A Modern Day 'Made in America' Approach to Apparel


When most people picture apparel that is “Made in America” they envision merchandise that is created in a U.S-based factory filled with hard working men and women actively engaged along an assembly line of some sort.

And sure — this idea of being made in the good old U.S. of A still holds true today. Companies that sell apparel that they boast to be “Made in America” are indeed manufacturing stateside — for the most part at least.

But the modern day “Made in America” is about much more than pumping out product stateside in Anytown, USA.

Today, companies based in the U.S. realize that selling a product that is Made in America is more than just some marketing moniker. Instead, these forward-thinking business owners realize that Made in the U.S.A is a mindset that consumes almost every element of their business plan — from the materials they use to create their product to the people they consider to be their niche customers.

The following are stories of a few apparel companies that have embraced some or all of this Made-in-America approach:

Homegrown Hiring

A U.S.-based apparel company is naturally going to hire American workers to round out its workforce. Some companies however are going a step further and have made it their mission to hire members of the military — both veterans and active duty — as well as their family members.

One great example of this is Nine Line Apparel, an American apparel company that actively markets itself as a brand dedicated to “hiring veterans, military spouse and patriotic Americans.”

Locally-Sourced/Sustainable Material

Making a product in America is one thing. Making that product out of domestically-sourced material is an entirely different thing altogether. Many of today’s environmentally conscious apparel companies make their products out of recycled and/or domestically sourced material.

Pendleton Woolen Mills, for example, creates blankets and 100 percent pure virgin wool clothing using locally recycled.  

An All-Encompassing Dedication to Made in America

And while some companies have focused specific facets of their operation to these Made in America ideals, others have dedicated every single element to the endeavor — and in some cases, have attempted to reinvent what it means almost entirely.

One such company is Tidal New York, a flip-flop company focused on today’s generation of fashion-forward American consumers who truly care about the companies they follow and the products they purchase. Every square inch of Tidal’s New York-based factory, is gleaming with pride — most particularly the dedicated employees who make the flip-flops, 80 percent of whom are veterans.

But it doesn’t stop there.

All the materials used to create the flip-flops are sourced from artisans at family-owned companies throughout the United States. The energy used to create those flip flops is also returned to the grid by 100 percent wind energy, and the company is also working on establishing a recycling program in a pursuit to eliminate single-use plastic from its packaging.


Tim Gibb is co-founder of Tidal New York, a New York-based flip-flop maker dedicated to creating the best and most environmentally friendly flip-flops for men and women. For more information or to comment on this article, email Tim at [email protected] or visit TidalNewYork.com.


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