Carhartt, Inc. is a U.S.-based clothing company founded in 1889. It is still a family owned company, owned by the descendants of company founder Hamilton Carhartt, with its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.
In the United States, Carhartt is known for its work clothes, such as jackets, coats, overalls, coveralls, vests, shirts, jeans and dungarees.
Carhartt was originally founded to make work clothing for railroad workers. Their initial growth throughout the 1890s was focused on railroad workers' need for durable and long lasting work overalls.
Over time, Carhartt clothing items evolved trademark features intended to further extend durability, including the use of heavy duty threads, reinforcing rivets at vital stress points, and a variety of durable, high technology materials resistant to flames, abrasion and water. Today Carhartt is commonly found on construction sites, farms and ranches, among other job sites.
In the 1990s, Carhartt clothing became fashionable in hip hop culture, and Tommy Boy Records used Carhartt jackets as a promotional tool. In that period, Carhartt jackets achieved popularity with crack dealers. "They needed to keep warm and they needed to carry a lot of stuff," said Steven J. Rapiel, the New York City salesman for Carhartt. "Then the kids saw these guys on the street, and it became the hip thing to wear." In 2007, the company launched a Carhartt for Women line of women's workwear for the Fall season.
In the United States, Carhartt sponsors blue-collar organizations and events such as 4-H, the National FFA Organization, rodeos and the #17 NASCAR race car driven by Matt Kenseth.
During the 9/11 World Trade Center rescue operations, the Carhartt company donated thousands of bib overalls to the rescue crew to be used on scene.