The newest trend in denim appears to be geographic: made and sold locally, that is.
Williamsburg Garment Co. is one of a handful of independent American manufacturers who keep costs down by manufacturing small batches of high-quality denim and selling it locally. It’s like the Slow Food movement…clad in baby blues.
“I couldn’t compete with bigger companies doing business in the standard manner,” says Williamsburg Garment Company’s Maurice Malone, owner and designer. “Small became my advantage. I’m able to react quickly to the market, choosing to build relationships and patiently working on the foundation of my brand.”
While 74% of consumers saying they love or enjoy wearing denim, according to the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ Survey, it turns out this sentiment goes beyond a simple appreciation for an American invention; 55% of U.S. shoppers say it is important the clothes they buy are made in America. These respondents say made in America is important because most (87%) prefer to support the U.S. economy, and 38% also say apparel made here is better quality.
The average American owns seven pairs of jeans and spends about $33 per pair, according to Monitor data. Just 9% of shoppers have purchased jeans that cost $100 or more, but those wearers are the likely audience for the small denim movement.
For small manufacturers like Malone, craftsmanship and attention to detail are paramount. And that kind of effort is appreciated by denim consumers: the Monitor finds 98% say fit and comfort are important in their denim purchase decisions, followed by quality (92%), price (91%), color and durability (89%), “makes me look good” (88%) and style (83%).
Malone says his business model enables him to sell his premium denim for a relatively low price because all orders are paid for before shipping, so there are no markups for unpaid invoices or discounts.
“A small company like mine is going to be successful because it takes chances,” Malone says. “After all, if you’re dressed the same as everyone else in the parade and moving in the same direction, how do you expect to stand out?”
At Williamsburg Garment Company, the jeans go for $102 to $125, from high waisted to selvedge boyfriend styles and even the classic skinny jean silhouette. Check out a few of our favorites, below:
Selvedge Boy Fit, $122
Women’s High Waist Jeans, $102
Posted in Designer Spotlight