Before the Covid-19 crisis, Unionwear CEO Mitch Cahn spent the past 28 years supplying hats to a wide variety of clients. Being one of the only unionized, domestic manufacturers of hats and other items, Mitch has found a significant advantage in providing swag to organizations that purchase products that are made in the USA. These groups include labor unions, some military organizations, and especially Presidential campaigns.
Presidential candidates buy hats from Unionwear for three primary reasons:
1- Candidates are eager to show off their commitment to American job creation
2- Some candidates, such as Donald Trump and Andrew Yang, earn a profit off of selling their hats, providing much-needed financing to their campaigns
3- Unionwear’s prices are not significantly higher than those made overseas, thanks to their commitment to lean manufacturing and just-in-time ordering. This also means there are almost never leftover hats, even if a candidate drops out of the race suddenly
How did Unionwear get started selling merchandise to candidates as diverse as Al Gore, Donald Trump, Mike Bloomberg, and Andrew Yang?
After making a whopping 150 hats to Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign, their big break came from Al Gore’s 2000 presidential run, where he sold an estimated 200,000 hats. He has made hats for nearly every presidential candidate since.
“The candidate that ordered the largest amount dropped out of the  race early, Andrew Yang. That was definitely the most hats we’ve sold in this election cycle,” said Cahn.
Yang’s campaign sold more than 30,000 “Make Americans Think Harder” hats, which made up about $1.2 million of campaign revenue and are still for sale on his website.
“I want to make sure that people have a way to speak freely and use our products to get their messages across. Some will appeal to young people, some will appeal to women, some will appeal to old white men,” Cahn said.
Although currently manufacturing face shields and washable gowns for first responders, Unionwear is still taking orders for hats and other apparel. This crisis won’t last forever, but Unionwear plans on being around for a long time afterward.