Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

The baseball cap has been a part of the wardrobes of Americans for over a century. If taking into account ancestral versions of the wardrobe mainstay, the hat dates back to the mid-1800s when the Brooklyn Excelsiors wore the earliest versions of the “baseball cap” style.

It is safe to say, the baseball cap is firmly rooted in American culture.

So, at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) we were sincerely disappointed when our president, Scott Paul, reported receiving a “Made in China” baseball cap as a giveaway at a Washington Nationals game last night.

Adding irony to insult? The cap was sponsored by Miller Lite, a brandthat doesn’t shy away from boasting the awards its won in various competitions for “Best American style beer”; covers its products in red, white, and blue labels; and makes itself known as an American-brewed libation.

One has to wonder why a company that takes care to brand itself as Made-in-the-USA would sponsor Made-in-China souvenirs.

The obvious question -- one already raised by some of our Facebook fans -- is, “Are there even Made-in-the-USA hats anymore?”

Yes.

There are American-made hats. Customizable hats at that. And in honor of Fashion Friday, we will just list a few. Perhaps someone at the Miller Brewing Company will see this list and call on one of these companies next time they roll out some baseball hats.

  • Made in New Jersey, Unionwear offers a variety of customizable hats.
  • Cleveland, Ohio-based Graffiti caps has been making customizable hats and shirts in the states since 1984.
  • Arizona Cap Company based in ... well ... you can guess, has a page dedicated to its Made-in-the-USA offerings.
  • AmeriCap, based out of Enfield, North Carolina, offers a plethora of style, color, and fabric options for customizable hats.
  • And Shopping website Ethix Merch labels its Made-in-the-USA products very clearly, including those located in the hat section (which are customizable).

Suffice it to say, it's quite possible to find American-made baseball caps ... you just have to want it a little bit.