When a product is labeled “made in USA,” that doesn’t mean that it was completely produced here in the United States. It’s possible for the parts of these products to be imported and assembled in the U.S., or sourced from other areas of the country before going to production.
But one business stands alone: a linen bed sheet company that sources all of its cotton from one farm in Moulton, Alabama.
Red Land Cotton, named for the signature red soil in Lawrence County, was started by Mark Yeager and his daughter Anna Brakefield. Yeager’s tie to farming is traced back three generations, which makes his daughter’s involvement in the company all the more special.
Brakefield was living and working as an artist in Nashville when her father pitched the idea of a hyper-local textile business. She agreed to sign on, quit her job, and moved back home.
According to a National Sleep Foundation survey, having comfortable sheets is the second most important thing for getting a good night’s rest, behind a comfortable mattress and pillows.
“The cotton is 100 percent authentic Lawrence County,” said Yeager, who farms nearly 3,000 acres of land to grow his cotton.
The sheets are modeled after a set that a family friend had inherited from her grandmother, Madeline Gray. They were in very good shape, so the father-daughter duo sent the sheets to Cotton, Inc. to be reverse engineered. They found out the thread count, as well as the style of weave.
The Red Land Cotton now sells an exclusive set called the Madeline Gray, which sells for $275. Their other set, called the Red Line Classic, sells for $250.
From Moulton, the cotton is sent to a plant in South Carolina, where the cotton is spun into yarn. Until then, everything from planting and growing to picking and ginning is done on Yeager’s property.
“There are several apparel businesses that source and manufacture within a certain radius,” said Marcy Gang, executive account manager for Cotton Inc., “but Red Land Cotton is the only home textile brand that actually grows the cotton that goes into their products.”
Yeager was originally inspired to produce clothing items made exclusively from the cotton he grew. But his dream was put on hold because he was sure that he’d never find a mill that would only produce textiles from one farmer.
Though the cotton is spun at a mill in South Carolina and prepped in Georgia before being woven in New Jersey, the end product is all Lawrence County, which makes this small business unique. However, the path to making this happen was no small feat.
In order to guarantee that the sheets would be spun from exclusively Lawrence County cotton, Yeager and Brakefield had to send 50 bales of cotton.
Only from that amount could the mill spin enough cotton to produce 3,000 sets of bed linens, each including a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two standard pillow cases.
Yeager’s other children, sons Mark Jr. and Joe, have also hopped on the bandwagon, helping their father in the fields while their sister handles the administrative work.
“We’re truly a family business,” said Yeager.