Adamstown, PA, November 19, 2015 – World famous headwear brand Kangol—worn by some of the world’s top celebrities including Brad Pitt, Bill Murray, Gwen Stefani, Samuel L. Jackson, and Miley Cyrus—is making a move to bring the manufacturing of their iconic 504 style stateside with the Bollman Hat Company.
With this bold move, Kangol and Bollman Hat Company will create 41 new, full-time American jobs and retain 176 currently held positions over the next three years. Bollman is America’s oldest hat maker, and its Pennsylvania factory has continuously made hats since 1868.
In 2001, Bollman Hat Company acquired the global license to design, produce, and distribute Kangol headwear. Prior to the acquisition, the decision by previous ownership had already been put in motion to move all manufacturing to China in order to stay competitive. The factory in China was purchased in 2006 by a Chinese hat maker who has now decided to close its doors, opening the door for Kangol to bring even more of its production to the United States.
“Our employee-owners are very excited about moving this production here to America’s oldest hat factory. A successful Kickstarter campaign will make this a reality sooner. This is a historic time for a historic brand and a historic company. We have a chance to influence and be a part of this history,” said Bollman President and CEO, Don Rongione.
The unique knitting machinery used to make the wool 504 was built exclusively for Kangol in the 1930s and 1940s. There are currently 80 machines in China that need to be transported to the US. Bollman has already moved ten of the machines over and made necessary electrical conversions of the equipment. The total cost of the endeavor will exceed $600,000 USD.
Bollman has already committed more than $350,000 and will receive an incentive from the PA DCED (Department of Community and Economic Development), who awarded Bollman a $60,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant.
To counterbalance the remaining costs, Bollman is calling on the public through a Kickstarter campaign slated to go live on American Made Matters Day, November 19th, 2015. The campaign will offer rewards ranging from naming rights to the factory and this special machinery to limited edition product in return for donations. Funding from this campaign will enable Bollman to make iconic Kangol products in the US, create jobs, and redeploy an idle part of the Bollman factory.
Long before Kangol was worn by hip hop legends in New York, the Kangol beret was gracing the heads of uniformed officers in the British Armed forces. Kangol traces its roots back to pre-World War II England and transformed from a military uniform to the uniform of artists and musicians from around the world. In the 1960s, Kangol obtained
the sole rights to make and distribute any headwear that featured the Beatles. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Kangol casual bucket and Kangol beret became icons in the New York Hip Hop scene and was donned by talents like LL Cool J, Biggie and Samuel L Jackson. Kangol was born in London, but raised in New York.
About American Made Matters
American Made Matters® was launched on July 4, 2009 by the Bollman Hat Company, America’s oldest hat manufacturer. The American Made Matters® mission is to educate consumers that buying US-made products strengthens the American dream. It is the only organization committed to promoting American-made goods that is run by manufacturers and currently has over 375 member companies located in 45 states of the 50 US states. For more information, visit http://www.americanmadematters.com, or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMadeMatters.
About Bollman Hat Company
Founded in 1868, the Bollman Hat Company is a world-leading designer, manufacturer, and distributor of men’s and women’s headwear and accessories, through top brands including Bailey, Helen Kaminski, Kangol, Betmar, Karen Kane, Jacaru, Country Gentleman, Eddy Bros., Borsalino, and Pantropic, as well as private label products. Headquartered in Adamstown, PA, the company has employees on four continents and maintains offices and showrooms in New York City, Atlanta, Denver, London, Tokyo, and Sydney. A wool-scouring plant is located in San Angelo, Texas. Visit www.bollmanhats.com for more information.