Despite the constant griping, we think that most people who lives in the Big A are fiercely proud of the city. But with our air conditioners from China and jeans made god-knows-where, we're not always doing our part to support local manufacturers (and, consequently, our environment). Now, lending a helping hand just got way easier with this rad resource we stumbled upon in Manhattan User's Guide. The free service is called Made In NYC, and it allows you to find local artisans who work in everything from the farmer's market to the fashion industry. The web destination for all things local has got an encyclopedic, easy-to-use set-up with listings of local producers broken down by category. Even more impressive is a sophisticated search function for "green products" that allows the user to specify the types of production techniques that are important to them. Concerned about clean energy? Search for NYC made products made using renewable resources. Is recycling of utmost importance? Find things made using significant amounts of recycled material. Since manufacturing employs approximately 81,000 New Yorkers, shopping local helps to support the local economy instead of sending your hard-earned paycheck to someone else's home turf. Because the site is a little daunting, we picked six people producing amazing things in our own backyard.
1. Anarchy in a Jar: This Brooklyn-based company makes jam, jellies, preserves, and chutneys in unique flavors like Hot Fireman's Pear Jam (pears, cinnamon and chipotle) or Strawberry Balsamic
2. Alive Structures: Bringing greenery into the city landscape, Alive Structures makes planters of all kinds that liven up the urban jungle. The Manhattan In A Box window displays are particularly interesting; They feature plants originally found on the island before it was developed.
3. Bowery Lane Bicycles: Since 2008, Bowery Lane Bicycles has been making affordable bikes for the urban warrior. The bikes are made in a factory that gets 30 percent of its power from solar panels, too.
4. Ryann: These sweatshop-free looks are made using organic cotton and hemp fabrics. Owner and designer Raina Blyer even donates $1 from every piece sold online to Added Value, a community organic farm project.
5. N + A New York: Handmade jewelry with delicate, three-dimensional shapes is the specialty of this designer. Noriko Sugawara studied at FIT and has been perfecting her art jewelry concept ever since.
6.Follis: Designer Catherine Meyer focuses on making her collection of leather bags functional and beautiful without flashy, unnecessary embellishments. The clean aesthetic is perfect from day-to-night.