FAW is celebrating American Made Fashion this July 4th!
Did you know that 98% of clothing worn in America is made overseas? In honor of Independence Day, we’d like to highlight 6 noteworthy American made fashion brands that are rethinking the way we approach clothing. Through sustainability, quality, fit, and vertically-integrated manufacturing processes; these brands are preserving domestic jobs and redefining the meaning of “Made in America.” Whether you receive an idea for your own business or find a new online shop- we hope this list inspires you in some way!
Highlighting Our 6 Favorite American Made Fashion Brands
Hackwith Design House
Hackwith Design House is a sustainably-focused American made fashion womenswear label made in Minnesota. Like many eco-conscious lines- the fabrics are sourced locally and fabric waste is recycled- but their “Sustain Shop” is their business model’s icing on the cake. Hackwith allows their customers to return pieces that they no longer wear in order to expand the product’s life-cycle. Garments that are in perfect condition are discounted and resold on the e-commerce shop while the owner is awarded a $20 store credit per item. Clothes that are mildly damaged (rips, tears, stains) are examined by the design team and either mended or transformed into a completely new garment and sold online.
Peg and Awl
Peg and Awl is a Philadelphia-made lifestyle brand started by husband and wife, Walter and Margaux Kent in 2010. All of the product is completely made from reclaimed materials mostly consisting of domestic wood, wax canvas, and antique leather. The couple’s love of reclaimed materials stems from their love of the history behind each object they find. The idea for the company started after Margaux urged Walter to make a tub caddy after his return from Iraq. She insisted it be made from reclaimed wood. The caddy became a best seller on Etsy and the couple realized that this could, in fact, be a business. Today they make everything from wallets, to notebooks, and chalk-tablets, but the totes and messenger bags are among their best-sellers. The bags are made from organic, locally-sourced waxed cotton and the leather straps are all made from WW2 era gun-slings. The decorative trims are sourced with interesting antique finds like ticking from 19th-century mattresses. And of course, the zippers are vintage as well. The jewelry is all wax-carved from recycled metals and leathers found in old shops, flea markets- even yard sales. The eccentric approach to sourcing adds greater depth to the items they create while the materials used gain a longer lifespan.
Bario Neal is a Philadelphia-made jewelry label and collaborative work of Anna Bario and Page Neal. The line is an extension of the designers’ devotion to social justice and ethical sourcing. Started in 2008, Bario Neal became one of the very first companies to participate in the Fair-Mined Assurance Label. The fair-mined certification ensures that all miners meet rigorous social and environmental standards. The designers only work with small-scale artisanal miners who produce recycled metals as this minimizes environmental impact. But perhaps their most notable quality is the traceability of the gemstones- which is deemed nearly impossible for gems. Through persistent research and outreach- the company confidently ensures that their diamonds are of recycled Australian, Canadian and Namibian origin. All of the stones have been repurposed from old stock jewelry which again minimizes impact from industrial, pollution-causing processes. They believe that every stone truly matters.
Imogene + Willie
Imogene + Willie is a Nashville-made denim brand founded in 2009. It’s the brainchild of Matt and Carrie Edmonsen, who had a simple goal of making perfectly fitting jeans for both men and women. They achieve this through their democratic design process. Client concerns turn into design ideas and multiple cuts are offered. The men’s shop carries 5 different styles and the women’s carry 7 that all vary in the rise, hip curve, and leg shape. However, the company goes a step further with their dedication to denim care and preservation. Each pair of jeans sold comes with a 1-Year Limited Repair Policy that allows customers to return their damaged jeans and have them repaired and sent back free of charge. Their sewing team is prepared to handle rips, tears, pocket bag holes, blowouts, fraying hems among many other repair needs. The same services are offered for the lifetime of the garment but charges apply after the first year.
Stock Mfg. Co.
Stock Clothing is a menswear label based in Chicago that’s built on a vision of affordable, quality American Made fashion. The online shop focuses on men’s staple pieces and custom uniform aprons for local businesses, all ranging from $35-275 dollars. After their early years of outsourcing from local Chicago factories, building their own factory has now facilitated a simpler production process-keeping retail costs down and creating new jobs for Chicago natives. The in-house factory was birthed after two years of research to pioneer a new way of manufacturing clothing. The factory system incorporates a blend of Lean Manufacturing and Toyota’s production system to eliminate waste while maintaining quality and productivity.
Last but not least, Todd Shelton’s men and womenswear label were founded in East Rutherford, NJ with the hopes of building a meaningful long-term client base through fit and trust. Todd Shelton’s most notable quality is the way in which they tackle the fit complications of online shopping. Their NJ cutting and sewing factory intentionally creates styles with multiple fit options. The garments not only resolve problems with fit circumference but also length- tackling inseams and sleeve lengths which are areas that many designers still ignore. Todd Shelton offers in-between sizing including S/M, M/L, L/XL, and XL/XXL and pants that come in three seat, thigh, and leg fit options. The company also offers a fit trial program called “Fit Kit.” Clients are asked to complete a brief fit- profile form online so the team can get a detailed sense of the body type and ship two of the closest size options to try-out before the order size is confirmed. Though the Fit Kit is free with shirt orders, customers can request a kit with any type of order. After each shipment, the customer service team follows up to confirm whether the garment fits perfectly or needs further adjustments. The fit notes are kept in the customer’s login account for future purchases.
We hope you were inspired by this inventive group of American made fashion designers. Do you have a unique idea for a fashion business but not sure where to start? We encourage you to book a 1-on-1 Strategy Session with our founder and fashion industry expert Christine Daal to flesh out your ideas and make your dream come true.
Read our client's testimonials here. 🙂
And for more weekly Fashion Business tips, check out our Fearless Fashionpreneur Facebook Page and subscribe below!
Like this post?
Sign up to get more like it