I never thought I was much of a brand person, but now that I'm older, I guess I have my favorites. When I find something I like, I stick with it, and will gladly have less of other stuff in order to have a bit of what I really like.
Shoes: Keens all year round, just discovered Dansko for when I have to walk and be professional, Saloman Uma boots all winter
Clothes: Athleta, Eileen Fisher (outlet conveniently located near me), stuff I can get from Sierra Trading Post and REI like SmartWool, Patagonia, Columbia, Mountain Hardwear
House stuff: Linoto Linens (I always need to save up for them, but totally worth it), Crate and Barrel, All Clad, Williams Sonoma Gold Nonstick for baking pans, Klean Kanteen thermal bottles
Knitting: Dyakcraft Needles
Tech stuff: Apple (first computer was an Apple II Plus!)
Recipes: Anything from Cooks Illustrated
Bags to organize and carry it all: Tom Bihn!
There's some interesting stuff in this thread. Might have to check some of these out.
Most of mine are of the skin and hair care variety.
Hair: Curl Junkie, Darcy's Botanicals and Lapretentieuse
Skincare: AmazonDrops and A&P Soaps
Using brands should offer consistency in quality, price, sizing, styling, compatibility etc. So I tend towards the following:
TB obviously - I think that ticks all five boxes above, unfortunately prices can end up a bit steep by the time you add carriage, import duty and value added tax, but I wouldn't sacrifice any of the other 'boxes' to satisfy that issue!
Orvis for clothes - again this ticks all the boxes and, as they always have sales on, I doubt I've ever actually paid full price for anything!
Apple for electronics - I feel I'm going to repeat myself, but the big thing here is compatibility... when I buy a new Apple product, I open the box, switch it on and it not only works, but it also works with all my other Apple products seamlessly.
Hotter shoes - an English shoe maker who make the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. I tried other makes including Ecco, but I have very delicate little tootsies as a result of my affliction, and they gave me blisters... no such trouble from Hotter.
Can-Am for quad bikes - I used to ride Buell motorcycles until my disability, but that's no longer possible, so my bikes now have four wheels and you just cannot beat Can-Am.
Cannondale bicycle - before I was injured I rode mountain bikes at every opportunity, and of all my bikes Cannondales were the best. I still have one-an old, proper, made in the USA CAAD2 with a head-shock and bespoke fittings of XTR or better. I know I'll never ride it again, but I still look after it and won't sell it if I can help it!
MontBlanc pens - I've had a set of pen, pencil and ball-point for over 25 years and love them to bits. I lost the fountain pen 8 years ago and had to replace it. It's the same model, with the same double broad nib, but I'd still like the old one back.
Dualit - A final one, and a quirky one at that! I recently bought a Dualit toaster. It cost me £200 ($320) which could have bought 10 lesser toasters, but I'm confident that this will be the last toaster I will ever have to buy, and that it will still be making perfect toast for my great-grandchildren.
Whenever possible I'll buy products made in their native country or region vs far east - unless nothing comparable exists. I also appreciate 'cottage' manufacturers over global brands. My other passion is backpacking, so most of the brands listed below are for outdoors activities.
Tents - Hilleberg (Sweden), TarpTent (USA)
Sleeping Bags - Western Mountaineering (USA)
Sleeping Pads - Exped (Swiss design, made in China grrr)
Backpacks - Ultralight Adventure Equipment (USA)
Stoves - MSR (USA)
Snowshoes - Northern Lites (USA), MSR (USA)
Trekking Poles - Pacerpole (England)
Waterproof or Insulated Clothing - Rab (British design, made in China grrr), Montane (likewise), Black Rock Gear (USA), Mountain Laurel Designs (USA)
Cameras - Leica (Germany), Panasonic (Japan)
Camera Bags - Billingham (England)
Wax Cotton Jackets - Barbour (England - Classic collection still made locally)
Clothes: Mountain Khakis, Patagonia and Diamond Gusset jeans
writing instruments: pentel. they're nothin' fancy, but i have been heavily using the same .05mm Sharp mechanical pencil every single day since my sophomore year of college (over a decade!!) and it's still clickclickclickin' away, which is none too shabby. also the retractable energel pens are so nice.
journals/notebooks: moleskine (for calendar-type things), leuchtturm1917 & rhodia/clairefontaine for journaling or note-taking. i like buying these kinds of things from goulet pens, as they give incredible, TB-esque service, decent enough prices, and purchasing from them supports a small family-owned/operated business (ps field notes lovers, they also carry these!).
clothing: smartwool socks, icebreaker tees/dresses, arc'teryx outerwear (making me hate iowa winters 70% less since 2006!), for work, it's madewell/jcrew/clarks for office-appropriate shoes and red wing safety shoes. american apparel tees/sweatshirts and 7 for all mankind jeans + the occasional uniqlo piece for casual times. my favorite shoes ever were simple brand, which sadly no longer exists, and birkenstocks are also pretty alright.
other rando stuff: hydro flask for water bottles, mywalit wallets (which i heard about here!), tb bags (obviously!), ws badger lip balms + sunblock, le creuset cookware ($$$ but so helpful for keeping even cooking temps while not scratching our glass-top stove; also, who doesn't like cooking with a rainbow?)
I love many of the brands already listed above. Smartwool, Keen Shoes, Apple, Kleen Kanteen...
Lodge Cast Iron Cookware. I bought it for camp cooking, but it pushed out my super expensive All Clad, and has become my everyday cookware. I love it!
Coastal Classic Creations cosmetics
I do a lot of my shopping on Etsy, so many of my "brands" are quite small. I'm excited to look up some of the new to me brands that others have listed.
I didn't exactly know where to put this, and I hope its OK, but Soft Star Shoes, an USA made barefoot/moccasin style shoe company is having their annual clearance sale.
It just started at noon PST and I already snagged a pair of Merry Janes and a pair of Moccasins. Right now the sale is 25% off. As time goes on, the discount increases, but as styles sell, obviously selection diminishes. If you were curious about Soft Star, or craving a pair of hand made shoes, this may be your opportunity to try them for a discount. :)
eta Darcy, if this is not welcome or inappropriate, please delete my post, many apologies.
Thanks for the heads up on the Soft Star Shoes sale! I went to the website and now I'm a little obsessed. I've been wearing Kigo minimalist shoes, but they're not made in the USA and it's way too cold to wear them outdoors in the winter. Have you found the fit to be true to size? I tend to be a 38ish in European sizes, which puts me roughly in American size 7.5 or 8, and it looks like Soft Star Shoes go by whole sizes.
I got a pair of Platinum Merry Janes and Black front Purple Back smooth leather moccisans. What goodies did you end up finding?