Duluth Trading Co.’s Great Debate

Since 1993 Duluth Trading Co. has been producing apparel that’s by no means edgy or meant to tantalize. Their products are all function over form, all utilitarian, and geared towards the blue collar consumer. (For evidence of this ethos, one needn’t look further than their “Man Can” line which features a pair of boxers, boxer-briefs, or briefs packaged in–you guessed it–an actual tin can.)

It’s exactly this combination of clever marketing and solid clothing craftsmanship that has helped Duluth Trading Co. carve out a name for themselves in sensible men and women’s workwear.

In the company’s most recent marketing campaign, they’ve pitted two of their own underwear lines against each other. Referencing the great 1858 debate for Illinois State Senator between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, their “Great Debate” campaign strategy is to champion the virtues of their Buck Naked and Free Range Organic boxers, and let the customer decide which is better. (The difference between the two ranges that run S-4XL it would seem lies mostly in their fabrics, by the way. The Buck Naked range sports diamond-knit 93% nylon/7% Spandex material, whereas the Free Range Organic range features a 94% cotton/6% Spandex blend. We here at The Underwear Expert have tried both variations, and have found them both to be incredibly light and comfortable–the “Great Debate” could very well be quite messy.)

Recently, the company has been testing the waters of brick-and-mortar, too, with a flagship retail store opening in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin in 2010, and plans to open a second store this year in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

Regardless of which underwear comes out on top in Duluth’s latest marketing campaign, one thing is certain: the midwest has a strong voice for its underwear in Duluth Trading Co., and a distinct one at that. With a ‘No Bull Guarantee’, and company statements like “Anything that will help guys in the trades work smarter, work more comfortably.. ” Duluth has indeed hand-carved a market for themselves as a clothing maker for the laboring man.

For more information on this brand: Duluth Trading Co.



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