Harper Industries, Inc. was founded in 1946 by Abner M. Friedland, who had worked as a shirt salesman during the depression.
Seeing an opportunity to participate in the post-war USA economic expansion, Friedland started Harper Industries, Inc. with the vision that Harper would supply high-quality, low priced garments for working class Americans. Friedland opened factories in Mississippi and Alabama and offered shirts at below-department-store prices. During the 1940s and 1950s, Harper Industries, Inc. grew steadily. When discount stores emerged during the 1950’s and 1960’s, Harper became a major discount-store shirt supplier.
During the 1960’s, apparel imports displaced an increasing share of USA garment production. Harper supplemented its domestic production with imported shirts, configuring its domestic factories to make less labor-intensive knit tops and importing more labor-intensive lined flannel shirts and lined sweatshirts. Harper created an affiliate company, Harcrest International, Ltd., to serve as the Harper import arm. By 1980, Harper and Harcrest, together, were major suppliers of both domestic knit shirts and imported heavyweight shirts.
Beginning about 1990, Harper’s retail customers began to buy directly from Asian suppliers and displaced Harper’s importing. Harper adjusted again, entering a joint venture agreement with Yusuf Amdani, President of Pride Sportswear, Honduras, and Randy Kogon, former manager of Harper’s Lucedale, Mississippi factory. Yusuf and Randy now oversee production in the joint venture factories in Campeche, Mexico.
Harper applies 70 years of experience as a low-cost, high-quality garment producer to meeting the needs of a select group of prized customers.
What is next for Harper? If you have a vision for the future that would benefit from well-managed and well-treated Mexican labor – be it apparel stitching or any other need – talk to us. Servicing your needs may be Harper’s next course correction. We are glad to work with you to forge that path together with you.
In 1982, Abner Friedland passed away. Since his death, his son, Thomas Friedland, has led Harper. See contact link for how to contact Thomas.