I graduated and got a job at Unilever, a big consumer products company. It was a business-casual environment, so I wore the usual Brooks Brothers non-iron, button-down into work. They were great, but they would smell after two or three wears. I had what I thought, at the time, was a very expensive dry cleaning bill. So I tried to figure something else out. I started wearing the vintage Pendleton wool shirts into work and realized that I didn’t have to wash them. They didn’t wrinkle, didn’t smell and I rarely even hung them up. I realized that a business-casual, wool shirt could really do well with the people who are looking for wrinkle and odor resistance.
I wore the wool shirt 100 days in a row and launched a Kickstarter campaign. It went totally viral because people thought it was crazy that I was wearing this same shirt for 100 days. Jay Leno cracked a joke about us two nights in a row, (David) Letterman cracked a joke about it. We were on the front page of CNN, Yahoo, AOL, Huffington Post. My dad it was probably the most media attention the wool shirt has ever received. That’s how we got our start. We’ve since expanded into underwear, T-shirts, socks, casual shirts and now we’re offering the Made in the USA collection.
The Made in the USA collection and launched it in November 2016. It’s been cool to get into the details of making something. Most of our products are produced overseas. For example, when you’re making a shirt in China, you get a fabulous product, but you’re removed from the process and don’t get to see all the pieces come together. With the Made in the USA collection, the domestic wool is sourced through Pendleton from mostly the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions. It’s then scoured in San Angelo, Texas, before going to Pendleton’s facility in Washougal, Wash., to be dyed, woven and finished. The buttons are from Iowa, labels are from Tennessee, thread is from North Carolina and interfacing is from Florida. And those vendors source raw materials domestically, too.
I’m excited to see if the Made in the USA collection is introducing new customers to the brand.
To learn more visit: usa.woolandprince.com