Made in the USA, Mostly

H&T Crest Printed Collar Tag - Made in the USA

When I started Heel & Toe, having our shirts made in the USA was at the top of my priority list, for three fundamental reasons:

1) Ethical Labor: If we’re paying for people to make our clothes for us, we want them to be treated fairly—specifically, no sweatshops. The labor laws of the United States ensure this will be the case for goods made here.
2) Environmental Concerns: If we’re paying for fabrics to be produced, we want to minimize the negative environmental impacts as much as possible. While EPA standards and enforcement leave much to be desired, they are, by far, the best available from countries that produce these types of goods—preventing the use of toxic chemicals and controlling how waste is disposed of.
3) Quality: Having clothes of the highest quality is a byproduct of the first two points. Given those requirements, it is impossible for US apparel makers to compete on price, therefore they must compete on quality and innovation.

Until now, we’ve managed to have every shirt and hoodie we’ve sold made in the USA, something we are very proud of. However, since Heel & Toe was launched four years ago, the USA-made apparel business has been quite chaotic, and the number of available styles and colors has actually decreased. Some of the styles we’ve been using have been discontinued (No Limits, Twisties), and some new and future designs have nothing appropriate available (Crest Long Sleeve).

In these instances, we have begun using shirt blanks from Bella+Canvas that are not entirely made in the USA. We selected B+C because of the emphasis they put on our three points listed above. The fabric is produced, dyed, and cut in the United States, ensuring the environmental protections and considerations we consider essential. The blanks are assembled in Nicaragua, in a plant that is Platinum WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) certified, as well as adhering to the principles of the Fair Labor Organization, of which B+C is a member. While short of all the benefits promised to laborers in the US, it is safe, and ultimately, not a sweatshop. And, just as above, these considerations have resulted in garments considered to be of the highest quality.

Moving forward we promise that every product listing will have the garment origin clearly noted, and we will never say something is “Made in the USA” if it is not produced entirely in the United States.

We also promise that in every instance where a garment manufactured in the USA is available that meets the requirements for a specific design, that is the garment we will use—and we will be continuously seeking out USA-made sources to replace shirts that are not currently made entirely in the USA.

– Scott, Owner