Kangol And The Bollman Hat Company
You know Kangol, we make the hats with the kangaroo logo on them. Kangol is the world’s most famous headwear brand and it’s been worn by some of the world’s most famous celebrities like Brad Pitt, Bill Murray, Eminem, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Kid Rock, Madonna, Miley Cyrus, and others.
Kangol is a brand that was born in Britain and grew up on the streets of New York and now we’d like your help to bring another icon to the states and move as much as possible of the Kangol 504’s manufacturing stateside with the Bollman Hat Company.
We’re looking for your help us bring the historic machinery that has been used to make the Kangol 504 and other styles since the start of Kangol to the states and create new American jobs.
The Bollman Hat Company is the oldest hat maker in America dating back to 1868. We are employee-owned and pay our employee-owners a living wage. In 2001, Bollman Hat Company acquired the global license to design, produce, and distribute Kangol headwear. By the time Bollman Hat Company had acquired the license, the decision had already been made by the previous ownership to move all the manufacturing to a factory in China which was created in the mid-1990s to stay competitive. The factory in China was purchased in 2006 by a Chinese hat maker who has now decided to exit due to rising labor costs in Southern China. Since acquiring the Kangol license, Bollman Hat Company made several Kangol straw, wool felt, and fur felt styles in their factory in Pennsylvania, but until now, did not make knitted and blocked hats which are the most iconic Kangol styles.
About The Kangol® 504
The Wool 504 is the iconic, original Kangol® Cap. First introduced in 1954, the 504 cap gets its name from the block number that it is made on. The 100% seamless wool cap is the ultimate cap for comfort and style and now for the first time ever Made In The USA.
Why Do We Need These Machines?
Over the years there has been attempts to duplicate the machines unsuccessfully. As our Design Director, Nic Harris, likes to point out this is very similar to the denim selvage machines that jean manufacturers replaced in the 80’s. The result was less of a quality product than what was produced with the older, slower machines. We’re not interested in faster machines that make an inferior product. We want to keep the quality that has built Kangol and that our customers love.
The manufacturing of the 504 requires special machinery which was built specifically for Kangol in the 1930’s and 40’s to create the knit of the 504. These are the same machines we are looking for your help to move today. These special machines were each customized to knit, link, tease, shear, and block the Kangol 504 style. Other styles will follow with sufficient funding.
We have already moved 10 of the machines over to the U.S. and made the necessary electrical conversions for the equipment to work in the U.S., but there are another 70 machines yet to move. Altogether, the cost to move it will be over $650,000. Bollman Hat Company has invested more than $350,000 and in addition we’ve already secured $60,000 from the Department of Community & Economic Development’s Pennsylvania First Program grant, $82,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits, and $18,450 in Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania helping to fund the skills training needed for our employee owners. The cost of making the Kangol product in the U.S. is estimated to be more than twice the cost of making it in China, but we eliminate the transportation costs to North America, achieve faster customer turnaround, and control our innovation.
Why Do We Want To Bring These Machines To America?
America became a world leader because of its manufacturing strength and the middle class built by this strength. Over the past 50 years America has lost its title of the world manufacturing leader with many of the jobs going overseas to China, India, and Bangladesh. That doesn’t mean that great products can’t or shouldn’t be made here and Bollman Hat Company is a testament to that. Aside from being America’s oldest hat maker and nearly 150 years old, Bollman Hat Company is also the founding member of American Made Matters, a community of US Makers with a focus on bringing attention to the importance of making and buying American products. Bollman Hat Company and American Made Matters believe that if it can be made here, it should be made here! The beloved Kangol 504 is the next piece in that puzzle.
Bringing the 504 and other Kangol styles’ production to America will create dozens of new jobs for American workers while maintaining the current workforce and that can make a big impact.
A Rewarding Campaign.
We’ve worked hard to come up with some great rewards for backers so not only do you get to feel good about where your money is going but you’ll be able to show off your support too. We’ve also created bundles so you can get almost any combination of rewards you’d like.
Some of our rewards include:
We’d like your help in strengthening America again and bringing jobs back to the U.S. Your help will be greatly appreciated and reinforce the tide of change to bring back Made In The U.S.A.
And to you, our backers and supporters! Thank you again!