Home The Latest Pendleton partners with Levi's

Pendleton partners with Levi's

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Monday, November 15, 2010

By Jacq Lacy

Pendleton Woolen Mills and Levi Strauss and Co. launched a collaborative collection of men's and women's trucker jackets last week, intended for buyers of American-made products. The limited-edition collection is the third collection in the Levi's workwear series and the first collaboration between the two brands. Levi's and Pendleton brand retail stores now display the jackets.

California-based Levi's approached Portland-headquartered Pendleton in June of 2009 to collaborate on a workwear 2010 fall collection. The denim company has launched a marketing campaign titled "We are all workers," and traveled to New Mexico to shoot photos of working Navajo cowboys and cowgirls wearing the apparel.

The iconic American brands strategically target customers buying American. The strategic idea is that a company partners with an iconic American-made brand, and thus becomes American-made by association.    

Most U.S. apparel companies began shifting production overseas in  the 1980s. In 1992, Pendleton moved 5 percent of total production offshore to Mexico to sew women's blouses. In 1996, manufacturing of Pendleton men's jackets and shirts also moved to Mexico. Levi's closed 11 factories in 1999, moving production overseas for the first time. In 2002, it shut down its last U.S. plant and moved manufacturing to contract companies overseas. 

All of Pendleton's wool comes from Rambouillet sheep in Umatilla County. The fabric for the collaboration is woven at mills in Pendleton and in Washougal, Wash. But the trucker jackets themselves are not entirely made in the U.S.

Even though Pendleton keeps much of the initial production within the U.S., about 40 percent of all work for the Levi's and Pendleton's workwear collection happens outside the U.S., said Pendleton President Mort Bishop III. Pendleton sews the shirts and wool panels in Mexico and ships them to Levi's, which completes the manufacturing process in Asia.    

In an August 2009 article in Oregon Business magazine, Bishop said that he saw collaborations as key to creating innovative new designs — and staying in business. In a follow-up telephone interview last week, Bishop said that although the many collaborations have required only a few new hires to manage and to assist with communication between the companies, the partnerships have maintained wool production. These partnerships allow companies to remain in business despite incurring higher costs to keep the majority of production in the U.S. and despite the current difficult retail clothing economy. 

Over the last five years, Pendleton has been approached to do collaborations due to a huge emphasis on American heritage brands made in the U.S., says spokeswoman Debbie Coryell. This fall Pendleton is collaborating with Opening Ceremony on a Pendleton Round Up-inspired clothing line, with Nike on its "triple black collection," with VANS Footwear on a slip-on shoe and a boot, and with boarder and surfer brand, Hurley, reviving the popularity of the surfing jackets and "boardshirts" made by Pendleton and worn by the Beach Boys in the 1960s.       

"We are working together just on this specific season," Bishop explained about the new collection with Levi's. "Hopefully, with success, we'll extend into a second and third collaboration."

Jacq Lacy is an associate writer for Oregon Business.

 

Comments   

 
Dan Johnson
+1 #1 Sounds like BS to me.Dan Johnson 2010-11-17 11:08:12
Pendleton Woolen Mills makes very little in the US and neither does Levi, so it sounds like someone is fooling the public or at least trying.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Shawn Busse
0 #2 Made in USAShawn Busse 2010-11-29 15:54:39
Commenters over at the Kinesis blog are maintaining that the jackets are sewn in the US; this article seems to claim otherwise. I'd be curious to hear a follow-up on this topic
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
False advertising?
0 #3 So IS it "Made in USA?" I think not. Either Mexico or Asia.False advertising? 2010-11-30 14:47:23
All of Pendleton's wool comes from Rambouillet sheep in Umatilla County. The fabric for the collaboration is woven at mills in Pendleton and in Washougal, Wash. But the trucker jackets themselves are not entirely made in the U.S.

Even though Pendleton keeps much of the initial production within the U.S., about 40 percent of all work for the Levi's and Pendleton's workwear collection happens outside the U.S., said Pendleton President Mort Bishop III. Pendleton sews the shirts and wool panels in Mexico and ships them to Levi's, which completes the manufacturing process in Asia.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Tight and Loose

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

As schools implement more rigorous academic standards, holistic and flexible approaches to K-12 education flourish.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 11.17.21 AMMore than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.


Read more...

Knight Vision

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Travis Knight wants to release a movie a year. Can he pull it off?


Read more...

The Rail Baron

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Oil is gushing out of the U.S. and Canada, and much of it is coming from places that don’t have pipeline infrastructure. So it’s being shipped by rail.


Read more...

Gender Code

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD

Janice Levenhagen-Seeley reprograms tech.


Read more...

Buyer's Remorse

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Parents and students paying for college today are like homeowners who bought a house just before the housing bubble burst.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS