Part of my quest to buy “Made in the USA” is the quality that usually accompanies that ethos. With quality, one hopes, comes long lasting goods that should result in less waste, less money spent in the long run, and more time to bond with the things you buy. I recently invested in a few pairs of Tellason denim jeans to restock the denim selection in my closet after one pair after another waived the white flag. It’s been a long time since I bought raw denim, let alone raw selvedge denim. I’ve always loved what Tellason has stood for ever since we interviewed Tony Patella (who founded Tellason with partner Pete Searson) back in 2012. Take a look at that interview to get a little more of Tellason’s story. I knew that when the time came to get back into the raw selvedge denim game I’d be handing my…Continue Reading
1. American Trench, Wool and Cotton Scarf   2. American Trench, Cashmere Blend Fair Isle Sock  3. Best Made Co., The Belgian Dart Set 4. Topo, Daypack  5. J.W. Hulme Co.,  Valet Tray and Hamline Pocket Journal  6. Best Made Co., Shawl Neck Sweater Coat  7. Whiskey and Rum Making Kit  8. Best Made Co., Front Loading Tool Box 9. One Forty Three, Plywood Guitar Hook   10. Mitchell Bat Company   11. Reclaimed Redwood Bluetooth Speaker   
Today we are talking with Jon Contino, entrepreneur, designer, and founder of CXXVI and soon to be, Contino Brand.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself and the events that have influenced your passion for ‘American made.’? I grew up with a carpenter for a father, that kind of sealed the deal right there. I watched him make something from nothing my entire life, so I always had that bug to want to make something from scratch and get it out in the world as a total package. As I got older and played in bands, the DIY concept really stuck with me too. People making things because they love them and distributing them to like-minded individuals feels so rewarding to me. It just happens I’m American, so what else would it be?   You have the unique perspective in that you work and design for…Continue Reading
Today we are talking with Mark Paigen, owner and designer at Osmium, a high-quality clothing company based in Massachusetts. Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourselves and the events that lead up to starting Osmium and the catalyst for doing so? A few years ago, I sold Chaco, the outdoor footwear company that I had built over a 20 year period. Chaco had been a true labor of love and I wanted to take some time, chill and discover what would come next. Six months later, I sailed from Massachusetts to the Caribbean via Bermuda. I wanted to live aboard, explore the islands and enjoy some serious down time. There are a ton of islands down there, each a bit different from the last and plenty of opportunity for exploration and fun. Many months later however, I found myself craving more than another white sand beach, kiteboard session and…Continue Reading
Today we’re talking with Robert Torres, one of the founders of Black & Denim, an American Made denim and apparel company out of Los Angeles, California and Tampa, Florida.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourselves and the events that led up to starting Black & Denim?  Roberto Torres is an auditor by trade. Christopher Findeisen is a fashion designer to the biggest apparel manufacturer in the world (VF Licensing Group). Luis Montanez has an IT background and does all things social media. We started Black & Denim back in 2008 because we wanted to create a company we were proud off. A lot of people start companies because they see a “void in the market” or “the products currently being offered does not satisfy their standards. We wanted to make sure that this project was 100% American Made. We are obsessed with American craftsmanship. We…Continue Reading
Today we’re talking with Bron Heussenstamm of Alex Maine. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how Alex Maine came to be? As for my experience, I grew up in my parents’ surf shop, Newport Surf & Sport, Huntington Surf & Sport. I used to be the kid who would grab peoples’ ankles under the clothes. It’s just been my entire life, you know?, I’ve always been in the clothing and retail sales (industry).  So it’s something that I knew that I’d always want to get into. I went to USC and I was an entrepreneurship major. I started a couple businesses, didn’t really go the way that I was hoping with the partnerships and whatnot. So I took a job at Sanuk, doing their PR for a year. They’ve just been acquired by UGG, so that’s a good step for them. I knew that I wanted to…Continue Reading
Today we are talking with Tony Patella of Tellason. Tellason is a premium denim company founded by Tony Patella & Pete Searson in San Francisco, CA.   What was the catalyst for starting Tellason? Pete and I had been in the apparel industry for twenty years each in various forms — sales agents, sales directors and in my case, also as a partner in a San Francisco-based denim brand in the 1990s.  It really came down to our shared passion for denim and durable goods and our desire to do something of our own. We are a two-person operation. We have interns on occasion, but all of the design, distribution, customer service and sales management is handled by the two of us.  Our studio is in Sausalito, California and the factory that makes our products is right across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The factory makes products for several…Continue Reading
Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, LL Bean continues to this day to make their legendary ‘Bean Boot’ and ‘Maine Hunting Shoes’ in Brunswick, Maine. Like many of the factories across the country, you get decades of experience from each worker. The factory is a centerpiece of the community, not just in Brunswick, but all of Maine. It’s the loyalty, years of service and experience that gives these legendary boots their unmatched craftsmanship. Today we are reviewing the Bean Boot. Living in Wisconsin it’s crucial to have some serious winter gear, and I don’t mean the scarves, loose knit beanies and Uggs that are worn out in California. The most critical article of winter gear for enduring any length of cold weather outdoors is footwear. If your feet are cold and wet, you are miserable. It doesn’t take much to find a great warm jacket or beanie, but warm footwear is…Continue Reading
Today’s interview is with one of the founders from We Are Runts (WAAR), Michael Quinones. Michael and Matt Davis started WAAR as a mission to bring Made in the USA to market with influences pulled from the surf, skate and motorcycle culture. They have dedicated themselves to bringing an affordable, 100% USA made, product to the consumer.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourselves and how WAAR came to be? Matt Davis & I both have worked in the action sports and contemporary apparel market for about a decade now. All the brands that we have been apart of were developed and manufactured overseas with the intent on being more or less volume driven. We saw the issues of developing and producing overseas as startup companies. The constant ‘bait and switch’ that would happen with production, poor quality, and generally zero accountability for the issues at hand…Continue Reading
The above video documents American Apparel’s three Los Angeles factories. With complete control from cotton sourcing, dying and manufacturing of their garment they can assure an end product that can be proudly Made in America. They pride themselves on vertical integration from manufacturing, wholesale to retail. Promising “Sweatshop-free” garments, American Apparel pays its employees over $12/hr compared to workers in China making 40 cents/hr. As the largest garment factory in the USA it has the capability of producing 275,000 pieces a day and up to a million shirts a week. It’s a business platform that appears to be working as American Apparel is the go-to t-shirt blank for companies across the world. Made in the USA is possible, even in an industry that has virtually disappeared from our country.
Denim and American culture are intertwined and have been since the 1870s. Built as an industrial work pant for miners and farmers in San Francisco, California and evolved into a staple in everyday fashion by the 1950s. It’s always been a source of pride to have a durable pair of denim manufactured from quality components. Tellason jeans are made in San Francisco with the highly coveted White Oak Cone raw denim from North Carolina and tanned leather patches from the state of Oregon. If you are looking for a quality pair of denim that reflects the industrial history of the USA, then take a gander at a pair of Tellason jeans. The above video was posted by Vertical Online.