Frequently Asked Questions:
Q) How do you accurately trace the process from beginning to end?
A) Bales of cotton are marked with a permanent bale identifier (PBI) as they are ginned and it relates back to the producer's farm number. This number is retained on the bale until the bale is consumed at the textile mill to produce yarn. The yarn produced at the mill carries the same identification number through the entire process that creates denim fabric. Use of PBI numbers allow us to trace the cotton all the way from the farm, to the gin, to the mill, to All American Clothing and finally into your closet!
Q) Why so many farm locations?
A) Cotton from several fields may be needed in order to consistently produce a specific type of denim. The quality attributes of cotton are affected by climate, soil, seed and producer growing options so each field will provide different quality attributes to the cotton blend. The exact quality of the multiple cottons and the percentage of a specific cotton used is extremely important to the development of various denims. Blending the cotton from many locations allows us to put out identical and consistent runs of the same denim formula. By using permanent bale identifiers to trace the cotton we know exactly how much cotton from each farm was used to produce each run of denim. Every location shown on the traceability map played a part in the denim used to produce the jeans you are wearing. And every location uses USA labor.
Q) How is the cotton blended?
A) After the cotton is baled and marked, it is brought to the mill and chosen by a formula based upon the type of denim that is being made. It is laid out and a blending machine will pull a small portion of the cotton from each bale, up to as many as 192 varying bales. Then it goes through a blender to produce the yarn. Several batches of yarn are normally used to produce the denim, some in the “warp” which is the yarn that runs basically perpendicular or diagonal to the inseam and is the threads that you see on a pair of pants. The "filling", which runs perpendicular to the "warp" is the threads you see if you turn the jean inside out. By using permanent bale identifiers to trace the cotton we know exactly how much cotton from each farm was used to produce each run of denim.
Q) How do we know that you are using USA labor
A) The US Government is involved in monitoring the situation on a more than annual basis. Human Resources in each of these companies handles USA Certification through the government forms, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and the Border patrol gets involved in Texas. All of these companies believe in USA Made and none of them can afford to break the laws when it comes to illegal labor.
Q) Do all of you pay fair wages.
A) Yes. Our company pays wages based upon comparison of similar businesses in the area. The companies that we hire as contractors have all verified to us that they pay fair and comparable wages for the specific industry and the local in which they operate.
Q) Do you use USA raw goods
A) Yes, we furnish the raw goods and we source only USA made products that meet or exceed the Federal Trade Commission Act and their requirements. In the unusual event that the Cut/Sew operations furnished raw goods we require them to certify USA requirements.
Traceability is all about the truth of where your jeans come from and offers some recognition to the hard working Americans who are involved in making your jeans. We are one of the first jean companies in the world that can trace your jean all the way back to the American farmers who grew the cotton used in your jean.
Each jean comes with a 'Certificate of Authenticity' that includes a traceability number. Enter the traceability number on our website and we will tell you exactly which farmers and mill were involved in producing your jean!
Want to learn more? Read some of our farmers stories below!