Fresh out of the oven, cradled in a checkered red and white towel, mom's apple pie permeates the kitchen with a sweet cinnamon aroma.
Awakened by a cadence of wind gusts, the stars and stripes unfurl and snap crisply in a brisk autumn breeze.
New Jersey’s favorite son, The Boss - Bruce Springsteen with his
E Street Band belt out ‘Born in the USA’.
All are 100% pure Americana.
What about the Corvette, Levi jeans, Rawlings baseballs, Brooks Brothers suits, Converse All-Stars, even Ken & Barbie? They too are classics instantly identified the world over as ’Made in America’.
But wait, are these icons of Americana actually ’Made in America’?
Hint, only one can claim the distinction. Can you guess?
empty racks awaiting
Unless you selected Brooks Brothers suits, you’d be mostly wrong! Almost all production of the other classic Americana is shipped out.
Eighty percent of Brooks Brothers stately attire is made in the US. In fact they are produced in Haverhill, Massachusetts at Southwick, a company with a huge, impressively clean, and brightly lit integrated facility. By ‘integrated’ I mean the cloth comes in through one portal and the finished suits go out to retailers and custom order clients through another.
on Southwick’s factory floor
Next question — who are the craftsmen, gifted with the skill set to cut, sew, stitch, and assemble the high end suits?
Answer - immigrants, newcomers to the USA!
Southwick’s philosophy, coming directly from the top, is that all Americans - unless they are Native Americans - came from somewhere at some point. We have that in common. Southwick enables newcomers to continue coming to our country and realize their potential. Currently five hundred men and women, originating from Latin America, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Middle East, and further reaches buzz about the Haverhill plant. When hired, if their skill set is not up to par, they are trained at the company and put on a path to English proficiency. Southwick even provides subsidies for relocation and housing. The company is profitable and competitive while helping to weave new immigrants into the fabric of American life.
passing through Quality Control before the label and flag go on
Southwick doesn’t just share the American dream we talk about, it walks the walk. It keeps the American dream alive.
images © David Greenfield