Seeing “Made in USA” printed on a label is, unfortunately, a rare occurrence these days. Manufacturing, including that of many major clothing brands, has been shifted to China and other developing countries. While outsourcing has greatly reduced manufacturing costs, it doesn’t always carry the same quality guarantee as the “Made in USA” label.
Luckily, there are still brands which choose to continue manufacturing some or all of their products at home in the US. Here, at WorkNGear, we support these brands and their US-made gear and clothing, so let’s have a look at who they are:
Carhartt is a leading manufacturer of work gear and apparel. This brand’s popularity has grown not just throughout the US, but throughout the world.
Carhartt was established in 1889 by NY-born entrepreneur Hamilton Carhartt (who deliberately added a second “t” to his surname, so it would stand out from the rest). Equipped with no more than 4 sewing machines and the help of just 5 employees, Hamilton Carhartt established what would become one of the most trustworthy US clothing brands. Initially, the company manufactured denim and duck overalls, which Carhartt tried to sell by traveling to towns across America.
In addition to their Made in USA line, Carhartt has pledged to support the domestic economy. The company has teamed up with Chrysler to launch the “Imported from Detroit,” line of workwear that’s designed in Detroit and Made in the USA. As an effort to save the city’s ailing economy, it’s a clothing line for those “who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty,” to rebuild what once was great.
The “Made in USA” line is manufactured in factories in Kentucky and Tennessee. You can see their locations on Carhartt’s awesome website.
Bates is a popular manufacturer of work shoes, boots and footwear accessories, some of which are geared towards the police and the military.
The company was founded in 1885 by Andrew Bates, a New England industrialist, widely regarded as the father of wholesale shoe selling. Bates’ insistence on high-quality footwear was soon recognized and his company became one of the biggest shoe manufacturers in New England.
In the 1960′s, Bates started manufacturing dress shoes for the US Navy and not long after footwear for other branches of the military as well. Today, Bates’ products are so widely recognized that they are used by the federal government, many public institutions and military organizations in more than 60 countries.
Today, Bates has a line of American-made shoes, which supports the company’s other patriotic initiatives such as the Boot Campaign. They are also partnering up with another popular US brand – Wolverine, benefiting from each other’s research and manufacturing practices.
Chippewa Boots, previously known as the Chippewa Shoe Manufacturing company, is one of the leading manufacturers of work and outdoor footwear.
Established in 1901 in a small Wisconsin town by the name of Chippewa Falls, the company proudly calls itself an American brand. The company started out small, but its boots were soon in big demand and the shop was moved to a large downtown facility, which still functions as a factory today.
Chippewa Boots receives credit for pioneering shoes that were pivotal for 20th century US history. Among them are the Logger boots, made for the tough working environments in the upper Midwest and Canada, and the Engineer boots, a field work boot that also looks very presentable. In the 1940′s the two designs were merged to form a shoe that looked like the Engineer boot but had the Logger’s heel. This became the iconic footwear of motorcycle enthusiasts at the time. Chippewa Boots is also known as the first company to use Vibram® shoe soles, and it’s famous for its numerous collaborations with the US military.
Today, all Chippewa Boots manufactured in the US bear the “Handcrafted in the USA” label “as homage to the men and women that have built the Chippewa brand.”
Klogs is a relatively new shoe brand, established in 1999 in the American Midwest. The company has grown to international dimensions, but continues to be a family-owned business, headquartered in Sullivan, Missouri.
Klogs shoes are designed especially for people whose professions require them to stand on their feet for a prolonged period of time. Many Klogs are made with polyurethane, which makes them lightweight and durable . The sole is made to be oil and slip resistant, while the footbed is especially designed to absorb shock and prevent the spread of bacteria, thus helping your feet stay odor-free. In addition, all of their shoes allow orthopedic insoles to be placed inside, making sure they can be worn by literally anyone. A testament to how comfortable Klogs shoes are is the “WOW” Komfort motto, coined by the company’s customers themselves.
Despite the recent economic crisis, Klogs continues to keep a line of shoes manufactured exclusively in America.
These are only some of the shoe and clothing companies that are dedicated to keeping their US factories functioning. They deserve our support, because US-made products create new jobs and boost the economy.
Do you think it’s important to buy American-made products? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.