Where we can, we are returning our production to the US and partnering with local knitters, dye houses and sewing facilities to make our t-shirts. We aim to have 100% of these products be environmentally friendly and ecological. The knitting factory in Clifton, NJ, where we knit the fabric for our t-shirts, is the last standing knitting mill in the Northeast. Rory, the founder of the mill originally, came to the US from Ireland in 1970 and started working in mills in the Carolinas. He has seen his share of hardship including multiple businesses going bankrupt. Rory now has 40 machines in a warehouse that he runs with his son and 15 or so employees. During our visit he repeatedly apologized for the fact that his shop was not state of the art (it isn't, but it works!) and remarked several times how hard business is. With our business, we help him to employ those 15 people and stay in business.
The dye house is a three hour drive to Shoemakersville, PA. After the yarn is knitted the rolls of tubular knit is sent to be dyed, finished, and cut open. The dye house is also a family business that has been in operation for over a century. Five years ago they had so much business they were running the machines six days a week and 20 hours a day. Now they run three days with 14 hour shifts and hope to get enough orders to run four days a week. They are optimistic but practical; they do small batch production and have started to dye up wovens as well as knits. Lastly, dyeing is typically a toxic, environmentally unfriendly business. The dye house uses non-toxic dyes as well as having a very stringent pond and filtration system for taking all of the dye stuffs out of the water before it flows into the Delaware river gap. Being a US company, they are subject to multiple inspections a year. This is a facility that we feel really proud and good about dying our knits in. -Lexy Funk, CEO
Take a short tour through the factory below: