Carhartt Made in U.S.A. Collection | A Continuous Lean.

Carhartt Made in U.S.A. Collection

Oct 8th, 2012 | Categories: Made in the USA, Work Wear | by Michael Williams

This is the label that we all want to see.

Carhartt makes a lot of clothing in the U.S. (57 million garments since 1998), probably more than many people realize. The hard-working family owned Michigan outfitter hasn’t done much up until now to let people know just how much the brand produces domestically. That’s probably because it is an old school and humble Midwest company that prefers to let the conversation be about making quality stuff that keeps people safe and dry and warm. Carhartt is also a complex business that operates in a very competitive marketplace, a market that serves hardworking people who need to be very conscious of price.

While I know the Carhartt has been making clothing in the U.S. since Hamilton Carhartt founded the company in 1889, it hasn’t stopped me from being critical of the company at times. I have done this because, up until now, more emphasis has not been placed on made in USA. Every time I saw the Adam Kimmel collection I wished it was made here. To me, being made in the U.S.A. would have been the most interesting aspect of that type of collaboration collection, one that is clearly was targeted at a different consumer.

With the release of this new Made in USA Collection, the iconic workwear outfitter has made a commitment to offering U.S. made versions of its seven most popular pieces. Apparently, the creation of this collection is a direct response to consumers who wanted the option to buy domestically made goods.

The products made exclusively in the U.S. are:

Duck Detroit Jacket (J001)
Double-Front Work Dungarees (B01)
Duck Active Jac (140)
Duck Active Jac (J131)
FR Duck Active Jac (FRJ184)
FR Midweight Active Jac (FRJ237)
FR Relaxed Fit Straight Leg Jean (FRB100)

Since I started this site, my hope was just that I wanted people have the option to buy things that are made here — that everything doesn’t have to be imported or nothing. Realistically, people aren’t going to wear an entire wardrobe that is only made in the U.S.A., but there needs to be a balance. I feel like that’s good for your neighbor and just good business. Though I would have loved to see an interest in this a few years ago, I’m eager to see where Carhartt goes with this.

Comments: 31

31 Comments to “Carhartt Made in U.S.A. Collection”

  1. JRThom
    on Oct 8th, 2012
    @ 6:34 PM

    I’m glad they’ve decided to change their marketing strategy, but I wish they would expand the “Made in USA Collection”. It’s a real niche for them because most workers want clothing as cheap as possible, but I think it would definitely strengthen their brand. I actually just purchased a FRJ198 bomber jacket on ebay. The new stuff is OK but I have way too many hooded jackets as is.

  2. Clark
    on Oct 8th, 2012
    @ 10:15 PM

    I’m still wearing my C03 arctic lined duck jacket (Union Made in USA) that I bought about 7-8 years ago. Warmest jacket I own, definitely my favorite. Starting to get a little bit ragged, wouldn’t mind replacing it. The Made in the USA line is a step in the right direction, I hope they expand it more. I’m really not interested in replacing my jacket with the offshore version.

  3. Peter
    on Oct 9th, 2012
    @ 3:27 AM

    A lot of “real” workwear is MiUSA, not just Carhartt. My beef with Carhartt is that the clothes just don’t fit right. If you’re slender, it’s frankly dangerous to have all that fabric billowing about when you’re using a circ. saw or chainsaw.

    — it would be cool to see Carhartt do a Dickies 1922 style line — my 1922 shirt is just about perfect. I have owned 3 or 4 of Carhartt’s chore coats, am partial to the blanket lining — and actually wound up selling all them to a “vintage” clothing broker.

    Here in Europe, Carhartt has a slimmer cut because they’re just trading on the name — workers in France have their own brands/styles of garb.

  4. StevieTopSiders
    on Oct 9th, 2012
    @ 11:06 AM

    Hmmm….

    I’ve always wanted that brown work jacket thing, but I’m torn between getting a Made in USA version or waiting for Carhartt/APC to make one with better tailoring that would fit my thin frame better…

  5. Mark Paigen
    on Oct 9th, 2012
    @ 3:56 PM

    The important story here is that Carhartt feels enough pressure to talk about (and hopefully increase) their made in USA offering. As a small mfg I can make a small contribution, but it is big companies like Nike and Carhartt that can really move the needle.

    Two distinct demographics yearn for domestic goods – patriotic old-school-quality guys and younger hipsters who see -made in USA- as the new cool. Each has different buying styles and price thresholds. It will be interesting to see how much each group digs in their pockets.

  6. Ye Ole General
    on Oct 9th, 2012
    @ 5:44 PM

    As the owner of a retail store that has sold Carhartt since 1979, all I can say is “nice”. I remember when it was all made in the USA. Now I see a total of seven items. (The sock devision is a third party company, licensed to use the Carhartt name).

    We still carry Carhartt, but we also are proud to have ROUND HOUSE jeans, and overalls, all made in the U.S.A. Another company we have sold for years is POINTER BRAND. They make great coats, as well as jeans, and overalls. They also are all made in the U.S.

    Michael we have enjoyed, and appreciate all the posts you have published on American companies, large, and small.

    Thanks, Gordon

  7. Goober Hoedecker
    on Oct 9th, 2012
    @ 6:09 PM

    Chore coat was better unlined in canvas duck. Had it for years till it wore out. The sleeves bind your arms in the lined version….not good for bird hunting. Enuff said.

  8. marge
    on Oct 9th, 2012
    @ 9:30 PM

    You’re not a reporter, I get that. But this PR for Carhartt is a little much. It was only a few years ago that they stopped making their stuff in the USA–hence the 57 million since 1998 stat. Why did they stop? Was the family in danger of losing the farm? It’s fine to praise Carhartt for highlighting the work that made the name, created a brand that commands inflated prices for sweatshop clothes. I mean many brands like them use words like legacy and trade on their name and produce everything in sweatshops.

  9. Michael Williams
    on Oct 9th, 2012
    @ 10:25 PM

    I don’t think Carhartt ever stopped making in the U.S., Marge. I think you are wrong there.

  10. COLDASLIFE
    on Oct 10th, 2012
    @ 2:30 PM

    Nice article Michael,
    Appreciate the fact that the video features cold hard facts and stats as opposed to quite a bit of ‘romance’….

    Do an article on Langlitz. Shit is hard, and to be honest, I think people would enjoy it.

    Thaaannnkk youuuu Michael. Stay shredded bro.

  11. Ryan
    on Oct 11th, 2012
    @ 2:08 PM

    I might be in the minority, but I’m actually of the working class who wear carhartt branded clothing almost every day. It’s durable and lasts forever. My father has had his jacket for over 20 years, and I have had mine for nearly ten now. My jacket was made in the USA, union, so the tag tells me. So to see them rocking the made in the USA tag again is awesome.

    My only problem is my jacket is starting to wear a bit. I can’t buy another now though because they seem to no longer make the sleeves blanket lined, only nylon and that kills me! Does any one know if you can still buy carhartts that have blanket lining in the sleeves?

  12. Adam Cotton
    on Oct 11th, 2012
    @ 11:08 PM

    Any other actual North Dakota oilfield workers here that can comment on how warm the midweight FR active jac is? Starting to get cold here and I’m debating between it and the regular weight. Leaning towards the midweight becuause I can always layer and the fact that there are heaters everywhere on the rig. Just thought I’d see if anyone has used either during the winter up here and can comment on how they are while working.

  13. henrik
    on Oct 12th, 2012
    @ 12:19 PM

    @peter I am with you on that.

    Would be great if they at least made a medium-tall version of their coats. I’ve had to opt for dickies a few times because they offer that size. Still rather bulky imo, but at least no as bad. Good ol’ merica, land of the rotund.

    Would be awesome if they bring over more WIP stuff, and not just have it in speciality stores. The price on that stuff gets outta control waaay to quick here in the states.

    I’ve since been trying things in Filson workwear lately, I know, I know, most of it is made overseas now, but damn, their stuff runs HUUUGE too. Those workers back in the day were bean-poles. It just doesn’t make since. Again, they need to introduce taller sizes in much slimmer cuts. Even when layering; waaay to big.

  14. Johnny Horn
    on Oct 13th, 2012
    @ 1:32 AM

    Being from the UK, a Made in USA collection, won’t make me want to rush out and buy some. It has to look good. I really like Carharrt clothing and always have done, especially their WIP stuff. And damn! That logo is a classic…

  15. cool runnings
    on Oct 13th, 2012
    @ 2:25 AM

    @henrik
    i know i know, most of it is made in the usa always

  16. mat
    on Oct 13th, 2012
    @ 6:38 PM

    good to see them making it happen, made in america says quality to me, even being from outside the country.

  17. Freddy
    on Oct 13th, 2012
    @ 8:45 PM

    North Dakota oil rig workers read this site ? Who knew.

    And Marge .. you need to calm the F’ down.

    Y’all carry on.

  18. Tom in Minnesota
    on Oct 14th, 2012
    @ 10:02 PM

    Hey, I get it. The company moved some production overseas. But I love seeing a brand I love making a public statement that a new line is being made in the U.S. I hope that leads to more production here. Based on some comments in the thread above, I did go back and check some of my oldest Carhartt items, a tan insulated cap I bought in Fairbanks, AK in 1995 and a black insulated cap I bought a few years later (you need both during duck season, in case the first one gets wet, or in my case, frozen to the bottom of my boat for several weeks). Both were made in the U.S.

    Let’s do more again here. That makes lots of sense. And I will tell you that today I was traveling in the Twin Cities and stopped with my daughter at the Mall of America. I was dumbfounded to see a Carhartt store there (south side, lowest level, close to the Apple Store), and I loved every minute of my time there. I asked the clerk, “You guys carrying that Made in the USA stuff?” We walked right over and checked it out. Nicely done.

  19. YE OLE GENERAL
    on Oct 14th, 2012
    @ 11:17 PM

    Sorry guys, Marge is right. For a while Carhartt did stop producing clothes in the USA. What they are making now, is a small fraction of their catalog.

  20. Art
    on Oct 15th, 2012
    @ 10:04 AM

    Is made in the USA inclusive of all the materials as well?

    Thread, fabric, metal components and the raw material i.e. (cotton) grown herein US?

    The picture of the worker sewing on a foreign made equipment eludes to my questions. Are these items ‘assemble” here or are they truly a product of the USA?

  21. Tom Kiddle
    on Oct 15th, 2012
    @ 3:35 PM

    Adam,

    I wanted to respond to your question about the warmth of the Carhartt FR mid-weight outerwear vs. the FR heavy wieght outerwear. If you’ll be spending significant time outside, I would recommend sticking with the heavy weight garments as they provide superior wind resistance and significantly more warmth than the mid-weight styles. For comparison, the heavy weight outerwear features a tightly woven 13 oz duck canvas shell and a 12 oz lining, whereas the mid-weight features an 8.5 oz canvas shell and only an 8 oz lining. If your goal is to stay warm, stick with the heavy weight!

    Tom
    Carhartt FR Sales Team

  22. Richard Williams
    on Oct 16th, 2012
    @ 9:40 AM

    I just purchased a pair of the dark brown Carhart bibs last week. I was surprised (and disappointed) to see a “Made in Mexico” tag in them – aaaarrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!

    Nonetheless, they are quality made and will last me the rest of my life.

  23. Sgt Tickles
    on Oct 17th, 2012
    @ 11:36 AM

    Where does the fabric originate from? “Built in the USA” is a questionable phrase to me.

  24. jordan
    on Oct 17th, 2012
    @ 4:31 PM

    just got a pair of THOROGOOD boots, made in Wisconsin, most comfy cool boots I ever got, and under 150$ Peep em!

  25. jordan
    on Oct 17th, 2012
    @ 4:32 PM

    also the Roundhouse and Pointer Brand websites look great- great dungarees and overalls made in USA.. and not Unionmade-boutiqey prices of absurdity

  26. james
    on Oct 19th, 2012
    @ 1:16 PM

    @peter and @Ryan 100% agree – you gotta lurk on ebay for the 80s cuts or blanket lined duck jackets.

  27. cheeflo
    on Oct 22nd, 2012
    @ 5:17 PM

    Ye Olde General — Did you watch the video? Carhartt has never stopped manufacturing clothing in the USA.

    Art — Did you watch the video? Carhartt bought thousands of tons of cotton grown in Georgia.

  28. Ye Ole General
    on Oct 23rd, 2012
    @ 11:25 AM

    cheeflo, If Carhartt never stopped making products in the USA, why were they not available for sale?

  29. Ted
    on Oct 28th, 2012
    @ 5:14 AM

    This is good Sir

  30. East Bay Wireman
    on Oct 31st, 2012
    @ 12:40 PM

    I’m a union electrician who wears Carhartt work clothes everyday at the job site. As a craftsman I rely on the Carhartt brand to make durable clothes for the type of work that I do.

    I was surprised to find out that the Double-Front Work Dungarees that I use for work say “Made in Mexico”. I’m not knocking the Carhartt brand nor fellow workers in Mexico. It only makes more sense to manufacture in the USA to keep people employed and give a boost to our struggling economy.

  31. Beth Kinne
    on Nov 2nd, 2012
    @ 9:55 PM

    I have been married to a union electrician for 31 years. I remember as a newlywed I treated my husband to some new soft, warm flannel shirts. I had to take them all back to JC Penney, because they were not made in the USA. He educated me. Buy only Carhartts. It was nice to be able to order and buy this brand without checking labels. Now we struggle to find work clothing made in the USA. Sad. Carhartt come home. And bring the rest of the economy with you, please.