Carhartt: A History To Be Proud Of
The Carhartt brand has been around since 1889 and has achieved an iconic status that most workwear brands can only dream of. Having earned a global reputation for high quality, durable workwear that lasts, Carhartt has also successfully crossed over into the all too fickle and changeable fashion market where it has again earned iconic status with the style conscious consumer.
Those who wear the Carhartt label truly understand and appreciate quality and style.
Hamilton Carhartt & Company was founded in 1889 by Hamilton “Ham” Carhartt in a small Detroit loft. Back then, Ham was producing overalls with just two sewing machines and a half horsepower electric motor, and things didn’t go too well!
Ham decided he needed to speak directly to the people who would be using his products and, following conversations with railroad workers, he designed a bib overall that truly fit their needs.
1889 was a time of steel and steam engines. Industrial work was hard, hot and dirty, so workers needed clothing that would endure this extreme punishment.
Under the motto “Honest value for an honest dollar”, Ham Carhartt delivered a product that would rapidly become the standard for quality workwear.
Within 20 years Carhartt had not only expanded across the United States, but also had sites in Ontario, Toronto, Vancouver, Liverpool and Paris.
Throughout both World Wars, Carhartt offered their facilities to the government and produced high quality coveralls and uniforms for the military.
There’s an old saying that goes “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. The Carhartt company seems to truly appreciate this truism – many garments in the product line have historic roots, with the design and quality remaining the same for many years. The legendary Carhartt Chore Coat was first introduced in 1917 and remains largely unchanged to this day – a testament to the company’s commitment to timeless quality and style.
The Great Depression dealt a near fatal blow to the company, but despite the challenges Carhartt survived and continued its unwavering commitment to workers’ rights.
After Ham died in 1937, his son Wylie took over and created the “Back to the Land” program which brought facilities and much needed jobs to rural Kentucky and Tennesee. Wylie was also instrumental in creating Carhartt’s first outdoor wear line of products – The Super Dux and Super Fab hunting lines of the early ‘30s.
During the 1970s, the construction of the Alaska Pipeline gave the Carhartt brand an opportunity to further enhance their credentials by showing that their clothing could survive and thrive in some of the most inhospitable conditions on the planet. This wasn’t specially developed clothing – this was just Carhartt’s high quality standard, meaning that a carpenter in Texas would be wearing exactly the same quality clothing worn by pipeline workers in the rugged wilds of Alaska.
Carhartt clothing came to the wider attention of the general public in the 1980s and 90s when big names in the Hip-Hop music industry began wearing the brand. Interest rapidly spread across Europe resulting in the creation of the Carhartt Work In Progress label, which targets a consumer market that values Carhartt’s attention to detail and traditional design integrity. Again, people understand that quality is timeless.
But despite its commitment to traditional values of quality and design, Carhartt is today a forward thinking global company that has embraced the modern age and the opportunities it presents to deliver more and better for its consumers.
In addition to the many Carhartt retail stores, the company has introduced a successful global e-commerce outlet, a full range of womens’ products and a highly successful range of flame-resistant garments. Carhartt has also engineered new technologies such as Quick Duck®, Storm Defender®, Rain Defender®, Carhartt Force® and Carhartt Force Extremes®
Enterprise Workwear truly is proud to bring you this iconic brand both in-store and online.