As for the children boots, manufacturing cost does not allow for them being manufactured in France, they are either made in China or Slovakia as well.
That being said children boots are manufactured under Aigle’s close scrutiny, and are still handmade with natural rubber and 100% cotton linings for most (except fur models). They also all have passed toxic tests as required by US import regulations.
Here is the list of Aigle products and their manufacturing origin by name based on the Excel sheet I received on December 3rd 2013.
Note: The ones I purchased are the Miss Juliette S (I am assuming it stands for “Satin”).
|MISS JULIETTE C||FRANCE|
|MISS JULIETTE S||FRANCE|
|CHAMBORD PRO L||FRANCE|
|ECUYER PRO L||FRANCE|
|ECUYER PRO M||FRANCE|
|ECUYER PRO S||FRANCE|
|ECUYER PRO XL||FRANCE|
|ECUYER PRO XS||FRANCE|
|PARCOURS CAMO M||FRANCE|
|PARCOURS CLB XL||FRANCE|
|PARCOURS CLUB M||FRANCE|
|PARCOURS END M||FRANCE|
|PARCOURS END XL||FRANCE|
|PARCOURS PRE M||FRANCE|
|PARCOURS PRE XL||FRANCE|
|PARCOURS ST ISO||FRANCE|
|TERRA PRO ISO||FRANCE|