We’re a little afraid to write about this company, but they’re so cool we can’t help it. American Giant is a clothing company that’s bucking the trend (or contributing to a new one) by manufacturing its products – from the cotton plants to the cloth to the garment itself – in the U.S. It makes a basic line of clothing – sweatshirts, sweatpants, t-shirts, etc. – but the products are of such high quality that its sweatshirt has been called “the greatest hoodie ever made.”
Hence our fear.
When Slate wrote about American Giant in December, 2012, it suddenly became so popular that people had to wait up to six months for their sweatshirts. It wasn’t just a matter of finding more seamstresses for its Bay Area factory, or even finding more space for them, but a problem along the entire supply chain – not enough raw cotton to make the fabric, not enough prepared fabric to make the sweatshirts, and then, of course, not enough sweatshirts, writes the BBC.
The company has since caught up with its popularity, adding four new factories in North Carolina and Southern California. But it claims it hasn’t changed the quality of its products, and that it commits to continue manufacturing them at the same high quality, solely in the U.S.
In fact, American Giant founder/CEO Bayard Winthrop says U.S. manufacturing is what enables the company to keep such high quality. “From a manufacturing standpoint, sourcing and producing everything in our backyard allows us to be close to the product at every layer,” he tells NextShark. “That enables us to ensure the best quality, react quickly, stay lean and make more educated business decisions.”
Keep in mind, however, American Giant’s quality doesn’t come cheap. A sweatshirt costs $89 and a women’s T-shirt costs $24.50. But the products aren’t that much more expensive than other designer togs, and they’re of much higher quality. This is because of the innovative way American Giant markets and distributes its products. It doesn’t have retail outlets or salespeople; you place your order online and you get it in the mail (with, naturally, free returns). It also doesn’t have marketing or advertising as such, just word of mouth.
More important than trends and fashion however, American Giant is further proof that “Made in the USA” has made a comeback, and it’s clear that this resurgence isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Maybe we’d better order our American Giant hoodie before this blog post comes out!
Steve Leavitt, GM of U.S. Cloud Solutions for Exact