There are, for those of us passionate about American made goods, a certain handful of shops whose inventories are either completely or nearly completely made up of products manufactured in the United States. In previous posts, we’ve waxed poetic about Manready Mercantile in Houston, one of the country’s foremost examples.
Last month, I had the good fortune to visit New York City where I encountered another store dedicated to domestically produced clothing. Located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Freemans Sporting Club is one of the leading voices in the chorus of an American manufacturing and craftsmanship renaissance.
Freemans differs from Manready in a couple of respects. First, where Manready curates its collection from a number of different manufacturers, much of what Freemans sells it does so under its own label. And while Manready embraces an aesthetic that skews blue collar, Freemans leans toward the dressier end of the spectrum.
The shop offers both a line of ready to wear clothing as well as a custom tailoring service, with its bespoke offerings (suits, jackets, trousers) made by Martin Greenfield in Brooklyn. In fact, according to the company’s website, “nearly all of the collection is manufactured within ten miles of the shop.”
That’s an audacious starting point, akin to the locavore movement in contemporary cuisine.
Several of the company’s shirts caught my eye. I ended up purchasing one in a heavy cotton gabardine, with a gray background and a red overcheck. I’ve already worn it twice, first as a layering piece under my Criquet Shirts chamois shirt-jac and the second time on its own. It performed beautifully both times.
Sadly, the headlong rush into warmer temperatures in this part of the country means that the shirt will probably only get another wearing or two before I have to put it away for the fall.