Flint and Tinder wants to get in America’s pants, and it looks like the feeling is mutual. At the close of its Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday, the burgeoning men’s underwear label clocked out with $291,493 in seed money—more than nine times its initial funding goal. The brainchild of Jake Bronstein, a New York City entrepreneur, Flint and Tinder aims to bring tighty-whitey production back to the United States. Bronstein hit upon the idea after underwear-shopping at Macy’s. “I was looking at the tags, trying to find the right pair,” he explains, “when I realized that not one of the brands they carry comes from America.”
KNICKERS IN A TWIST
Bronstein decided to do some digging. What he found was a sobering picture of the current state of domestic manufacturing. “Of the top 50 men’s underwear brands in the country, only one actually manufactures here,” he says, “but it’s not what you’d call a ‘premium’ product.”
Bronstein wants people to buy his underwear not because of its pedigree, but simply because it’s a superior product.
Following months of cold calling, Bronstein stumbled upon a 100-year-old T-shirt factory that had been hit hard by the 2009 financial crisis. “It wasn’t difficult convincing them that making underwear could turn things around,” he says. “The question was, would anyone be willing to pay a bit more for American underwear than its Chinese competitors?”
Bronstein wants people to buy his underwear not because of its pedigree, but simply because it’s a superior product. Flint and Tinder plans to use Supima cotton grown in California and custom elastic from Florida to create a 100 percent American product.
To keep costs competitive, the company will sell directly through its website, avoiding the markup most stores add to products. Plus, for every 1,000 pairs of boxers, briefs, or boxer-briefs sold, Bronstein says, the factory has to add one full-time job to the assembly line. Interest has been staggering. “We’ve even heard from a certain upscale retailer whose name shall remain nameless until the deal is finalized,” he says.