Willy is proudly made here in the USA. We made this choice for a number of reasons—and not because we thought a global pandemic might disrupt international supply chains.
Lululemon, Nike and Adidas are leaders in the men’s athleisure space having invented the space, dominated it and/or recently seen significant growth. Each of these companies make their clothes outside of the United States. This is not the right thing for our country. Now more than ever.
These athleisure brands along with many of the world’s largest fashion brands have their lines made in developing countries because “fast fashion,” or mass-producing cheap clothing, is extremely lucrative. This means that lots of modern clothes are practically disposable – it’s why your new tee from (insert name brand here) falls apart after a few washes.
But for most of human history, clothes were prized items with a deep emotional connection attached. Unless you were rich, you probably had only a handful of pieces which you intended to keep for years. Clothes were valuable. If you couldn’t afford a shirt, you just had to hope someone loved you enough to spend hours and hours making one for you.
Just so, we believe our clothes are valuable. We want our products to last longer than our competitors’. And of course, the best way to control quality is to make our product here in the USA. This also gives us control of health and labor practices, and opportunities to support our fellow Americans.
Here is why we stay local:
During this pandemic, we are seeing the fragility of a service-based economy. Now, more than ever, we need jobs that will last and that can withstand change. Going local—even relatively speaking—has enormous consequences.
By contributing to American manufacturing, you’re directly supporting American jobs and communities.
Simply put, our clothes are better made with better fabrics. We've partnered with local factories so we can ensure quality and satisfy our obsessive attention to detail. Our Los Angeles factory lives at the intersection of modern technology and old-school craftsmanship with artisans at the helm of every step.
Each piece endures rigorous wash and wear testing and we aren’t satisfied until every stitch is in place.
For example, we’ve been wearing our decadently soft Willy Sweatpants nearly every day of this lockdown. And they’ll still last a long time. We have a feeling you’ll love them as much as we do.
When the pandemic hit our shores, we were able to instantly pause production at one of our factories to make masks for emergency medical workers.
Within days, we donated protective masks to local hospitals, a feat that would have taken months for an overseas factory.
When buying clothes made in unregulated factories, there is often no oversight on how it was made, or by whom. One must trust that the clothing company values ethics more than revenue.
The fact that many clothes sold in shopping malls are made in countries without labor laws is disturbing.
Between dangerous working conditions, zero wage controls and underage workers, these companies can cut corners with little repercussions.
We don’t believe in poisoning our planet to make a pair of pants. Recently, there have been obscene scandals in less-regulated countries of factories and companies poisoning whole swathes of land and thousands of people to save a fraction of operating costs. We believe things like the Environmental Protection Agency and consumer protection laws are actually good ideas.
If our clothes are going to last for years, we want the earth to, as well.
Our clothes are also made with more expensive, higher-quality, safer fabrics and materials, to protect our customers as much as the earth. So when you put on a pair of Willy Run-Around Shorts, you can be safely assured that your rear end won’t catch fire, except perhaps metaphorically.