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It’s hard to throw a good pair of jeans away.  How many other articles of clothing do we wear with gaping holes in them?  Shoes?  No.  Shirts?  Not likely.  Jackets?  Certainly not.  Most of my jeans are older than my children.  When you spend this much time with an article of clothing, why not invest in a good pair?  Tellason was started by Tony Patella & Pete Searson.  Tony and Pete believe in an excellent pair of jeans, and set out to make them.  They start with high quality raw denim.  Tellason’s denim comes from the Cone Mills White Oak plant in Greensboro, North Carolina.  This fabric is cut and sewn in San Francisco, and finalized with a leather patch made in Portland, Oregon.  Hunter S. Thompson wrote in his book Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, that the Angels had an initiation rite that involved soaking new denim in all kinds of filth and wearing it unwashed.  True or not, the practice of washing your jeans infrequently (or not at all) is more prevalent than you might think.  Up until this week, I thought that I had a lazy, shameful secret.  Now I realize it’s environmental, frugal, and downright trendy.  The folks at Tellason endorse this practice for the care of their fine jeans.  From their website:“We believe that denim should rarely, if ever, be washed.  If you must, turn them inside out and hand rinse them in cold water with very little soap and air dry.  Remember, the less you launder your jeans, the more authentic and interesting wear the patterns will be.”

You’ve got to admire the moxie of these guys.  This can’t be an easy market to break in to.  Most people are satisfied with their jeans and believe that there are few things more American than a pair of Levis.  Only this isn’t really true anymore.  Now, Levis are made almost exclusively overseas.  In fact, it was found that Levis had continued to label their jeans “Made in the USA,” even though they were being manufactured in the Northern Mariana Islands.  I don’t mean to pick on Levis, but they are undeniably the face of Big Denim.  If you want to find a pair of jeans that are made domestically, you have to look around a bit.  I did, and I found them.

Until now, I wasn’t excited about what I found.  I haven’t written an article on jeans before because what I had found was that America still made a lot of what we call “mom-jeans.”  Many of you know what I am talking about.  And yes, I know that there are a lot of moms (and dads) out there who need jeans and love the comfortable fit of pleats and elastic waistbands.  But it wasn’t until I found Tellason’s website that I was inspired to write about a truly fashionable product that is handcrafted with care and quality materials here in the States.

I’m going to pick on Levis again here for a second.  I noticed on their website that they now have a line of Made in the USA pants.  They happen to be the exact same price as Tellasons.  But what you may not have noticed is the fine print, which reads “made from imported fabric.”  Yes, we now have people cutting and sewing these jeans domestically, but the denim is being shipped in from all corners, wasting fuel and exploiting low-wage economies abroad.  Who can say if high-end Levis are measurably better than the Levis bought for a quarter of the price?  Tony Patella, interviewed by The Citrus Report, said “Most brands that call themselves premium are not making premium anything. They are selling average crap and a premium price.”  With Tellason, if you have a problem, you have someone to answer to you.  When I sent an email to Tellason to ask them a question, Tony Patella himself got back to me in six minutes.  I don’t even know how he typed out that message so fast.  I’ve spent more time in line at the coffee shop.



Tellason Jeans




Tellason from Vertical Online on Vimeo.