"It's our cotton. We should wear it."
Like most guys, I pretty much wear a polo or button-down shirt every single day. Most have a horse, or a whale, or a fish, or a dog, and have some type of "southern/preppy" brand name. There was one in particular that I really planned to start wearing. I won't name it exactly but what excited me was a cotton boll in their logo. This would be something that I could really get behind as it actually relates to what I do. See, I work for a cotton trading company based in Texas. I buy cotton from farmers all over our great state. It is shipped to mills throughout the world where it is spun into yarn, then knitted/woven into fabric for clothing, or put into household goods or industrial use. But back to this "southern" apparel company with a cotton boll logo...
So I ordered a button-down. Upon arrival, I looked at the tag only to see that it was made in Indonesia. I completely understand globalization and the need to make money. So I don't fault them one bit. Lots of US cotton actually is exported. I then got ready to order a polo. This is where the problem came. This company, let me remind you again, with "southern" in its name and a cotton boll logo, did not feel the need to even offer a single polo shirt with any cotton in it; zero, zilch, nada, only 100% polyester. How in the world do you create a cotton logo-ed shirt without any cotton in it? Not even a blend! But of course they call it a "performance polo." In my opinion, they feel suffocating when it gets hot and smell weird after a few wears. Oh, and they haven't helped me make a putt yet., so much for performance. And let's not forget that not too long ago, one of our coveted performance apparel companies boldly claimed that "cotton is the enemy."
All of this led to my wife and I dreaming up Cotton Row Clothier. We wanted a brand that represents the crop that is so important to our family and our great state. And just as important, we wanted a garment that was Made in the USA. We know there are plenty of great brands made in Peru, Honduras, Vietnam, China, Korea, or wherever (Seriously, just look at the label on the shirt you are wearing now...good chance it's imported). And there are definitely too many brands that claim to exemplify the "southern lifestyle." Apparently, having a fish or whale or crab or dog or duck as your logo and saying "Hi Yall" is all it takes to be southern.
We wanted a brand that has a style of its own; a true Texas brand. Whether you work in an office or on the farm; whether you come from the city or the country; whether you bleed red and black or burnt orange or maroon; this is for you. We have sourced high-grade, long staple cotton grown in more than 25 counties from the Rio Grande Valley up to the High Plains of Texas. Our garments are all manufactured with combed, ring-spun yarn for extreme high quality and fineness, while the dyeing and finishing adds rich colors and added softness. We have made numerous trips to the Carolinas where some of the small amount of remaining US manufacturing takes place. It was important to research and meet face to face with our suppliers. These men and women hold themselves and their products to the highest standards. As the US has lost much of its textile manufacturing, those that are still here survive by being the best.
It would've been much easier (and much cheaper) to just buy some blank shirts, rip out the tag, add our logo, and sell them as our own. But then you wouldn't know if that shirt came from a third-world factory where workers are hardly paid and/or made with cotton grown by forced labor. Even in 2017, those things sadly still exist.
Thanks for your interest in Cotton Row Clothier. Shop us online and tell your favorite retailer to carry our brand in-store. Please feel free to contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else.
Brady & Tania Raindl
(with Bristan & Blaize pictured above)
#cottonrowclothier #weartxcotton #preppycotton #madeinusa