Made in the USA: Ramblers Way, Portland, Maine

Imagine finding a store that manufactures ALL of its own clothing right here in the USA. It would seem like a dream. It did to me only a few days ago. Now, imagine if that same store made their clothing in your home state. But we’re not done. What would you say if I told you that the clothing is made RIGHT IN THE STORE?! That’s exactly what opened shop in the Old Port this past November!

20180216_110249_resized.jpg

Est in 2009 in Maine but new to Portland, Ramblers Way is owned by a guy named Tom. You know, that Tom from Maine? That’s Tom Chappell from the Tom’s of Maine brand.  All of their “sustainable” clothing is made from Rambouillet Merino wool, Certified Organic Merino wool or Pima cotton.

20180216_111118_resized.jpg

The store is stunning and the clothing very stylish yet classic.

20180216_111122_resized.jpg

The sales ladies were also very friendly and helpful without any hints of Old Port attitude.

20180216_111127_resized.jpg

I asked where I could find the two tops I saw on their website that I was interested in trying on and purchasing if they fit. I was told that what is online is close-out items and not available in-store. I found that to be disappointing. (Update: I received a clarifying note from Rambler’s Way: “While it is true that we have items in-store that are not available online, the online store is not only for “close-out” items. The online store also offers current selections, as well as items from past seasons.”) On the flip side I was pleasantly surprised by the selections in store that I did not see online.

20180216_111434_resized

I was skeptical about wearing a wool top against my skin; surely it would be very itchy! Proven wrong, I was impressed with the soft and silky feel of this black top I found on their sale rack. Also, their fitting rooms are wonderful!

20180216_110547_resized.jpg

As you can see, it’s also as thin as a cotton top so it can be worn for three seasons.

large.jpg

Unfortunately their sizing isn’t consistent with most places I’ve shopped. Normally I wear a small or medium, but I tried on the large and it was too snug. They didn’t have it in an extra large so I wasn’t able to come home with one.

20180216_113324_resized.jpg

Men’s clothing is on the lower level and there are so many fantastic offerings!

20180216_112349_resized.jpg

But wait! Look!!! There’s the “manufacturing plant!”

20180216_112401_resized.jpg

I could see Wayne wearing many of these, but sadly the price point is beyond our budget this year. The shirts I looked at cost between $175 and $250. However I don’t question the value! 

20180216_112516_resized.jpg

20180216_113136_resized.jpg

It’s interesting to note that they are now seeking investors, and this Q & A with Tom Chappell reveals the challenges of creating a made in the USA clothing brand.

20180216_113335_resized.jpg

I’d like to come back with Wayne and have him try on a sweater and maybe some cords to get some gift ideas for him down the road.

20180216_113345_resized.jpg

You can find a store directory here.

My quest for ethically sourced quality clothing continues!

5 thoughts on “Made in the USA: Ramblers Way, Portland, Maine

  1. Those are gorgeous! I love it. It’s so old fashioned, and natural in the color palette selection. Or do you think they are copying British taste?

    Like

  2. Hi, Averyl. Thanks for this post and for sharing your insight into this company. As an occasional follower of Ramblers Way on social media, I’m struck by how much more in-depth your post takes us readers than in what I’ve seen offered by the company itself. I doubt that their Facebook page covers much more; it’s only accessible to F-book subscribers, unlike other companies’ pages that can be passively viewed by anyone. Beyond that, your post is simply important in how it creates some transparency for consumers like myself who care about making informed choices/purchases.
    This post also seems to solidify in my mind the sense that Ramblers Way is in some ways struggling to find a strong brand identity. Initially I was attracted to their line by the tailored fit and the colorways created using vegetable-based dyes, apparently created in-house. Over time my enthusiasm has waned as I see some sizing issues and then the virtual disappearance of any mention, at least, of such dyes being applied to recent collections. Perhaps what has irked me the most is that the ‘standard’ weight of much of their wool pieces is a 5-oz. lightweight wool. Sorry, but this is just too thin to expect any kind of long-term wear! It’s true that the price-point for pieces at that weight is relatively more affordable. Ultimately, though, if I can’t count on Ramblers Way basics to keep their integrity with normal wear, it’s difficult to regard the line in any different light than one of the fast-fashion brands that might offer some merino-based items here and there. I guess my hope is that the company will be able to reconcile inconsistent quality with their commitment to American-made apparel.
    Again, thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mark, for your thoughtful comments! I’m really glad you found my review to be helpful. I love to review things that interest me (I’m active on Yelp and Amazon) and try to focus on what I’d want to know as a consumer. As a relatively new and growing company, I bet they would be receptive to hearing your feedback, especially since you are passionate and articulate!

      Like

  3. You’re welcome.
    Sadly, my experience in reaching out to Ramblers Way through their main Customer Service channel has been pretty disheartening, and at the very least challenging. While I can sense the potential for such a business to thrive, there has to be an openness and accessibility to the customer base before that potential can be truly met. If one takes a bit of time to peruse the Web, it becomes apparent that consumers have VERY little reference in the way of product reviews or other customer feedback on Ramblers Way purchases. There has been just one ‘forum’ that I’m aware of, some years back, on the eCommerce site for Cuddledown in Maine, I believe. While Cuddledown was a retail outlet of Ramblers Way, customers were able to post feedback/reviews on their purchases. The reviews were mixed; overall, though, less than favorable…which would likely account for some mediocre sales and for the line being discontinued a few years back.
    From your description of the ‘miscommunication’ by the sales person at the Portland store, it’s evident to me that customer relations is kind of an Achilles heel with this business. Although it is a ‘fairly’ new company, the owners are certainly not novices at business relations and thus ought to recognize the importance of creating a dynamic, accessible space. In that regards, i applaud you again, Averyl, for choosing to review quite honestly the full experience of your visit to the Portland store. ..and thanks for this rare space here to allow for others like me to comment/vent 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.