One brand is particularly famous for denim jeans, and that is Lee. Sounds familiar? And why not? Lee jeans are among the most famous and used jeans in the United States. Their jeans are regarded as among top-tier jeans.
But what makes Lee jeans unique, and where are Lee jeans made? Are you also curious about it? Without further ado, let’s find it out.
Where are Lee Jeans made?
The majority of Lee jeans are made in India. Besides, Lee’s jeans are made in Mexico, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Japan, Myanmar, and Nicaragua. In the past, Lee jeans were made in the USA. But over the years, the company started to skim out its production from the country.
Although some of the Lee jeans are manufactured in the United States today, finding one made exclusively in the country can be cumbersome.
With that being said, let’s find out more about the company’s origin and dig deep into its manufacturing locations.
Who Owns Lee Jeans? History
Lee jeans have a rich history of over 130 years. Along with four other partners, Henry David Lee founded the H.D. Lee Mercantile company in 1889.
The company was initially formed to produce dungarees and jackets. Later, Henry Lee realized the need for quality workwear and decided to test his luck in the denim industry.
The firm kicked off its operations as a clothing manufacturer in 1911 when it introduced its first bib overalls. In 1913, the company became a brand when it first introduced its first full jacket overall.
It was named “The Union All.” This name was given because this overall was particularly relevant for mechanics, farmers, and railroad workers.
“The Union All” was a hit. The business was crowned with initial success by this product. This made the company a leading manufacturer of workwear by the mid-1930s.
VF Corporation acquired Lee Jeans in 1969. VF Corporation helped the company expand its operations worldwide to more than 81 countries. In 1970, the firm started to shift its workwear business to a fashion retailer.
Lee also organized Lee National Denim Day, an event showing the company’s love for denim jeans. In 2019, Lee and some other brands were separated from VF Corporation into Kontoor Brands’ spin-off.
Manufacturing Facilities of Lee Jeans:
Today, Lee jeans are world-famous, and the company’s jeans are used worldwide. Now that we know the company’s origin let’s discuss where Lee Jeans are made.
Are Lee Jeans Made in the USA?
The United States is the birthplace of Lee jeans. The company was founded in Salina, Kansas. Lee had been headquartered in Merriam, Kansas, up until 2019.
In 2019, the company headquarters was relocated from Kansas to Greensboro, North Carolina. Initially, the business started manufacturing in a small factory in Kansas City.
Frequent stock-outs and continuous demand from customers forced the company to open two more manufacturing units in Missouri and South Bend, Indiana. These factories served US customers in the initial years.
Later, in 1919, the company’s operations were hampered by World War 1. But Lee continued to expand its operations, and within the next two years, a new production plant was opened in Minneapolis.
Two storage facilities were also opened in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Lee continued its operations for another three decades crossing the great depression and World War 2.
Another industry in Chepota, Kansas, and the Sun Garment factory of St. Joseph in Missouri were acquired in the 1950s. The company reported record profit in 1981.
After that, a steady decline resulted in the closure of many factories around the United States. By the 1980s, the corporation had begun outsourcing its production outside the United States.
Still today, Lee jeans are manufactured by Kontoor Brands in the United States. But finding one manufactured within the United States is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Manufacturing in Other Countries:
Lee has been manufacturing outside the United States for decades now. One famous incident associated with the company was the closure of its Greenock factory in Scotland in 1981.
Two hundred forty employees at their factory in Greenock protested for seven months. This speaks that the company has been producing in other countries for quite a time now.
The factory in Scotland was moved to Northern Ireland. The company was also reported to have manufactured its types of denim in India.
As per sources, most Lee jeans were manufactured in several factories, including Arvind mills in India. These factories were located in Chamarajanagar.
After the company’s undertaking by Kontoor brands in 2019, the company was reported to have its production in Mexico and China too.
More than one-third of Kontoor Brands denim jeans for Lee and Wrangler were said to have been manufactured in Mexico. The company also manufactures jeans for Lee and Wrangler in China.
Kontoor Brands sees China as a great opportunity for growth and plans to expand its operations there.
Since 1995, Lee has extended its services to several countries worldwide, including countries like India, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, etc.
Are Lee Jeans Good?
The short answer is Yes! Lee jeans are considered among the top 3 Denim Brands globally and Levi’s and Wrangler. The company offers more modern designs than any other company. However, style is subjective, so you might not agree with me on this one.
The best part of wearing a pair of Lee jeans is improving your personality. You get a better fit and feel. Lee Jeans come in a wide range of styles and sizes, so there’s something for everyone.
The quality of the fabric is great, and they are durable too. Thus, they will last longer, and shades will not fade away easily.
Verdict: Where are Lee Jeans Made?
There is no denying that Lee jeans are among the most popular denim brand worldwide. They have been making jeans for decades after decades, making them one of the biggest manufacturers of jeans in the world.
The company has outsourced the manufacturing to countries like Northern Ireland, Mexico, and several Asian countries. A very low proportion of Lee Jeans are made in the USA.
The company manufactures all kinds of jeans, including modern designs and classic wear. The firm uses high-quality materials and has rigorous testing in all its suppliers’ locations. Their expertise in manufacturing has helped them become the leader in the jeans market.
You can rest assured that the jeans you buy from the Lee brand are of great quality and will last a lifetime.
That’s all from my side. I hope this article has cleared your questions regarding where are Lee Jeans manufactured. In the comment section, let me know what is your favorite type of Lee Jeans.
2 thoughts on “Where are Lee Jeans Made? (2023)”
the question not addressed is what country is the greatest supporter (financially)
If you are asking about the sales, the largest revenue share of Lee Jeans comes from the USA.