Solid State Clothing's mission is to pioneer the use of local, sustainable materials to craft clothing with a sense of place.
We make classic, premium-quality t-shirts made with 100% U.S.-grown cotton. Solid State shirts are meticulously crafted to be the best damn t-shirt on Earth: super-soft, garment dyed, pre-shrunk, and durably constructed for years of wear. But Solid State shirts aren’t just about exceptional quality; they're about creating products rooted in local community and history.
Since the brand's launch in 2020, we have created shirts from cotton purchased directly from a 3rd-generation North Carolina farmer and released a limited-edition shirt dyed with locally-foraged black walnuts.
Solid State was founded by TS Designs, a certified B Corp which has a long history with the triple-bottom-line model, sustainability, and domestic t-shirt manufacturing.
STEP 1. COTTON. We’re taking American cotton and keeping it America, more specifically right here in the Carolinas.
Pictured here is Andrew Burleson, a third generation farmer in New London, NC and one of the cotton growers behind our shirts, As a Solid State farming partner, he and his family will make nearly double on his crop, making it more likely he can pass his farm on to the next generation.
STEP 2. YARN. After the cotton is harvested, it needs to be spun into yarn. This takes place at Parkdale Mills in Sanford, NC. Founded in 1916, Parkdale is a pioneer in the happy art of of zero-waste manufacturing. Discarded fiber is turned into products like cotton balls and swabs. Thread waste is used in insulation. Organic waste is turned into fertilizer and livestock food.
STEP 3. KNITTING. After the yarn is made, it needs to be knit into fabric. This is what the good folks at Contempora Fabrics do. Founded in Lumberton, NC in 1972, Contempora moved to partial employee ownership in 1984 and became wholly employee-owned in 1988. They're deeply involved in their community, supporting multiple local charities and employing high school students during summer break.
STEP 4. SEWING. The fabric is cut and sewn by yet another employee-owned company — Opportunity Threads in Morganton, NC. Based on a threefold ethical platform integrating social, environmental, and economic benefits for the local community, Opportunity Threads is part of a new generation of businesses reinventing American manufacturing in a way that gives workers a seat at the table.
STEP 5. DYEING. At this point, all the shirts are white. The dyeing is done by T.S. Designs in in an old hosiery facility in downtown Burlington, NC. After nearly going out of business in 1993 when the North American Free Trade Agreement sent manufactures to Mexico in search of lower prices, T.S. Designs reinvented itself as a triple bottom line company, holding themselves accountable for People, the Planet and Profits. It's all part of our efforts to revive and re-purpose the American community of making things, so it's fair and rewarding for everyone involved.