What and Who is Charles River Apparel?

What and Who is Charles River Apparel?

The international apparel industry market share is 4% representing a market value of 406 billion dollars and employs a labor force of 161 million workers. In the United States, an estimated 1.8 million people are employed in the fashion industry, among whom 232,000 are in manufacturing textiles for apparel and other fashion items. (Reference: JEC Democratic, Bureau of Labor)

Charles River Apparel is a US based; third generation family owned apparel manufacturing company founded in 1983 by Walter Lipsett. The business excels nationwide through leading innovations in the promotional products industry with 13,000+ distributors nationwide in retail, online stores, sporting goods, resort stores, and college bookstores.

The company’s name is derived from the Charles River that flows 80 meandering miles through eastern Massachusetts before emptying in Boston Harbor. The company was thus named as its founder, Walter Lipsett, spent time engaging in the sport of rowing on the river during his college years and wanted to create a line of clothing suitable for the sport, area of New England, and that would be built upon the values required for success in the sport of rowing.


What are the values of rowing upon which Charles River Apparel is built?

The sport of rowing is a team sport and as such requires effective, coordinated, and persevering teamwork of all participants in order to achieve success. It requires all involved to consistently give their very best and to take pride in and claim ownership of the finished product and the service given to each customer. To this end the entire product line of apparel is designed in-house by designers who are diligently engaged in knowing the most popular and in-demand colors and designs, so they uniquely craft authentic apparel that represent the Charles River brand. The company proudly states that, “This dedication to our local heritage has guided us through the years to always product a clothing line that could withstand the toughest New England climates while making the most of everyday moments.”

Adult Classic Charles River Striped (CRS) Pullover

Adult Classic Charles River Striped (CRS) Pullover


Does Charles River provide customized apparel?

As a leader in the promotional products industry, Charles River specializes in high-quality customized apparel and offers four decoration techniques from which to choose.

  • Embroidery is their most versatile decoration technique to customize and individualize their apparel with added quality. This technique allows them to offer a vast array of color schemes and combinations with their decoration services.
  • Screen printing using high quality inks, multicolor screen printing, and distressed screen-printing techniques, including the difficult printing on water-resistant and waterproof fabrics.
  • Heat transfer using “PerfectSeal” technology to ensure detailed imagery in vivid colors. Available on polyester, nylon, polyknit, microfiber, sweatshirt, and waterproof fabrics.
  • Name Drop decoration of pre-designed graphics that can be easily customized with a company name or brand name.

Fortunately, Charles River offers low minimums for decorative services.

  • Embroidery and Screen Print decoration: 12-piece minimums
  • Heat Transfer decoration: 24-piece minimum

To help protect the integrity of the Charles River brand and the style and quality the customer deserves, they have created a set of easy to use tools to help the customer use their branding elements for a consistent and high-quality branding communication.

 5762 | Women's Journey Parka

What categories of apparel does Charles River offer?

The Charles River product line includes a vast array of apparel for all members of the family (men, women, youth) that is designed with style and engineered for comfort. Products categories include:

  • Rainwear: Jackets, waterproof and water resistant (rain, flight, satin, Pack-n-Go, Captains, youth, performer, reflective, concord, fitness, pilot)
  • Fleece (light weight and midweight, pullovers)
  • Activewear (team and spirit, athleisure, performance, pullover)
  • Outerwear (lightweight, midweight, heavyweight)
  • Sweatshirts (full zip, quarter zip, pullover, hoodies)
  • Shirts (tee, space dye)
  • Polos (Space Dye, Plymouth, Heathered, Color Blocked, Classic Wicking, Seaside, Microstripe, Wellesley)
  • Pants (rain, fitness, energy, Nor’easter, jogger, pivot, leggings, Olympian)
  • Workwear (Hi-Vis Reflective, Canyon, sweatshirts)


Sweatshirt Station is an authorized distributer of Charles River Apparel.