What’s your story?
LumberUnion was founded by Anthony Bergin. Anthony is an entrepreneur that came from the clean technology and green energy sector. After watching the HBO documentary, The True Cost, which highlighted the global destruction caused by the apparel and textiles industry, he thought we could do better. He started a fact-finding mission at trade shows around the world, specifically on a mission to understand how progression within the American manufacturing industry was becoming. At first look, it was clear that a lot of American manufacturers simply could not afford to upgrade their facilities and reduce their environmental impact in such a competitive space. After this revelation, he went down to Los Angeles and started the discussion with the mayor of Los Angeles’ economic development direction team. A case had to be made that for American manufacturing to lead again, government assistance and investment were required. After 18 months of lobbying, reinvestment was made and clean technology manufacturing became part of the Los Angeles industrial landscape. This new platform has given birth to LumberUnion’s first line of premium American best basics.
What’s your “why”?
Apparel and textiles are now on par with oil as the filthiest industry on earth. LumberUnion was created to elevate American Design, American Cotton, and American Manufacturing for everyone. We do this by using Organic USA Cotton, sustainable materials, and ethical manufacturing processes here in the USA. We create apparel out of sustainable materials to have a lasting positive impact on the environment and to prove to the rest of the fashion industry that clothing can be produced responsibly and ethically while protecting and giving back to the world.
How did you get funding?
LumberUnion began as a self-funded project by the founder, Anthony Bergin. Once the brand was developed and our first round of manufacturing was in place, the company successfully raised its first Friends and Family round, that moved the company into the market.
What’s your flagship product?
Although LumberUnion has created several unique fabrics, our stand-out garments in our line are definitely our men’s and women’s henleys. These are 100% Organic USA Cotton garment-dyed with a soft subtle fade textured appearance and raw edge. The other stand-out garment is out men’s hoodie. A lot of work went into creating this heavyweight French terry 100% organic premium cotton.
Who’s your ideal customer?
With a rise of people caring about where their stuff comes from, LumberUnion is engaging an audience of conscious consumers. Whether it be the notes of American manufacturing, organic, plastic-free shipping, lifetime guarantee, or just our partnership with AmericanForests.org where a tree gets planted in North America every time a LumberUnion product is purchased, the feel good, do good vibe is high at LumberUnion.
Why does sustainability matter?
Through our journey entering the apparel market, we have noticed most brands try to talk about a sustainable element to blindly hook a customer. Whether that be a foreign garment “screened and finished” in the USA, or a foreign garment “packaged in paper” in the USA, to this day there is still no penalty for companies that greenwash their brand. LumberUnion is committed to leading and taking our customer on a journey through our leading manufacturing process. LumberUnion’s goal is to continue being the north star of clean tech premium North American manufacturing.
Do you contribute to your local community?
Since the brand’s inception, LumberUnion has partnered with AmericanForests.org, the most experienced national conservation organization in the country. They have been at the forefront of every positive change that’s happened in the nation’s forests and has always stood up for healthy forests. For every product purchased LumberUnion donates to AmericanForests.org in order to plant trees back in the USA, particularly those areas ravaged by wildfires.
Advice to other entrepreneurs starting out?
Be patient in choosing the right team to launch your idea. Your brand and your values are only as strong as the people with whom you are partnering. This is the greatest investment you will ever make.