Hardwick Clothes Continues Tradition 134 Years Later
A Cleveland clothing manufacturer is celebrating the past, and prepping to keep their place in the market in the future. Hardwick Clothes is the oldest tailor-made clothing manufacturer in the country. Earlier this year, the company was fighting bankruptcy and it seemed like their more than 130 years of experience might not make it another season.
But with a new chance, and a new owner in Cleveland businessman Allan Jones, Hardwick is both concentrating on what got them here, and looking for ways to set themselves apart in a modern marketplace.
On these racks, the bread and butter of Hardwick Clothes hang long before seeing the inside of business meetings and church services. "The navy blazer and the khaki pants is what sustained us, kept us," says Hardwick's General Manager Paul Bates.
The men's clothing staple is the biggest seller for America's oldest-tailor made manufacturer in the heart of Cleveland, a tradition that's more than 130 years old. "The motto was from the sheep's back to your clothing rack. They brought the wool in themselves, they spun the yard and made the cloth and cut the cloth into garments, that helped them make it through the depression because they didn't have to rely on vendors."
But as the company grew, so did the need to bring in finished fabric now in camel, red and seersucker too. Today, 3 thousand yards of fabric come in every week, ready to start the process that produces blazers, vests and pants.
Each pattern part is bundled and given a bar code to make sure they end up at the right sewing station. Both the blazer's outer shell and it's lining make their way down the assembly line of experienced seamstresses, where panels are matched, sewn, and pocket flaps and shoulder pads are added.
"Everybody talks about made in the USA," says Hardwick's new CEO Bruce Bellusci, "there really is a big push for that, but it's all about our people we've got the best people in the world and we are going to make the best product in the world and we are going to have fun doing it."
For more on Hardwick's newly-launched website, click here.
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