Flint and Tinder

Can a pair of boxer shorts change your life?

Even for the most well dressed of men, underclothes are something of an afterthought. After all, few except select ladyfolk and the family doctor ever have cause to see us in our unmentionables.

But they’re the one garment that’s always flush against the skin. So comfort is paramount.

But finding American made underwear has, until recently, been a fruitless endeavor.

A couple of years ago, Jake Bronstein resolved to upend that status quo. Mr. Bronstein is an unlikely acolyte for a renaissance in American manufacturing. An alumnus of MTV’s Road Rules and FHM magazine, he’s the serial marketer behind such stunts as declaring himself for the NBA draft and a quest to date a woman in each of the 50 states.

In his first (and only) meeting with a venture capital firm, Mr. Bronstein presented his vision for a new flowering of American manfacturing. The response was less than enthusiastic. The financier suggested that the only way to reignite American manufacturing was with flint and tinder. Rejection, yes. But a name was born.

Undaunted, Mr. Bronstein turned to Kickstarter. Propelled by one of the most successful campaigns in Kickstarter’s history, Flint and Tinder opened for business in 2012, initially confining its product line to underwear. Since then, it’s branched out into other products, including what it calls the ten-year hoodie (which includes free mending), trousers and various accessories.

I recently bought a pair of boxer shirts and an undershirt from Flint and Tinder. I can say, without reservation, that these are the best boxer shorts I have ever owned. The cotton is sumptuous, the elastic is uncommonly soft and they fit like a dream. Every other pair of boxers in my underwear drawer has now been relegated to second-class status.

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Just out of the box and a little wrinkled, but otherwise superlative

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About the undershirt, I’m not so sure. Most of my undershirts are mediums, but they’re a little snug. So I decided to try a large, but it’s a tad voluminous. I’m going to pass it through the wash before rendering judgment. Aside from the sizing (which is a personal issue) the shirt is both soft and well made.

As a humanitarian gesture, however, I won’t be modeling my new wares.

Of all the companies we’ve featured, Flint and Tinder is the most orthodox in its dedication to American manufacturing. The cotton (supima from California) is grown here. Production is domestic. Even the packaging is of American origin.

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Flint and Tinder sees its dedication to American manufacturing as more than a thing unto itself. It wants to inspire a renaissance predicated on excellence. As the company’s website points out, “We’re not just making things in America, we’re making things better.”

Can a pair of boxer shorts change your life? Probably not. But they sure as hell can make your day.

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