« The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe

303: The Incredible Symphony of Things

2023-02-28 | 🔗
Bayard Winthrop, founder and CEO of American Giant breaks down our supply chain issues, our trade imbalance with the rest of the world, and how his company still managed to produce “the greatest hoodie ever made” 100% in the United States.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Our friends which got here is another episode of the way I heard it specifically number three hundred and three: it's called the incredible symphony of things at the risk of destroying, what's left of my credit, Johnny chuck. I'm gonna go ahead and say that this is my favorite conversation so far, while them tell you, as I said to you after we were done, recording it that it felt like a two hour podcast, in an hour in ten minutes, it's a dense, its full of information and passion to there's a lot of passion in this discussion in just occurred. me that my mom's last episode was really enjoyable too like that when a lot too, but this guy buyer winthrop, is right up there with my mother fired true story, sent me a sweatshirt in the mail, twelve
years ago his company is called american giant and he left a career and finance and decided that he wanted to make clothing not just in this country, but he wanted to make it entirely in this country, which just just doesn't happen much anymore. Yeah. Every element of the supply chain is in his control, all through the carolinas, from the cotton to the zippers to them to everything he makes the greatest hoodie ever made according to slight magazine who wrote an article with that title about same time, twelve years ago and he has taken the reverse commute ever since no real marketing to speak of
no retail outlets until very recently. I think they have some small stores here and there, but my large he just got rid of everything that consumers don't care about and committed to making the very best product he could make entirely in this country, and, unlike so many other people who have failed to do the same thing he is not out of business. In fact, he is he's struggling to keep up with demand and that's pretty great. It is great and to hear him talk about it. He speak so passionately about it. I know he started in finance, but now his love
his clothing. He loves making clothing and he loves doing it here. He seems like a real patriot to me. I mean last week I was telling you before you know we did the equipment test and in talking to this guy we had a conversation for like forty five minutes and I didn't want it to end. It's a ten minute equipment test and we were engaged in a global conversation that was about the supply chain in china and everything. It was just fantastic, will clearly he'll talk to anybody any did because yellow passionate mike- and he does here's. Why I, like him Go on Glenn back for an hour. and then I ll go on MSNBC he'll go on pcbs and pr and fox news given care in that regard here, the same person. We really dont care, much about the politics or the platform. We care about the audience. Grand he's on a mission.
this guy and he set the standard really high and and I'll tell them and you'll hear it. In the conversation I laughed when I got the sweatshirt twelve years ago, and I learned that some guy, with a background in finance, was going to try and launch a textile company and make everything in this country. Good luck. I said you poor it'll never work while he did it, he did it and he's doing it again. Bananas, american giant, my guest, is inspired winthrop. The incredible symphony of things is just the phrase he utters in the midst of this conversation, and it refers to the incredible complexity that the supply chain really is and what a beautiful noise that can make when all the instruments work together, you're going to like this guy gary, I see it right after this do do do do do do do do do do. Do you know what I have in my garage side from a ford bronco
three month, emergency supply of food, and, if you ask me why my answer simple? Why not? Why not be prepared for the unexpected? You ve seen the headlines sure we're living in the most uncertain times of my life anyway, infrastructure problems, supply chain problems, climate problems, the advice, problems and riots and electricity problems and earthquakes and volcanoes and dogs and cats living together. I told my friends my patriot supply. I would never resort to scare tactics in order to sell emergency food, so let me be clear: you should not scared by the undeniable fact that every so often the world crops the bed. You should not be scared by the fact that the chinese of cosy up to Putin and Ukraine is looking very wobbly over there and the doomsday clock like ninety seconds from midnight, but you shouldn't have your head in the sand either and you should absolutely be prepared. Go to my patriot.
Applied dot com, slash mike and stock up on three month: emergency food, kids for your family. When you do you'll, also two hundred dollars worth of rugged survival gear as a free bonus with every order. Don't panic prepare check out the free bonus gear at my patriot supply dotcom, slash mike get free shipping too. That's my patriot supply dot com. Hush mike when grabbed the bad. Your friends and family feared my patriots apply dotcom, slash bike, forgive me for cleaning up the ability, not no chuck, is filled with a gentle bits of helpful guidance. I have often resulted in entire remodeling jobs for unsuspecting guests on our humble podcast. So, as you can see, I'm not lying. That's discouraged me to have the floor. Wow literally just found a screw come telling. You I'd spun my desk around
all these things that are like have clearly accumulated over the last two years. Underneath my task that I now am now asking your desk wasn't bolted to the war was I to know it was not. That is kind of like a metaphor for life. You know the stuff you find in the sofa cushions the stuff you find under the desk that you're, pretty sure was clean under the rug. Obviously I mean there's just really no end to it and the older we get the more crap we have that so cunningly disguised in a place. We otherwise think we understand. As we start, I need to show you something I found this in my photos, that me about its awesome. A year ago, holding a giant catfish that I pulled out of them simply river. While I was filming segment for dirty jobs, that involved caviar harvesting and the mississippi
showing this to you, because I'm wearing the sweat shirt that you sent me out of the blue. I see it twelve years ago. That's awesome, and I really appreciate that a moorish in the catfish are holding. Did you pull that out with your hands? No, but on dirty jobs in the pilot episode, two thousand and two we catfish doodled outside of shawnee Oklahoma. Now you hadn't started, american giant. Yet I didn't have my favorite sweatshirt yet, and nor did I have gloves yes, my bare manly hand, I pulled out a catfish with a couple of good natured hillbillies named don and jerry, I gotta tell you I've seen you do a lot of awful things. That, for me, would be high on the list of hard things to do. I would say: well it's a very primitive form of fishing, obviously, but the idea that a catfish is going to chomp down on your hand, is off putting
what's truly off. Putting is not knowing what else is under the rock, so it could be. Snapping turtle could be a rattlesnake, a copper head there like a I ways to die. Catfish Newland dont. Do it by that's what you're not too belabour. The point has been the speckled with feces from every species sperm. From all creatures, great and small, that we violated over the years on dirty jobs and, most recently, Caviar rose from the mississippi We should have lines you up for the initial needs assessment, for that's what your visions you honestly after a while it is yeah, give it to micro. They were not in the list, but I am glad to hear that they stood up to the task. That's awesome chuck and I bragged about shamelessly in the preamble? You may assume that you ve been properly introduced. What I want to do really with the
our or how much time do you have I've got associated or that's dangerous you're going to rethink that. I really do not my sunday, you time and and if you'll rape, my kids, are on winterborne it? Can I gleefully have a day off from them, as I left them up in the mountains for a day, so I'm not heading back, so I've got a clear schedule so do as you, That's our total job that down. I left the kids up in the mountains. Let's I'm not trying try get you out of here in an hour by all. I really want to discuss. Is the secret to american manufacturing the various pitfalls that you had to navigate in your long and winding road and why world it is you're doing what you doing, which, again to somewhat repeat myself, is making was in these united states from stem to stern every single thing. On that sweatshirt, you sent me.
the blue twelve years ago, in every single thing, on every garment that you're making right now is a reflection of a supply chain that you control, I'm honestly, gob smacked that you pulled it off Twelve years ago, when I heard your story, I laughed because you know the movie some I'm a great notion. I loved the idea. What you were going to try and do I can't frickin believe you did it, so I guess the first question is how's. It goin. When I started the company, I had its pessimism but certainly a healthy dose of how hard it was going to be. I'm not sure I appreciated it as thoroughly and in the beginning I was told by a lot of people in the industry that it couldn't be done, but I think the one thing we had going for us when we started is that we decided that we are going to make it entirely in the united states into that kind of put us into a box and watch it
that box, you sort of have to figure out. Ok, now how we can make it work, given that constrain in those early under no maybe eighteen months, was an awful lot of just bouncing around the south asian I'd state. meeting people and little by little as you do, that what you discover the place should not have been a surprise is that there is still this incredible manufacturing capability within textiles. I was a across the: u s outside textiles as well, but within, styles and this kind of magical thing that began to happen early on where it took a bit a convincing. I think early on to get people on board with what I was trying to do, but once they did and decided I'd be a part of it. There was this amazing collaboration of talent and skills that made the process
pretty easy and I think the other piece of it which in a hopefully that's what you say you have twelve years later, still holding up his as well as we intended to, but when you put a quality mark up there and from people that you begin to get to know and work with on a regular basis, the quality piece of it yes into place really well too and so it's going well, there's not to say that we want one in challenges and the government is not making it, easier with its trade posture. Oftentimes relates to other countries where we allow people to manufacturing. But it's been, the journey of a lifetime and its goin now we're making genes and final shorts and jackets and all that within the? U s, so that's a victory of it's own. I guess so it's it's gone as well. As you could have expected. It took a bit of convincing that's a classic understatement. I love it. You also said that you put yourself in a box and I'm curious if you think, paradoxically, perhaps that sometimes you know our desire to think as freely as possible
bull and our hope to be able to create an as unfettered away as possible. I wonder if those things sometimes become our enemies and, if sometimes, actually being in a box a place where you ve got parameters. We ve, given yourself, whether it's a deadline, real or imagined, or just parameters lines in the sand at has that has that helped you this decade. I think that all the time I mean to me, the answer is a definite yes I'll, give you just an exit but when we got started, we sort of his idea, pretty naive at the time. I think that we are going to make a really beautiful sweatshirt, that we are going to pour sold into it and we're gonna make it in the. U S can consistent with a set of ideals that I'd value it on and that customers would pick up on that and word of mouth would as for forward really know marking budget all in those holy days we had some press that began to pick up on our story: had an article written the end of a first year, the cold, this letter that I sent you the greatest hoodie ever made,
in slate magazine that, right by greater porter named forehead, manjhi who has gone on to better things and is, I think, he's now an editorial read at the new york times, but he wrote that go, and it was a really incredible moment for us that put us into a demand, a situation that we can meet for a long time. Time. But in the middle of all that you can imagine, as we are really trying to meet orders and try to fill customer demand. For that sweatshirt. We were oftentimes thinking boy. We could make a phone call and go to shenzen or Guang, JO, and and have tens of thousands of sweaters on a boat in no time. But I think, by that initial kind of construct that didn't come to mind, we didn't think of that it allowed us to stay. True too, who we were in an apparel world that is so filled with, so many brands are competing in so many different ways to have clarity of our positioning about this is who we are, and we are committed to a certain way of doing. Things has this really well over the long haul. In so that constrain, I think, has been its forces to invest in
manufacturing innovation and manufacturing engineering and relationship building all of our suppliers and all of those things over time have just built a momentum that I don't think we would have had the courage and conviction to stick to had we not made that kind of initial dunno commitment that decision to stay totally domestic so before we get to the supply Jane part of it, which is just so relevant. So on my mind, I want to ask you about brands in general cause. I'm guessing you and I are probably the same age or close to it. You know we came up in this and these right, where I mean brands, were so different, they were so well branded. You know me vice meant something wrangler meant something else entirely different corduroy something redwing re read way right and so, and so I think around the same time, from what I've read any way, something like ninety five percent of the textiles.
That we were wearing, as americans were made in america and five percent were being imported, and today that Those numbers are essentially reversed right and brand, I don't mean what I thought they used to mean, and here you are still in this fight. Basically, ignoring every bit of savvy marketing council. I've ever read an egg loring everything I thought I knew about retail millions have stores, but we ve got a few stores, but like what you're doing, they are about the residence of brands. early on was fundamental to this industry, we mean I'm sure we are very close to the same age, and I remember really clearly when I wore my first pair of of levi's and thinking that it said something about me that are reflected something about who I was and- and I feel that way about the first flannel I wore,
woolridge the first all these things that were imbued with not only a quality that I felt would just last overtime, get better with age, but also a brand that I thought reflected something. Fundamentally. In you, oh yeah, and the fact that I valued about you're exactly right about the statistic. It's almost entirely flipped about five per cent. Little less than that actually have the clothes that americans buy today are made domestically in the situations worse than that. Actually, because the amount of just a bury you in some statistics for a second, when we were kids, the average american family spent about sixteen hundred dollars on clothing and shoes per family. In today's dollars, and today the average american family spends about the same for shoes and clothing. It represents about three times the number of items and the average american family throws away about eighty pounds of clothing a year good. So there's been this structural shift towards just poor quality, stuff timor, disposable stuff,
and that was in the back of my mind too. I'm sure it's for all of us will have his innate sense about the quality paradigms declined over time. This stuff, we're buying, is just kind of fallen apart and and so, Maybe it was marketing? Stupidity or maybe it was just a clarity about if we offered consumers really high quality. and a set of values that they could count on and know that we weren't gonna, get caught up into some horrible thing happened in overseas that at least some segment of the customer base would really care about that. So in some ways it relieved for us this mad digital marketing, It's book, twitter. You know all this craziness, that's going on about spending spending spending to get customers to buy your product, and it allowed us to maybe be more committed to just a set of behaviors and quality commitments that we really valued less back to the box. You put yourself in a box that really didn't afford you the opportunity to indulge that kind of a question without stepping all over europe, but of the bad guys You're single minded proposition to build it here,
I thought you were going to say something to step on one's john thomas isn't worm. You know I mean so many of us become that's. Why titles? You know, I'm fascinated by titles fired I'm fascinated, even though I don't really like them, I'm fascinated by mission statements, because just the mere act of making one it kind of forces you to go to whatever the next step is and I'll I'll. Give you a really odd example about what you just said. I think, when you ask most people about their relationship with quality and their desire for it, it's going to go right to the top, but on dirty jobs, yep something happened to me. And look and I'm a guy who collected and hoarded champion sweatshirts. I love the reverse weave with good reason. You know what I know: I'm not the only guy every girlfriend I've ever had has stolen every champion. Sweatshirt I've ever owned; they just take them. They can't help it and so dirty jobs.
parts and all of a sudden. For the first time in my life I have a front row seat to a truly disposable. transactional relationship with garments right and it took a minute to accepted, but once I did, it was oddly freeing I'm not trying to suggest that there is any substitute for quality. There's not but when you work on a show like that, you leave the closure war behind and the motel six, usually in a bathtub, with a note of apology the maid and twenty dollars and sleep, don't know what I would have done had I came into possession of this sweatshirt that you were making. I dont think I could have worn it because I couldn't have. I could have stood to throw it out and I couldn't have bear to keep it there.
It's a great sort of framing of all the ways that you can define. Quality mean right. There is a fundamental role for really basic stuff that needs to be darn close to disposable stuff that you can really trash if the analogy of kind of a working pair of boots and a pair of dress boots there's the boots that you need to trash every day and then there's the boots? The word out to dinner you wear out at night and You make work where, in the way the dirty jobs has to confer on a regular basis. We makes up it's a little bit different than that that we hope and carry for a long long time, we'll get better with age, but in organic expensive there, not something that you want to buy and trash and including through a sewer in and then realize you can't, can carry it forward, There really is rules throughout, and I think that one of the problems is, I think anyway, is that we have
allowed customers a choice, a better choice in the market, and so there isn't really a spectrum of opportunities for quality and sourcing. That's obvious to the consumers, and in these, in my judgment, so much of what's available even at the higher price points, are just terrible quality there. Just not there not made well there it really kind of degrade in pretty short order, but I agree. I think that there's you know even I have those things I feel like when I'm trashing that I don't want to kind of make them last ten years they're only going to last, for you know, maybe ten days of tough work, wish. I could sum it up because it really does feel like there's a gotcha or and unintended consequence to almost every pithy observation that you can make about the global economy and about the relationship between quality and cost and about utility, verses, brand and so forth, and so on. There's just no easy way to talk about it. But having said that, if you could sum up the entire globe,
the economy through a geopolitical lens. For me, these v the hopes and dreams, the average consumer debbie great by that take my point of view about, as it relates to domestic manufacturing cover for narrow it down to that. As a good start, I think we ve got out, and this, I think, will be close to your heart MIKE. We ve got to allow our domestic manufacturers to compete fair way with our international competitors, and we have done a great disservice. I think in setting up trade agreements that are tilted dramatically against domestic manufacturers and if you care about communities and jobs and communities that need them in all those things that underpin a healthy society and a healthy economy eyes. Eighty safety, human rights, minority protections, environmental protections. If you care about those things, I would strongly encourage that you advocate for your elected, represent. Pay attention. Thankfully, that is moving a bit more into the conversation at national level in DC, but boy we do it
real disservice service with this plainfield yeah. Think not reconciling so much of the the high minded rhetoric that comes Do you see with practical changes in power policy, that would allow domestic manufacturer to compete evenly in a way It would allow them to really go toto and I'll. Just tell you that, in spite of the textile industry and all the people? We represent the men and women throughout our entire chain. They feel quite confident in their ability to compete. If the playing field level- that's it. That's my summation doo doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo down it's impossible to talk about the importance of making things in this country and not talk about the importance of the people who make them. So, let's talk about that on march, fifteenth My foundation is going to open another work, ethic scholarship programme and award over a million dollars to men and women. and who want to learn a skill. That's in demand you're not scholarships for universities or for your schools, these risks
or ships for aspiring tradespeople, micro works has been at this since two thousand eight, then I'm really proud to tell We've awarded over five million dollars to fifteen hundred people who want to learn a skill. That's truly and demand that sounds like you apply at micro works, dot work. The program starts on march, fifteenth got a million dollars burn in a hole in my pocket for the next generation skilled workers at micro works, dot, org first come first served at micro, works, dot, org. It's not just a great summation. I think it's a really important thing to ponder I've seen you on went back. I've seen you on NPR I've seen you talk to people way to the left and way to the right and I haven't found any one yet who really pushes back against the idea that the playing field oughta be level
and we can come at it from consumers- and we can come at it from workers' rights and we can look at it from a lot of different angles, but if we're going to ask people to make things in this country and at the same time, them to a standard of care, a duty of care. That's wildly disparate with You think that's going on anywhere else in the world. It almost feels to me- and maybe this is a stupid metaphor, but if you had a gifted and talented kid the right, assuming you probably do, even though you left him up in the mountains and took one here Didn't tell him I don't find their way out and put them into a public school in a troubled part of any major american city. It feels like that's what we did to our economy. We had a gifted in town to the economy,
when you- and I were kids that made ninety five percent of the stuff right and we put them out there into this global economy and just said good luck and flash forward forty years and it seems like a miracle that you made such a great sweatshirt, because what was commonplace for decades ago is now nothing short of shocking and miraculous yeah? I mean a total optimization for cheap right, so it's a whole foreign policy switch towards. How do we open up the cheapest means of production? We possibly can and sacrifice kind of everything at that altar. I mean it was sacrifice. Environmental protection sacrifice. Human rights protections sacrifice domestic capabilities, jobs and communities and I'm sure making your travels as mine. You go through many many communities where the jobs are gone. If you care about the country, if you care about your your fellow citizens, I would just make a strong plug that a good job is a real gift. It's a real joy and we ve taken that from a logic
It is a ways that may make sense in DC. They may make sense on the nasdaq or that the stock markets- they don't make sense in terms the things that really matter in these communities, and that is one of the reasons why I am sure I sent that's what your tea way back. When was, I just found someone with common cause who wishes to advocate for good, dignified work and in all its forms and that we have in my mind anyway, politicians for long period of time that didn't recognize that now twice for that. I think they're coming around now. If there is an awareness and it both sides- the owl to your point. You know that this is an important thing, as you can imagine, we ve got a broad range of customers. I got heat for being an npr. I got heat for being on Glenn Beck. My position is anyone that wants to talk to me about domestic manufacturing. Jobs will talk to them. All day long, it's a it's an important thing in my mind, a notice for you as well- and it is something that we have to begin to focus on from a policy perspective, because I think so much of what we're seeing now this discord and this distrust that's happening can trace. It's roots
I wanted, I think, a lack of good opportunity, and so in urban and in rural communities that don't have those jobs that were around in the seventies when we were there and that's an important conversation for soul to be habit. I think alright. Well we're definitely going to have it. I promise, but I gotta go back. Twelve years ago, when I opened the box and pulled out the sweatshirt. There was a note in there. I read it to my partner Mary and I'm like get a load of this cat man. He sent me like one hundred If the dollar hoodie know I dunno what you were selling them for back then, but it wasn't cheap. You know it felt like like breathable kevlar, like the things that Jesus I mean it's amazing and his name is byron winthrop and he sounds like fell off the mayflower and I think he used to work on wall street and now trying to make stuff in this country, and so we laughed me and mary, because you know I call her sisyphus and she calls me quixote, but I'm like this guy.
This guy is pushing a bolder up a hill anyway. I guess there's no real question in here other than to say sisyphus never really made it to the top. Just push it. He made progress in that it rolled over and then he did it again and again and again and again here: are you sisyphus or quixote? It's a good! and bring question. If you think about it, really man, I can't believe that came out of it. So the best questions have ever ask I care I mean I sort of feel like a gidget. Just a really quick background. I did start out in working in finance in new york. Wasn't any good at it? Wasn't nearly smart enough and I'd grown up in a sort of strange dynamic. I was going to new england prep school becoming the the home situation is quite different from that in my mom was dating though well mechanics and trades people and making sure that heard of them the youngest of three boys, making sure that we could take care of ourselves and work with our hands and she really valued. That does
bill and I gave a shot at working in finance and realized. We quickly. I was ill suited to that and then got into businesses that we're making things and what our relations quickly. I think was no surprise that the things that kind of bond us all together or some much greater than those that separate us and that we had over time kind of not optimized for these men factoring jobs, and I myself was sort of part of that process. I was moving the businesses running on moving manufacturing or seas, and then it dawned me one day and it happened to coincide with the birth of my oldest daughter. She was very young. We started the company weeks old, actually maybe a month and half old, that I kind of didn't want that to be what my story was that I was sort of optimizing for twenty five cents to make something cheaper. You know if I'm shipped overseas, and then you have all this conversations with people that I pull my work out of and apologizing felt kind of growth in so by the time the american giant him around
I was on more of a mission. I just wanted to shine as much of a light on something and do something. I knew that I would be proud of day. Your kids would be proud of and that my kids about the so I'm I care? boulder, I'm sure will continue to roll over all of us repeatedly right, but I've got enough tenacity and interest in this particular topic. You've got your own version as MIKE. I'm sure that I'm going to keep pushing and I'm an attorney activists. So I'm I'm gonna choose to believe that all of us are can begin to bang the pots and pans loud enough that we begin to tell things back into her face Where are the men and women that are working so hard to stay competitive and to stay in jobs and all that kind of good stuff? Well again, You know everything in me wants to try and simplify this in. That's probably naive, but sometimes I think it's gotta go splat before it gets better it being whatever you want to fill in the blank with and splat being anything from a locked.
I went to a pandemic to a war to an unidentified balloon who the hell knows. You know I mean we're just surrounded by so much uncertainty. But what do you think splat means like when, when do we pull our gifted in town wanted kid back. When do we say? No? No, no! No! No, it's gotta be fair and square. It's gotta be even or we're simply going to take our marbles and go home. Well, here's my optimistic answer to that. So, if we're not at splat right now, we're really close. I think if there was any confusion about whether china is a friend, I think that the last four years have disabused all of us of that notion of Kim. I think that we in our lifetime, mike from the ninety five percent, may domestically to five percent domestic of apparel. The essential bet was we're going to open up china and in the opening up china's going to become a partner in the world stage and a force for good, and I think the exact opposite is happening that we spent forty years kind of a massive wealth transfer to china. China has
accelerated massively economically militarily and has become a much more intractable foe of ours than it was when we started in the. U S has moved in the opposite direction. I think the good news is that DC is opening it's eyes to this. Finally, I think trump kicked it off. Biden has picked it up. I think, in this regard, there's been very little difference between the two administrations- men, as you hear, some of the candidates that are now announcing domestic manufacturing is in the center. In those conversations- and I think, there's a growing realization that we are overly dependent on china for a supply chain standpoint from penicillin to light manufacturing, however manufacturing and we have to decouple and that decoupling has got to happen across the economic spectrum- and I think the good news to the point- we're almost good paying jobs that are consistent with american values is not controversial, thought it's a bipartisan thought and I think that the candidates are understanding with the political centre. The bulk of the political centre is there and I think, finally, consumers
waken up to this too, that people just intuitive understand that this has been a bad deal and we have to begin to tilt things back in favour of putting if money and our trade policy in support of friends and supportive people that share our values, our environmental values are human rights, values or foreign policy values. So I think optimistically we're darn close to splat, and I think that the you know, even as recently as this past week and in discussions about what's happening between china and russia and the alignment of decisions there, I think, are going to force all of us from consumers to policymakers to confront what we're doing about getting to your point, investing back in ourselves for a awhile and making sure that we can get back to a good footing. So there's policy and politicians, there's manufacturers, large and small and there's consumers who do you think, needs to be the tipp of the spear with regard to turning the ship around
it's kind of at the core of it. I think the question was better than my sister first quixote analogy. I mean your questions are all I think I was talking chocolate this earlier, that I just am so impressed by your intellectual horsepower. It's got me, it's truly shocking. Please continue stand. I had some choice, things to say, and in response it's really. By removing please please word please, but I think you know do we have to ask, can rumours to be the ones that determine I'm gonna pay a premium for ex wires ii. That seems the very large ask so the participants, our consumers, resellers brands and policy. makers, at least in the way that I think about it, and I think the consumers are the ones that we should ask the least out of I think they should be on. So let me talk a little bit about that right now we say to our biggest brands. You can instagram about all the things that you purport to care about,
the values you care about, but we're going to wink wink nudge nudge, allow you to go make things overseas in places that have no have none of those protections, don't care about any of those things and make much more money as a result and get all your shareholders are very wealthy virtue signaling. I believe they call virtue signaling, yep and just and allow people to instagram. about whatever your issue is whether it's a supporter of pride or support of environmental protection or want to protect the planet or care about minority rights does matter, does matter so. We allow our biggest brands to virtue signal about that, but then to pursue behaviors that are totally consistent with that and the resulting is that they are able to make me t shirts for eighteen dollars and they make huge huge t shirts and they get their shareholders very wealthy. So I think it starts policymakers to begin to close the loopholes in trade agreements and allow the demon dick producers to be more competitive, but I think that brands and resource also have a very big role to play. I think the question comes up for brands, maybe that we care about the we think maybe even represent america at its best
They need to find their own moral compass a little bit to go from what they believe like. Do they care that they operate. system with our values and then resellers. You know if only to pound on Walmart, but Walmart has actually stand on this issue and they ve made a real commitment to domestic production and back the earlier point. You know this conversation crease strange bedfellows. You might think in the face of it, that I would be an anti roma person. That boy do I value a company like that that is taken a stand and communication. I'm an amazon boy. Do I have a lot more to worry me I'll. Tell you after chuck ask is pressing question love to hear that. Well, my question is about the loopholes. You mentioned the loopholes, and I know that you say that it shouldn't fall on the consumer to do the heavy lifting and government is a part of that. It's like what are the loopholes now that exist, because I don't think a lot of people understand or know, and what can be done. What does congress need to do to close them yet It gets into have pretty wonky discussion about trade agreed trade negotiation invent fabric next week on traveling with embarrassed,
ty, lush ethic and new in this area will be the week. I think I should be in or care liner with her representatives going through our supply chain to talk about this exact issue. There are lots and lots of small details about trade agreements, but to make it simple, China can produce goods and have access to the domestic market the american market, with no penalties at all. If I try to do that in reverse and try to sell our products into china, we would be hit with major import duties and terrorist. That's crazy, but we ve taught anything else. That's crazy! We're giving access to the domestic market the best mark in the world for free there's no place. If you don't do anything effectively, so it just closing some of those things and beginning to make it more level about. If we're going to import and export, we've got to be doing that with the same flattening of terrorists and duties and import penalties too. Just a lot of examples like that that are buried in these trade agreements. You ve got lobbies, the retail lobby, that are very aggressively trying to block those things, and so it really is incumbent upon all of us to make noises
why we are giving china such unfettered access to our market and being so restrictive about their own domestic market. So there a lot of them there, and you know I dunno if there any way to post some links to some interesting reading for some of your listeners, but if there wasn't a certainty to be happy to provide some of them for you to look at sure, we don't we don't have any listeners tired per se. To them. You do don't areas since I read the less than Chuckle act it all out with a really compelling interpretive dance. The Tammy divine resonates with for demographic six seven years ago. Antonio, almost yes, I got a call from walmart
Do you know full disclosure a year before maybe two I had a dirty jobs, cleaning product on the shelves and it didn't work out. The product was made partly here and partly in canada, but for a whole lot of reasons that nobody cares about. People love the product, but I just couldn't compete with png, but I made some friends at walmart and one of them called me and said: look this coming he is going to commit to spending a quarter of a trillion dollars over the next ten years. In the u s supply chain. We are going to physically and affirmatively open factories, reopen factories in the rust belt and other places and were deadly serious about it, and we ve made this commercial for superbowl, which wound up airing during the olympics instead and would like you to narrative, is basically a commercial called the factory and celebrated the reopening of factories and trumpeted walmart commitment to spend a lot of jack right over a decade.
So. I did it and when that commercial air, the next morning facebook blew up, people were so pissed off at me by. They couldn't believe that dirty jobs guy it would narrator commercial that was announcing the biggest retailer and the country's commitment to bet on the. U s supply chain again. They couldn't believe it because they, saw Walmart so clearly as an enemy of workers rights, and I was immediately and The first time in my life quickly put into these requisite boxes, is incredible and I learned a lot of lessons in that in that moment was boycotted by the way for somebody called jobs with justice got fifteen thousand letters, just it was insane what happened, but really open my eyes to the sensitivity and the new wants, and just how deeply felt so. Many opinions were around the business of just being able to
ford. You know me and millions and millions of people just to ask the shooting question that I'm sure you ve had before right. We can't just make a hundred and thirty dollars sweatshirts period there. A lot of people in this country there's no way they're going to be able to afford that so there's walmart with that solution and and that's wrapped into this giant, larger problem with china and so forth, and so forth, and my god you know I just went to bed one night thinking. I understood the problem of woke up the next morning, having now rated a commercial and see my career flash before my eyes, because they try to envy doo, doo doo doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo doo down noble tennessee whiskey is the best whiskey I've ever tasted. Am I biased? You bet? I am the whisky is named after my granddad Carl noble. Noble was the inspiration for dirty jobs, as you might have heard, and for the micro works foundation. So I thought it was only fitting to put his name on the best whisky I could find and
I want to raise money for my foundation, which have been doing for the last year when I can keep in stock. Well, we just got some more and if you live in one of the twenty eight enlightened states that I'm allowed to ship. It too, you should try some post haste, specifically the brick house addition its phenomenal. I know I am hopelessly biased but a year of rave reviews, I'm starting to realise its. Not just me, noble, taste great should try some for yourself at noble spirits, dotcom, that's noble! With a k k, I know b de l spirit, dot com, a portion of every online purchases goes to micro works and helps us a lot with our work ethic scholarship programme that's noble spirits, dot, com, work, hard play, fair, be noble. I dunno how to even speak to that. I think there is a purity thing happening out there today
that nobody is saying that Walmart as a perfect operator, but if we're gonna hold, if we're going to pursue a better tomorrow, We need to recognise when there are people that are willing to make commitments, change, behaviors and boy. That's a clear one. I mean walmart commitment as you put it with real dollars. I would invite the people that are up in arms about your support of that decision, to point out alternative examples that they think are valuable and valid. Not I want to pick on amazon's. One banana does not take a stand like that. I want to pick on him either, but you're right cost amazon target, big retailers could have fallen right in line behind Walmart. That's right said you know what, in relative terms, if you can no quarter trillion, we're good for ten billion were good for twenty billion. Whatever it is just to be clear. Those decisions, those decisions of pulling in putting a stake in the ground. That's their version of a box putting mistaken the ground that guy
is a tremendous amount if you get into my supply chain and talk to the men and women that are making yarn that are knitting cloth. The big thing that's on their mind is: do I have durable commitments over time so that I can invest in automation in improvements? Were technology and worker training, or is this stuff all fleeting? And when you have a big retailer like warm or putting a stake in the ground, you provide visitor we will do our version of the same thing on a smaller scale. Obviously we're not going anywhere we're gonna, be here, our supply, if you're able to say okay, american giant going to be here in six months, ten months, eighteen months, we can invest in a better dryer, that's going to cost us million dollars, which is a big number by the way for small town. manufacturers that need to find the capital to do that. Walmart, via that latitude net leeway to your point. If, on the other hand, you had a bunch the way we tell- and this is a good idea- this is supporting our customers directly,
our customers of the men and women that are working in these places. Where supporting them, though, is the kinds of things that begin to cripple. Madame, forcing when I see that other than walmart in so I don't know. I think in the same way that you need to have conversation with. Anybody is willing to support things that we think well and good. I would invite those people that were pissed off at you to ask that question about. I may not agree on everything with that company, but this is one thing that I can support. That is admired. I mean look. You've got heat from both sides. Chucks heard the story a gazillion times, but you know there was a week in two thousand and sixteen I went on Glenn back show and two days later I went on bill Maher's. You can hear the earth stop spinning and things just started flying into the ether people's heads
loaded when you try and find things that both sides can agree on its back to the level playing field. Here. Look at this. I love this another one of my favorite sweatshirts, which, where together like you, can see why well actually stole this from shock right who bought it many years ago, and yeah it's made in China. That's outrageous! You got a usa sweatshirt released in concert with the united states, olympic team they've even got their logo on it and then it's made in China. So I mean if you're looking for a metaphor, and shop. Where did you buy? This? Do even remember: where does you steal it from old girlfriend? I don't know where I got it, but I did the same thing that you did MIKE. I went through what I was gonna where today and looked to see where it came from I'm wearing levi's pants genes, which are mexico, brazil,
it says on there the shirt, which also has an american flag on it. Nicaragua- and this jumper is the british would say, was made in jordan of all places, so I didn't even have no idea. I got a problem with jordan, but I'd avoid the jumper thing in the future. You can listen to this show. Can you edit that piece out as possible we're going to cut it into the title? Sure yeah that's gone chuck as a great boy. You want to really crazy. Look at the fourth of july, tee shirts by some big taylor that runs every year, has the american flag on it and it is making lots of money, and for that I t shirts, look at the american flags, the flag, Is there a patent? This is not complicated stuff, and I boy I'll just tell you just to circle back on the speaking to people on the ends of the spectrum. If there isn't something that we need to learn, We need to learn that there are common objectives here that require that we work with and talk to people across the ideological spectrum and go
if you are just shrieking into the wind being appearest you're, doing a great disservice. the cause, because there are, Men and women all over the place that can help here from consumers making decisions about how they buy things all the way up through to people side of the island mean if we can't get by port agreement around jobs and supporting jobs at a dc. Then we're not get anywhere. And so we ve got to find a way to have these conversations that can so wrapped up in this purity stuff that you're gettin nailed. I wish a silly well I'm about to seamlessly transition into the aforementioned promised conversation regarding jobs, but that cognitive dissonance you're talking about it so primal and it's so weird, like buyers. Winthrop is not supposed to be the champion of making it in the usa a former opera singer, nay, micro is not supposed to be run,
the foundation to train welders right, and so it just feels like we use to celebrate magnify and amplify that level of disparate your curriculum vietnam, but now we look at it with suspicion. You're not found The path that fired winthrop is supposed to follow and neither are you might grow. Therefore, air go shut up and to me, that's what we ve lost the ability to somehow hold to competing thoughts in her head. I have a whole theory about this. If you would me for two seconds. I think that we have over the last fifteen years or so through technique, ology digital technology. Through global supply chains, we have become increasingly disconnected from one another. We data online food online, we our sneakers online everything we're doing a sort of all the time we're not together and I was listening.
Michelle obama speak once, and this topic came up sort of directional and she stopped and fell for one said you know it's really hard to hate somebody up close, and it's always stuck with me- is that this disconnected nis that we obviously think about interim of jobs in port right, I would challenge you whenever you're political or station is or whatever issue you care about, to travel with me through the supply chain, through the carolinas, for example, and meet the men and women and realise that vast diversity that their political diversity, all kinds: economic diversity, sexual orientation- to virtually all of it, and recognise that and through line there about people employed in decent jobs that want them in communities that need them and challenge you to be a purist. In that sense, that. I feel highly just ran for one second indulgent to me that if you ve got the privilege to be that purist
about issues that matter to communities that are in rough shape that need good jobs. You got to get off your pedestal a little bit and get into reality. I think there's a thread that runs through literally and metaphorically, your life, your business, I wrote a book a few years ago, called profoundly disconnected, me it was really a rumination on my own, my own self, I was so impressed as a kid and so mindful of where my energy came from and where my food came from and all of the things that I eventually took for granted and then I thank had my little reawakening with my tv show and good for me, but people need iran re awakenings and if that's the thread that you can use to somehow stitches back together again well, then your company is going to be giant indeed, you're welcome, salsa, not bad. Really. That was great. I use that now take it.
I just grab it, and maybe that becomes a thing until I really do agree with that that if we kind of can begin to reconnect in that way, I do think that that really is there's. So much truth. To that I mean just knowing your whole programmes about. This might mean that you know my young, kids in totally whatever they watch dirty jobs. They have this response of, like ha, that understanding about how things get done, how things get made, how the food gets on your table and the people that do that work, the miracle that that work is and the honor. That is owed to those men and women is like once you exposed to it. It's really intuitive it's going to get it the more that sort of in this blurry distance. The measure becomes too not conduct, look at it and can find it and address it. So I'll tell you, I think I said this: you before MIKE, I'm really grateful for the show, because my six and eight and twelve year olds see things that We need to be familiar with and understand in ways that, when we were kids kind of over just having not so much anymore, well, look it's! The g word a big in the same way that machine
was right. It's hard to hate people up close. It's also, conversely, difficult to feel grateful from a distance. If you can smell it, if you can't touch it, if you Can'T- see the sweat if you can in some way experience it. That's tactile. You know. I want you to say something now that makes my listeners go ha in terms what you experienced when you finally came and got up close and personal with your own supply chain. What did that due to see the box you put yourself in manifest? terms of jobs. The crazy thing for me was I have been around making clothing and footwear for most of my career twenty five years, something like that. It wasn't all I got into a car and drove you do like drove.
I don't know hundred eighty radio miles and saw in the course of today's cotton coming out of the ground, getting gin getting bailed, getting spun into your knitted into cloth, died and dying facilities, finished in finishing facilities and cotton zone the other income sweatshirt. It was a totally hump wing and, and still is to this day, I'm going next week. It's a completely will experience and it seems we are to say it, but it's easy to forget that so much of the closed we wear started off as no cultural crop and the incredible symphony of things that have happened to produce a sweater. Neither aunt when you were exposed to that it is How do we all inspiring and the talent and skill required to do it? It is such a privileged to see that stuff. So I think that was the thing it was most having been around it for so long having really to confront. That is it. I find. This is an amazing thing to see up close I'm in such violent agreement with you all. I can
do is nod and say my education started when dirty jobs got renewed after those pilots, because what you're describing is no different than working. shoulder to shoulder with a coal miner or a rough neck or a roustabout, and then later that evening, when it's raining or snow, lying or blowin outside, and you turn the heat on. You know what your book aim immediately, goes back to that guy and, if you're not exposed to that. If you ve never picked cotton, if you ve never mind for coal or at least shown up to bear witness as its done, then. You are missing. Something is missing, something and totally what you don't need if you're, that profoundly disconnected person is a lecture or a sermon or a bunch of empty platitudes and bromides from people who want your phone. What you need in part anyway, is access to justice.
to see it happen, so you are privileged, but not in ways that you ve probably been accused your privilege to have had a front row seat to your own supply chain who gets that yeah, I'm with you totally. I mean there's one woman that comes to mind for me, particularly a woman. They run a few ours who's, an economic correspondent for the financial times as great journalist, and I convinced her dunno how to travel with me for a couple of days in the carolinas- and you know she told me afterwards. She said boy went into that thinking, I'm going to be confronted with stuff that I'm just not gonna be able to. You know it's going to be antithetical to my political views or whatever might be in two days later. She came at the far side and just felt like she went through a total transformation and she's just written a book called homecoming that in part tracks that trip she took with me
about this whole push to restoring and the human aspect of that story. How important it is that what you're saying is right to have an opportunity to immerse yourself in that is such a gift. I feel like I've learned so much about character and human potential and capability and craft, and all these things that I never learn in school but really begin to learn when I was getting out there in spending time in our supply chain and getting things made and exporting. You know how to make a flannel again in the united states on how to make out aware in the united states things that really had been sort of given up on, but is just invigorating to be around that talent and that commitment and to be a part of providing some young good some work, it's a great feeling lot better than whenever the alternatives to that. In my mind, there is no alternative. Their corollaries people ask me all the time. What do the dirty jobs as a group know that the rest of us have forgotten, and the honest answer is a four hundred page book. I can't get around a finishing but part.
If it is that thread thing, we were talking about it, seeing a thread made and it's watching the thread be applied into a sweatshirt and it seeing the pieces of the sweatshirt and seeing the rolling of the cotton in it. Seeing that loft. That comes it's all of the little tiny steps, that's feedback and its constant, a lot of very successful people. Today, don't have that kind of feedback and their life there aching for it, and I would just add that I think part of that is that we all have a response, ability to participate in that broader ecosystem. I mean, if you are not aware of what is happening in cities in the: u s or in rural communities, in the u s and the number of jobs that have left, you should tune into that conversation, but once you do it's hard to not feel some sense of responsibility thing, I want to be a participant in and be a force for good. In that regard, you don't have to support american giant out giver ass go support. Another brand that is similarly supporting your values, support the family, you're foundation mike, but people need in my
it engage in that discussion in a way that recognizes wait, there's an undercurrent here of just providing our citizens, our neighbors, some dignified work that they can go every day and be a force for good in that regard, leave politics at the door for a minute, just support that basic throughline. It's an important one, and you know you get into these communities and it just. I find that when you enter into those places your differences are just left at the door and you all just
realize when you are in that mix boy, there's an obvious thing to get behind here in support. I really mean supportive of you want to support and it doesn't matter where you buy clothes most are not but do pay attention to where your dollars are going, and maybe how important purity is, when you decide to put somebody in on the lash or whatever and give more time for your advocating something is going to be beneficial to a bunch of people out there. How do I don't want you to put words in people's mouths or speak for anybody? You're, not comfortable speaking for but the quality, this stuff you're making is very high, and so how does the pride of workmanship manifest in that in the people that you see on the front line? Is it in some way different and I ask it fired because I've met the guys who make the boots? I love wolverine, thousand
milers right there up in Michigan and it's just so personal. It was very leading question, but in relative terms, you're doing the same thing. It's accurate and really relevant to textiles, because one of the interesting things that has happened over the last forty years of apparel and textile production, the united states- is that, unlike maybe pick some countries out there like japan, korea, Switzerland, ITALY that have gone towards optimizing for quality, the united states decided to compete on volume in textiles, which is, if you think about it, does not make much sense because we have higher labor rates. We have. Environmental standards of higher human rights standards, worker safety standards. The industry has gone of relentlessly over the last forty years towards what we refer to as ton and gun sewing ton and gun it just as much volume as you possibly can as cheap as you possibly can do it
and so, when we came around and said, wait we wonder the opposite of that. We want to invest in needle. We want to invest in labour, we want to invest in quality when I said earlier, that was hard. That initial country was hard. That was at the crux of it, because people like wait, we don't do quality anymore we've, let that go thirty two years ago you now, I remember this market people would come from all over the world to get leave us. It was presentation of north america, but also of value and quality mean people keyboard. They would go back the soviet union with duffel bag, full levi's, and so that conversation going back to that was really counter intuitive for a lot of supply chain. But little by little, tourism of the grey hairs in the supply chain began to say: hey, hang on a second here, this approach Selling online investing quality. It could work It's a we'll! Try we'll get. Some looms, turned back on will think differently about the waited with it. It about yarn dying and so that peace will you see this pride wake up in the and now
conversation is really present in our supply chain about being a part of a brain the nepalese making really highquality staff. So that was a leading part of your question, but I also think we ve a fair amount of press and the men and women that make our staff have been. CBS serve been in the new york times getting some measure of the recognition that they deserve That, too, gives a sense of pride, and so it's a totally different. They mean you'll, go through fighting you'll, see some guy runs or nappy machine robert, where in our sweatshirt and robert of evil, we now a dentist, I'm the guy that figured out how to nap this fleet to make it right and robert feels, like you know, you talked about that and something that deep, rightfully is proud of, because it as a matter of six months to figure that out and he's the guy that unlocked the forest. So that's a nice little benefit of just kind of going back to craft and going back to people that actually there's a skill set there that you have to tap into to make some something really great.
How are they live and I mean what kind of living can you make in real terms in an american supply chain? Right now- and I am sure these people are doing things that aren't for american giant right when you're just using them, they don't exist entirely for your brand. Yet at the end of the day, the end of the week, the end of the month or they living a balance life? Are they able to provide for their kids
be able to save. Are they able to own a home, etc yeah? So they give a couple of different answers to that. I think most basic level- and this is a comment from me. I think this will honour in work and a lot of these communities that you go to clover south carolina, gaffney, south carolina middlesex north carolina. There aren't a lot of the job options. Are the dollar general the part time shift at one of the local retailers in the mall working at chick fillet, not to say those jobs are bad but they're part time typically and they're, not career jobs and so having a job that you can build a career around and get benefits at and learn skills and advance. That's a real gift and there's a lot of honor in that that's a buyer comment. That's not a comment about really what your question is, but I think this revalue there, the other part of it is. I just had this conversation this morning, as I mentioned next week, I'm going to be down with ambassador ties, representatives and she's, the us trade representative for the Biden ministration to look at textiles specifically in one of the I'll leave this person's name out, but one of them
Eventually, your gosh should he's a important employer in a small town that does knitting for us, and he said you know if they ask me about wages. You know, I'm sure that coming from DC or new york city they're going to think our wages are just low and they're going to be frustrated about that, and I said to him- you know the reale. This is that the crux of the conversation he wants to very much pay his people more. He wants to upgrade his break room. He wants to buy new microwaves, but he's operating at such a thin profit margin that he has to cutting costs everywhere, and you can imagine the discordance that conversation between DC, that is talking wanting to have high wages and safe working conditions and knew my but policies that make it it difficult when, when competing competing, china, China has doesn't care at all about those things, their labour rates or four dollars a day wherever it is infringing china, so the industry in general is under pressure, just cost price
because they're competing with places like china, whatever that list was the chuck mentioned about. Where he's fine all is things nicaragua and jordan and places they don't have the same cost structure that we do thou being said throughout the supply chain. There are people there that have in have worked for these companies for decade, fifteen twenty twenty five years of buccaneers around them put their kids through school working. this places? So are they making twenty five thirty dollars an hour in summonses? Yes, but mostly time? No, in many cases their me wage entry level, unskilled jobs, but their jobs and their jobs that are employing eighteen. Twenty year old man, and in communities that need work and back to the early conversation. I you know we should look at that as a country and say are those important for us to have those jobs. Do they matter, you better believe it man. When did we become so contemptuous of the lower rungs on the ladder. How do you climb
get rid of all the low wrongs, their good and crazy equity success. Good luck! I can't I can't mentioned at length. I want to ask you too, and I know where the little short on time, but the reason I think that the level the playing field argument is ultimately more persuasive than the quality argument and tell me if you think, I'm wrong, but I've talked to a lot of people who have kind of pulled me aside off MIKE, as it were and said, look it would be a happy circumstance to be able to say that all the stuff that's coming out of china is crap. It would be nice if we could say that all the stuff that chuck is wearing from nicaragua and belgium and so forth is garbage, but what, if it's, not what if there are actually doing a pretty good job? What is this chinese maids?
what shirt you know is actually close to twenty five years old right. It's pretty good. It seems easy, sometimes to go all that crap from overseas. What about this thing? Man? What about the way we started? This whole conversation me showing you a picture of your sweatshirt on an iphone that was made by kids from someplace in a town. I can't pronounce it's difficult when you're confronted with a great product that was made super cheaply in a land far far way easier, I think, to say, look they're not playing by the same rules. That's called cheating and we shouldn't be in that world? I think you an anecdote to that.
When I was with the reporter. I was talking about earlier in our supply chain. She stopped and asked one of our big producers. There's a very big company called parkdale mills that makes yarn the large consumer of cotton. The united states great company privately held- and she asked the ceo of that company whether he was a supporter of free trade, and he stopped for a minute and looked at her and said how about this? How about you define free trade first and then I'll. Tell you whether I supported or not, and what he's saying is. It is not a level playing field, they're cheating and so, if you ask me to compete against someone cheating, that's my support, and that is the crux of it. Is that you're exactly right that get into the new wants that. I think that the domestic manufacture, Billy billy across the borders, can be better competing on the quality of the spectrum versus the violent is better because cause we have inherent labour costs and other things here that we want intact, but at the end of the day, the issues, what you're bringing up which is make it fair. Then, let's talk about whether or not we can be competitive,
their domestic manufacturing at all my monies? There I mean you, should Travel with me and meet these people, they are girding for the opportunity to fight to to tell, but right now, they've got both hands tied behind their back and they're, trying to compete on a world stage. That is just silly, and so much of this stuff really is just about taking a hard look at trade deals and how we can trust them. And why are we tolerating unfettered access to met to the domestic market? Why we tolerating unfair cost infrastructure and domestic market we're we're not holding our competitor to the same paradigm, and I think that's a basic way to think about it and one that boy how people are beginning to concentrate on man. I hope you're right. I think you were right before the consumer does it need to be on the tipp of the spear. The consumer doesn't need to be built up over. This first and foremost but they got skin in the game too. I will never forget this was probably ten years ago now I was working the vanity right there wrangler and they had led genes and so forth and dumb. We did a dealer,
My foundation- and I said you know what I'll I'll help you rebate lee genes. You at the time a lot of people associated what kind of a female brand and they were trying to push it up a little bit sides a gap. Let's try something anyhow, I said in the course of this relationship when it be great, if we could just carve out a little bit, that was one hundred percent made in america. Just a little bit and they said we would love to do that, but here's what we found and to make a real long story short they created a made in america denim product and it cost about three dollars more than its counterpart overseas and they put them for sale side by side. I think, and a penny's at jc penney's and the results were so bad. It was like like zero, like no one would pay three dollars more for
american made, so they knocked it down to two bucks more than they knocked it down to a dollar more and then they knocked it down to fifty cents more for fifty cents. You can get the same pair of jeans just made here, identical in every other way, nothing got it down to a penny more, would you pay a penny more and still the sales didn't, but it wasn't until they were totally even that they started to see an optic. I know it anecdotal, but it was their research. I looked at that and I thought you know if I'm really being honest, with myself, I dont, what the answer is, but there's some truth in it. American consumers, by and large, are not going to pay a premium, much less much more for something that appears to have the same quality to it. Yep have a couple thoughts about that. One is Al Cindy pair of our jeans. We've got a great jeans business, that's entirely made in the: u S that is growing fast, and
great quality and so there's consumer demand, for there are three thirty three by iran. Iran hog couldn't face. Note do dress to the right if that still matters dear, but I think that you know, I think the thing that maybe I would just add to that point is we've got to level up the playing. Old, which will in turn say great, then, let's just say: leave our pig only genes but less than this gonna have to determine whether there are better off making stuff in however, it is mexico or El Salvador, the? U s and end the cost structure will come back into balance with one another and then I think we have a conversation, but the problem, as I see it today is my hear stories like that is whether that selling data is totally accurate. I know another big genes provider, as a maiden: u s line! That is doing very, very well. I think consumer sentiment is changing, How long will that without conversation was might but ten years ago, ten years ago I think
Look at the point. Now it's entering there's a shift underway were clearly benefiting from that there is a growing. I think, understanding that ten years ago, I don't think I was thinking much about by an everything from my kids from amazon. I now I have this sort of vague sense of guilt when I do that, it's convenient might not be the best quality, and maybe I shouldn't be doing this, and I think that sort of approximation for what I think is happening among consumers sentiment now about. Maybe I should be it more aware and the point look don't apply to apparel, apply it to the food you buy or apply. It may be the way, the you'd knowledge, the people that are taken care of all the things you take for granted that keep your house warm in the winter time. I don't care. I would like to see the people, or at least where, when they're making that soon, they know that that's going here, as opposed to their and just begin to think about that more.
In to the earlier conversation particular people that are shopping, pennies, that's a big ask! Our customers can afford a difference there. They can afford to pay a bit premium for something that is supported their values. That may not be the case for some the shopping pennies are trying to get you a jacket when our kids or whatever it might be, and we ought to be doing our best to be competitive at all those pricing levels. So I'm not surprised to hear that. I think it is you know and even down in surprised that the margin was that different, but but
boy. I hope we do a better job at allowing a better choice to be in the market that supported by a paradigm that gives the domestic producers a shot a better shot than they are today. Absolutely island brought it up, because what it says to me is it just reaffirms the truth that I believe is fundamental, which has cookie cut her advice, bromides platitudes and sweeping generalizations even went offered and put forth by men, and women of great experience are worthless ship. Today we can't some this pro. look up by simply saying either qualities, no good you're better off here or this, or that it varies so dramatically back when I had that conversation No one was selling directly to the can rumour online exclusive way like you are everything's different, and so we're probably not going to solve this
problem in the remaining three minutes that we have. What now it's not going to happen shock, but I'll tell you something. The word that didn't come up the risk of blowing a lot of sunshine, straight up: buyers, bottom, its integrity, man, its integrity, the closest we got two. That is what you said before euro formed financier who wanted to look himself square in the mirror and not throw up in his mouth and do something that made us kids proud and, in the end, that's justification to have a grown up conversation about all of this, so huge fan of what you tried to do and a huge fan of what you ve done and an even bigger fan of what I know. You're gonna, but I know you're about to do because you know it's only a matter national security rant over. If I can redirect some of that sunshine up here, but I would just say from a distance appreciate
all the advocacy and the attention on this issue because, as far as I can tell, you're alone soldier out there that is advocating for an incredibly important bipartisan issue that affects the country, and I thank you for that cause. It's you do it in a way that is filled with humor and good intentions, and it just I like it. Love your show, and I love and appreciate the impact having on the way you think about things, so all that etc, etc. but the reason you're here, full disclosure out of the blue. You sent me the best sure I've ever worn twelve years ago with no strings attached, chuckled tell you it's important to say thanks in return the favour it just takes a while, sometimes itself, If we can put our patience was really wanted to say that you didn't. Maybe, take some of this conversation to heart and hope people think a little bit differently. but the way their buying stuff in support your foundation
I guess I'd say I'd just appreciate that work as a boy. It makes a difference in these communities that have people that are considering different paths. It's good to have some support there. So that's it! Thank you appreciate! Being on mic and I'll, send you out those gene two thirty, three thirty three addressed to the right of european husky. If they still make those used to work for me and I'll have over two american dash giant dot com and click of a pair myself? Thank you three easy payments of whatever it takes to stop grovelling chuck. It's not a plug chuck. Buyer thanks for your time, brother! Good luck! I appreciate you guys oh thanks round me on. Thank you thank you and, I sure do hope here, kids make it out of the mountains. They sound like nice. People with science- Please
those. The ones you hate, but that's right, gentle listener. We could not do this podcast without the support of our wonderful sponsors, and we really appreciate your patronising and not looking down your nose kind of way, but in a going to their website, checking out their products and may be buying something kind of way, and this month we hope you checked out nets we'd, like streams, recruiter field of greens, tobin, tax relief, dot, org, butcher box. My patriots apply rocket money till next time. Adios. My brother in law died suddenly and now my sister and our kids have to sell their home. That's why told my husband. We could not put off getting life insurance any longer. An agent offered
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Transcript generated on 2023-03-01.