One of the great perks of working at a media company is being the first to learn about new products, try them out, photograph them and–this is the hard part–send them back to the manufacturer. These goods then appear in the magazine and on the website, with the implied notion that you might want to buy them. You know, in a store.
That concept sounds rather quaint in an era of daily deal flash sales and instant location-based discounts. That’s why we’ve partnered with the daily design deals site Fab.com to help readers buy products from our United States of Design iPad app. A special pop-up store, which includes everything from Electric Love Bangles to Herman Miller chairs, makes these products available at a steep discount from what you’d pay at retail. (You’ll also get a subscription to Fast Company with each purchase.)
In selecting products for the app (which is free), we set out to find companies that are still committed to making beautiful things in America. The combination of a globalized economy, low-cost labor, and an un-quenchable consumer desire for cheap goods has obliterated much of this country’s manufacturing base. But we discovered an ecosystem of plucky American entrepreneurs who go to great lengths to keep “made in the U.S.A” alive–and alluring. You can read all about them in the app.
There may be no easier way to support American design and manufacturing than cheering and encouraging these creative businesses. (The companies and products were hand-picked by our editors; they were not required to take part in the pop-up shop, nor does Fast Company take a cut of any Fab.com sale.) So download the app, or head over to Fab.com and browse the pop-up shop starting today.