Iron & Resin: American Ingenuity
Thomas Hill’s and Jackson Chandler’s goals started much like many homegrown brands do—they wanted to make clothes they would buy and wear and that celebrated their love for the outdoors, riding motorcycles and surfing. Their brand, Iron & Resin, turns back the clock to the old-fashioned method of making goods by hand and in smaller batches.
“This industry was initially born by passionate, creative individuals who had a strong desire to marry their passions with their careers,” Hill said. “Making money was not the driving force. This is purely a way for us to come to work inspired every day by doing something that we love.”
Hill has a long history in designing and producing private-label branded programs for specialty surf retailers. Jackson was hired as a lead designer on one such project, and the two became fast friends. With about 30 years in the industry combined, they felt their brand could offer a personal relationship that was missing from a lot of the bigger action-sports brands.
A significant piece of that puzzle was manufacturing in the U.S.A. and sharing that story with consumers. Hill said that the millennial generation is increasingly craving higher-quality products and transparency from brands about how they are made.
“The younger generation [feels] like they want to make a difference,” Hill said.
“They’ve recently graduated from college with skills that they were told would allow them to excel in the workforce. Having lived through the recession and now faced with bleak job prospects, there is an entire generation of talented, passionate, intelligent people that have to figure out how to make a living. They’re learning how to work with their hands again and putting those new skills to work.
“At the same time there is an older generation of people in the U.S. who have the manufacturing backgrounds and skills to pass on. I think we’re going to see an entire new wave of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship over the next 20 years that will put the U.S. back on the map of the manufacturing world.”
Iron & Resin is designed for outdoor recreational activities and in styles that won’t look dated the following season. Jackets have zippered pockets that make stowing maps and cell phones secure and easily accessible while on a motorcycle. Waxed canvas outerwear items are wind- and waterproof.
“We love having a personal connection to the people making our products and being able to get to know the person who is knitting, cutting, sewing our goods. It gives us a special sense of pride knowing we’re helping each other,” Hill said.
“Our knit hats and gloves are made by a factory that has been run by the same family since 1946. Some of the denim and outerwear pieces we’re working on are made in a factory that used to build Levi’s product—before they moved offshore.”
The brand operates a bricks-and-mortar store in Ventura, Calif., where the company is based. Referred to as “The Garage,” the store also sells a variety of outdoor brands and lifestyle accessories. Iron & Resin plans on opening a store in Paris in October that will be the flagship location for Europe.
Iron & Resin has been sold to premium surf shops and boutiques, as well as Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters and Karmaloop.com.
Wholesale price points for graphic tees average $18, trunks average $36, and long-sleeved button-up woven shirts range from $50 to $70. The waxed cotton outerwear pieces range from $110 to $120.
For more information, contact Caleb King at The NTWRK at (949) 698-3636 or email email@example.com.