The deliberate death of American manufacturing and the ever-increasing trend toward outsourcing overseas has made it tricky to find American-made goods, but it’s not a hopeless endeavor.
There are still a few companies, mainly small businesses, out there dedicated to keeping production stateside and ensuring that the American dream is kept alive and well.
Dyer & Jenkins, a direct to consumer company, is one of those small businesses intent on challenging the status quo. By offering affordable, high quality, made in the USA goods, Dyer & Jenkins exists to do their part in giving back and creating jobs for Americans.
They specialize in “wardrobe staples,” such as blue jeans, T-shirts and crew neck sweaters. And the creative process is simple.
“These are the things that we know will never go out of style,” says co-founder Josey Orr. “Our biggest driving force is simplicity. We don’t want to be high fashion or street wear. We just want to focus on simple, timeless, American-made products. So, if any item doesn’t meet those qualities… it won’t get made.”
With the founders’ combined experience in E-commerce, manufacturing and menswear, they were able to take their Kickstarter campaign and launch a successful brand with a triple bottom line.
“When it comes down to it, we are just two small town boys making blue jeans,” Orr explains. “Initially, we started out with small batch inventory because we had to — we were a small company. However, now that sales are increasing we can afford to do a bigger inventory, but we don’t. We like selling out of items because we hate the waste that comes along with the industry. We try not to make more than there is a demand for.”
Aside from just manufacturing goods in the US, the company has decided to take giving back one step further.
Their Classic Tee is their best selling product, and a favorite among customers. For every 1,000 tees they sell a month, they plan on creating one new position along the supply chain. Did you know that small businesses are responsible for two out of every three new jobs created in America?
“We currently have four employees, but only two are full time. As it stands right now, if we are selling a few thousand T-shirts a month, we would be able to pay a few salaries ourselves, and also our manufacturers would need some extra help since they are a small operation as well,” says Orr. “When we cross that line and we need to look for potential candidates, they will need to meet a few qualities we think are very important just like any company would. I’ve found that a positive attitude and willingness can go a long way.”
In comparison to what competitors are offering consumers, Orr says their bottom line puts them a cut above the rest.
“There are a few direct to consumer companies out there,” he reveals. “I would say that we are most comparable to someone like Everlane, except we make ALL of our goods in the US and they don’t. I could go on an entire rant about Made in USA, but to sum it up I would say that making goods in the USA is good for the country because it will create jobs and it’s much easier to ensure that people are being treated fairly. We’ve all seen what happens overseas when fast fashion companies care only about profits and not at all about the people making the clothing. Its horrible. I’ll take Made in USA as an alternative to that any day. Even if it means our goods will be more expensive than theirs.”
At the end of the day, small businesses like Dyer & Jenkins are the noteworthy innovators, makers and job creators.