Made in Canada flags products that are made in Canada, publicly traded
First-year computer science student, Tyler Campbell, was busy before arriving at U of O for the first week of classes—but not just with getting back-to-school ready.
Over the summer, Campbell created a website that aimed to make it easier for Canadians to support their own businesses. The website, called Made in Canada, acts as a database that lists products from furniture to clothing and fast food. The website includes products with components from Canada, products assembled in Canada, and those that support Canadian labour.
Made in Canada was created shortly after Canada imposed tariffs on American goods on July 1, in response to the American government imposing tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel in May.
On July 2, Campbell and his family were discussing trade at his uncle’s birthday party. “We kind of had the idea of what we can possibly do to help ourselves and help others find Canadian products,” he said. “We figured if we’re learning about it I’m sure other people want to learn about it, so we may as well provide a resource.”
Campbell, his dad, and uncle are from Uxbridge, Ont., and work on the database together, compiling information on products and verifying submissions.
“Our main goal is to really promote thinking about what you’re buying,” said Campbell. “If something is publicly traded, or even if it’s American owned and it’s made here.”
Made in Canada flags products that are made in Canada and clarifies products that are publicly traded.
With over 2,200 listings, many of the products on the website come from contributions by fellow Canadians. Clothing, furniture, and B2B products are popular submissions, and the total make up over 500 of the databases posts.
Prices on Canadian goods can vary. A full-size mattress manufactured in Toronto from Logan & Cove costs $899, whereas the same size mattress from Casper, an American company, costs $1,075 CAD. A dress from the Canadian company Miik costs $169, and a similar dress from H&M costs $69, which is a Swedish company largely manufactured in South East Asia. Locally grown food can be bought fairly easily and affordably at farmer’s markets, but Canadian clothing tends to be more expensive.
“It’s just a matter of looking in the right place,” said Campbell, noting that cheaper options are often available.
“If you’re on a budget—you don’t have to buy Canadian if you can’t—that’s relatable for probably everyone here, but even if it’s just buying a different brand of chips, or something, that’s still a contribution,” he said.
While the website attempts to avoid politics, Campbell said there is that element to it. “We’re more about supporting Canadian, but if you’re going to be boycotting America anyways we’re happy to help,” he said.
The initiative has garnered strong support during this time of tense trade relations.
Campbell has given at least seven interviews to media outlets, including NPR and The Washington Post. “We didn’t expect to get more than a few thousand hits and here we are with three-quarters of a million,” he said. “It’s been ridiculous, we never expected anything like that.”
Moving forward, Made in Canada will continue to compile information on products, with the possibility of a podcast and a grocery list in the future.
For more information about Campbell’s initiative, and to view the list of Canadian products, visit www.madeinca.ca.