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Apr 30, 2017

Nordstroms Fake “Dirty” pants, insults the trades!

By Daniel J Westbrook

For years I’ve joked around with my employees and company tradesman, about how people would pay the big bucks to buy ripped worn out jeans. We didn’t think of it as an insult to us, but rather, the foolishness of others who would purchase something that wouldn’t last a couple of wears, let alone the physical rigors of the hands on working life. We used to laugh about how we could take advantage, and make the “big bucks”, by selling our worn out pants to the fashion community. Usually I’d just shake my head as an outward expression of such wasteful spending.

As a lifelong craftsman my life has been physically rigorous, and the clothes I wear have to handle the demand, fit the circumstances, and wear long. Much of my tradesman career has been working some of the most difficult conditions anyone could ever work in. Things like crabbing in Alaska, working in the Canadian wilderness, farming, framing houses, roofing, cold, heat, rain, dirt, dust, all the while performing tasks, that require precision execution, sometimes walking the line between life or death. I can tell you from experience, this is where the tradesperson’s badge of honor is born, in the task at hand sure, but also in the comradery between people who go through that working crucible together. The best craftspeople I know don’t wear fake clothes for a fashion statement. Rather for, ergonomically working in harmony with the body to fit the task at hand, and for protection from the elements. This is where my company brand comes from, Built To Withstand. It represents honest truth of the hard working. It represents old fashioned truths that transcend time, respect, hard work, trust and stewardship.

Nordstrom’s dirty pants, takes the fake too far. The target customer appears to be someone who would spend 400 dollars plus on pants to look like something they’re not, a fake! First no working person would wear mud stained pants to work, and second when we do get dirty, we’ve earned it, that’s a truth! When we get home the first thing we do is remove our dirty clothes in the porch, because it’s a fitly attitude to bring dirt into the clean of our homes and families. So, why is our society so divided and disrespectful with each other? Perhaps it’s simply the price of fake! 

Seattle Master Carpenter Daniel Westbrook 


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