Dirt to Shirt with TS Designs

In early July we saw an interesting segment on the PBS NewsHour:

‘Dirt to Shirt’ movement hopes to regrow local textile industry

I very much liked the spirit of this company and what they were attempting to do for North Carolina jobs and the textile industry in the south, which has pretty much all gone overseas.

In the comments section under the embedded video I asked about and was directed to their web site:

TS Designs

I ordered a few small t-shirts (I usually take a small from LL Bean and Lands End) and they arrived in short order nicely packaged. They were very nice shirts but a bit too small on me. My wife wanted them so no problem. Ordered a few medium shirts and they fit perfectly. Ordered some more (all of my t-shirts are in need of replacement) and I’m really liking them.

But, in addition to liking the shirts, I like that I’m ordering them from an American company and they’re made of cotton grown in that company’s home state of North Carolina.

I’ve corresponded with the owner of the company Eric Henry and he says the NewsHour piece has given them a huge spike in business. I hope a few of you reading this check them out and order some shirts.

Worn Wear testimonial

Patagonia, the clothing company has a brilliant marketing campaign: Worn Wear which I posted about before.

Here’s an excellent testimonial by Rain Noe over at Core77: The Sweater Stone, Patagonia, Product Longevity, and How to Keep Customers for Life.

I’ve liked this company ever since it started. It’s founder, Yvon Chouinard is both a historic figure in Yosemite climbing and world mountaineering, and a brilliant designer of outdoor gear. Years ago he spun off the hardware piece of Great Pacific Iron Works into Black Diamond and kept Patagonia, the clothing company.

He’s famous for closing down the office if the surf is particularly good in Ventura, California so he can “let my people go surfing.”

What I’ve noticed over many years of buying and using outdoor gear is that Patagonia comes up with innovative design ideas and other companies (North Face, LL Bean, REI, etc.) copy them. As a person who makes things, I try to make it a point to reward originators of ideas with my business, when I can.

Launching the “worn wear” campaign and attempting to make it “cool” to wear older, beat up stuff is another brilliant piece of design and marketing that’s as much about philosophy as it is about rewarding long term customers.

Yvon Chouinard is Patagonia

Patagonia’s Founder Is America’s Most Unlikely Business Guru

This is a great piece on the history of the clothing company Patagonia and a mini-biography of its founder Yvon Chouinard.

I happen to have a few original Chouinard pitons I bought from him in the Camp 4 parking lot in Yosemite Valley in the 1970’s. I’ve followed his climbing and mountaineering career as well as his business career and I must say, he’s done well with alms everything he’s touched.

[via Dale Allyn]