Manufacturing still happens in Newark and a lot of it goes on at Unionwear, a 170-employee company run by Cahn. Unionwear makes uniforms, hats and other promotional clothing. And during the pandemic, the company was one of many that pivoted to providing personal protective equipment when its regular suppliers and customers were disrupted. Cahn described the process during a Manufacturing Day program held virtually by the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program and in general has advocated strengthening domestic supply chains.
Unionwear’s Made in America pedigree means it is the go-to source for political candidates who cannot, under any circumstances, be caught wearing or hawking anything marked Made in Some Other Country. The company was also in position to benefit from global trade disputes as customers sought local sources for necessary apparel.
“We’ve been getting a lot of interest, and a number of orders, from fashion companies that want to diversify their suppliers,” Cahn told NJBIZ last year. “Also, when prices on imported materials go up because of increased tariffs, the premium pricing for ‘Made in the USA’ is thinner. That makes it even more attractive for companies that want to use that angle in their marketing efforts.” In all, a strong recovery for a company that emerged from a pension related bankruptcy case two years ago.