Factory Spotlight: TennesseeDecember 9, 2020
At the start of 2018, SanMar was thrilled to welcome Volunteer Knitwear into the SanMar family. A business originally built with strong family and community connections and values—much like SanMar’s values— we have been excited to expand our Made in USA fabrics, sweatshirts and t-shirts. With a long history, Volunteer Knitwear’s facility has been in continuous operation for over 100 years. Together, we’ve created apparel for the U.S. Military, colleges, surf and streetwear brands and uniforms while also setting new standards in building workwear. We’ve been honored to champion creative, innovative manufacturing jobs with fair wages in communities across the United States. Volunteer collaborates closely with local suppliers to keep most of their work within three hours of the factory. American-made apparel, from knitting the fabric to building the styles, is something we are proud to support. As the relationship with Volunteer has grown and thrived since 2018 we can’t wait to see what the future holds in coming years.
Seeing an opportunity to support teenagers within their community through internships, Volunteer reached out to local high schools. Students, seeking job training and direction began working alongside the Volunteer team. The experience provided many with their first work experience, providing them with valuable training in everything from interview skills to sewing to packing orders and more. Students have gone on to attend college, enroll in the Air Force, and some even return in the summers to continue working with Volunteer. When the school year was disrupted in 2020 due to COVID-19, Volunteer provided a small graduation ceremony for their senior interns, hiring a photographer who took memorable photos of a graduation unlike any other.