Buckwheat Pillow by Hullo

Memory foam, latex, micro-beads, synthetic down…all the toxic off-gasing materials we snuggle up to is a nightmare. The old-fashioned alternatives you might guess but, buckwheat hulls probably don’t every come to mind. Firm yet malleable, breathable, and all-natural the Hullo might just be the key to your dream pillow. The buckwheat hulls are grown, milled and air-cleaned in North Dakota. The Dunlap zippers are manufactured in Tennessee, the labels are woven and printed in New York and Colorado, and the outer fabric shell containing Hullo’s buckwheat fill is manufactured in Michigan giving this pillow the all- American stamp of approval.

Available from Hullo.

A2 Pocket Knife by WKRMN Design

This isn’t that Nokia phone you got free with your first cell phone plan in 2002. This might get you out of much stickier situations and is one of the best damn looking pocket knifes I’ve ever laid eyes on. Made of exotic maple and stainless or carbon steel the A2 is heirloom quality and built one at a time by hand in St. Paul. These are one of a kind so be on the lookout.

Available from WKRMN Design.

Geometric Candleholders by Marvin Freitas

These aren’t imported but the talent is. Marvin Freitas grew up watching his grandfather craft things out of his Galicia, Spain shop. Years and thousands of miles later Marvin has his own shop in Minneapolis where he has designed an entire collection of furniture and objects he builds there. These geometric candle holders are made of black walnut and come in 3 different sizes.

Available from Marvin Freitas.



A classic look with modern touches, the Tessera watch is the sophomore effort from the watchmaker Leo Padron. Each Padron Watch is made with 150 Meter marine grade stainless steel and sapphire crystal and exclusively use high beat mechanical-wind movements. Padron Watches are water resistanct to 150 meters, use no electronics nor a battery, and hence are excellent choices for low-temperature climates and demanding weather. The components come from abroad but everything is assembled by hand in their Minnesota facility. At a price around $500 this is a watch that looks great and doesn’t break your wrist when you reach for the wallet.

Available from Padron.

Camera Slider by Trost

It’s no news that DSLRs shoot a lot of video content out there these days and an army of companies followed this movement creating all kinds of gear that will give any pro a better shot plus a drained bank account. One piece of gear that has become most popular is the slider which adds smooth movement if operated correctly and if your slider isn’t one of the many that falls apart and gets jerky. Trost sliders are built and calibrated by hand entirely from steel. Not plastic and aluminum. Steel. A system that will support a car and will give you smooth dollying for a long while. On top of that are a ton of design features that put this slider on top. Multiple quick-release mounting points, a 2 axis set-up, adjustable drag, portability, and even self-cleaning. There is no camera this won’t support and no lens, macro or telephoto, that you can’t achieve smooth shots with. Components are built in California and assembled in Minnesota.

Available from Trost.

100%Materials and labor all American.

Cutting Boards by Epicurean

When you see a skate park a different kind of board other than a kitchen cutting board comes to mind. The wood under all those wheels might come closer to your kitchen counter than you might think. The line of cutting boards and kitchen utensils by Epicurean was created when excess material from the skating surfaces built by it’s founding company TrueRide were combined and compressed in a food safe resin to make durable kitchen tools. They offer a wide selection of cutting board sizes, styles, and colors that all feature FSC woods and in some recycled cardboard and paper. Every board is dishwasher safe but if wood isn’t your thing then they also have a selection of plastic boards made from recycled milk jugs. All are made in Duluth, Minnesota at the sister company Loll Designs manufacturing facility.

Available from Epicurean.

100%Materials and labor all American.

Picnic Bag / Blanket by Yield Design Co.

It's everything you need to go picnicking in one.

The classic image of unfurling a picnic blanket on a lush lawn just got updated. Yield Design Co. has rethought the outdoor experience to include a start to finish all-in-one bag that unzips to convert to a pleasant picnicking surface. Each is made from camping-grade nylon fabric and a nylon zipper and there are modern colorful options to boot. The first run that was funded on Kickstarter was manufactured in El Paso, TX and all future bags including a new Duck Canvas line are made just outside of Minneapolis, MN all from domestically sourced materials from New England. While your fantasies of picnicking might not be the same they will certainly be dreamy in a more sustainable smart kind of way.

Available from Yield Design Co.

100%Materials and labor all American.

Plant Containers by Loll Designs

Greener than you might think.

Loll_Containers_2012If you are looking for a “green” planter solution to match your green thumb then Loll Designs offers one of the best products out there. Their container series features a number of different sizes and shapes to accommodate most any household plant or small garden. Each one is made from 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) which is the same plastic used in any milk jug. In fact, Loll has calculated how many recycled milk jugs would go into each one of their products and proudly displays it in their online shop. Containers are weather proof and will stand up to the test of time while being easy to maintain and clean.


Loll_ContainersLoll_Containers_RecThe material is LEED certified and while their manufacturing facility and headquarters in Duluth, Minnesota is not it is pretty darn close. The area was a brownfield site that they cleaned up and reused existing structures to create a modern facility that uses natural light and ventilation and passive solar heating. Their manufacturing method is also eco-concious. They have 5-6 week lead times to make sure they are getting the most out of all the material they make plus a CNC shop bot to make precision cuts.

Available at Loll Designs.

Loll_HeadquartersLoll_HeadquartersLoll_Headquarters_CNCLoll_HeadquartersMaterials and labor all American.100%

Work Surfaces by Baltix

Eco-friendly as it gets at your desk.

Isn’t it your lifelong goal to work in a cubicle breathing in the toxic chemicals surrounding you on the carpeted walls? Well if you happen to be one of the few that doesn’t then Baltix has a number of office desks, conference tables, and work surfaces that incorporate a wide range of sustainable features. Their tables are made from renewable materials not formaldehyde and petroleum-based materials using computer driven technology to produce less waste. This all happens in their Excelsior, Minnesota factory where many of the materials are sourced close by.

(Clockwise) Richlite, Nuxite, Lamboo, ShetkaStone, Forbo Linoleum, and Bamboo

From materials like Richlite which is a highly compressed paper that is hard as stone and made in the U.S. to Nuxite which is made from walnut shells in Minnesota the options are endless. Other materials include Bio laminate and Forbo laminate made from natural ingredients like soy, corn, wood flour, flax and pine resin. There are also a couple of bamboo materials that are of course highly renewable. The core of each table is made from MDF, plywood, or a special honeycomb core that is super light weight and up to any heavy duty task. Surfaces are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, functionality, and with a number of base options made from materials like recycled steel and aluminum.

Available from Baltix.


Camping Grills by Slatgrills

From backpack to grill marks in no time.

SlatgrillExperienced outdoorsman Chris Weyandt wanted a simple, portable, and versatile way to do what any guy wants to do in the woods….grillin’. After a few community college courses in how to design and fabricate he ended up with an innovative, attractive, and modern styled solution for hikers and campers who like grilling to rejoice over. The Slatgrill is offered in a few different sizes and materials like anodized aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, and even titanium! Each works with a wide rage of fuel sources from wood to coal to gas. Each one is also very light and disassembles easily for transport in its own portable canvas organizer. All materials are domestically sourced and assembled in Minnesota.

Available at Slatgrills.

Slatgrill_XLSlatgrill_XLSlatgrill_BreakdownSlatgrill_Bag100%Materials and labor all American.