I always wanted Thompson Tee to be manufactured in the U.S. But when I first started calling around to find manufacturers for the Thompson Tee, everyone said the same thing: “No one is making undershirts in the USA anymore.” After countless failed attempts, I was beginning to accept the fact that I may have to fly to China for several weeks to get the Thompson Tee made.
Ironically, it was a Chinese fortune cookie that prevented me from following other clothing companies and taking production overseas. After confiding in my wife about this dilemma in our kitchen one night, I looked down and saw a fortune cookie laying on the counter. I opened it up to find the following words of wisdom:
“Drastic measures are not as necessary as you think.”
After reading the fortune to my wife, I said, “I’m not flying to China.” I knew it was a sign to keep manufacturing in the USA and continue fighting to create jobs here.
As a sufferer of hyperhidrosis and someone desperate for a solution, I didn’t want to skimp on quality when producing the Thompson Tee. I ruined too many cheap undershirts and expensive dress shirts to know this was an investment in my wardrobe and my confidence. After meeting with my now co-founder Randy, I learned he had 20+ years of experience in domestic garment production from raw material to finished goods and also suffered from hyperhidrosis. With his passion, connections and expertise, we could produce high-quality shirts for an affordable price.
The stars aligned that night for Thompson Tee, and today we’re proud to be 100-percent made in the U.S. Here are the advantages of manufacturing in the U.S. versus overseas that drove our decision - and why other companies should follow suit:
1. Create and retain jobs in the U.S.
Randy and I made a steadfast commitment to keep manufacturing in the U.S. because we believe in supporting our economy (we started considering manufacturing options in 2010, when the economy was still in rough shape from the 2008 fallout.)
While many companies claim to be made in the U.S., few take measures to ensure every aspect of production stays on U.S. soil. At Thompson Tee, every material involved in production – from the fabric to labeling and packaging materials – are all made in the U.S. Every step of the process, including cutting, sewing and dyeing, are done by licensed U.S garment workers as well.
2. Promote the fair and ethical treatment of garment workers.
After learning about the inhumane working conditions that global factory workers in places like Bangladesh and China endure, the decision was obvious to keep production here and promote the fair and ethical treatment of garment workers. After all, business sense can make human sense.
3. Comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.
Environmental regulation is a huge factor for us. It’s often said that many rivers in countries like China and India run with the colors of the season as the untreated toxic dyes wash off from mills.
In fact, a 2007 study found that 729 dyeing units in Tirupur – known as “Knit City – were flushing 23 million gallons per day of mostly untreated wastewater into a local river, which collected in a nearby dam. When officials flushed the dam in the mid-2000s, 400 tons of dead fish were found at the bottom.
We understand the toll that factories impose on the earth, especially in countries that don’t abide by environmental standards. Keeping production in the U.S. ensures we don’t contribute to this destruction.
4. Achieve faster production-to-stock times.
By keeping production close by, we can more accurately forecast demands and maintain stock, which translates into leaner inventory and better cash flow.
At Thompson Tee, we believe in supporting our economy, the fair and ethical treatment of garment workers and environmental standards that aren’t found in all international apparel manufacturing territories.
Despite attractive investment offers, we stood by our commitment to staying made in the U.S. We hope this gives you comfort knowing that by supporting Thompson Tee, you’re also supporting the U.S. economy, garment workers and safe environmental practices!