It was 1972 and I got my first pair of jeans…nope, not GWG, they were Canadian and they were for losers…it had to be Levi’s or Lee’s to be cool. Times have changed, I would now love to own a Made in Canada GWG snap front jean shirt/jacket and jeans!
Sadly, the Great Western Garment Company is gone, however, in their memory, a book, GWG: Piece by Piece, by Catherine C. Cole,
and, a virtual museum, from the Royal Alberta Museum, .
Click on image to take you there! The following is from the website: Piece by Piece / The GWG story
1910: Established and organized under UGWA in 1911, Great Western Garment moved to 97th Street in 1917.
1920: The first union to gain the 8 hour day/40 hour week by 1917, Local 120 UGWA influenced the development of provincial labour legislation in the 1920s.
1930: Great Western Garment developed Snobak Denim and Sanforized Shrunk fabric, and expanded its product lines to weather the Depression.
1940: Great Western Garment expanded its factory and increased production to supply uniforms during World War II.
1950: Great Western Garment moved to a new modern factory in December 1953 and expanded its product lines and distribution throughout Canada.
1960: Levi Strauss purchased a majority share of Great Western Garment in 1961; GWG purchased companies in Winnipeg and Brantford.
1970: In 1972, GWG introduced its most popular brand ever, Scrubbies pre-washed jeans and Levi’s purchased the remaining shares in the company.
1980: Because of growing up with, and working for the Brantford plant, one of the Great Wayne Gretzky’s (GWG) first endorsements as a rising star, was for GWG.
1990: Following its 75th anniversary, GWG introduced new marketing to capitalize on its long history.
2000: In March 2004 Levi’s closed its remaining North American plants, including those in Brantford and Edmonton, which had employed large numbers of immigrant women.
2003: A glimmer of hope…although I don’t recall seeing the result.
From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
Thursday, May 23, 2002