Unionwear Secures the Inaugural Manufacturing Reshowing Award

The Reshoring Initiative and SEAMS recognized Unionwear for their incredible work of keeping jobs in the United States. The Reshoring Initiative is an association working to bring well-paying manufacturing jobs back to the United States and SEAMS is the domestic textile manufacturing association.

Unionwear has 180 employees and manufacturers hats, backpacks, and bags in their facility located in Newark, New Jersey. Mitch Cahn, president of Unionwear and NJMEP board member has been manufacturing in the U.S. for over 25 years. They stood strong against the mass exodus of American textile manufacturing in the 1990’s and pushed forward despite much of the sector moving overseas. 

Unionwear – Made in Newark New Jersey

The Manufacturing Reshoring Award was presented to Unionwear at SEAMS’ annual conference in Savannah, Georgia on May 9, 2019. 

Cahn was proud to learn his company was being recognized for its efforts in reshoring textile work. He stated, “We are thrilled to be recognized by the textile industry for our work in reshoring cut-and-sew jobs, especially now that the new tariffs make domestic sourcing of hats and bags more attractive.” Cahn credits much of his success to the company’s technological advancements, lean manufacturing processes, and a Made in USA branding effort.

“Promotional apparel is really more of a B2B business than the fashion industry, and we have grown by capitalizing on businesses eager to co-brand with the Made in USA label,” explained Cahn. “Once we decided to do 100% of our manufacturing in the USA, the next step was to invest in technology to highlight all the advantages domestic manufacturing has to offer – high mix, low volume, quick turn.”

Unionwear is featured on the NJMEP’s website as a lean manufacturing success story. Cahn identified the value lean manufacturing can offer and immediately saw this as a way to reduce costs and increase productivity. After working with NJMEP to enact a lean transformation in 2006 – 2008, Unionwear ensured every minute working is spent creating value.

Manufacturing in the United States includes countless benefits when compared to moving operations overseas. However, it takes a forward-thinking leader in order to remain globally competitive. Unionwear is a shining example of how branding, lean manufacturing, and technological advancements can be used in order to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States.

The story first published in Manufacturing Matters! Sign up and receive the NJMEP’s quarterly magazine.

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