Carhartt – Made In The South
Upon hearing the frustrations of a railroad engineer with his clothing, Hamilton Carhartt seized the opportunity to make better wares for the working man. Now, 124 years later, the business bearing his name (Carhartt) is 4,400 workers strong and synonymous with durability and longevity — tough as the workers, ranchers and outdoorsmen who count on it daily.
As you would guess, clothing production falls into the dwindling category of U.S. manufacturing — more than 600 textile factories in the U.S. have closed since 1998. And while Carhartt has remained a stalwart, always maintaining some of its manufacturing stateside, in response to requests from fans, it recently rolled out a Made In The USA line. The line features seven of the company’s most iconic pieces, all of which are made entirely in America, from materials sourced in the U.S.
Bearings is particularly encouraged that this special line also comes from the hands of workers down South — more than 1,200 of them — in four factories across Kentucky and Tennessee. And along with its own production contribution, Carhartt further bolstered our region with the purchase of 16 million lbs. of cotton from Mt. Vernon Mills in Trion, Georgia, and that was just last year alone.
While Northern by birth (Carhartt was founded in Detroit and is still based out of nearby Dearborn, Michigan), the brand strongly resonates with the Southern ethos. “Much like the South, Carhartt values honoring your heritage, staying true to your roots, family and a hard day’s work,” Vice President Tony Ambroza told us. The sincerity of this alignment is evidenced by their adoption in more than 1,500 Southern retailers, making them a familiar name for most of us.
Today, this global business is still a private company, owned by the founding family. This carries the benefit of aiding a steadfast adherence to the original vision of serving the American worker, both inside and outside their walls.
“Fortunately the family who founded the business still owns Carhartt outright and understands how the company’s heritage is linked to U.S. manufacturing. We work to ensure our products are still built to the high standards established by our founder, Hamilton Carhartt, while keeping our prices competitive and affordable. Thanks to our manufacturing approach, we are able to maintain U.S. manufacturing without increasing the price for our U.S. styles.”
“The American worker is rugged, resilient, working harder than ever and demanding more from brands. This is why we build our products to last, with durable materials and rugged styling that works on the job and fits their life off of it,” Tony added.
You can find the current Made In The USA products here; keep an eye out for additions to the line this holiday season.