Survivors


Karen kane factory

I came across a couple of pieces I thought you might like featuring a number of firms that help guarantee the continued survival of America’s textile and apparel industry.  The first is an article that includes wonderful images from textile firms around the country taken by a fabulous photographer Christopher PayneThe second details the continued viability of America’s sole remaining zipper factory, U-Can Zippers, of Vernon, CA.  U-Can is a family business that is going strong after 25 years.  The third is about Karen Kane, a firm I am featuring in my upcoming book, Simply American, Putting Our Extended American Family Back To Work. And the last is about Brooklyn Industries, an apparel firm making great clothes in one of the five boroughs in NYC.

I don’t want to sound like a Pollyanna; the statistics regarding the textile and apparel industry in this Country are sobering.   Between 1997 and 2009, 649 textile plants closed in the U.S.  Earlier this month, Fruit of the Loom announced that it will permanently close its plant in Jamestown, KY and lay off all 600 employees by the end of the year.  In a statement that I am sure was of great solace to the 600 employees about to lose their jobs, Tony Pelaski, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fruit of the Loom, said in a news release, “This decision is in no way a reflection on the dedication and efforts of the employees in our Jamestown facility, but is a result of a competitive global business environment.” Let me translate for you.  “We don’t give a shit about you and your families or the community of Jamestown because we can make a little more coin by having our t-shirts made in Honduras.”  And since Fruit of the Loom is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Group, I am sure it is essential that Fruit of the Loom pull its weight on the profit-making front.

So in my eyes, Fruit of the Loom is now no more an American company than the Guangzhou Yiwei Garment Co., Ltd.  Screw faux American firms.  I urge you to buy your apparel from real American firms whose products are made by members of our extended American family.  Buy your t-shirts from All-American Clothing Company.  Buy your khakis from Jack Donnelly Khakis.  Buy your shorts from Bill’s Khakis.  Buy your dress shirts from White Dress Shirts.  Or buy your clothing from any of the great American apparel firms listed on my friend Jack A’s amazing website,  Clothing Made in USA.

Now get shopping!

 

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About tapirking

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make.
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One Response to Survivors

  1. Great article. When does the book come out.
    At first, when I started this project two and a half years ago, I thought the clothing manufacturers did not purposely outsource to other countries to break the labor unions. I know they did make a movement to take manufacturing from the Northeast to the Southern states in order to break the Unions in the 1970s and 80s. Now, I do believe they did move things to Asia to break the Unions, to make more profit and to allow child labor just to make a point, which is money is King. -Jack A

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