Matthew Hunt, founder of Gettees, tells SEEN about his passion for manufacturing apparel in Metro Detroit and shares a few items in his closet he can’t live without. Check out the shop on the SEEN Marketplace.
By Rachel Schostak
1. When and what inspired you to get into this business? While I was going to school at Michigan State University, I was involved in a case study regarding the garment industry. The case study looked into how clothing brands would gain consumer trust after the 2013 factory collapse in Bangladesh. After seeing that, I thought there must be a better way to manufacture clothing and started developing the idea of Gettees.
2. What does a typical day look like for you? The thing I love about my current role at Gettees is there is no typical day. I take part in everything from product development, website design/development and accounting, to sourcing materials, production, etc. As we grow, my role will become more defined, but as of now, my daily responsibilities involve everything that could move the company forward. I could build a table for a sewing machine, schedule production, pattern out a product and design a page for our website all in the same day.
3. What was the motivation to open a factory in Detroit? I was born and raised in Metro Detroit, and our goal from the beginning was to build a garment factory right here in our hometown. Michigan, and specifically Detroit, has a skilled labor base and a long history of manufacturing. We’re just applying those talents to the garment industry now.
4. Who inspires you in the fashion/design world? At Gettees, we look to engineering for inspiration. The construction and the design and of our products is what influences the ultimate style. We want to build incredibly soft products that are durable and great fitting. We work to build quality that you can see and feel, but also work to make a product that is functional. We’re not followers of fast-fashion. Instead, we want to create timeless staple products that can live in your closet for decades.
5. What do you love most about your role managing Gettees? Having the opportunity to do something I truly care about and put my ideas out into the world is something I am eternally grateful for. I am very blessed that I get to do something that I truly love at this early point in my life.
6. What are your current favorite items of Gettees? Definitely all our Men’s Model Tees. I wear one pretty much every day. The tees are extremely soft, and since I am used to the feel of a Gettees tee, wearing any other T-shirt now is difficult. My all-time favorite of these would probably be the Model Tee Pinstripe SS. It was our first product and will always have a special place in my heart. One of our new sweatshirts, the District Crew, is also a favorite of mine. We developed a custom French terry fabric with lycra in it for added stretch, and it’s unbelievably soft and comfortable. Launching sweatshirts is a big step in seeing Gettees expand as a clothing brand, rather than simply a T-shirt company, so this product is also special to me.
7. Are there any new products or lines that really excite you? We’re extremely excited to roll out our new sweatshirt line. We have two products for men and women that debuted in November. The first is our District Crew. It’s made with our custom flex-terry fabric and was designed to elevate the classic crewneck sweatshirt for superior comfort and style. It’s a raglan cut sweatshirt with a suede finish and ribbed panels along the sides, which is the perfect balance between sophisticated and sporty.
The second style is our Campus 180 Crew. This sweatshirt is our coziest sweatshirt yet, designed to be versatile, modern and unique. We built it inside out, so you can feel and enjoy the luxury suede-finished side of our custom, flex-terry fabric. Relatively thin but heavyweight and warm, this crew is versatile for easy layering.
8. In regard to your personal style, do you have a signature look or accessory? Most days I wear a dark pair of jeans, a Gettees shirt and my Detroit Tigers Hat.
9. A few items in your closet that you can’t live without? My closet is pretty much all Gettees shirts, jeans and my Detroit Tigers hat.
10. Who inspires your style? I am inspired by innovators and entrepreneurs in the creative space. After learning about some of the issues in the garment industry, I am dedicated to wearing clothes that have transparent sourcing. Ultimately, knowing where the product is from and how it is made inspires what I wear.
11. What are your favorite 2018-2019 style trends? I’m not so much of a fashion man. Rather, I’m a fan of staple and timeless products that are built well and sophisticated. My favorite trend is the care people are starting to have about quality and ethical manufacturing. The internet has somewhat leveled the playing field, and I like how companies, Gettees included, are starting to invest more into the products they make and are doing so in an ethical way by going directly to the consumer.
12. Favorite fashion, lifestyle, food or business blog? A business podcast I really enjoy is “How I Built This with Guy Raz.” It talks about how people started their businesses and has been relatable and motivating for me while starting Gettees.
13. Favorite quote or words to live by? “The best way to predict the future is to create it” — Abraham Lincoln
14. When not working, where are a few local places you like to hang? I’m a huge Detroit sports fan, so anytime I am not working I like to go to games. Little Caesars Arena has become one of my favorite spots since it opened last year. It is an incredible time to live and work in the city of Detroit. You can feel the energy and excitement wherever you go.
Follow Gettees on Instagram at @gettees_us and other social media accounts for events and new products!
7447 19 Mile Road, Sterling Heights. gettees.us.