... manufacturing tends to be labor intensive, so any growth and prosperity can be shared with employees.
After college I started work as a fixed income trader, buying and selling treasury contracts on a daily basis. You can make a lot of money trading, but there were two shortfalls that ate at me:
Manufacturing as a sector attracted me because you make something. With your hands. In addition, manufacturing tends to be labor intensive, so any growth and prosperity can be shared with employees in the community.
Apparel manufacturing wasn’t my first thought. As a home brewer I considered a number of different brewery/brew pub concepts. I ended up thinking better of that because, well, there are plenty of great breweries out there making great beer, especially in Chicago.
I remember when I gave that idea up: I was at my local beer store standing in the craft beer section (which over the years has grown into an entire wall) and thinking “how are you supposed to stand out amongst a great selection and all of them with cool can art to boot!”
In high school I started a tee shirt printing company. Thought about shirt printing, but realized it was sort of like brewing. A lot of folks already doing a good job of it and there wasn’t much of a need for one more. But it did get me thinking about apparel manufacturing.
I started looking into what it would take to start an apparel manufacturer in Chicago. There wasn’t (still isn’t) a lot of apparel manufacturing in Chicago.
Back in the 1920s something like 25% of all apparel consumed in the USA was made in Chicago. Now, we talk about 2% of apparel consumed in the USA is made in the USA. Yeah. 2%. Entire nation. Crazy!
So, sorta how folks become interested in locally made beers, I became interested in locally made apparel - which was short lived because there really wasn’t any!
That is when I started spending significant amounts of time learning about apparel manufacturing.
Started researching the logistics, pattern design, production, ecommerce, retail, history, strategy, rates, machines, suppliers … the list goes on.
One wormhole led to another. One problem lead to another, which lead to a couple solutions … and about 10 more challenges/opportunities … one could only describe starting an endeavor such as this one - as a sort of “jump and the net will appear” … If you hustle down and sew the net before you fall.
So why Jeans?
Aside from the community benefiting with steady, fair paying, work making something useful that wasn’t already being done - aside from that? Two reasons:
This was going to be a startup company with little money to finance an annual operation with 2-3 months of sales - had to be something that sold year round.
I was going to be making a significant upfront investment in equipment … without much significant investment 😬 so I really didn’t wanna make something that was gonna be out of demand in a couple of years.
Jeans fit quite well (pun intended ;)
That process took place 2013 and the first half of 2014.
We didn’t end up signing our lease until March of 2016. Got a little demand going on Kickstarter, and great jeans were coming off the sewing floor early that summer.
✌️ + 🖖
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Start by finding your waist and length with our size app. If you get 'em and they don’t fit - or maybe you want a different style - no problem. We pay shipping on all exchanges.
Michael Rosenthal on Jul 27, 2017
When I read about Dearborn Denim I was intrigued. American materials. American workers. I was concerned about not being able to try them on before buying. But for only $60 and a fair return policy, I decided they were worth a try. I used the fit guide and ordered. A few days later, my skepticism turned into a smile. The jeans were well constructed and the material was perfect for summer wear. It had some stretch, which ensured a good fit. I smiled when I put them on. $60 well spent.
Bryan on Jun 14, 2017
Probably one of, if not the, most comfortable pair of jeans I've ever worn. Sometimes denim companies will have their sizes off an inch or two...probably, in my opinion, to make people feel slimmer than they are. These, however, are spot on, so make sure you take a tape measure of your waist before placing an order.
Dear Customers and Potential Customers,
I'm happy to say that we are making good progress on our shipping times!
60% - shipped in 24 business hours
7% - shipped in 48 business hours
12% - shipped in 3 business days
10% - shipped in 4 business days
11% - longer than 5 business days
Expected production times:
70% - shipped within 1 business day
20% - shipped within 4 business days
5% - longer than 5 business days
Again, everyone at Dearborn Denim is extremely thankful for your support 🙏 and patience as we figure out denim - in the states.
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