Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 38 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 11/21/18

The Demise of American Denim?

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joel Joseph

Levi Strauss and Cone Mills were partners in the production of denim jeans in the United States for more than 100 years, creating an American style. Denim became part of the American culture that was spread around the world.

Late last year, we received probably the worst news possible in the American denim scene: On October 17, 2017, Cone Mills announced it would close its last American denim mill at the end of the year. After more than 110 years of continuous production the Cone's White Oak mill in Greensboro, North Carolina, ceased operations.

The Role of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

In March of 2004, current U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross bought Cone Mills for $46 million. He also bought their longtime competitor Burlington Industries and several other smaller manufacturers and rolled them all into a new conglomerate, the International Textile Group (ITG).

Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor, saw an opportunity to turn around delining domestic textile producers. Secretary Ross sought to take the knowledge and name-brand appeal of these domestic mills while moving their operations overseas, a tactic he employed to great success with bankrupt steel companies just two years prior.

But textiles didn't prove to be the quick turnaround Ross found with steel. His textile companies began with a combined revenue of about $900 million in 2005, but had dropped to $610 million a decade later in 2015. The company's flagging sales combined with Ross's political ambitions lead him to sell the textile company to private equity firm Platinum Equity in October, 2016 for $99 million. Ross then became Secretary of Commerce in the Trump Administration in February of 2017. Within a year after the sale, Cone Mills closed its doors forever.

It is ironic that the Secretary of Commerce for the administration claiming to champion "Made in the USA" would be responsible for the loss of the world's largest denim manufacturer.

History of Cone Demin

The Cone family history began in 1845 when Herman Kahn (1828-1897), a Jewish-German immigrant, and his family left their home in Bavaria, Germany, for a new life in the United States. Herman changed the spelling of his last name from Kahn to "Cone" upon arrival in the United States to become more American. Their first child was Moses Cone, born in 1857, was the founder of Proximity Manufacturing Company (original name for the Cone Mills enterprise). Their next son was Ceasar, born in 1859.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Joel Joseph Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

CEO of California Association for Recycling All Trash, and CEO of Genuine-American Merchandise & Equipment,, manufacturers of tennis equipment in the USA (Tennis Wellbow, Good Vibe vibration (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Trumps and Jared Kushner Cheated Their Way into Elite Colleges

Outsourcing Obamacare

Red Nose Day Gives Black Eye to Walgreens and NBC

Shame on Ralph Lauren and the US Open

Great American Products to Buy Labor Day Weekend

U.S Trade Deficit Causes Income Inequality

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend