Almost all athletic apparel sold in the United States has one thing in common: it is made elsewhere.
The founders of Yesler, a new apparel company that successfully raised funds for its first products this week, want to change that.
To make a dent in the apparel industry, Yesler will first have to make a good product at a reasonable price. It enters the market with just two pieces of apparel, men’s athletic shorts and women’s capris.
To be clear, this is 100 percent made in the USA. The fabric is from North Carolina, thread is from New York, even the draw strings come from Missouri. It’s all cut and sewn in Washington state.
The Shorts will retail for $64 ($54 on Kickstarter). For a high quality athletic short, this is on the high end of the spectrum but still reasonable, with many top running shorts selling for between $35 and $60. Yesler claims high quality, with 100 percent American made polyester fabric, an inseam panel, and “surged” seams that eliminate chafing.
The Capris ($78, $65 on Kickstarter) are also at the high end of the retail price range of quality “yoga pants” from several top outdoor brands. The company claims some solid tech, such as “bi-component” nylon and polyester fabric for wicking on the inside and abrasion resistance on the outside.
Judging from photos, both pieces of apparel look good but basic. But it’s hard to assess the construction and materials without handling the garments. With the moderate success of the Kickstarter that raised about $19,000 so far, there is certainly some interest in the product.
While a bit pricy, Yesler promises to create one U.S. manufacturing job for each 500 Kickstarter pledges — right now it’s halfway there. If you don’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks for a Made In The USA label, check them out. You’ll know those dollars will remain domestic, fueling the economy at home.