Carhartt: Tough, Durable, and an Unexpectedly Perfect Holiday Gift

October 26, 2023

If your customers are seeking durable workwear and accessories, they don’t need to look any farther than Carhartt®. With more than 130 years in business, the company is known for sturdy apparel that endures some of the toughest jobs around. In addition, according to those in the know, it’s also a brand that’s kind of “hip.”

I had a chance to speak with Jeff Pont and Phil Osborn, Strategic Account Managers at SanMar’s Uniforming Services channel, about why Carhartt is special and why it offers terrific holiday gifting options. If anyone knows imprintable Carhartt gear, it’s these two.

“Between Jeff and I, we have about 90 years of experience in this industry,” says Phil.

“It’s not 90, but it’s close,” Jeff laughs.

According to Jeff and Phil, the largest markets for Carhartt imprintable products are municipalities, oil and construction companies, as well as agricultural concerns. Jeff says that one of the things that sets Carhartt apart is its customers’ “high degree of loyalty.” City governments and companies demand Carhartt because it’s exactly what their workers want when they’re working in harsh conditions. Phil points out that as an added plus, that workwear will last for “years and years.”

Rugged Carhartt Gear

If you’re wondering how rugged Carhartt is, Phil tells a story about a customer whose father would drag a new jacket behind his tractor for a week to break it in. Other ideas for How To Break In Your Carhartts include chaining it up to a tire, running over it with a snowmobile and other methods you probably shouldn’t try at home unless you’re an expert porcupine handler.

While Carhartt is the choice for people who work outdoors, with its reputation for toughness and durability, there’s also a “wow factor.” This has connected the brand with a larger audience, because as Jeff points out, “Anyone can wear it.”

That’s why you might see Carhartt beanies at a microbrewery, for example. Jeff says it can be a way for a business to say, “Look at us, we’re cool.”

One thing to remember about the line, he says it’s “more than just outerwear.” This leads us to the subject of the latest Carhartt product releases including backpacks, a utility roll, and some interesting new items that Jeff and Phil say will make for some memorable gift giving. You’ll also find many of these featured in SanMar’s Holiday Gift Giving guide. As Jeff says, these are the kind of gifts that a person treasures much more than the “two fifths of Scotch they don’t drink.”

Nylon Duck OrganizerYes, the Carhartt Nylon Duck Organizer is perfect for organizing tools and gadgets at the jobsite, but Phil says don’t forget that it also works well somewhere else.

“You have young kids in the back seat and you can hang that over the headrest,” Phil explains, which will keep the kids occupied. He says that sometimes it’s important to remember a product can be useful in dissimilar ways. As for selling it, “It’s just a matter of introducing it in a different way.”

Dog Chore Coat“I’ve been leading my presentations with the Carhartt Dog Chore Coat,” says Phil, “Because it’s cool and it’s different.” He says this is a piece that he suggests to clients who are looking for a unique gift heading into the holiday season.

Phil talks about a client who supplies a veterinary hospital. If dogs need to go in for surgery, they come out with a Carhartt coat that features their name along with the vet’s logo. It creates a connection that dog owner will never forget.

Sherpa BlanketShowing a softer side of the company’s toughness and warmth is the Carhartt Firm Duck Sherpa-Lined Blanket that features 100% ring spun cotton duck canvas on one side and sherpa fleece lining on the other. It comes in Black or the unmistakable Carhartt Brown.

If you’re looking for something different among the latest Carhartt styles, there’s also a Crossbody Zip Bag and the largest (120L!) Foundry Series Duffel yet. As Jeff says about the entire line, “I think there’s a lot of gifting opportunities. It’s something unique that’s going to get their attention and they’re going to remember who gave it to them.”

Plus, as with any gift that comes with Carhartt’s history and reputation, “It’s probably not going to get duplicated.”