Last Updated 11/1/23 to reflect the bankruptcy of Bed Bath and Beyond and the rebranding of Overstock.com. Also added Schoolhouse as a top source.
Shower Curtains? Who Cares About Shower Curtains?
When I look at at the categories of things made in China that people request most often, one I see come up are Shower Curtains. But if you dig deeply into how China came to dominate manufacturing of shower curtains, it fully reveals how brilliant the Chinese Communist Party was and how utterly foolish and myopic American corporations were–and still are.
In the original version of this blog post, I wrote a few paragraphs on how too many consumers don’t hesitate to buy made in China products from seemingly trivial categories like shower curtains. “A few dollars aren’t going to make a difference”. But the
Why Google Still Sucks at This
I originally wrote this post in 2022. When I updated this list in 2023, I Googled “Shower Curtains Not Made in China” and you can see to the left what they showed me.
I notice that their #1 and #2 picks are the same as mine (you’re welcome, Google) while their third pick is a Wayfair page. At one point I’d rated Wayfair as the best site on the Web for communicating country of origin. Sadly, Wayfair got sloppy and removed this information for consumers. But they kept their search results page for “Shower Curtains Not Made in China” up, and Google is foolishly continuing to trust them.
Sure enough, when I clicked on the Wayfair listing and clicked on the first search result for “shower curtains not made in China”, there was no country of origin listed on the product at all.
I opened a chat with their customer service. The good news is that the agent was very friendly, and appeared to have access to a database that gave definitive country of origin information. She was able to tell me that the product I was on was, sure enough, made in China despite that information being hidden from consumers.
When she asked me if that worked for me, I told her no, and politely asked her to find other options.
To her credit, she gave me options that were made in India and Pakistan. I asked her if there was a way I could search myself, and she said no.
By the way, this is a good reminder that even if a retailer or manufacturer Web site not NOT disclose country of origin, that doesn’t mean that they don’t know it. To the contrary, usually they’ll have the physical product sitting right in front of them, or access to a product database that shows them this information that their foolish marketing managers chose to hide from us.
So don’t be shy about reaching out to them and asking, politely and respectfully, if they can provide you with country of origin information for any product you’re searching for. And when you find out, I’d appreciate you leaving a comment on this site (if it’s a category I already covered) or on the forum.
How I came up with this list
I went through a slightly different process for this list. Normally I’ll review a large number of manufacturers and retailers. The problem, of course, is that the category of shower curtains is so commoditized and saturated that it’s practically impossible to go through thousands and thousands of products to find ones that are not made in China. I was able to find a handful of basic curtains and liners made in the USA on Amazon. But for the more traditional, decorative curtains I turned to BedBathandBeyond.com (formerly Overstock.com), where it’s much easier to spot the brands that choose to look for producers outside of China.
1. Multiple Items on Schoolhouse
I came across Schoolhouse when I was researching my article for Best Furniture Not Made in China. Schoolhouse does two things that I love.
First, as of this writing they’re sourcing their shower curtains from one country (Portugal). Second, they actually aren’t afraid to say it.
As you can imagine, I’m so sick of retailers that hide country of origin. It’s not like they don’t know this information—it’s right on the box! But they deliberately keep it off and/or replace it with the single word “Imported” because they think we’re idiots and can’t handle the truth. Let’s reward those retailers that actually do. (West Elm, 1888 Mills, Snowe, and MadeTrade are another brands that do this).
If you’re like me, you don’t really need a fancy shower curtain with lovely flowers or designs. You just want something functional that will keep your floor from getting drenched when you shower. And that’s why I appreciate this shower curtain liner from Kent & West (they say “liner”, so you can place it behind a decorative shower curtain, but of course you can use it by itself as well if you don’t care too much about privacy).
I love how they make a point to say that the material (PEVA, short for polyethylene vinyl acetate) is made in the USA. PEVA is healthier than regular “vinyl” (also known as PVC, or polyvinyl chloride) in that it doesn’t contain chlorine. When PVC is produced, used, or thrown out it releases dioxins into the environment, which are one of the world’s most persistent pollutants and a known cause of cancer. PEVC is produced without chlorine, dioxins, and phthalates. Bottom line, it’s better for you, it’s better for the planet.
The one thing that gives me pause when I read Kent & West’s product page on Amazon is that they seem to go completely out of their way to state that the PEVA is made in the USA, but they don’t come out and say upfront that their entire product is manufactured in the USA, which is something we care about just as much. It took a customer question in May 2020 to push them to say flat out that it’s also assembled in the USA.
So I’ll recommend them, but keep an eye on them. Usually when manufacturers are non-committal like this, it means they might be contemplating outsourcing their manufacturing. Which would be fine, as long as they don’t go to you-know-where.
3. Bean Shower Curtain – Best Basic, No-Frills Shower Curtain
If you search Amazon for “shower curtains made in the USA”, you’ll of course get mostly curtains made in China. But Bean Products was a welcome exception. If you’re in the market for a basic shower curtain that dries quickly, is machine washable, and made of all-natural materials, this is the product for you.
The curtain pictured here is their basic white cotton one. It comes in white, grey, and off-white colors. There are no decorations, just a simple, plain, and elegant solid color. It also comes i
I love that they use only use natural fabrics, and don’t have to deal with any chemical with “poly”, “ate” or “ine” in its name. Just cotton, organic cotton, hemp, organic hemp, or a blend.
Bean Products has been around for 33 years and prides themselves on using eco-friendly products, sustainably sourced and domestically produced. They’ve been based out of Chicago since their founding in 1987, when they invented the now-iconic Sleeping Bean Body Pillow. It’s great to see that they’re managed to continue to be successful, but have never caved into the pressure to outsource to China.
You can buy these from Amazon or directly from Bean Products.
4. Decorative Things – Extra-Long Shower Curtains in a Variety of Basic Styles
I had to do a double-take when I saw Decorative Things curtains on Amazon. I’d literally clicked on hundreds of Amazon listings before I saw listing after listing of their products made in the USA.
Decorative Things has been based out of New York City since 1988. Their speciality appears to be “extra long shower curtains”, available in 84″ lengths.
In my opinion, the designs are elegant, classy, and simple, unlike a lot of newer, gaudy made-in-China shower curtains.
If you need an extra-long shower curtain, this one seems like a no-brainer.
Thanks to Paul for mentioning Spirella in the comments. This is a brand out of Switzerland and happily for American consumers it looks like there’s a growing number of third party sellers making them available to the US.
The Amazon product pages don’t mention country of origin, but Spirella’s Web site does confirm that these are made in Europe.
As with any time you buy from an Amazon third party seller, be sure to reach out to make sure they’re legitimate, and ask them to double-check the country of origin before you buy from them.
At under $20 they are extremely reasonably priced and reviews indicate that they are of very high quality.
They don’t shrink, are lightweight, and are machine washable. They come in a variety of sizes and 12 basic colors.
7. Multiple Items sold on Bed Bath and Beyond (formerly Overstock)
I tried searching Amazon for other shower curtains that were not made in China, but because Amazon doesn’t allow me to see Country of Origin (and deliberately shows false and misleading results when you try to search “not made in China), I gave up trying to find anything on Amazon.
But happily, BedBathBeyond.com does display country of origin on all their products. It’s not 100% fool-proof, as I’ll detail below. And because they don’t have a way to filter by country of origin, finding a shower curtain not made in China is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But the fact that they list country of origin at all is a big plus in their favor, and so I recommend them over sites that actively work to hide country of origin information.
Here are some of the more popular designs and US-based makers.
7a. Americanflat – Gorgeous Designs
I never heard of Americanflat before, but they make some of the best selling shower curtains on BedBathandBeyond.com. When I visited their Web site, I could see why. They sell framed art, but unlike companies like Bed Bath and Beyond that mass produce generic art pulled from a stock photo site, Americanflat sources from real artists. It tells their stories, and it ensures that artists are compensated fairly.
Their product listing goes out of its way to say “100% Made in the USA for best in-quality production supporting local artists”. The designs, not surprisingly, are stunningly beautiful works of art. They’re made from 100% polyester fabric, so they’re durable. They do suggest using a liner.
Marimekko is a brand out of Finland that dates back to the 1950s. They’ve been a major influence on fashion and are known for their brightly colored fabrics and simple styles.
When I originally wrote this post Overstock.com had a number of products from them, but since their rebranding to BedBathBeyond.com they have unfortunately disappeared. But happily, you can find them on Amazon. Even better, Amazon does list the Country of Origin as Pakistan.
7c. Laural Home
Laural Home is a head-scratcher. On their site they say “We pride ourselves on our exceptional products, all of which are made in America”. And yet on their BedBathandBeyond.com product pages, many are marked with China as the County of Origin while others say the country of origin is the United States. In fact, some product listings say both.
My guess is that this means that the raw material (100% polyester) comes from China, but the final manufacturing is done in the US. It’s not ideal, and I wish Laural Home would work a little harder to find a source outside of China. But at the very least, it’s putting some artists and someone running the digital printer in New Jersey to work.
You’ll definitely want to avoid the product pages that say “County of Origin: China”. Even if they are using China and the United States interchangeably, you want to send a clear message to Overstock and Laural Home of what matters to you.
OliverGal has a number of beautiful designs at BedBathBeyond.com as well. They’re all 100% polyester and all say “Proudly made in the USA”.
It’s difficult to say where the polyester is sourced, but what we do know is that as with Laural Home the final artwork is done in the United States, so at least some workers and the company see some of the profits from it.
These designs are among the most beautiful I’ve seen on any shower curtain. Check them out.
Do you know of other shower curtain companies worthy of mention here? Let us know in the comments!
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