Finally: The U.S. Postal Service functional-fashion clothing line

posted at 4:41 pm on February 20, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Modernity has been tough for the U.S. Postal Service. The ‘self-supporting’ government enterprise, faced with technologies and market competition slowly but surely rendering their business model less and less viable, has tried to institute various coping mechanisms — cutting costs, reducing the size of their workforce, consolidating processing locations, etcetera — but to little practical avail. The USPS still finished up with a $16 billion deficit for 2012 alone, and the outfit has already defaulted on its retiree health benefit payments and maxed out their line of credit from the Treasury.

Their 2012 budget shortfall prompted the USPS to re-strategize some more, and they announced their plans to call it quits on Saturday deliveries — but even if the maneuver delivers on the projected $2 billion annually in cost-cutting, it’s still too little, too late. The USPS needs to reform, streamline, and innovate, and fast.

Innovate, you say? Oh, we’ll innovate all day long, by… er… producing our own high-end clothing line? What the what?

Neither snow, nor rain nor gloom of night has taken on a different meaning at the U.S. Postal Service with plans to launch a new product line of apparel and accessories under the brand name, “Rain Heat & Snow.”

The Postal Service’s unofficial motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” serves as a backdrop for a licensing agreement the organization has signed with Cleveland-based fashion apparel company Wahconah Group, Inc. …

“This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” said Postal Service Corporate Licensing Manager Steven Mills. “The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ — also known as wearable electronics.”

“The Wahconah Group is excited to be working with the U.S. Postal Service in launching this all-weather line of clothing,” said Chief Executive Officer Isaac Crawford. “The products will build on the rich American history of this iconic brand, creating specialized apparel for consumers, at affordable prices, delivering something new and exciting that retailers can offer their customers.”

Under the licensing agreement with the Postal Service, Wahconah will initially introduce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories for men with future plans for a women’s line. The goal is to sell this product in premier department and specialty stores.

Okay, so… is the point of this to use the profits from the clothing line to help the Postal Service fill up their budget gaps? Or are they trying to channel some sort of Americana-sentimentality over the USPS’s history into a marketing and awareness campaign? Or both?

“For now, it’s all-weather, all-season clothing for men, ranging from headgear, footwear, jackets, coats and shirts,” Betts explained. …

“It will make a contribution, but it’s bigger than that,” Betts said. “It’s really brand reputation, brand awareness, in addition to revenues.

“We’re a postal service that recognizes that our business model has to change, we’ve got to be more innovative with the products that we bring to market,” the spokesman said.

If the ailing Postal Service can’t manage to come up with a sustainable business model merely in terms of mail delivery, what with their legal monopoly and all, I can’t imagine how they’re going to convince the outdoor-trendy to switch over from their Northface rain jackets, Columbia backpacks, and Patagonia vests. Good luck with that.


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Finally: The U.S. Postal Service functional-fashion clothing line

If female carriers wear thongs in the Summer, I’m all for it.

ToddPA on February 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Now why didn’t GM think of this ?

Jabberwock on February 20, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Finally, outfits for going postal.

antipc on February 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM

If female carriers wear thongs in the Summer, I’m all for it.

ToddPA on February 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Careful there big guy.
I might have to explain some things to the little ones if this happens.

Jabberwock on February 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM

USPS Board meeting:

So fellas, we’re neck deep in debt, getting roundly outperformed by UPS and FEDEX on both the ground and in the air, sooooooo whaddya think that we knit ourselves a few sets of stylish pants????

/Genius.

ted c on February 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM

I just asked my 10-year-old nephew if he wanted either U.S. Postal Service apparel or U.S. Army apparel. He said, in not so many words, that he prefer Army clothes.

This thing is doomed before it will even start.

BigGator5 on February 20, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Yeah, but wait until you find out they don’t deliver because the cost is too high…

ajacksonian on February 20, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Real business-men of geniussssssss!!!

here’s to you mister USPS fashionista….for all your debt slashing and revenue enhancing array of scarves and windbreakers……

ted c on February 20, 2013 at 4:49 PM

it’ll be cheaper to ship it via UPS or FEDEX, thus, losing them more money.

kinda like bailing out a boat that you’re shootin’ holes through the bottom of……

ted c on February 20, 2013 at 4:50 PM

If female carriers wear thongs in the Summer, I’m all for it.

ToddPA on February 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Careful there big guy.
I might have to explain some things to the little ones if this happens.

Jabberwock on February 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Yup, like “hey kids, look what Daddy’s tax dollars are going for.”

ToddPA on February 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM

This is preposterous. USPS can’t even break even doing its job, so now they go into the clothing business. If that isn’t incompetent government administration, tell me what it.

Privatize USPS. If they can’t sell it, give it to FedEx or someone and pay them to operate it.

petefrt on February 20, 2013 at 4:52 PM

If female carriers wear thongs in the Summer, I’m all for it.

ToddPA on February 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I know of a few you wouldn’t want to see in a thong.

RickB on February 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM

If female carriers wear thongs in the Summer, I’m all for it.

ToddPA on February 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

something tells me you get a better stock of mail carriers than we do…95 degrees and 95% humidity meets a bikini clad 210 lb sloth in a stupid boxy vehicle.

DanMan on February 20, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Their commemorative stamps aren’t even that great looking anymore-why would I want a USPS jacket?

I don’t think this latest idea to save the post office will deliver.

2L8 on February 20, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Get Lance Armstrong to push that line of clothes! What could go wrong?

DanMan on February 20, 2013 at 4:58 PM

You know what would really help the USPS cut costs???? High Speed Rail…

rw on February 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

This reminds me of a few yrs ago when Obama looked around that CEO roundtable and said he didn’t want to “tip his hand,” but he was going to fix the economy by cooking up some weatherization programs.

http://freedomeden.blogspot.com/2009/12/jon-stewart-weatherization-and-obama.html

Golden Boy on February 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

If female carriers wear thongs in the Summer, I’m all for it.

ToddPA on February 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I know of a few you wouldn’t want to see in a thong.

RickB on February 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Yes, this is true……for those, the USPS is coming
out with a Burka.

ToddPA on February 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

You know what would really help the USPS cut costs???? High Speed Rail…

rw on February 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Great Idea!!!!
*ducks*

ted c on February 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM

When it comes to fashion, the USPS knows how to push the envelope…

JetBoy on February 20, 2013 at 5:02 PM

isn’t Anna Wintour, the Vogue Editor, a government employee now? She should get out her measuring tapes and design boards and get these USPS carriers lookin’ right……

/ideas.

ted c on February 20, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Maybe delivering lead balloons will be the difference?

Bmore on February 20, 2013 at 5:04 PM

When it comes to fashion, the USPS knows how to push the envelope…

JetBoy on February 20, 2013 at 5:02 PM

well played, sir…..

ted c on February 20, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I mean, what better way to get the government to be loved and adored more than by putting lipstick on a pig dressing up postal workers…..?

ted c on February 20, 2013 at 5:05 PM

WTH are “wearable electronics?”

ugottabekiddingme on February 20, 2013 at 5:14 PM

My Postal Service style begins and ends with the Mr. Zip stamps.

jon1979 on February 20, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Finally: The U.S. Postal Service functional-fashion clothing line

…naked would be better…and more cost effective.

KOOLAID2 on February 20, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Huh? Does this mean you can go to your local ‘fashionable clothing store’ and pick up a USPS style “uniform”?

If so, will there be “background checks”?

GarandFan on February 20, 2013 at 5:26 PM

This makes as much sense as your local police department selling badges.

meci on February 20, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Yeah, but wait until you find out they don’t deliver because the cost is too high…

ajacksonian on February 20, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Thread winner!

I’m just wondering whether those really cool blue pith helmets will be part of the “headgear”?

GWB on February 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

How soon before USPS workers will be deputized into knocking on your door and asking, “Hey you redneck! Ya’ll got any guns n’ there?”

/job skills.

ted c on February 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Given this storyline, does it not seem that most anyone can make money off of the postal business except, perhaps, the USPS?

I would think that the basic costs, such as design and development, for the apparel company were paid for by the USPS especially if the USPS was going to own a large portion of the profits, if any, from this line of clothing (and have ownership of the “line” of clothing). At the least, I would expect that the apparel company are going to recoup their costs, even if they didn’t make much, if any profit, before the USPS sees any kind of profit share.

Russ808 on February 20, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I might buy a shirt if it will not not print a weapon. I hope they have taken this into considrtion in the tailoring.

a capella on February 20, 2013 at 5:44 PM

It’s hip to dress like a postal carrier…Who knew?

FORWARD

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Really, this story shouldn’t have been included in the late-night news report. Too much danger that the driver will laugh herself silly and lose control of the car.

PatriotGal2257 on February 20, 2013 at 5:45 PM

And for convenience, I bet you’ll be able to order the USPS clothing on-line, pay for it electronically, and have it delivered via FedEx. And thus you have the perfect illustration of why the Post Office is no longer relevant.

Why don’t they just charge a buck for a first class letter, and discontinue Bulk Mail rates? When you absolutely have to send a letter then you will, and the prices will make the junk mail cost prohibitive so we won’t have to throw it all away?

Oh, wait… If junk mail is too expensive, then there won’t be as much junk mail, and thus we don’t need to have as many workers and as big of a budget for the Post Office to remain as big, bloated, and inefficient as it is. Sorry, I was having a hard time thinking like a liberal for a moment there.

JohnD13 on February 20, 2013 at 6:03 PM

This is completely silly, and totally laughable. Whiskey, Tango….?

MustLoveBlogs on February 20, 2013 at 6:08 PM

If female carriers wear thongs in the Summer, I’m all for it.

ToddPA on February 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Have you ever seen a hot female postal carrier? I have not.

bw222 on February 20, 2013 at 6:12 PM

If I wear this, can I bank my sick days and retire early with a full pension?

can_con on February 20, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Why not just eliminate the post office?

nazo311 on February 20, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Privatize USPS. If they can’t sell it, give it to FedEx or someone and pay them to operate it.

petefrt on February 20, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Why not just eliminate the post office?

nazo311 on February 20, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution…

public sector unions should be eliminated, not the USPS…

equanimous on February 20, 2013 at 7:49 PM

The new product name: “Rain nor Heat nor Snow, except on Saturdays and Sundays”

unclesmrgol on February 20, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I want to look as sharp as this guy.

trigon on February 20, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Chicks are gonna so dig me when I’m rockin one of those sexy USPS pith helmets.

It’ll give new meaning to “Going Postal”.

OxyCon on February 20, 2013 at 9:59 PM

So they’re adopting the Urban Sombrero®?

andycanuck on February 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

public sector unions should be eliminated, not the USPS…

equanimous on February 20, 2013 at 7:49 PM

I’d settle for that. Maybe that plus 3-day/week delivery.

petefrt on February 22, 2013 at 7:08 AM