THE HISTORY OF CARHARTT WIP
In 1889, Hamilton Carhartt and 5 employees trudged up a dusty old attic in the heart of Detroit and with 4 sewing machines laid the foundations for one of the great success stories of what The American Dream is made of.
Carhartt started out producing cotton duck overalls – a heavy woven canvas fabric – aimed at Detroit’s blue collar workers. At that time, Detroit was the industrial hub of America, and there was high demand for heavy duty work wear.
The ‘Union Made’ label stitched into each pair of Carhartt duck overalls was a guarantee that made the products so appealing to the blue collar work force they were aimed at and cemented Carhartt’s quality and reputation among its customers.
This certified that each Carhartt garment was American through every stage of the process from the materials, to the workers producing it. Buying a Carhartt overall meant supporting a unionised workforce that were treated fairly and paid well, an ethos and testament that built the reputation of the brand from the off-set.
In 1994, Edwin Faeh established his project ‘Work in Progress’ and became the first distributor of Carhartt in Europe.
The ’90s saw a rise in interest and popularity for supporting the independent street art and music scene. As urban youth subcultures took off the ground, Carhartt WIP came to prominence as the brand that clothed its dignitaries.