Clothing Industry Making Comback
Made in the U.S.A. may be making a comeback in Schuylkill County
Things are humming along at Fessler USA near Orwigsburg. All kinds of clothes are made at the plant. It’s a joint effort of machines and human hands.
Gail Harvey has worked at Fesslers for 45 years. “I think we’re lucky to be here the way the economy the way it was. I think that says a lot,” Harvey said.
Company official Brian Meck said a new order for men’s underwear is a big help to Fesslers. “A businessman from New York that came to us and his name is Jake Bronstein and he’s starting a men’s underwear line called Flint and Tinder and he came to us with the idea of starting a fashion clothing line,” Meck said.
Walter Meck, Fesslers C.E.O.said keeping the company afloat is a challlange. “We have been struggling with the downturn, the downturn is not over and one of the biggest things we have done to realign the company is to look to new and different venues,” said Walter Meck.
Brian Meck explained the new line of men’s underwear could mean hiring up to 30 more employees. “One of the challenges with that is finding the skilled labor to run the sewing machines, which really involves investment in training time because there is not a lot of people left that know how to sew or want to sew,” explained Brian Meck.
Fessler official Terry Godusky said despite competition from cheaper, foreign imports, some clothing companies are coming back to having their products made in the U.S.A. “Made in the U.S.A. is important right now and many of our customers have not been doing business in the U.S.A. and they have to retrain themselves in how that is being done,” said Godusky.
Officials said Fessler USA said their company started 112 years ago and there is no end in sight.