Behind our slogans are products that further American and ethical manufacturing. We design and print ourselves in Des Moines and our house brand of shirts is cut and sewn in California. Paper, glassware, and more are American materials that printed or finished in America.
In 2005, we started printing our own t-shirts in a pole barn in central Iowa. Ever since then, almost every RAYGUN shirt has been hand screen printed by us! The inks, screens, presses, are all controlled at the world headquarters. If you wander into our Des Moines location and look up, you'll see our manual presses right up there on the mezzanine.
The shirt beneath prints like Des Moines: Hell Yes or Iowa Vowels was designed by us, made using a fabric that is 50% Recycled Polyester and 50% Organic Cotton, and then cut and sewn in America's oldest Fair-Trade-Certified factory, Nature USA. We can watch the process from thread to fabric to shirt all under one roof in California (we've even met the guy at the cutting table in the photo above!). Other blends, like the "100% Cotton" or "60-40" are made sweat-shop-free overseas in WRAP-Certified factories. From design to fabrics to construction, we are always looking for ways to improve our products.
BIKE JERSEY CUT & SEW . VOLER . CA
The bulk of our shirts are contracted out to other factories, but we have a small in-house cut-and-sew department that makes items like Pillows and Headbands. As well, these guys handle any the reconstruction or alteration of any vintage items we sell in our stores.
No retail company is complete without a bad-ass table saw and CNC Router! Items like our Tables, Wooden Magnets, or Wooden Coasters are designed, printed, and made in our own wood working shop (shop code name: Gary) around the corner from our Des Moines store. Gary is also where we construct or modify the displays that will go in our stores. And where we unwind by smelling freshly cut cedar boards.
Speaking of our Tables, many of the steel bottoms are welded in a secret location in central Ankeny, Iowa. The name and identity of our chief welder is a closely guarded secret, though he did once DJ a party at the store and is rumored to be working as the drummer of a Midwestern super-group called The Life Partners. Other welding for our store is handled by Ackelson Metals in Des Moines.
Our Pint Glasses and Mugs are not only made in the USA, they are screen printed by our good friends at Pyrographics in West Des Moines. One of godfathers of Central Iowa's artsy-maker community, Pryo is an amazing company that we are always happy to work with.
Almost all of our paper products, like Postcards, Posters, or Notebooks, are made using Wisconsin paper, and then printed by Union Labor at Garner Printing in Des Moines. Some paper is sourced from different locations, some of the printing is done in-house using water-based silk screen ink, but a vast majority comes out of Garner's facility on the north side. With digital presses alongside presses dating back to the early 20th Century, it is also a really cool place to tour.
Our Stickers and Die-Cut Stickers are made just up the street by Sinclair Graphics. Anthony Sinclair is a good buddy of ours who we have worked with since the day he started his own company.
Our lip balm, The Greatest Lip Balm In The Universe, only attained that statue by using extremely attractive Iowa bees. Every batch of lip balm comes to us from Phillips Honey in Northeastern Iowa. Go bees!