West Side Factory Aims to Beat the Pants Off Apparel Industry

“We just don’t make things here anymore.”

For those who lament the passing of manufacturing’s glory days, take heart. Turns out we still make a few things here, including that quintessential American item – the blue jean.

A small Chicago-based manufacturer is trying to revive local production with American know-how and competitive wages. Each blue jean is assembled with fabric, thread and zippers made in the United States. Workers are paid slightly above market rate, with promises of increases as the company grows.

It competes with cheap imports and other domestic manufacturers, but Dearborn Denim and Apparel is hoping renewed interest in products made here will translate to success. The company sells direct to the consumer through the internet, eliminating the costs associated with running a retail outlet.

To be certain, garment manufacturing on the scale of the 50s and 60s will never return to U.S shores, not only because of cheap labor elsewhere, but because automation is replacing factory workers across the globe. But the story proves that we do indeed still make things here, and with a different model, we can turn a profit making them.

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