In 2013 founder and co-owner Ben Waxman moved back to his hometown of Portland, Maine, carrying a quest to create jobs in the place that he grew up and loved. It took a homecoming to find this chance in his own family roots...
He grew up watching his mother create, in a family of textiles and a business of manufacturing. Dory Waxman, owner of Old Port Wool & Textile, had started a small woolen goods business in 1992, making wool capes, shawls and blankets in an effort to make a living while raising three children with her husband. The business, then called Casco Bay Wool Works, quickly grew from a small operation in her barn to a booming manufacturing company. Dory continued this company until the woolen mills in Maine began closing and she was unable to buy materials locally. She sold the business and did not return until 2013 when she re-opened the operation as Old Port Wool & Textile. Ben decided to follow in her footsteps, making local, quality garments here in Maine.
Re-Growing an Industry
After visiting and old woolen mill and witnessing fluctuating American manufacturing, Ben and his wife and co-owner Whitney thought:
Why not bring this incredible industry, which essentially disappeared in the United States, back to life?
From this vision, American Roots was born.
The idea was simple– create American-made products, and sell to the growing number of people who value ethics, quality, and American sourcing and manufacturing.
Spreading American Roots
And so the quest began: to make quality apparel and products right here in the United States, including every step from fiber harvesting to dyeing to the last stitch sewn at the factory in Maine. The products were designed to be fit for labor, leisure, and any adventuring in between.
Fleece was the first hill to conquer, and with the help of their partner Polartec, American Roots was producing fleece products completely made in America, with a forward thinking sustainable edge. Beyond this, using Ben and Whitney's ever-growing network of American companies, Unions, and institutions, customizing products for these groups became American Roots' specialty very early on.
Now, the company works in fleece, cottons, lightweight jersey, and other fabrics, constantly focusing on the next design challenge and meeting the needs of their customer base.
Assembling a workforce in a place where the manufacturing industry had all but evaporated was no small feat. Luckily, with the help of partners and allies, American Roots and Old Port Wool & Textile together developed a training program for stitchers. This program, has grown tremendously into what is now known as Common Threads of Maine, owned and operated by Dory Waxman. It has become the leading program for Maine manufacturing companies to source their workforces.
From this teaching program, the American Roots family has grown with capable and loyal employees, and production has boomed. Today, American Roots is at the forefront of American manufacturing, and is proud to deliver 100% American-made, union-made products to consumers.
American Roots continues to build its foundation being rooted in our community, our family, our workforce, our products and our country. We believe that growth and success come from the nourishment of these core values, and we give a piece of that to each and every one of our customers.