Thursday, May 3, 2012

Looking for American Made Base Layers

Winter or summer, cotton kills.  These days, I don't work or play more than a few hours outside in anything less than a low end wicking base layer.  And I obviously don't wear cotton to the gym.   I've been working and playing a lot outside recently, and I've ended up with several items of base layer clothing, and I'm in the market for more, as the items I've bought over the last few years start to deteriorate from wayward fish hooks cigar burns contact with briars, brush, and the rest of the world.

I enjoy a lot of the top and bottom layers I have - from Under Armour to Patagonia and EMS' own TechWick line.  Even Adidas and Columbia are in my gym bag, and pull a healthy amount of sweat off of me.  I've started working on a pretty comprehensive writeup of which ones perform how, and when.  It's important to understand it all because as you may have noticed, these garments are not cheap.

Several of these manufacturers are headquartered in the United States.  That's awesome.  Some, notably Patagonia and Under Armour, make a conscious effort to produce or assemble at least some percentage of their products in the United States.  That's even better.  But I'd like to take this gear review to the next level - I'm  hoping that some American-made technical base layer clothing will throw their hat in the ring here - is your product as solid as the one made half a world away?

Some ground rules:

1.  I am not expecting cradle-to-grave American sourcing.  I understand that the product tag may have been printed in Canada and the fabric was created in a lab in Vietnam.  I am interested in seeing that the clothing item itself was woven/stitched/assembled in the United States.

2.  Contact me at prior to June 1, 2012; with an ability to ship a test/review product by June 15, 2012.  Gear testing will take place between June 1-June 30, 2012. A review of all items reviewed, and a profile of solely American brands, will publish on this blog during the week of July 1, 2012, and also be disseminated through Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, redirecting readers back to your site or a site where your products are sold.  River Mud currently generates about 15,000 page views per month (April, 2012: 15,921; March, 2012: 15, 277).

3.  This is not a free gear grab.  If you believe that your product, which meets the two criteria above, is so superior that I should purchase it for a specific price as part of this review, please contact me and tell me your pitch.

4. If for some reason your product completely fails our field testing, we will attempt to contact you for your input, at least five full business days prior to web publishing.

So that's it.  Any great American companies out there making a solid base layer? Ready to test it against these guys?



Steve Zakur said...

It will interesting to see if any manufacturer meets those requirements.

Kirk Mantay said...

I don't think it's too high of a bar. Several of those companies like Patagonia and Under Armour do make a certain percentage of their gear here in the USA. In both cases, it's a small percentage but then again they do a lot of business, so it probably adds up to a decent # of American jobs.

I'm curious what the feedback will be - I've plastered this on Twitter and G+, will put it on Facebook later as well.

biobabbler said...

This would certainly be great to know. And def. influences my purchasing decisions, so I appreciate your asking.

Sanders said...

I'm with Steve, it will be interesting to see if the manufacturers are able to meet the requirements.

plates said...

The plates are perfect alternate to plastics/polymer based products and also paper based products.Disposal

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