Match Grade is a veteran-owned apparel company that’s all about giving back. Their products are made entirely in the U.S. and they donate one dollar of every shirt to a vetted, family-run, military charity. To find out more about Match Grade, visit the website here.
What gave you the idea to found Match Grade?
I’m a 7-year Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and deployed two times with 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2013, I entered civilian life with a Los Angeles-based construction firm and quickly realized that there weren’t as many opportunities as a civilian to truly help others in the way that I was used to. This realization, along with two years of hard work, led to the launch of Match Grade Apparel, 100% American-made gear that you will be proud to wear.
What does Match Grade mean?
Technically, the term Match Grade refers to firearm parts and ammunition that are suitable for a competitive match. The goal is to hit the same spot, every time. The only way to do that is to control all of the variables and keep them consistent. If you have the same high-quality firearm paired with ammunition that is the same weight every shot, you can focus on building your firing platform, controlling your breath, and that slow smooth squeeze that’s been beaten into our heads since the first time we picked up a firearm.
It is with this same thinking that we approach our products at Match Grade Apparel. We realized early on that if we controlled all the variables, we could create an amazing product. This included finding the right manufacturer here in the US, coming up with designs we are proud of, creating a website that people will enjoy exploring, choosing honest, reliable Charity Partners and much more.
What is the importance of making apparel in the USA?
I have a grey fleece jacket I wear pretty much every chance I get. It’s got the 1st Marine Division diamond embroidered on the back collar and Iraq War Veteran embroidered on the left chest. It’s something that I am proud to have earned the right to wear. When we started talking about what kind of products to carry at Match Grade, my thoughts immediately went to my fleece. It would be awesome to link up with this company and get some custom products created for Match Grade. Then I saw it…..MADE IN CHINA. That one hurt.
I knew I wanted to make all of our clothes in the US and this just drove that point home even more. What the hell is the point of making these cool, military-themed, shirt designs if I was going to turn around and put them on a shirt made in China? Creating products in America allows us all to invest back into our own economy, keeping jobs here and creating more for Americans and Veterans alike. The bottom line is if it isn’t Made in the US, we won’t carry it in our store.
How do you come up with designs?
I’m an idea guy. They aren’t always GOOD ideas, but hey, they can’t all be winners, right? I’ve had some of these designs in my head for quite some time. When putting together Match Grade Apparel, taking the designs from idea to reality was the fun part. We strive to bring cool, patriotic shirt designs to the masses. You don’t have to have served to wear and appreciate our designs, you just have to want to support those who have.
How does Match Grade help veterans?
HistoryNet is dedicated to telling the stories of those who served and will serve in the future. This ensures that those who fought for our country will not be forgotten, and is the most important part for us. We want to do our part to uphold the same ideals. We give back $1 of each and every shirt we sell. The best way to help the Military and Veteran communities is to show support. Whether it’s donating your time, thoughts, or money, every little bit helps. We want to make sure we are doing our part to ensure that funding is available for the continued study of PTSD and the exploration of drug-free treatment options. We also want to ensure that smaller, lesser known military charities get the attention they deserve. There are tons of great charities out there who are teaching Veterans skills and support through the transition process. We are proud to give back and hope you will join us in this endeavor.