You want to find the best American clothing brands. Because you want to shop Made in the USA with companies that don’t outsource their clothes to be made in Malaysia, China, Vietnam, or even India is a little like looking for the Loch Ness Monster, or Sasquatch, or UFOs and space aliens. They may be out there, but they are fairly rare.
Brands and retailers such as Gap, H & M, Benneton, Zara, Van Hussen, Arrow, Izod, Nike, Hanes, Calvin Klein, Bass, Levis, Pumaa and literally hundreds more outsource most of our clothing to other countries.
In the 1960’s, Americans manufactured 95 percent of their clothes in the U.S. Today that number has dropped to around 2 percent of all production.
Says Edman Herzberg, founder of a trade publication following the clothing industry,
“Bringing apparel manufacturing back to America in a meaningful way is an impossible task for a variety of reasons. If you ask consumers, Would you prefer to buy something made in America versus not Made in America?’ the answer will almost always be, ‘Yes,’
But if you tell them that the difference in price could be 5x — so that white t-shirt is not $10, it’s $60, they say, ‘No, I’ll go back to the $10 t-shirt.
Are American Clothing Companies Still Holding on?
Despite the fact that the cat is long out of the bag and clothing will never become a major source of manufacturing in the U.S. again, there are still a number of clothing manufacturers who insist they can compete in the marketplace against the brads that outsource most of their clothing. Some American clothing brands are:
The beloved hatmaker, with hats once referred to as the “boss of the plains,” started in 1865, and has made their hats only in the USA, a great deal of that time being made from a plant of Philadelphia, but currently manufactured by a subcontractor in Garland, TX.
2. Baldwin Denim & Collection
Founded in 2009 by Matt Baldwin of Kansas City, these mostly handcrafted clothes are not cheap, ranging from around $60 for a simple tank-top design to around $1,000 for designer coats, but people seem willing to pay for the quality.
3. American Giant
The company makes all its hoodies and other garments from Carolina cotton and is able to maintain reasonably priced by not having any brick and mortar stores, and selling direct to consumers online.
4. Goodwear USA Clothing
Every step of the process of producing top-end shirts and sweatshirts is conducted within the U.S. and the cotton is American-grown.
AMVI, which is short for American Made, and Vintage Inspired, is a Los Angeles company that buys its cloth for leggings, and t-shirts only from American mills, and produces there elegant but casual products themselves.
6. Buck Mason
Two Venice Beach neighbors teamed up in 2013 with the aim of producing jeans and t-shirts for men that were not only minimalist but which would not go out of style, within the next year. They collaborated with local California mills, and they now produce an entire line of clothes that they sell from six stores nationwide.
7. Imogene & Willie
A married couple began buying locally and producing jeans for women, “the Imogene” for women and the “Willy” for men, and have since moved their operation into a renovated gas station, and now sells a line of clothes both in the Nashville Store and online.
8. Grewn & Sewn
After working for Ralph Lauren for over 10-years, owner Robert Magness, decided to launch his own men’s line of casual pants, exclusively made in USA. He now has a flagship store in New York selling primarily khaki and denim pants and has also branched out to stores in Japan.
Genetic Los Angeles
A clothing brand that decided to produce its own factory in 2016 to locally manufacture women’s jeans, Genetic even offers a $30 rebate to customers on their jeans if they turn in an old pair for recycling.
9. Welcome Stranger
A San Francisco company that manufactures their own minimalist jeans, all of their designing and manufacturing takes place locally.
The elder Haspel, Joseph Haspel Sr. designed the first seersucker suit in the United States to counteract the summer heat in his native New Orleans. Now, this family-owned
company continues in the same tradition making seersucker and other fabric designs, all from all American clothing. The company has big-name partnerships with retailers such as Nordstroms.
11. Beyond Clothing
Beyond Clothing is another manufacture of clothing that follow the strictly “all American clothing” concept. They produce high-end sportswear, layered so they dry quickly and keep you warm.
12. Flynn Skye
Flynn Sky, a Los Angeles Designer, produces made in USA beachwear, from local sources.
Her style is producing a cross between beachwear and urban clothes, fitting of her Venice Beach headquarters.
13. Hackworth Design House
A St.Paul, Minnesota company, who has a few core designs and then produces weekly, “limited edition items,” producing only 25 at a time, These super-comfy, women’s clothes are produced locally by Minnesota seamstresses, and pretty much the majority of their line are made to order, yet they retain a reasonable price tag. 2
This Los Angeles, all-American brand, produces everyday women’s wear, and despite being made in the USA, their catalog contains many items as cheap as $20.
15. Brook There
Brook There produces luxurious lingerie from 100 percent, organic US cotton. They also produce informal women’s tops and bottoms, The prices go from the reasonable to the exorbitant, but people love them.
As you can see from our list, except for brands such as Stetson, which are widely known, the key to most of these companies is to find a niche, produce custom or near-custom items, and then not really sweat whether they can cut an extra dollar or two by selling to companies like Walmart.
It seems clear, that the future of American Clothing Brands is selling to the discriminative buyer who is willing the pay the extra price for quality, and it is not the “American Content” that makes them successful, but the attention to detail and quality which really sells the product.