The MIA Project: A Mindful Spin On The One-Stop-Shop

by Maxwell Tielman


Being a consumer in the modern world—especially one that is trying to make conscientious choices—can sometimes seem like an exercise in futility. Contemporary consumer culture is a suffocating, omnipresent force in many of our lives, one that has instilled in us countless bad habits—from turning a blind eye to questionable manufacturing methods to looking at cheaply manufactured goods as disposable and infinitely available. One of the biggest impediments to conscious consumption, however, is our collective love of convenience. As much as we all want to support independent craftspeople, small businesses and locally-manufactured products, easy access can be quite the temptress, trumping even the most noble of intentions. This is what makes The MiA (Made In America) Project, the brainchild of Micha Thomas and Jaime Lawson, so unique, timely and downright useful. A brilliant combination of consciously-sourced Made-In-America products and one-stop-shop goodness, The MiA Project seeks to make supporting domestic production as easy, accessible and fun as shopping at your favorite department store.

Launching today, The MiA Project is two-fold in its aspirations. On one hand, the website features a curated online shop, filled with American-made fashions, jewelry and home goods. On the other, MiA is also looking to expand its philosophy beyond the confines of its website, providing a “badge of honor” to any brands, products and makers that meet their criteria. The end goal is that of creating an accessible, easily identifiable community of makers and buyers that promotes and nurtures the creation of homegrown products. —Max

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  • Hi DS Team. Something about this site isn’t sitting right. I wouldn’t have noticed except I came across the Iconic Hudsons Bay Blanket sold in Canada since 1800.
    Take a look for yourself:

    Original Canadian HBC blanket:

    knock off on MIA:

    While the MIA company is a good idea, they probably didn’t research the supplier of the blanket properly, and are possibly unaware it is a knock off. If that is the case though, then every product on the site is subject to question, and so is the site.

    Sorry to be the one to burst the bubble, I wouldn’t have noticed except I’m Canadian, and the iconic blanket is older then our flag. As you’ll probably research the site further, please let me know what you find, there is always a chance I am wrong.

    Have a beautiful day,

    • Hi, Allison!

      Thanks for your insight on this! The blanket on the MiA site is actually manufactured by Pendleton, widely considered the American version of The Hudson Bay Company. From my understanding, both companies produced similar products more or less contemporaneously in the nineteenth century, with Pendleton becoming more popular in the States. The patterns used by both companies were actually inspired by Native American patterns and motifs. The Pendleton version of the blanket is for sale on the MiA site, because they sell only Made-in-America products. If you’d like more information regarding the Hudson Bay/Pendleton back story, my coworker Amy Azzarito covers it in her book, Past & Present: http://www.amazon.com/Past-Present-Favorite-Decorative-Projects/dp/1617690201/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398967111&sr=8-1&keywords=past+and+present

  • @allison – The “knock off” blanket you are referring to is a Pendleton product. As far as I know, Pendelton isn’t considered to be in the business of knocking off ideas and is a widely respected company.

    …just my two cents.


  • I am a self professed history geek and actually did living history in high school at Fort Vancouver, one of the preeminent trading posts of the Hudson Bsy Company. The stripes actually represent the quality of the blanket (more stripes equals heavier weight wool). Originally the stripes were all black, and then colors were incorporated to be more fashionable as time went on. So as graphic as the stripes are (probably the main reason these blankets are still so sought after), their beginnings are entirely functional and appeared at trading posts all over North America as a quality marker for blankets. I live just a few miles from a Pendleton factory and can assure you their quality is top notch and they are a top company with regards to standards all the way around. :)

  • Finally! It’s such a relief to have something like this because it is difficult to keep both cost and the origin of the product in mind. Now, if they could just replace the Walmarts of the world.