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Carhartt has been able to produce premium quality work clothing for the past 120 years. Find out the roots of this clothing manufacturer.

1889 saw a significant introduction to the apparel industry. Carhartt, Inc. was founded in that year and has produced clothes for about 120 years. Today, the company is still family owned by the company founder’s descendants, Hamilton Carhartt. The company’s headquarters is located in Dearborn, Michigan. The company is famous for its work clothes which include coats, jackets, overalls, vests, shirts, coveralls, dungarees and jeans.

Originally, the company made clothing for railroad workers. Their first production in the 1890s focused primarily on the needs of railroad workers to wear overalls. Eventually, the company expanded the durability of its clothes line which has now included heavy duty threads. Their materials have been created with a high technology which can withstand flames, water and abrasion.

The Company’s First Business Operations

The company opened its first facility in 1997 in the location of Penjamo, Guanajauto Mexico. A few years later, a second plant was opened in December 2001. The second plant was situated just 30 miles from Irapuato City, Guanajauto. The company has also been able to expand their plants in 2003.

Carhartt in Today’s Times

In the US, Carhartt sponsors organizations which focus on blue collar jobs as well as events such as the 4H, rodeos, National FFA Organization, and the NASCAR #17 race car which was driven by a man called Matt Kenseth. During the rescue operations in the 9/11 World Trade Center, the company contributed thousands of bib overalls which were used by the rescue team throughout their rescue.

Nowadays, the company’s clothes can also be found in construction sites, ranches and farms. The company launched the Carhartt for Women in 2007 in order to produce women’s work wear just in time for the fall.

In 2006, the Carhartt brand expanded to Carhartt EMEA which means Europe, Middle East, as well as Africa. This brand provided work wear to the company’s European market. They have also started making street wear clothes which focused on a more fashionable style which can be compared to Volcom or Stussy.

Carhartt throughout the World

Carhartt is a common brand in Japan which has been known to collaborate with other brands as well. A good example for this collaboration is with A Bathing Ape and Carhartt camouflage jackets and hoodies. The street wear brand, which has been produced under the license of the Work in Progress, is a big supporter of affinity groups. Examples of these groups are the musicians, skateboarders and the artists.

The production of Carhartt Street wear apparel is majorly outsourced to the Asian countries. Before 2000, most of the company’s items were manufactured by a unionized labor in the United States. But because of the harsh competition with other apparel manufacturers, a lot of the company’s noncore clothing items has been outsourced to other countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, China, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic.

Carhartt continually operates a unionized cutting and sewing as well as owning the distribution centers throughout the United States and in Mexico. Some of its retailers sell an apparel line known as “Union-Made in USA.”

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