Standard Merchandising Co. is a family owned business-the current owners are the third generation to own and run the business. We have been manufacturing in the US since 1922. In 1978, we expanded from our New Jersey base, opening a small knitting plant in nearby Reading Pennsylvania to knit headbands and wristbands for the tennis market. Shortly thereafter, the company knit its first sock in Reading. Little did we realize at that time that socks would shortly grow to dominate not only the knitting plant, but the business as a whole.
We have been knitting socks in Reading for over 30 years now, during which time the facility has grown to seven times its original size. Over that period, we have manufactured socks for a large number of major hosiery brands- names that everyone would recognize. We still manufacture socks for a number of very well known labels, but today our main focus is on the development of our own brands.
We put all of our 30 plus years of sock manufacturing know how and experience into producing our branded hosiery. In the past few years, we have expanded our lines, so that now, we offer something for a very wide variety of customer. Red Lion offers top quality athletic socks in the most creative designs on the market. Our b.ella brand features cashmere and cashmere blends, angora, extra fine merino and alpaca yarns, among others, in some of the finest and most luxurious hosiery available today. Nouvella, QTFeet and E.G.Smith offer novel yarns and constructions for more adventurous and youthful customers. 2Brother’s products are made from organic and recycled yarns for more health and environmentally conscious consumers.
OUR COMPANY POLICIES & GOALS
Commitment to Domestic Manufacturing
When we started operations in Reading, we were one of perhaps 15 knitting mills in what was then a small regional knitting center, though some companies were already beginning to abandon their domestic operations. Today, we are the last knitting mill operating in Reading, having chosen to stay and find ways to make manufacturing viable in the US. We did so simply because we would not have felt very good about ourselves as a family if we had rewarded our employees by shipping their jobs to a foreign country. We have in turn been repaid by the dedication and continuing loyalty of a very skilled workforce, many of whom have been with us for decades. Together, we all strive to keep our products at the top of their class in quality and design. Over 95% of the products featured on this website are manufactured in our plants in the US. We are very proud to be manufacturing in the United States.
We are committed to minimizing our impact of our operations on the environment Some of the measures we have implemented to further that goal include:
· Re-use and recycling of office paper.
· Recycling of corrugated.
· Re-use of manufacturing waste. Even difficult to reuse manufacturing byproducts can sometimes be given a useful second life if you try. For example, the fabric rings generated by our toe sewing operation are used internally for tying bundles of socks. Outside our plant, they replace rubber bands in local newspaper distribution (they’re great- they slide off without tearing the newspaper!).
· Reduction and elimination of paper. We have eliminated paper in many phases of our operation. We invite all of our customers who can to accept invoicing from us by email instead of snail mail or fax).
· We use post consumer content in much of our packaging.
· We re-use process water in parts of our dye operation.
· We use cold water dyes where possible. They take longer but do not require the use of fossil fuels.
· We have even designed and built dye machinery that uses less energy and less water.
Manufacturing for the Greater Good
We support a number of charities. A portion of our revenue from the sale of our breast cancer ribbon socks is donated for breast cancer research through the sponsorship of participants in the 3 day breast cancer walks. We help sponsor Team Tania, the largest non-corporate team in the City to Shore MS150 bicycle ride, providing free custom cycle socks to nearly 500 riders. A portion of the revenues from the sale of our 2Brothers line is donated annually to different organizations promoting environmental causes. We donate socks to several local organizations supporting the homeless. We also outsource work to Goodwill Industries, giving a workforce of individuals with disabilities the opportunity to learn, to work and to earn a weekly paycheck.
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