American Made Denim Staples

Denim is a daily staple in closets all across America. It’s simple, versatile and built to stand the test of time. For many of our readers it also serves as a much needed anchor in their quest for a minimalist wardrobe. As with many other clothing items we wear each day though, there’s a dark side to denim. Everyday manufacturers compete for rock bottom prices through forced labor and thoughtless environmental practice.

There are a number of ethical denim brands from around the world that have actively fought back against this trend with thoughtful production and labor practices. Here in the USA this search for ethics and transparency has lead to a new wave of American Made Denim. 

Purveyors of American Made Jeans don’t just get our attention for their transparency and local commitment, they also live up to an unmistakable tradition of durability and style. There aren’t very many things that feel more American then denim made right here in the USA. These 9 brands are setting their industry straight on ethics and making us feel downright patriotic in the process. 

Noble Denim

Based In | Fairfield, OH
Best For | Men's design your own jeans
Product Range | Men's jeans, organic shirts, activewear
Denim Price | $205

Noble Denim is changing the way that American men purchase denim through their "design your own" (DYO) program. Choose your perfect size in different fits, colors, and even choose from different hardware and patches for a pair of jeans that is entirely tailored for you. Noble is a proudly American country, working with manufacturers all around the country in order to get the perfect USA-made denim for their customers. Check out their Kickstarter for first access to their DYO jeans!

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Baldwin Denim

Based In | Kansas City, MO
Best For | Men's and women's classic denim
Product Range | Denim, shirts, dresses, knitwear, coats & jackets
Denim Price | $220–$395

Since its 2009 brand launch, Baldwin Denim has made a distinct impression on the fashion world with both their men's and women’s designs. Husband and wife duo, Matt and Emily Baldwin, have earned top marks from GQ and Vogue and their designs have become regular staples for JZ, Ellen Degeneres and Jason Sudeikis. While Baldwin sources top of the line Japanese raw materials, its design and construction are a collaboration between teams in Kansas City and Los Angeles. Baldwin's quality, ethics and style make it a regular staple of the team here at The Good Trade.   

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Buck Mason

Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Best For | Selvage & raw denim
Product Range | Men's denim, shirts, sweats, jackets, accessories
Denim Price | $135–$175

Buck Mason was founded by Erik Schnakenberg and Sasha Koehn with the ideals of American Made quality at its heart. Their selvage denim is sourced from mills in North Carolina and their style ignores fashion trends while doubling down on timeless design and durability. What we love about Buck Mason’s designs is the simplicity. Their denim is made on a shuttle loom which gives the denim a weight and durability that sets it apart. After the raw materials are created the product is constructed in LA where the details are set in order. Buck Mason’s quality sourcing and manufacturing are all standout and for that they get our vote as one of the best American Made denim choices on the market. 

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Based In | San Juan Capistrano, CA
Best For | Men's jean jackets
Product Range | Men's shirts, jeans, denim jackets, knitwear
Denim Price | $230–$250

Freenote was founded by brothers Matt and Andrew Brodrick. It’s headquarters are in the historic district of San Juan Capistrano. Freenote’s designs take inspiration from timeless American style icons and center on quality materials and durable construction. Freenote expertly walks the line between denim for the working man and denim for the stylish man bringing them together in an iconic way that we haven’t found very many places. Their raw denim is imported from Japan and constructed in the USA.

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Genetic Los Angeles

Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Best For | Women’s skinny jeans
Product Range | Women's jeans, denim skirts, jackets, and tops
Denim Price | $119–$236

Genetic Los Angeles is an American denim brand that treats their jeans as works of art. They produce all of their clothing in one state of the art factory, where their talented employees hand cut and treat each pair to perfection. We love Genetic’s wide range of cuts, colors and washes—they even have denim skirts and jackets! Plus, they offer a recycling program to reduce textile waste, where they accept used denim (any brand, any condition) and offer $30 of Genetic store credit in return. The old denim is refashioned into jeans and backpacks for homeless children in Los Angeles.

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Bluer Denim

Based In | Portland, OR & Los Angeles, CA
Best For | Classic blue jeans
Product Range | Men's and women's denim, jean jackets
Denim Price | $95 and up

Bluer Denim is Designed in Portland, Oregon, and made using cotton grown in Georgia, denim milled at the Cone Mills White Oak facility in North Carolina, rivets and zippers forged in Kentucky. Bluer jeans are cut, sewn, washed and hand-finished in Los Angeles using eco-friendly ozone laundry processes. All of this makes bluer a standout option for quality denim but what really gets our attention is their innovative 1 for 1 give back model. For every pair of jeans you purchase, Bluer will buy back your used pair for $5, refurbish them and deliver them to someone who really needs them. We are a little bit obsessed with this simple model of waste reduction and community care. 

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Imogene + Willie

Based In | Nashville, TN
Best For | Vintage style denim
Product Range | Denim, shirts, trousers, accessories, home goods
Denim Price | $195–$295

Imogene + Willie was born in the back of a Nashville gas station with a distinct brand of craftsman grit. After spending years in a family denim business, Matt and Carrie Eddmenson created the shop in hopes that it would one day become a destination for like minded seekers of quality American Made apparel. Today the American Made brand hasn’t lost a bit of its stubborn passion and now has an army of followers that swear by the quality and aesthetic of the brand. I+W stands out for it’s personal approach to denim and for never losing sight of the little things. You can visit their store in Nashville or Portland or browse their selection online.

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Left Field Denim

Based In | New York City, NY
Best For | Modern men's denim
Product Range | Men's jeans, chinos, shirts, outerwear, undergarments
Denim Price | $155–$250

Left Field Denim doesn’t make dad jeans. They make something way cooler. Denim your grandpa would be proud of. The NYC based shop was started from an apartment in Brooklyn in 1998 and today has a distinct line of denim meant to stand up to the test of time. The designs get top marks for durability and an aesthetic that somehow blends a heart of America patriotism with the street grit of Brooklyn.

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Taylor Stitch 

Based In | San Francisco, CA
Best For | Denim shirts
Product Range | Men's and women's apparel, shoes, accessories
Denim Price | $98–$148

Taylor Stitch boasts a completely American Made supply chain for every pair of the denim it sells. Each design is hand sewn in California with fabric sourced from Greensboro, North Carolina, hardware from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky and leather from Curwensville, Pennsylvania. Their handmade approach means that Taylor Stitch brings an almost nostalgic personal touch to it’s designs and even offers one of a kind test products to customers who shop “The Workshop”. 

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