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

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

Loose Talk

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

When gossip crosses the line.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


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