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Dad Shoes

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This is totally my opinion and I have not see the imported Journeyman. The overseas made bags and clothing are of excellent quality and very little difference can be see in most cases. The tin cloth pants are an exception. Still not terrible, but they made some concerning changes on those. The bags so far seem to look great.

My concern with overseas manufacturing is that (1) Filson for the first 110 years of its existence was synonymous with quality USA manufacturing. The appeal of Filson was for most of us “high quality, American made, lifetime warranty” and I was ok saving up and paying a lot of something I really wanted. This brings me to my next point (2) the price stayed the same. You’re telling me making these bags overseas didn’t cut the price of manufacturing in half? Granted, that’s probably a difference of like $30 per bag, but still, the perception is that Filson is relying now solely on its brand and potentially the quality to justify the price.

This will almost certainly work out for Filson’s owners in the end, boosting margins and increasing their earnings multiplier, but Filson as many of us knew it is dying. That death was slow at first but now it’s really picking up speed. They’ll keep the plants in Seattle going for at least a while to produce “limited edition” or “archival reissues” for double or triple the price of the other options, the solid, American made, prideful company that was around for a century is quickly turning into LL Bean. I still love the brand, maybe I always will, but it’s not what it was and it will keep going this direction.
Yep to all you wrote here. Right there with you.
 

Samgoody

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Yep to all you wrote here. Right there with you.
One parallel in my mind is what happened to Orvis and their once-amazing Battenkill and Gokey bags, which used to be expertly made in Minnesota by the craftspeople of the J.W. Hulme factory. Orvis moved production to China to slash costs and the bags have been crap ever since.

I guess the difference with Filson is the quality isn't falling off quite as fast ... yet.
 

Treble

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Seems like as soon as a brand gets investment, they have a fancy website and editorial content, big advertising spend, and then offshore production. Quality usually falls quite quickly leaving a 'core' range produced domestically - which then means the innovation and investment in new lines and products goes elsewhere.

I would never purchase a Filson product that wasn't MIUSA.
 

johng70

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There are some good comments about moving offshore. However, besides profit, there's another issue which cannot be ignored: Availability and cost of U.S. labor market. People simply do not want to hand sew for for $24k a year. And the cost of benefits is massive for employers. So, labor costs have gone significantly up and it's difficult to find laborers. And, I know in my company, which has some U.S. manufacturing, Covid really caused a labor issue due to people retiring. Lots of factory workers are lifetime employees of a company. So, when your retiree rate triples it's difficult to fill those positions. I'm not discounting the argument about margins - I'm just suggesting there are other factors at play here in the U.S. that cause manufacturing to move offshore. It sucks. I prefer to buy made in USA as much as possible, but I understand the issues involved can be complex.

Recently I wanted a new duffle bag - I wanted a Filson but it wasn't available. So, I went back to another company - Saddleback Leather - used to be made in USA - now in Mexico. Got the new bag and love it. Quality seems to be the same as my 8 year old briefcase. It was disappointing that they moved manufacturing to Mexico, but I understand it. Labor costs in the U.S. (especially when benefits come into play) are enormous.
 

qfise

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There are some good comments about moving offshore. However, besides profit, there's another issue which cannot be ignored: Availability and cost of U.S. labor market. People simply do not want to hand sew for for $24k a year. And the cost of benefits is massive for employers. So, labor costs have gone significantly up and it's difficult to find laborers. And, I know in my company, which has some U.S. manufacturing, Covid really caused a labor issue due to people retiring. Lots of factory workers are lifetime employees of a company. So, when your retiree rate triples it's difficult to fill those positions. I'm not discounting the argument about margins - I'm just suggesting there are other factors at play here in the U.S. that cause manufacturing to move offshore. It sucks. I prefer to buy made in USA as much as possible, but I understand the issues involved can be complex.

Recently I wanted a new duffle bag - I wanted a Filson but it wasn't available. So, I went back to another company - Saddleback Leather - used to be made in USA - now in Mexico. Got the new bag and love it. Quality seems to be the same as my 8 year old briefcase. It was disappointing that they moved manufacturing to Mexico, but I understand it. Labor costs in the U.S. (especially when benefits come into play) are enormous.
That’s why you buy 2nd hand one, I got small duffle from 2006 with Moto tag and beautiful leather and was almost never used, best purchase ever!
 

TinMan3

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There are some good comments about moving offshore. However, besides profit, there's another issue which cannot be ignored: Availability and cost of U.S. labor market. People simply do not want to hand sew for for $24k a year. And the cost of benefits is massive for employers. So, labor costs have gone significantly up and it's difficult to find laborers. And, I know in my company, which has some U.S. manufacturing, Covid really caused a labor issue due to people retiring. Lots of factory workers are lifetime employees of a company. So, when your retiree rate triples it's difficult to fill those positions. I'm not discounting the argument about margins - I'm just suggesting there are other factors at play here in the U.S. that cause manufacturing to move offshore. It sucks. I prefer to buy made in USA as much as possible, but I understand the issues involved can be complex.

Recently I wanted a new duffle bag - I wanted a Filson but it wasn't available. So, I went back to another company - Saddleback Leather - used to be made in USA - now in Mexico. Got the new bag and love it. Quality seems to be the same as my 8 year old briefcase. It was disappointing that they moved manufacturing to Mexico, but I understand it. Labor costs in the U.S. (especially when benefits come into play) are enormous.
While I totally understand this, last year Filson LAID OFF a large portion of their union workforce. They had people who wanted to work and told them to take a hike. I’m not sure if the wages for union folks got out of control and it wasn’t sustainable or what the political situation was (my employer deals with unions and it is brutal so I get that) but it flies in the face of not being able to find people to do it. Filson is cost cutting and that’s that.
 

johng70

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While I totally understand this, last year Filson LAID OFF a large portion of their union workforce. They had people who wanted to work and told them to take a hike. I’m not sure if the wages for union folks got out of control and it wasn’t sustainable or what the political situation was (my employer deals with unions and it is brutal so I get that) but it flies in the face of not being able to find people to do it. Filson is cost cutting and that’s that.
Yes - that was my other point. Labor costs (including benefits) have grown very high in the USA. Labor costs are not just salary - benefits have skyrocketed. When those costs go up, companies absorb it for a while - but you have to be profitable. So, the choices become: pass it along to customers or reduce costs.

People want to believe it's just the evil business wants to INCREASE profits. That isn't necessarily the case - they often times need to stop the bleeding that dramatic labor costs have introduced. Of course, it's also not that simple. When you manufacture overseas you also have to deal with Tariffs, QC issues, lead times, etc. All I'm saying is that the issue isn't as simple as people on a forum think it is and it isn't just greed at play.
 

Samgoody

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An important question for this group: What's the best Filson bag for carrying and storing even more Filson bags? I'm going to argue for the discontinued Filson Large Grab n' Go Tote. I've been able to store up to three additional Filson totes and briefcases inside of this one Filson bag, with the nylon lining making it easy to slide bags in and out, Matryoshka doll-style, without having to mess with a YKK zipper. Which Filson bags do you use to store your Filson bags?
large-grab-n-go-tote-bag-original-8995191.png
 

FilsonDude

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An important question for this group: What's the best Filson bag for carrying and storing even more Filson bags? I'm going to argue for the discontinued Filson Large Grab n' Go Tote. I've been able to store up to three additional Filson totes and briefcases inside of this one Filson bag, with the nylon lining making it easy to slide bags in and out, Matryoshka doll-style, without having to mess with a YKK zipper. Which Filson bags do you use to store your Filson bags?
View attachment 1798850
My medium duffle has got 4-5 different bags inside along with some other misc Filson items. Not easy to get out but plenty of space
 

singjai

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An important question for this group: What's the best Filson bag for carrying and storing even more Filson bags? I'm going to argue for the discontinued Filson Large Grab n' Go Tote. I've been able to store up to three additional Filson totes and briefcases inside of this one Filson bag, with the nylon lining making it easy to slide bags in and out, Matryoshka doll-style, without having to mess with a YKK zipper. Which Filson bags do you use to store your Filson bags?
View attachment 1798850
 

So-33

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An important question for this group: What's the best Filson bag for carrying and storing even more Filson bags? I'm going to argue for the discontinued Filson Large Grab n' Go Tote. I've been able to store up to three additional Filson totes and briefcases inside of this one Filson bag, with the nylon lining making it easy to slide bags in and out, Matryoshka doll-style, without having to mess with a YKK zipper. Which Filson bags do you use to store your Filson bags?
View attachment 1798850
I have a extra large duffle to keep the none structured ones in.
 

So-33

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Came to spend few days working at my vacation property.
Raining real hard all day so I'm filling my time posting on the net.
Listening to Dylan, drinking JD Rye 50/50 mix with water.
20220609_152828.jpg
 

linablair

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Jan 14, 2019
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Alright y'all. It's been a while - I hope you've all been well. I've been busy getting out to fish, camp and enjoy spring/early summer here in Michigan. It looks like I've got a lot of catching up to do!

A work friend just stopped by my office with a bag she thinks I might like. It's an Otter Green, Talon era 256 that she found on a shelf in her garage. I don't see a build tag, nor do I see where it might have been ripped out. It's definitely got the super waxy smell going on. Any input, build date guesses, etc. are more than welcomed.

After talking through it with her (letting her know she's got a nice bag that some people would pay for), she said she wanted me to have it and enjoy it.
 

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