Fruit of the Loom is one of the most well-known brands in the world. This American company currently employs more than 32,000 people worldwide and has a reputation for quality, comfort, and value. Although it is known for its underwear brands, it offers a range of clothing.
Registered in 1871, Fruit of the Loom is one of the oldest trademarks in the world. Since then, it has grown to prominence across the globe and its products and logo are instantly recognizable across six continents.
Fruit of the Loom is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of underwear, t-shirts, fleece, and casualwear, although the company is particularly known for its underwear products. It also produces activewear, undershirts, toddler clothes, and more.
The Fruit of the Loom brand was established in 1851 by brothers Benjamin and Robert Knight, who owned a textile mill in Warwick, Rhode Island. The company produced fine quality fabrics. The popular fruit logo was conceived when the brothers saw a merchant’s daughter painting pictures of apples on the fabric. As a result, the first logo was created and registered in 1871.
However, the textile industry changed in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as fewer and fewer people were interested in purchasing textiles to sew their own clothes. Instead, the industry slowly began to shift to premade clothing, and in 1928, the company began to license its brand to premade clothing manufacturers.
The most notable company that leased (and later bought) the Fruit of the Loom logo and brand was Union Underwear Company, which grew and changed hands multiple times over the years. Eventually, its products became synonymous with the Fruit of the Loom brand name and logo that it used, and in 1985 the company finally changed its name to reflect its primary brand.
Through the 80s and into the 90s, Fruit of the Loom’s profitability fluctuated wildly from paying off debt to the edge of bankruptcy and back again, as the industry become more volatile. The company moved some of its operations overseas to try and offset costs, but the shares continued to go down.
In 2002, the company was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway for $835 million. Since that time, the company has turned itself around and become profitable once again. It currently employs thousands of people and manages multiple Berkshire brands including Vanity Fair, Russell Corporation, Spalding, Curvation, Jerzees, and others.