THE FIRST STITCH
In Wappingers Falls, New York, July 1871, Irishman James Orr (Uncle Jim) measured, double-checked, and approved Sweet-Orr’s first pair of overalls. This first step was all made possible with the help of his business partners, and nephews, Clayton E. and Clinton W. Sweet, who believed in Uncle Jim’s dream of off-the-shelf workwear.
150 years later, Sweet-Orr is still creating quality workwear.
TUG O’ WAR
In the 1880s, Sweet-Orr’s salesmen allowed potential customers to test how tough their pants were with a tug-of-war.
The promise was that six men couldn’t pull them apart, and if they did – everyone would receive a pair of free pants! The iconic image of the test stuck and since then has been immortalised as the trademark for 150 years.
THE BRITISH VOYAGE
For Sweet-Orr to cross the Atlantic Ocean, they had to make new friendships. The friends they made, were the Liverpudlians at Lybro Ltd. The established British workwear company accepted the high-quality unsewn garments from the Americans and put them together on their side. Exporting the final products across the globe.
This relationship was so good, that the companies merged to form Workwear Ltd.
THE FAIREST CAPE
In 1931 Sweet-Orr opened the doors to its South African operation with a factory in Woodstock, Cape Town. The factory originally housed 100 employees. In 1969, needing more space, Sweet-Orr relocated the factory to the current location of Elsies River.
In the earlier part of the 20th century Sweet-Orr was creating a workwear empire. One that spanned 36 countries. The sales team carried overalls to these far-flung destinations. Whether it was by train, ship, dog sled, ox wagon, and eventually aeroplane.
Sweet-Orr was reaching every corner of the world.
Sweet-Orr has supplied workwear to a number of iconic institutions. Shaping young adventurers by providing the Boy Scouts of America with uniforms for 100 years, as well as the US armed forces on the frontlines in WW1, WW2 and the US Spanish war.
The NY times also stated that Sweet-Orr was arguably the first commercial producer of the blue jean.
ACE OF SPADES
Sweet-Orr’s Ace of Spades range from the early 1900s, is nowadays a global vintage icon. When it was introduced, it was designed to be tough workwear but surprisingly it took on its own legacy of being a timeless vintage classic.
The range with its iconic Ace of Spades buttons, quickly owned a legacy with vintage collectors who wanted that taste of true Americana.
Ever since the first day in 1871, Wappingers Falls, New York, women have been the muscle behind Sweet-Orr’s success. The company’s first six employees were all female, and it was their skill and speed that allowed the brand to quickly own the market.
Till this very day, women are the driving force in our factory.
THE OVERALL LEGEND
Sweet-Orr is said to be the first commercial overalls producer in America. The legendary quality of the materials and craftsmanship, earned it the legacy of being the best amongst the workers who have worn them and wear them.
Sweet-Orr’s overalls are the stuff of legends, that’s because it was made by a team of them. Since day one we’ve been dedicated to delivering quality items, while innovating to ensure that they are always the best in their industry.
James Orr or “Uncle Jim” is the man and legend who started Sweet-Orr. Wappingers Falls, New York in 1871, is where it all began.
150 years later, The Uncle Jim Chore and Wappingers Trucker Jacket pays homage to who founded the brand and where it was founded.
Since creating the workwear segment in 1871, Sweet-Orr has constantly been pushing to produce workwear that is truly timeless.
It’s this drive that still pushes us to deliver on the promise of creating workwear that will never let you down.
While our journey started 150 years ago, there’s no end in sight. This is just the beginning. Our legacy has taken us from the dusty frontiers of two international gold rushes on both sides of the Atlantic, to the modern world.
The possibilities for the future are limitless, but one thing is for certain, we will keep creating superior protective equipment allowing you to work at the edge of the next frontier.