American workwear putting Americans to work.
American workwear brand Carhartt is putting Americans back to work with their new Made in the USA Collection. Since 1889 the brand has been a favorite of tradesmen, farmers and weekend DIYers. Founded in Dearborn, Michigan as a supplier to railroad workers, the Carhartt label has stood for heavy-duty construction and heavy insulation, becoming as integral as any tool in the worker's toolkit.
In the 1990s Carhartt began to move their production outside the US, first to company-owned shops in Mexico and then to outsourcing facilities. This decision made financial sense, but for a brand so popular with trade union members it was a cognitive disconnect.
Beginning this year Carhartt is changing course. A selection of their most popular pieces will be made in four factories in Kentucky and Tennessee. More than 900 UFCW members will be employed in the process. Carhartt even produced a video for their web site allowing us a peek at their production floor.
There's no doubt that re-shoring production will have an impact on Carhartt's margins, and customers can expect to pay a bit more themselves. But for a brand so tied to the American worker, this is a decision that makes sense for the company and its consumers.