“This is our single biggest roll-out of new product in preparation for our 30th Anniversary, including three new shirt styles, four wool vest styles and the brand new RangeTek Collection featuring waterproof breathable shells combined with sub-zero insulation.
The RangeTek Collection includes a full array of insulated and non-insulated products ranging from lightweight jackets and pullovers to parkas and vests,” according to Rick Grant, President of Schaefer Ranchwear.
Trying to survive as a small clothing business in America these days is almost like a shoot-out at the OK Corral. “Stick to your guns” is one of the oldest cliché’s around, but that’s what Rick and Lynn Grant are doing with Schaefer Ranchwear in southern New Mexico; two entrepreneurs who teamed up years ago to champion the design and manufacture of American made only Ranchwear and Outdoor clothing versus importing the line.
For several years, Grant was President of the company and then in 2001, he and his wife purchased the company. Since then, Schaefer has been on a consistent growth pattern from 12 styles to producing and selling over 80 American made styles of coats, vests, shirts, jeans and accessories. The majority of which is produced in their own 40+ employee factory located in El Paso, Texas.
“I realized a few months ago we were one of the last full-line clothing companies left in America.” Long gone to importing are those iconic Americana brand names such as Lee, Levi, and Wrangler. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well not really, since Schaefer has made a commitment to purchase American made raw materials too. Over the last three years, major suppliers have either gone out of business or downsized in order to survive. Downsizing means longer lead times and higher prices in most cases.
“It’s not easy, with most styles requiring a long list of American made components. Unfortunately, 7 out 10 of our suppliers are having a hard time financially, plus the textile industry as a whole is virtually gone. Luckily there’s just enough suppliers left to supply American apparel manufacturers, but I’m not sure how long that’s going to last,” according to Grant.
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