In the long winter where outsourcing drained most of the life out of American manufacturing, Trafalgar remained a stalwart, largely resisting the impulse to relocate production overseas.
Today, virtually all of its suspenders continue to be made in the United States. I say “virtually.” Because one model–a tweed herringbone–is made in China. And this is cause for concern.
The past generation teaches a harrowing lesson: Once the genie of outsourcing has been unleashed from its bottle, it’s all but impossible to put it back.
So I wonder, is the lone Chinese made pair an anomaly? Or is it a harbinger of darker things on the horizon. For it would be a shame–truly a shame–if a company like Trafalgar lost its way.
A few weeks ago, I acquired a fourth pair of Trafalgar suspenders.
Made, of course, in the USA, they are wonderful in every respect. A navy silk herringbone, they feature nickel hardware and richly colored dark brown tabs.
Trafalgar’s primary competition is Albert Thurston out of the UK. For my money, Trafalgar is the superior of the two options. Thurston, onec the definitive option for suspenders, seems to be riding on the coattails of a faded glory. The most recent examples I’ve seen from Thurston are a pale imitation of what it once was.