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|Articles - June 2014|
|Thursday, May 29, 2014|
Page 3 of 5
While Portland is a hotbed of design, development and marketing in the outdoor and apparel industry, one component of the process remains largely an overseas endeavor: manufacturing. In fact, all but about 2% of apparel sold in the U.S. is made overseas, according to the American Apparel & Footwear Association.
“All of our manufacturing is done overseas in China,” says Daniel Clancey, founder of Homeschool Snowboarding, which makes outerwear and underlayers for the snowboarding set. A former designer for Columbia, the tattooed Clancey — laid-back in conversation yet laser focused on the business — has built annual sales for his company to just under $1 million over the past five years. “We searched for a long time before launching for a manufacturer in Oregon, but the reality is that it’s just cost prohibitive for us.”
Others, however, have been trying to make Made in the U.S.A. work for them. Rumors are swirling that Nike may be considering some manufacturing operations in Washington County, while Danner has always had at least some of its manufacturing done in the U.S. According to Taylor Towne, public relations coordinator for Danner’s parent company, LaCrosse Footwear, between 30% and 40% of the company’s products are made in the United States. That includes models from the Stumptown line made in collaboration with Beckel Canvas Products, a Portland company that’s been making tents for more than 50 years.
“We definitely see the demand for that here and are bringing more and more into the Portland factory,” she says.
Tiegs, who makes limited-edition jackets, funded WILD’s most recent offering, the Burnside Alpha Jacket, through a successful $15,000 Crowd Supply effort that had customers pre-ordering jackets that will be ready to ship in August. For WILD, Tiegs had some of his initial products made overseas, but now they’re produced locally even though the finished product can cost double what it costs to make overseas — or more. He says Asian manufacturers weren’t that interested in small orders, and being close to his Newberg manufacturer gives him more control and direct involvement in the process. As with Danner’s boots, Tiegs says the made-in-Oregon aspect of his products has huge appeal in Japan and other international markets.
“Everybody agreed that being made in Oregon was the biggest differentiator,” says Tiegs, who hopes to receive a test order from one Japanese distributor he met during the PDC trip.
Now in her sixth year of business, Jennifer Ferguson has shifted the manufacturing for her sports-bra company, Handful, back to the U.S., as well. It was a move she made in 2013 to try and help support the local economy, but it’s been a bumpy transition. To help start the move, Handful staged a Crowd Supply campaign, which raised just over $50,000. The company found a manufacturer in Salem and, even though costs rose, tried to make price increases as small as possible and absorb some of the margins without impacting customers.
Getting the quantity of products that Handful needed proved to be frustrating the first year of U.S. manufacturing, Ferguson says, but the company is adding another stateside manufacturer in Los Angeles this year, which she says should help smooth things out. It’s a new relationship that she was able to build through a third-party production company that’s tied closely to Portland’s apparel cluster.
“Living right in the backyard of all these companies means that there are all these amazing resources here that you might not have access to otherwise,” Ferguson says.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy. “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.
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Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
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