New Jersey company tapped to make winter coats for all 2022 US Winter Olympians
The 2022 Winter Olympics will begin in Beijing, China, in 10 days. There is a small business in Passaic County that has a very special connection to the games and the opening ceremonies.
Tucked away in a brick building in a Clifton industrial park is the business named Better Team USA. The company makes the outerwear that will be worn by all 223 U.S. athletes.
The winter coats are designed by Ralph Lauren, but it’s the 25 sewers and production assistants led by owner Martin DiBattista who will execute the intricate manufacturing of the coats.
“Every single jacket Team USA wore in 2018 and will wear in 2022 came from Clifton, New Jersey,” DiBattista says. "The jacket has embroidery heat transfer and has special quilting. All these are managed by our team."
DiBattista is quick to credit his highly trained workers for meeting the challenge. Along with the opening ceremony coat, Ralph Lauren tapped DiBattista’s company to make the closing ceremony jacket as well.
“The closing ceremony jacket is a down jacket that has the buffalo plaid,” DiBattista says.
DiBattista and his father Horacia opened the factory in Clifton in 2014.
“A lot of companies were asking, ‘What about a line in the U.S.? Can you make it in the U.S.?’ And that planted the seed,” DiBattista says.
The business survived the pandemic by creating hospitals gowns – 100,000 a month. DiBattista says he is focused on new technology from robotics to down injection and ultrasonic welding along winter coats.
"I took a lot of pride that when we make these garments, I know somebody will invest in that and it'll become part of their identity,” he says.
Better Team USA is virtually the only outerwear manufacturer in the United States. Others still rely on inexpensive labor in Asia.
The “Made in the USA” branding is gaining recognition for the company. The 2022 Winter Olympics opening ceremony will take place on Feb. 4.