Carhartt inc. was established in 1899 by Hamilton Carhartt following his development of a furniture business. Through his previous venture, Hamilton realized that you needed a unique selling point to succeed and set out to create work wear with a difference.
The uniqueness did not only extend to the clothing either, he even added a T to his name to make it stand out!Early ProductsThe company was founded to make clothing for railway workers and after speaking to his potential buyers Carhartt evolved a totally new garment to meet their specific requirements.
The overall was born and was initially made from duck and denim fabrics. With just 4 sewing machines and 5 employees, Hamilton set out to make durable and comfortable workwear to be proud of, traveling around the country’s railway stations to build demand for his product.
ExcellenceHamilton strove for excellence and over the years the company has evolved innovative ways of adding quality and durability to the clothing. These included the use of heavy duty threads, strengthening rivets at vital stress points and the use of new fabrics resistant to flames and water. The organization continued to expand but was then severely affected by The Great Depression.
By 1930, Carhartt only has three manufacturing centers still operating in the United States.20th CenturyThroughout the rest of the century Carhartt expanded once more. Hamilton died in 1937 and so did not see the growth of the company encompass 17 plants and 3 mills across North America and Europe. The high-quality cloth was designed and woven especially for Carhartt products and was promised to be the best there was around and the company strove to achieve the highest standards in everything they did.
Hamilton himself once declared, “I believe that when a man wears an article that I manufacture, his self-respect is increased because he knows that it is made by an honest manufacturer, who is honest with his employees”Modern TimesOver the years Carhartt expanded their range to include jackets, overalls, coats, shirts, jeans, and footwear.
The fashionable construction won a street appeal and celebrities adopted the brand. The company now produce an extensive range of highly popular street clothes offering a twist on the work wear brand. From 2007 woman’s wear was added to complete the collection. Due to the increased range, high demand and major competition from other brands much of Carhartt’s production now takes place abroad in South America, China, and the Philippines.
However, in 2012 the company announced it would be producing 7 of its core products only in the United States. These items will sport a made in the USA label.FamilyToday Carhartt is still a family owned company striving for excellence in durable, comfortable clothing for both works and play. Their ethic is summed up in the words of their founder, “Carhartt goods are not cheap from the dollars and cents point of view, but when wear, service, and satisfaction are taken into consideration, they are indeed the best value in the world.”