Início Tech Walmart to Sell American Giant Tees in 1,700 Stores for July Fourth

Walmart to Sell American Giant Tees in 1,700 Stores for July Fourth

Thirteen years in and Bayard Winthrop is still as passionate about promoting American manufacturing as he was when he created American Giant. Now he’s partnering with the world’s largest retailer to bring that message to a much-wider audience.

Walmart, which has publicly pledged to spend $350 billion on products made, grown or assembled in the U.S. by 2031, will bring American Giant T-shirts to 1,700 of its U.S. stores in time for the Fourth of July. The shirts, which are emblazoned with the words American Made, will be available in red, white, blue or heather and will retail for $12.98.

The shirts are made from 100 percent American cotton grown on farms throughout the southeastern U.S. and produced in factories from the Carolinas to California.

A closeup of the tag on the American Giant t-shirts for Walmart.

A closeup of the tag on the American Giant T-shirts for Walmart.

courtesy of American Giant

“For the last 13 years, we have pursued a singular mission: to make high-quality apparel in America and help return the jobs and capability that comes with that,” Winthrop said. “Because it matters — it matters for the people living and working in factory and farm towns, and it matters for our country and our economy. This partnership is a natural extension of that mission. Walmart’s commitment and volume changes the economies of scale and allows us to accelerate our progress on returning American clothing manufacturing to its role as a worldwide leader of quality, sustainable production. In doing this, it points a way forward for our factory and farming towns that are the lifeblood of America.”

An American Giant T-shirt retails for $38 but the materials and production are not the same, Winthrop said. “The Walmart T is engineered for value,” he said, adding that the $12.98 price is only possible because of the size of the order from the retailer. “We’re advancing the mission of [American Giant] and the scale is just transformative.”

Winthrop said the relationship started after he had appeared on a podcast with Mike Rowe, a television host and narrator best known for his work on the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” and his advocacy for the trades and manufacturing. Winthrop said he had reached out to Rowe and sent him an American Giant sweatshirt in hopes of starting a conversation.

American Giant's t-shirts for Walmart are made im the U.S.

American manufacturing is a challenged industry.

Courtesy of American Giant

It took a while, but Rowe finally contacted Winthrop and asked him to appear on an episode of his podcast, “The Way I Heard It.” During that show, Winthrop bemoaned the loss of American manufacturing and said he believed America could do a better job looking after skilled workers in the trades. And he mentioned Walmart’s pledge to buy American.

Someone from Walmart heard the podcast and reached out to Winthrop, asking him to come to the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. He did, and after lengthy discussions, Walmart placed its order, allowing American Giant to produce the shirts and provide an accelerated boost to American textile production and manufacturing.

“American Giant is a leader in American-made clothing,” said Andrea Albright, Walmart’s executive vice president of sourcing. “They have done what many claimed would be impossible and are now the premier brand making high-quality apparel in the U.S. As trailblazers in the industry, they have shown what can be achieved, and we are proud to bring their products to millions of Americans at an incredible price. We look forward to fostering a collaborative partnership where we can learn from each other’s expertise as we continue to invest in American manufacturing.”

Winthrop said he is “deeply hopeful” that the relationship with Walmart will expand into additional products and, at the same time, serve as a roadmap to other American countries to follow their example.

He said he would love to create fleece, childrenswear, long-sleeve shirts, socks and other categories in the future for Walmart.

Winthrop, a former investment banker, founded American Giant in 2011 on a belief that consumers still appreciated high-quality American-made brands. He created a hooded men’s sweatshirt, made in America, and thanks to a mention in Slate magazine and then The New York Times that called it “the greatest hoodie ever made,” he was on his way.

Winthrop was recently profiled in a book by Steven Kurutz, a veteran Styles reporter for The New York Times, called “American Flannel: How a Band of Entrepreneurs Are Bringing the Art and Business of Making Clothes Back Home.” Among the eyeopening statistics in the book are that in 1980, around 70 percent of clothing worn by Americans was made domestically. Today, that number is 2 percent.

Winthrop is determined to change that and hopes this Walmart deal can be the start of something bigger. “We hope to put the question out to other U.S. manufacturers and force a discussion,” he said.

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