Making apparel in Mass. again
August 21, 2017 | By Jon Chesto
Apparel manufacturing has been dying a slow death in the US for decades, with the surviving companies usually relying on big military contracts.
But two guys from the Merrimack Valley hope to break the mold. Josh Walker and Ted De Innocentis have launched a workwear company that sells only US-made clothing, with a supply chain that includes several Massachusetts manufacturers.
They started selling directly to consumers last fall, under the name 1620 Workwear Inc., and moved into their first office in Haverhill in late July. Their big bet: men with blue-collar jobs will be willing to pay more for their garb, with the understanding that the clothes will be far more durable and comfortable than standard-issue shirts and pants. After all, 1620’s products don’t come cheap: a pair of pants can retail for $198, and a work shirt, for $128.
Big companies have noticed the niche: VF Corp. and Patagonia are investing heavily in workwear. But the two friends believe they can outflank these rivals by focusing on quality. Among the components they use: high-end stretchable fabrics made by Tweave in Norton.
For a smaller orders, Walker says it’s cheaper and more efficient to manufacture domestically than in China. It’s been tough at times convincing domestic manufacturers to take on their smaller jobs. That’s changing, he says, as 1620 establishes a track record. They envision a day when all their clothes are made in Massachusetts, and they’ve already talked with state officials about financial assistance that might be available.
They picked a name to highlight their ambitions: honoring the entrepreneurial spirit that launched a nation. Now, they’ll get the opportunity to live up to that lofty goal.
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WAIST MEASUREMENT - Use a measuring tape to measure the waist circumference of your favorite pair of workpants. All pants tend to stretch out over time so that 32 or 34 you have been wearing might actually be slightly bigger than what the tag says. You can then refer to the waist measurement chart below to pick the perfect waist size. If your measurements are in between sizes we recommend sizing up
INSEAM LENGTH - We hem all of our pants to order so you can have the perfect length on all of your 1620 pants. The easiest way to measure inseam is to grab a pair of pants that fit well and lay them flat on the floor. With a measuring tape, measure the length from the crotch to the bottom of the leg/hem along the inseam of the pant. if you have been stuck buying pants with the wrong inseam we recommend measuring your actual inseam while standing up with a pair of boots on to make sure you get the coverage you want
Our hoodies, shirt jackets and tees have a generous tradesman fit and are slightly longer in length than you may be used to, preventing any unwanted exposure.
We recommend buying the same size you normally wear in other brands.