Last month we received a copy of Crafted With Pride in the mail by total surprise. We opened the book to find a handwritten note that said "Thanks for all you do! -Alex + Willy" and a mention of the page numbers we were featured on.
As we thumbed through the pages we stumbled upon our full page feature, tucked between so many amazing like-minded brands. What an honor!
We instantly fell in love with this thoughtfully designed book + resource. So we took it upon ourselves to befriend Alex to learn more about his mission.
Alex started working in the vintage world 10 years ago and quickly realized that the quality of our clothing has decreased significantly over the years. With more and more corporations using cheap synthetic fabrics and caring more about profit over quality, it only makes sense.
HE BELIEVES THAT VINTAGE QUALITY STILL EXISTS, YOU JUST HAVE TO SEEK OUT THE RIGHT BRANDS.
And so him and his business partner Willy did just that.
Alex + Willy started talking about the concept of "Crafted With Pride" five years ago with the intention of telling brands stories. They originally started with 150 brands and then ended up with 750 by the end of it. 70% of brands were discovered through their own research and 30% were discovered by word of mouth.
Crafted With Pride has the vintage feel of zine meets yellow pages. With over 25 different categories of apparel from accessories, to clothing, to footwear - this book showcases a wide variety of local makers who are producing high quality goods.
We are beaming with gratitude to be a surprise feature in this creation. Our process is what sets us apart from many of the larger brands out there. We've got a small team who does all of the designing, cutting, and sewing right here in our studio in Michigan.
ONLY AROUND 2% OF CLOTHING IS MADE HERE IN AMERICA, SO IT’S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THAT RESOURCES LIKE THIS EXIST.
The phrase "Made in America" often brings up some politicized viewpoints, however as a conscious brand - we feel that its important to shorten our carbon footprint + keep our process close to home to employ local labor and ensure fair wages.
To buy your copy of Crafted With Pride click here, or give them a follow on Instagram @craftedwithpride
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alex (@tagsandthreads) is a sportswear historian and research consultant who has worked with well known companies like Champion, Hanes, New Balance, Nike, Jordan Brand, adidas, and Reebok. He is the author of several books covering the brand histories of Champion and Hanes as well as Crafted With Pride 2023, an overview of domestic apparel manufacturers. Over the course of a decade in the vintage clothing business, Alex gained firsthand knowledge of the fashion business traveling around the world to source apparel. He has a passion for Made in USA clothing, both vintage and modern, which are often fused together in his daily wardrobe.
Willy (@willydeconto.biz) is a Rhode Island based designer focusing on product and print. He is currently working on Gif-O-Graf, an all-in-one animation machine, and Crafted With Pride 2023. Previously he was with Boston-based design consultancy Continuum creating new products for clients spanning industries from healthcare to audio equipment. Willy was lucky to spend his formative years working at the storied “Lynn Vintage Warehouse” (home to Bobby From Boston and Gumshoe) absorbing stories from the old-timers and meeting creative movers and shakers from around the globe— an experience that inspired his obsession with design, quality garments, and local manufacturing