High-end undies, made in the US

Flint and Tinder's founder wanted to manufacture apparel in America, even though the costs are higher. The company is now on track to make $2.5 million this year.

By Julie K Balise Jul 16, 2013 4:04PM

Where many shoppers see an undergarment, Jake Bronstein saw a multimillion-dollar business opportunity.


"I had been walking through the underwear aisle, which is a multibillion dollar section of a department store," Bronstein said in an interview with CNBC Tuesday. "And what I noticed is that not a single product had actually been manufactured in this country."


Bronstein visited other stores and saw the trend there as well.


"To slide in an American manufacturing base, you can actually do it at the same price point, you can deliver a higher value, and create some American dollars in the process," he said.


And so Flint and Tinder was born. Bronstein sought funding for the premium men's product on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, where he posted a video explaining the company's goals.


Flint and Tinder men's underwear (© Flint and Tinder)The Kickstarter page raised almost $300,000 in a month. Production began at a solar-powered 300,000-square-foot facility in Pennsylvania. Flint and Tinder began selling its products online about a year ago, and the company now has 11 manufacturing facilities.


"The cost of doing this in the U.S. is going to be about five times (as much)," Bronstein said. "On that end, it's not competitive at all."


The American-made products don't cost consumers more than those from overseas, Bronstein said. The company takes a reduced margin, but makes up for it in online sales. Its website has an extended men's shop that includes jeans, shorts, and shirts.


The underwear, which is available in briefs, boxer briefs, and boxers, ranges in price from $21.95 to $24.95 online. It is available both online and in stores.


Flint and Tinder is on track to make $2.5 million this year, Bronstein said, and has already sold more than $1 million worth of one sweatshirt design.


"I really think it's on to something," Bronstein said. "I think we can build a Ralph Lauren (RL) level brand using an American manufacturing base."


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Tags: RetailRL
Jul 16, 2013 6:59PM
Buy american,The job you save may be your own!!!!!
Jul 16, 2013 6:36PM

I BOUGHT American MADE tires today...Made by Cooper, and ordered 4 more for other car.

Made me feel good for a change...Mid range 65K tires for a SUV..


About $65-75 more for set of 4, keeps guy/gals working at our plants, made them feel good too, I assume...

Other set for smaller car about 40 dollars difference, felt good about that too..

Plus by changing all, got a little cut in price for the packaged price...Just gotta ask..

Guys happy at the Garage too, keeps them busy.

I never heard of them but it's nice to see some jobs back in PA.
Jul 16, 2013 6:34PM
If they are sure to make quality a goal, and put the made in USA label on these, I think they will be successful.  Hopefully, they will be able to produce some clothing items for women in the future.  Maybe they can use fabrics made of bamboo or hemp, which are said to be long lasting.
Jul 16, 2013 5:39PM
Nothing wrong with putting it back in your pants. Americans pants that is.
Jul 16, 2013 5:37PM

Undies made in America??? How could you go wrong?


I'll buy some!!!

Jul 16, 2013 6:19PM
I wish they made women's underwear.
Jul 16, 2013 8:20PM

Buy american as most foreign clothes are cheap trash cotton and don't last long.

American stores should sell USA products and brag about it.  All the foreign products are hurting

america more than any thing else.

Jul 17, 2013 7:36AM
It's hard to buy American. I found a grill I wanted that was made in America. Problem is, it was smaller than what I had. To get the same size or larger I had to buy a grill made in another country. And the wait time would have been over two weeks because HD and Lowes won't stock them in the store.
Jul 16, 2013 9:59PM
yes, I've heard that bamboo is easy to grow (not expensive) and grows VERY fast.  It feels GREAT.  I have a couple of pairs of socks made in bamboo and a couple of bath towels.  They feel like a cross between cotton and silk.
Jul 16, 2013 7:47PM
'You're not one of THOSE...' Now that's progress.
Jul 18, 2013 3:29PM
We are seeing more and more of this.  Entrepreneurs are creating and innovating and trying to do their part in creating jobs in the USA.  Small businesses are flourishing.  Consumers are paying more attention to where their products are being made.  People are starting to realize they can and are making a difference by practicing conscious consumerism.  Spend it where you earn it.  Buy American made products and help keep a manufacturer in business.  Thank you Jake and the F&T team for your dedication to American manufacturing.  
Jul 16, 2013 9:21PM
Sometimes Kernan talks like he's an idiot.
Jul 16, 2013 6:37PM
Where the hell are my Fruit of the Loom made...By fruits in Bangladesh(sp) ?
Jul 16, 2013 7:00PM
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