I grew up wearing clothes that my Granny sewed- usually the medium size of the set of three button-up shirt/shorts combo she made for my brothers and me. But other than those miniature Hawaiian shirts the rest of my wardrobe has always consisted of a tag that said “Made in ______”- the blank always filled in by a developing nation. As a child of globalization it was surprising to learn about another era, in which America, particularly the Carolinas had a thriving textile industry.
Through a friend’s tumblr I recently heard about Raleigh Denim Workshop, a factory in downtown Raleigh that crafts raw denim jeans from American grown cotton, milled in Greensboro, NC. Since Julie and I were downtown today anyway picking up our marriage license, we thought we would swing by and check out their operation.
After seeing their production facility and store it became clear that Raleigh Denim is less concerned about being the next trend as they are process and craft (read a more in depth article about their history and process here). All of their jeans are made on old fashion, manual sewing machines, which really lend an attention to detail. Also, the employees seem to share in the vision of the company- one employee we talked to moved all the way from San Francisco to work for them.
It’s really cool to see this level of craftsmanship be merged with a sustainable business model. It’s precisely this combination that once made America a great country.
*pictures from website.