30 Oct FII Brings Fashionable Union-made T-shirts Back to the Masses
FII Brings Fashionable Union-made T-shirts Back to the Masses
FII Marketing has been the leading vendor of union-made in America’ merchandise for over three decades. But over the years, as a result of the right’s war on organized labor, FII has seen many of its unionized partners go out of business or scale back their product offering. T-shirt suppliers were among the worst effective, making an affordable stylish union-made shirts virtually non-existent.
Despite the drop in supply, FII recognized that the demand for union-made t-shirts was as high as ever. “We were always getting requests for union-made t-shirts”, says Michael Coscia, FII’s National Sales Manager. “But more often than not once our customers saw the price, or found the shirt to fit big and boxy they lost interest, and went with a non-union option instead.”
So in 2014 FII teamed up with the New York-based apparel manufacturer Royal Apparel to create a garment to fulfill this market opportunity. It was a perfect partnership: Royal, already a reputable supplier of USA-made t-shirts, had no experience with union manufacturing. Whereas FII had extensive experience with union manufacturing, but no in-house ‘cut and sew’ capability to manufacture t-shirts.
“The end product was a union-made shirt that was identical to any American Apparel or Bella Canvas, in terms of quality and stylishness” said Hillary Clinton’s Merchandise Director, Thomas Phillips. The campaign extensively utilized the union-made Royal Apparel shirt, and found them to be very popular for their great fit, and soft fabric.
“We sold so many in 2016 that we depleted the union-made stock in certain colors. But what was great about FII and Royal was how they were able to cover short-term inventory holes with the non-union version of the shirt, since you couldn’t tell the difference between the two.”
“For 2018 FII is procuring much larger stocks of the union-made Royal shirts to ensure we can meet all of our customer’s demand.” explained Michael Coscia.
As campaigns, political groups and unions gear up for the next election FII and Royal Apparel continue their partnership to make union-made t-shirts the standard again. Those interested in these shirts can contact FII to receive quotes far below listed prices.