Apparel | Friday, September 19, 2008
SUPIMA IN MEN’S HEALTH MAGAZINE: “In Defense of $300 Jeans”
By Nancy Boyd
NEW YORK — What makes a pair of jeans worth $300?
According to the October issue of Men’s Health magazine, it’s Supima.
In article headlined “In Defense of $300 Jeans,” featuring an interview with Agave founder Jeff Shafer, here’s what the magazine’s Sandra Nygaard wrote:
High-end denim is born rich. The fiber of choice for these brands, Supima cotton, makes up only 3 percent of the world’s cotton production, and because it’s stronger and finer than the strains popular in the United States, it’s also more expensive to produce and process. The good stuff slips right through American saw-ginning machines, so it’s shipped to Switzerland, where roller gins spin it into yarn. That spun yarn is then moved to Japan or Italy for dyeing and then woven into fabric on modern shuttle looms—or vintage American shuttle looms that were shed by manufacturers in the 1950s and are now prized as rare commodities overseas.
Finally, the fabric makes it back to the United States for cutting and sewing before its Caitac send-off. Both steps could be done overseas, but Shafer says he’s willing to absorb the additional $30 of production costs for each pair to come to life under his watch.
“We might have lost the looms, but we still have the history and the heritage,” Shafer says. “You don’t buy champagne from China. You don’t buy tequila from Turkey. America is where denim was born.”