Who owns Carhartt? Calls for boycott of apparel brand after it enforced vax mandate

Carhartt CEO Mark Valade sent an email to staffers stating that the company will require workers to be fully vaccinated against Covid by February 15


                            Who owns Carhartt? Calls for boycott of apparel brand after it enforced vax mandate
The apparel company sent an email (L) to its employees stating that they must be fully vaccinated by February 15 (Twitter, Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
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Apparel giant Carhartt faced considerable backlash on Tuesday, January 18, after it doubled down on a Covid vaccine requirement for its employees shortly after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration's attempt to have businesses with 100 or more employees mandate vaccines for their workforce.

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Mark Valade, the CEO of Carhartt, sent an email to employees clarifying that the workwear company will require workers to be fully vaccinated against the virus by February 15. The contents of the email -- which was sent to workers last Friday -- are now public, Marketwatch reported.

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“We put workplace safety at the very top of our priority list and the Supreme Court’s recent ruling doesn’t impact that core value,” the email said. “We, and the medical community, continue to believe vaccines are necessary to ensure a safe working environment for every associate and even perhaps their households. While we appreciate that there may be differing views, workplace safety is an area where we and the union that represents our associates cannot compromise." It added, "An unvaccinated workforce is both a people and business risk that our company is unwilling to take.”

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Who owns Carhartt?

Carhartt is owned by descendants of Hamilton Carhartt, who founded the company in 1889 in Detroit. CEO Valade is the great-grandson of Carhartt. The company is known for its work clothes, which were originally designed for manual laborers such as railroad, and construction workers, as well as farmers. The clothes became fashionable after rappers popularized Carhartt designs in the 1980s. The brand has since released streetwear across the globe.

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The Carhartt Workwear and Fishing display at the 37.5/Cocona Brand showcase event at Gansevoort Park Avenue on June 16, 2016, in New York City (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Cocona Inc)

 

That said, the apparel maker sparked a backlash after the screenshot of the email led “Carhartt” to trend on social media, with many threatening to boycott the brand for forcing its employees to get the jab.

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"How about this... If you don't want to get vaccinated and you work at Carhartt...F**king quit...F**k 'em," podcaster Tim Pool tweeted.

"Wow, @Carhartt is subjecting their employees to medical abuse. Very bad look. Definitely should stop buying their products if you do," TheBlaze reporter Elijah Schaffer added.

"Well, @Carhartt has labeled the unvaccinated dangerous and implemented a vaccine mandate. Pretty rich from a company sustained by the ranchers, farmers, laborers, etc. who make this country great and celebrate her values of freedom and liberty. Boycott Carhartt until they break," lawyer Molly McCann wrote.

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"I spend thousands a year on @Carhartt hoodies, jackets & winter gear. Today that ends. I guess I am looking for alternatives. Seriously, this is insane given their target market. I am done purchasing any of their stuff and giving them thousands in free advertising," one Twitter user declared.

"I can't believe Carhartt is mandating a vaccination. Their customers are rural patriotic folks by a majority. The CEO claims they don't care," another chimed in. 

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Carhartt responded to the furor in a statement on Tuesday, January 18. "Carhartt fully understands and respects the varying opinions on this topic, and we are aware some of our associates do not support this policy. However, we stand behind our decision because we believe vaccines are necessary to protect our workforce,” a company spokesperson told MarketWatch.

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