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American Giant Flies the Flag with U.S.-Made Denim Line

Rivet’s 2021 winter issue has dropped! This in-depth issue examines the steps the global denim industry is taking to minimize its impact on the environment, from implementing zero waste production and design processes to establishing greenhouse gas emissions goals aligned with the Paris Agreement.

American Giant is making a play for denim.

The San Francisco–based brand, which became a viral sensation in 2012 when Slate declared its sweatshirt the “greatest hoodie ever made,” has launched its first men’s denim: a five-pocket, straight-fit jean with a classic wash that’s “made in America, just like blue jeans should be,” the company announced last week.

True to its word, American Giant stitches its 218 Straight in Los Angeles using a 12.5-ounce indigo denim developed at Georgia’s Mount Vernon Mills, which has had to fill a breach left by the closure of Cone Mills’ White Oak plant in North Carolina this past July. 

Each $138 pair features a custom leather patch with the American Giant logo, red stitching on the interior waistband, a zipper fly, brass hardware and a hand-sanded finish. Only one wash is currently available—a hue American Giant dubs “maritime.”

A women’s version—the 218 Skinny—is set to roll out this winter.

Supporting domestic manufacturing is a cornerstone of the brand’s ethos. It has long insisted that “Made in the U.S.A.” must “evolve or die.” It chooses to evolve, of course.

“When you buy our clothing, you help revitalize factories, create jobs and energize manufacturing across the country,” American Giant wrote on its website. “We’re investing in technology and engineering to produce the best of American-made classics—and reignite manufacturing towns with new jobs along the way.