One tough bird


hardwick clothes

American legacy firms are amazing.  I have written posts on a bunch of them.  Hart Schaffner Marx, Allen Edmonds, Wigwam, Crane and Lamson Goodnow to name a few.  Well I just found out about another member of this elite club of American manufacturers.  Hardwick Clothes.

Hardwick Clothes has been making amazing blazers, sports coats, pants and suits in Cleveland, Tennessee for almost 135 years.  The company, which was originally named Cleveland Woolen Mills, was founded by local businessman C.L. Hardwick.  Hardwick was a big wheel in Cleveland, so he put his son, George L. Hardwick, in charge of running the mill.  In 1925, Cleveland Woolen Mills became Hardwick Woolen Mills.  Hardwick Woolen Mills was vertically integrated.  Hardwick employees at one end of the factory wove the wool yarn while Hardwick employees at the other end of the factory cut and sewed the firm’s wide range of garments.  And what a killer motto Hardwick came up with: “From the sheep’s back to the clothing rack.”  Nice.

After struggling through the depression, Hardwick Woolen Mills came roaring back in the 1940s and did their bit in WWII, manufacturing uniforms for our men serving in the armed forces.  As American men began their love affair with cheap suits sewn in the Middle Kingdom and other dreary third world locales in the 1980s, Hardwick’s fortunes began to suffer.  Eventually, the Hopper family, who at that time owned Hardwick Clothes, was forced to seek bankruptcy protection in 2013.  But from that nadir, Hardwick Clothes has rallied in an impressive manner.

Three months ago, Cleveland, Tn., entrepreneur Allan Jones acquired Hardwick Clothes.  Jones shrugged off the thought that the bankruptcy process would hold Hardwick back, noting that “Hardwick has been through two fires, two World Wars, the Great Depression, and leisure suits.” Under Jones leadership, Hardwick is on the rebound.  The firm launched a new website and brought in Bruce Bellusci as Hardwick’s new chief operating office and Jeffery Diduch as Hardwick’s new clothing designer.  Both Bellusci and Diduch had formerly worked at Hart Schaffner Marx.

Hardwick’s clothing looks really impressive.  I might have to snag a Hardwick Bristol sports coat; it looks very snazzy.

hardwick bristol sports coat

Also on my wishlist are several pairs of Hardwick’s Parker Men’s Pants in Tropical Wool.  They are available in navy, charcoal, black, British tan, and olive.  I am not aware of any other American firm making wool dress pants that aren’t the lower part of a suit.  Pretty nice don’t you think?

Hardwick parker pant

So I urge you, the next time you need new slacks, blazers or a new suit, head to Hardwick’s website and make your purchase.  It will be a twofer.  You will get a handsome, handmade product that will make you look sharp and will give you years of wear.  And you will provide employment for the wonderful members of our extended American family working at the Hardwick facility in Cleveland, Tennessee.  What could be better than that?

HardwickEmployeesThanks

Now get shopping!

 

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Ya gotta start somewhere


 

brooks brothers

Three years ago I bought three Brooks Brothers Oxford dress shirts like the one pictured above.  A white one, a blue one and a blue striped one.  I bought the three for $140 during the Brooks Brothers Spring sale.  I love them because I don’t have to have them laundered; they are easy to iron even for an ironing challenged fella like myself.

Two years ago, I repeated the exercise and once again spent $140 and bought three Brooks Brothers Oxford dress shirts, a white one, a blue one and a blue striped one, during the Brooks Brothers Spring sale.   I didn’t repeat that exercise this year.  Want to know why?  Well I will tell you.

The reason I didn’t buy any Brooks Brothers shirts this year is because the original three I bought three years ago and wear to work once a week are still going strong.  Only the blue one is beginning to some slight fraying at the cuff, the place where all dress shirts first throw in the towel.  My second three Brooks Brothers Oxford shirts are still waiting their turn to move into the Briggs’ shirt rotation.  Given the amazing quality of my Brooks Brothers shirts made by members of our extended American family, they may be waiting quite awhile.

You and I, just by changing some of our buying habits, literally have the power to change an American’s life.  If you decided, starting today, that you would buy an American made shirt, skirt, tie, or hat the next time you went to the mall, you might be the reason that Brooks Brothers, Hart Schaffner Marx, Wigwam, Allen Edmonds, or Karen Kane decided they needed to hire a new worker.  A new worker who would have a paycheck to support their family.  Who would have the money in their pocket to go out and buy goods made by their American sisters and brothers.  And so on and so on.  So join me and millions of other Americans who are deciding that they will make American made goods their first choice when they go shopping.

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It’s that time of year again!


school bus

As a child, the last week of August was always rather depressing.  Sure I wasn’t in school, but I would be soon.  I would go through the motions of enjoying my last week of whatever camp I was attending, but my heart just wasn’t in it.  I knew what was just around the corner.  But before I marched off to school like the brave young members of our extended American family pictured above, there was a depressing outing to be endured.  The school supply shopping excursion.  You remember them.  Being asked by your mum whether you wanted blue or black ink pens.  Like I cared.  And there was always a lot of other products to be purchased.  Notebooks.  Dividers. Binders. Labels.  The list went on and on.

Thankfully, those trips are a thing of the past for me, but my son Benjamin is still is in the market for such things since he is a sophomore in college.  So we will be buying school supplies for him in the next few weeks, but we are making sure that the aforementioned products we are buying him will be providing jobs to members of their extended American family.  I urge you to do the same.  And it couldn’t be easier.  All you have to know to send you kiddo back to school with American made school supplies, whatever his or her age, is one word.  Guided.

Guided makes lots of products that any student of any age would need to shine at school.  All of their products are made from recycled materials.  And they are made in Kent, Washington, a small city to the south of my big city of Seattle.  Guided has three levels of binders, but their original binder is fine for students.

rebinder original binder

If your child is enamored with say, unicorns, you can order custom Guided Rebinder binders with a badass unicorn on them that would allow your child’s binders to declare, “Yeah, my owner loves unicorns, and she is not ashamed to declare said allegiance on her binders!  Ya got a problem with that?”

goth unicorn

After you have the goth unicorn binders in hand, you are going to need dividers and divider labels of course.  Guided has you covered there as well, though I might forego the custom goth unicorn design on the dividers.

tabs

When it comes to notebooks, Guided has many options to offer.  Field trip in November to some swamp to observe salamander mating rituals?  How about the Guided Rite in the Rain All Weather Universal Field Book?

rite in the rain notebook

A series of trips to dusty old museums on the schedule?  I suggest Guided’s ReWrite 8″ x 10″ Recycled Notebooks (3 Pack).

rewrite 3 pack

So if you want to equip yourself or your kiddo with school supplies made by members of our extended American family from recycled materials, you need look no farther than Guided.  So get shopping!!!!

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May I introduce….


 

Pleased to Meet You

It is great when I find new people making things in America, new people writing about things made in America and new people selling things made in America.  So I wanted to let you know about a bunch of people who fall into one of those three categories.

People making things in America

Mohop shoes:  Wacky sandals made by members of our extended American family.

Amflag: Every flag you could want, all made in Memphis!

Gustin Men’s wear:  Nice clothing made in the city by the bay.

Blue Delta Jeans

Moore Boxers:  Free shipping, nice!

People writing about things made in America

Made & Worn

USA Made On Sale:  If you are looking for goods made by members of our extended American family at a bargain price, this is the blog for you.

Firecracker:  A really great website to visit.

We Shop American:

People selling things made in America

USA with Love

50 Roots

Totally USA Made

Oh Say USA

American Station

American Made Everything

Please check out all these wonderful people.  We can help rebuild the American middle class by buying products made by members of our extended American family.

Now get shopping!

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How timely!


CLH1.CA.Oe.1211.future5.0.1

I have done a few posts on watches made by members of our extended American family in the past, but I came across a great American watch post by Sarah Mazzone of Made in the USA challenge I would urge to you consult if you are in need of a new timepiece!

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Celebrate your local makers!


R&E

The folks pictured above work at Seattle’s best bike shop, R&E Cycles.  Dan Towle has owned Rodriguez Bicycles (R+E Cycles) since 1993.  Dan and his crew have been making amazing bikes on the “Ave” in Seattle for decades.  I thought of Dan today when I read a nice blog post from the New York Times about three fellas from New York City who created a very slick ecommerce site called MadeClose which features about 100 products made by members of our extended American family, mostly in New York.  At least one of MadeClose’s featured products is made in Seattle; Ample make very cool furniture and lamps in my home town.

ample table

I am going to reach out to the MadeClose trio and see if I can help them set up a Seattle outpost.  Recently, I have approached the people at King 5 television here in Seattle with the idea of doing a “Made in Seattle” episode of New Day Northwest.  I already have reached out to three Seattle manufacturers, including Dan at R&E, and hope that King 5 will let us show the people of Seattle the amazing products being made in our beautiful, vibrant city.  I will keep you posted on whether my “Made in Seattle” 15 minutes of fame comes to pass.

Please tell me about manufacturing firms in your neck of the woods that you would love to crow about.  Leave me a comment about your favorite consumer products that are made close to you.  I will do a post on as many as I can.  Remember, by buying the products that our American brothers and sisters are making, we are helping them to live the middle class dream that has always made America great.

So get shopping for American products!

 

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A few things in no particular order


dogs

Here are some “Made in America” stories, resources, and websites that I wanted to share with you.

Alabama Chanin

My always amazing sister Amanda is always on the look out for me for cool American made brands.  She sent me a link to a great video about Natalie Chanin and her clothing brand Alabama Chanin.  I urge you to watch the video, then go to Natalie’s website to check out her amazing clothing manufactured in Florence, Alabama

Buying American is getting easier!

There are a bunch of Made in America sites hitting the scene.  Some just promote American made goods: 50 Built, Made in America Co.,   Others are ecommerce sites like TotallyUSAMade.

The enemy is at the gates, but it may be ok

Foxconn, who makes most of Apple’s stuff in China, may soon be hiring members of our extended American family to build LCD tvs and display screens for Tesla cars.  Given the large size of bigger LCD tvs, Foxconn is said to be about to set factories on both coasts.  And Tesla and Foxconn have already decided to partner in order to allow Tesla to use Foxconn auto displays.

 

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