Are you interested in working in the Outdoor Industry? Is it important to be part of a positive cultural shift towards reducing our carbon footprint and keeping textiles out of the landfill? Do you like working with your hands and problem solving but don’t like repetitive production work? Do you have an eye for quality and enjoy a casual yet fast paced work environment? Are you interested in developing a technical skill that pays a family wage and being part of a long-term startup team?
Hiring 1-2 experienced lead sewing technicians with extensive apparel knowledge. Preference given to candidates who know how outdoor clothing and gear is constructed and used in the field. Must have sewing experience and be able to show work.
What we do
We are a technical outdoor clothing and gear repair facility located in Bend, Oregon. We repair all four seasons of high performance soft-goods like Gore-Tex-type jackets and pants, down jackets, bags and backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, motorcycle gear, and tons of zippers.
We are looking for experienced sewists to join our repair team and work on-site at our Bend, Oregon location. Our repair technicians are creative problem solvers and the backbone of our service and product. They are responsible for evaluating damaged items, proposing repair options and understanding cost estimates, deconstructing items for repair, preparing repair materials, completing technical repairs, tracking repair time and materials, and performing quality inspections. Common projects include technical sewing on outerwear, tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, motorcycle bags, seam (heat) taping, zipper repair and replacement.
Problem we are solving
Every second, a garbage truck of textiles is thrown in the landfill—totaling 16 million tons a year. Technical outdoor clothing and gear is primarily made of petrochemicals that pollute our lands and waters and take over 250 years to break down.
We ensure that the story of our stuff doesn’t end in a landfill because of a broken zipper, missing snap, worn Velcro, a rip or burn. We repair items for individuals, manufacturers, and recommerce platforms. To date, we have kept over 30,000 pounds of textiles out of the landfill.
We are hiring based on experience, efficiency, and quality. However, we will teach you the skills to move up to a master repair technician. It is not uncommon for our new hires to move from $14/hour to $17/hour within a couple months. Our three skill levels are defined as:
1. Apprentice: Basic industrial sewing machine knowledge including tension, threading needle, installing needles, needle position, winding bobbins. Ability to notice quality expectations and when machines are not working properly. Basic garment and outdoor gear construction, some zipper knowledge, patching, and general problem-solving skills. Entry apprentice compliance begins at 2-4 times slower than that of Rugged Thread’s mastery skill and efficiency rate.
2. Journeyperson: High use of multiple industrial sewing machine skills, move easily between different machine types. General understanding of production setup, thread selection, fabric use, garment and gear deconstruction and reconstruction. Compliant with 1.5 times Rugged Thread mastery time/efficiency and quality standard requirement.
3. Master: $50-60k/year. Comprehensive understanding of all four seasons of outdoor gear and clothing deconstruction, problem solving techniques, use of tools, needle and thread selection, collaborative attitude, best practices, reconstruction etc. High quality standards, able to quickly execute complete projects from planning, deconstruction, repair, reconstruction, seam tape, inspection etc. Fully compliant with Rugged Thread mastery time/efficiency and quality standard requirements.
Preferred skills & qualifications
– Willingness to learn and drive to problem solve
– Would like to train and develop skills with a close-knit team
– Production sewing and knowledge in garment construction, bag and pack construction, sample sewing
– Industrial sewing machine operation experience, threading of machines, needle installation and general understanding of machine use and limits
– Have a background in outdoor activities such as skiing, camping, climbing, backpacking, fishing, hunting, bike riding, horseback riding, motorcycling or anything which requires the use and understanding of technical outdoor clothing and gear use
– Ability to responsibly use work related equipment and materials
– Professional English language communication skills in all three forms: written, verbal and listening. Must be able to express and exchange ideas and information, give and receive instructions accurately, loudly and quickly
– Attention to detail
– Ability to plan and organize; good time management skills
– Patient disposition
– Hand dexterity and strength
– Good vision to match color and for detailed work including threading needles and deconstruction without damaging the item that is being repaired
40 hours per week Monday-Friday or Tuesday-Saturday
Paid time off, sick days and community development days after 1 year of employment; profit sharing.