This is The Greatest
Hoodie Ever Made
"The hype around this hoodie
seems absurd. But once you
try it on, the quality really
does take you by surprise."
The World's 50 most
"Big players compromised
by old-world distribution
mechanisms are now getting
beaten up on quality"
"We would never be where we
are today if we were overseas.
"This is a business model
that has been missing from
the market for the past 20 or
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This Is the Greatest Hoodie Ever Made; How American Giant created the best sweatshirt known to man.
But there is really no comparison between American Giant’s hoodie and the competition. It looks better and feels substantially more durable—Winthrop says it will last a lifetime. When you wear this hoodie, you’ll wonder why all other clothes aren’t made this well. And when you hear about how American Giant produced it, it’s hard not to conclude that one day, they all may be.
(Bayard) Winthrop had figured out a way to do what most people in the apparel industry consider impossible: He’s making clothes entirely in the United States, and he’s doing so at costs that aren’t prohibitive.
This Hoodie Is So Insanely Popular
You Have To Wait Months To Get It
So what’s so great about this hoodie, anyway?
For starters, it appears to weigh more than two pounds. The fabric, which is 100% cotton, feels about three times thicker than most sweatshirts. And ribbed paneling along the shoulders and sides help create a tailored look, eliminating the boxy silhouette of most hoodies.
“This sweatshirt is seriously worth the wait, and awesome for the price, too. I’m considering ordering more to stock up for the rest of my life, but I’m not sure this one is ever going to wear out,” one reviewer wrote.
The World's 50 most innovative companies
For breathing new life into U.S. apparel manufacturing.
"The dirty secret of the apparel industry is that shirt that you bought at Nordstrom for $80 gets made for six or seven bucks," Winthrop says, reaching across the table to feel the thin fabric of my collar. "The rest of the margin is chewed up by a whole bunch of shit that I would argue the customer cares less and less about."
There’s a definite gloss of salesmanship to Winthrop’s "made in America" talk. It’d be easy to be cynical if not for this undeniable fact: American Giant delivers the goods.
How the Internet Is Bankrolling the World’s Best Hoodies — And Rebooting U.S. Manufacturing
But the internet hasn’t just served up a conventional marketing bump for American Giant. As (Bayard) Winthrop explains, the internet makes possible the kind of business he wants American Giant to be. If he’s right, it’s also the kind of business that could reboot U.S. manufacturing.
“When you pull the money out of the supply chain and the distribution chain and put it into the product, you actually end up with a better product that can please the customer at a comparable price,” (Randy) Komisar says. “The jobs that we’re reassembling in the United States are better paying jobs making stuff and being able to do that with a quality and satisfaction that garners respect.”
U.S. Textile Plants Return, With Floors Largely Empty of People
“When I framed the business, I wasn’t saying, ‘From the cotton in the ground to the finished product, this is going to be all American-made,’ ” (Bayard Winthrop) said. “It wasn’t some patriotic quest.”
Instead, he said, the road to Gaffney was all about protecting his bottom line.
That simple, if counterintuitive, example is changing both Gaffney and the American textile and apparel industries.
A Retail Playbook for How the Small Can Survive the Age of Amazon
Turning out a noncommodity product is the only antidote to the economies of scale powering the modern retail behemoths.
The future will get increasingly bleak for companies that don’t have the scale of Amazon or the unique wares and agility of e-commerce startups.
The true opportunities for retail entrepreneurs—the so-called white space—lie in improving products people have long considered commodities. American Giant is doing this with the humble sweatshirt.