Lands’ End apparel company has recently put their corporate little toe in the water of Made in the US. The Lands’ End “Durable Goods” collection is a rather small collection of 5 pieces of apparel: tee-shirt, long sleeve tee-shirt, sweat shirt, sweat pant shorts and sweat pants. Still, it is a start from a firm who has heretofore sourced almost all their products from overseas.
I think this is thankfully a practice we are going to be seeing more and more companies engaging in over the next few years. American companies such as Lands’ End will offer American made products and see if they are purchased by American consumers. They will utilize existing facilities here in the States, which is what Lands’ End appears to have done. “When seeking the best sweats and tees for our Durable Goods collection, we found everything we needed – from the fabric to the garment’s construction with a third-generation, family-run mill – in the United States,” said Max Garbutt, Men’s Division Merchandise Manager, Lands’ End.” The tag line for the Durable Goods collection is “[D]esigned in Wisconsin, grown in Texas and crafted in California.”
What to make of this small beginning. We could dismiss this effort by Land’s End, smugly noting that the overwhelming majority of Lands’ Ends apparel is manufactured abroad. In my opinion, that would be a mistake. We should support this effort by buying some pieces from the Durable Goods collection when we next need a sweatshirt or pair of sweatpants. If Americans spurn this small first step by Lands’ End, the firm might decide that they gave it the old college try, the effort was not supported and then throw in the towel. But in our effort to support what Lands’ End is doing, let’s not forget those firms who have always produced their products here at home. Firms like Allen Edmonds, Wigwam, and Hart Schaffner Marx. These firms should have our undying support. To Lands’ End we say “glad to see ya!” To the firms whose products have always been made by members of our extended American family we say, “Thank you for all you have done!”