Cotton with a Conscience
Our family has been in South Carolina for nearly ten years now and it has been nothing short of amazing. We’ve watched our area grow in leaps and bounds. This growth can only be described with one word, exponential. This isn’t a negative connotation, for us it’s so much fun. There are wonderful people and businesses here and it’s drawing more and more of the same. The cities and towns are bustling with the sounds of commerce and the promise of more to come. Fortunately, we have also found that no one has to go too far to see that South Carolina is still very much rooted in the way things used to be.
Our family recently took a trip to the area of Kingstree, SC in Williamsburg County. As we traveled down rural country roads we were quickly reminded that cities and large towns were far behind us. We could also tell that we were seeing the great State of South Carolina as it must have been many years ago. South Carolina was one of the original 13 colonies of this nation. A colony built on cash crops and one of, if not the most, wealthy colony in the Americans during the 1700s. One of those crops can still be seen in very large numbers here in the south, cotton. And as it turns out that’s just what we were in search for on our family adventure.
Our trip took us to McIntosh Farms, where we met At McIntosh. At’s Family has owned McIntosh farms dating back to the Revolutionary War time frame. At is an eighth generation farmer and has lived here in South Carolina all his life. At now owns and operates 1000 acres of farmland and rotates his fields with peanut, corn and of course cotton. At’s crop rotation ensures that his cotton yields will be as high as possible and that he will end up with the highest quality of cotton. The peanuts and corn allow other vital nutrients to return to the soil for the cotton season.
It’s clear to us that At loves what he does, he’s so passionate about his farming and about his South Carolina heritage. At wanted to do more then just farm cotton and he also wanted to see more business stay right here in the South. At knew he had the resources to make something happen and in 2014 he did just that. At was tired of the only shirts he could find to wear being made overseas. At wanted American Made clothing and so many people nowadays want the same thing.
Homegrown Cotton was launched and At couldn’t be more proud of it. At takes his own cotton grown in Kingstree, SC and determines what field has yielded the highest quality cotton. He then uses a local cotton gin in Salters, SC to clean the cotton. Cotton gins remove seeds, leaves, and twigs from the cotton. It then goes to Thomasville, NC to be spun into thread. That raw thread is then turned to yarn in Jefferson, SC. The product travels again to NC to the town of Lincolnton where it is dyed. The finished yarn is then brought to Lamar, SC to be embroidered, cut and sewn. There couldn’t be a more “Homegrown” way to make such a great product.
From seed to shirt the process is 100% transparent and local, truly SC grown and sewn! The short sleeve polo line that Homegrown offers comes in ten different colors. From the dye free natural cotton shirt to a Carolina Garnet for those University of South Carolina fans. Oh and At didn't forget Clemson fans with his Country Gentleman Orange! There is a shirt in the line for anyone and they make fantastic gifts for Father’s Day, Birthdays or Christmas. At is doing something here in South Carolina that needs to be celebrated. He is part of a much larger movement, to return American manufacturing to the forefront of prominence. Without people like At, with vision and determination, and without his Homegrown Cotton, this could never be possible. At has truly given consumers "cotton with a conscience"!