New Brand: 1620 Aims To Be ‘YETI Of Workwear’
November 18, 2016 | By Sean McCoy
A startup touts it has plans to do for pants what YETI did for coolers.
Launching today, a company called 1620 markets its work pants as “the best you can buy.” Made in the USA, the pants are pricey and use high-end, domestic fabrics advertised to put up with exorbitant wear.
Price tags will shoot past $200. But the company hopes its new approach to pants, including synthetic fabrics, “military-grade” construction, and DWR (durable water repellent) treatments will spark interest from a new kind of consumer.
1620 Work Pant: Made In America
1620 isn’t the first American-made workwear, not even close. Juggernaut Carhartt makes many of its popular pants domestically.
Topo Designs makes a nice domestic work pant, which we’ve begun testing and, so far, really like. They go at about $130 a pair.
1620 skyrockets past these brands’ price tags, but claims durability and performance beyond current cotton-based options.
Will consumers fork over north of $200 for a pair? The brand is betting the same kind of customer who made YETI coolers a success will spend for what are claimed to be a superior product.
1620: Fabrics And Design
Beyond U.S. manufacturing, fabric selection and design set 1620 apart. The brand will launch with two models and a limited release (more on this below). The models use different fabrics, and they are intended for different use.
Double Knee: This is the modernized answer to the cotton work pant but using a Cordura fabric woven with nylon and spandex. The result is a tough fabric with stretch and stain-, chemical- and water-resistance. It’s woven in Massachusetts.
The pant ($228) has double-knee reinforcement and nine pockets. It looks like a solid choice for upland bird hunting or general rough outdoor living.
Shop Pant: This lighter pant is designed for more indoor use, such as auto garages, machine shops, or wood shops.
It has 91 percent nylon and 9 percent spandex fabric allowing for stretch. The lighter fabric is cooler, making it better suited to warm climates.
These cost $198, and they look ready for hiking and some mountain sports. They must, however, stack up against strong brands like Columbia, Eddie Bauer, Mountain Khakis, Arborwear, and Kuhl, to name a few. Many of these brands use similar materials and strike a much lower price.
Will Consumers Pay A Premium?
This is the million dollar question for 1620. YETI shocked the cooler market when it introduced its premium product to the industry. Since then it’s grown from a startup to a dominant brand with $500 million in annual sales.
Beginning today, 1620 makes a run at a new kind of market in the world of pants. It will do a limited-edition run its product, and anyone who buys gets 25 percent off. The company will then reach out for feedback after 30 days.
If you see value in domestic manufacturing and don’t mind rolling the dice on an early product run, 1620 is an enticing option. Take a look at the company and its new take on pants for the outdoors and for work.
Check out the full review here.