Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nine1One Gear and Watershed Merge

Alpha One Duty Jacket Nine1One Gear
In a deal that could bring more manufacturing jobs stateside, Nine1One gear has left their Chinese operations. In conjunction with this return, they have brought their LEO, Fire, and EMS clothing production back to the United States in a merge with the logging raingear manufacturer Watershed to form a new company named Watershed Apparel LLC. 

All of their apparel will now be produced in the US utilizing Watershed's existing facilities in Salem Oregon. It is not noted if there will be a net gain in jobs for the American labor force initially, but one can hope the synergy of Nine1One's wide reaching dealer network and Watershed's Made in the USA manufacturing can bring in new employment for the State of Oregon.  

It seems quality control and a growing cost of labor in China was the driving force of this return of the prodigal son. Obviously claims of shoddy Chinese craftsmanship are not just propaganda and can have an end result of return to quality stateside. Of course when your cost cutting incentives all but disappear the decision becomes much more easy. One hopes this will be a growing trend of companies returning to homegrown production. 

Nine1One Gear's high end public safety jackets can be customized to the specification of the public safety worker or EMS and are made with top rated GORE-TEX Material. The Nine1One brand will now be the focal point of Watershed Apparel's Law Enforcement and EMS line of products, while their Stormforce Brand will focus on their Tactical Line of Clothing geared toward SWAT and Military with a new website to come in the near future. We wish them well in their future growth!

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