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Steven Kurutz and American Giant endeavor to create a flannel 100% American made

Follow American Giant to bring flannel back to the USA

Flannel shirt
Bannon Morrissy / Unsplash

What makes the flannel shirt something that stays with us here in America? Is it the quintessential garment of the American worker? Does it make us feel as though we are driving horses across the plains in the old American West? How about working the day away, clearing logs from the Pacific Northwest to supply the entire country with the lumber needed to build houses, decks, and shop fronts? Or maybe we don’t have to reach back as far to imagine the flannel renaissance of the 1990s bringing us the nostalgia of our childhood imitating Kurt Cobain on stage. Either way, the flannel is a staple of Americana, and American fashion brand American Giant has spent years attempting to bring that garment back home.

What started out as an article in the New York Times blossomed into a half-decade journey for author Steven Kurutz to chronicle AG’s desire to bring flannel-making back to the shores of the United States and to save factory jobs in his new book, American Flannel. As a native of a small town in Pennsylvania, Kurutz has watched his town wither away as factory jobs were shipped overseas. For him, the book was more than a story of American determination; it was a personal connection to a quest to save his own hometown and others like it.

American Flannel spotlights the brands bringing garments back home

Riverhead Books photo of American Made and a flannel
Riverhead Books / Instagram

Kurutz began with AG founder Bayard Winthrop’s quest to bring flannel back home. While his company has been making quality sportswear for men here at home for years, he was always told flannel wasn’t possible. He could do anything but flannel. For Winthrop, that meant he could do anything but recreate a beloved wardrobe piece from the 1970s in his own backyard. But instead of accepting that limitation, he forged ahead, bringing Kurutz along for the ride.

Kurutz feels that the flannel is the quintessential American garment. The garment evokes the image of the lumberjack and the hard-working outdoorsmen of the Pacific Northwest. He also always loved the Nirvana image, which brought the flannel into the mainstream during the 1990s. With his love of the garment his father loved so much, it isn’t hard to understand why the writer dove into the quest to bring the flannel back to the States.

American Giant releases their own flannel to lead the way

American Giant Flannel on man
American Giant

Of course, AG wasn’t going to sit back and let the industry tell him what to do, so he created his own line of flannels that you can now get over at American Giant. Bonfire Red, Sage Plaid, and Dress Navy options are made right here in New York City. What makes them even rarer and a must for your closet is AG paired up with the last fabric mill in the US to go through the intensive process of yarn-dyeing each piece.

AG founder Bayard Winthrop is known for this kind of quest. He has very strong opinions on what constitutes a high-quality garment and has dedicated his life to keeping his company and creating products shoreside. From teaming with some of the biggest artists in New York to keeping the style quintessentially New York street-appropriate, Winthrop continues to prove that he is on a quest to reinvigorate the American apparel industry here in the States.

Other brands keep their product stateside

Flannels on a shelf
Dan Gold / Unsplash

American Giant isn’t the only brand that keeps its operations stateside; there are others you can buy if you want to support local factories, artisans, and your own countrymen and women. From the Pacific Northwest to the southern parts of Texas and out to the Northeast, these are the handful of brands you can trust to keep your clothing distinctly American.

Todd Shelton is perfect for officewear and is made right here in New Jersey. Of course, there are plenty of offices looking for the most comfortable and stylish garments, and Todd Shelton is primed to step up.

Nicks Boots has made a name for itself by making the best boots for the people we depend on most in Washington State. As one of the primary providers of rugged boots for wildfire fighters in the Pacific Northwest, Nicks Boots keeps the bravest on their feet.

Bowie & Burton endeavors to adopt the spirit of Jim Bowie to start a revolution in the industry by using local artisans for their top-quality belts. They look to shake the habit the industry has of leaning on international manufacturing by keeping all the belts here in the US.

Devil Dog Dungarees is a storied American brand that focuses on the best denim on the market. With a history that dates back to the Marines in the mid-1900s, the Devil Dogs keep their look and manufacturing as American as the Devil Dogs themselves.

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Mark McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
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