In the News
Kelly Bastone, December 15, 2017
There's a dearth of high-performance, heavy duty work gear out there. Patagonia and glove-maker Tougher are trying to change that.
Women work. But looking at the clothes available to female ranchers, farmers, builders, and trade workers, you’d think that only men haul crates or mend fences. What passes for women’s workwear is essentially dude’s stuff re-labeled: it’s stiff, bulky, ill-fitting, and constrictive.
Thankfully, that's starting to change, thanks to a handful of companies offering new apparel and accessory options for women who get their hands dirty.
Then there’s Tougher, a new Oregon-based company founded by Stacey Gose, who was fed up by the paucity of good women’s work gloves. The best options were men’s gloves in a size small (or so-called “women’s options” decorated with a stripe of purple canvas) but none of them truly fit her narrow palms and long fingers. So Gose geeked out on fit when she developed her Tougher gloves.
TOUGHER was founded in 2015 when founder and former Iowa farm kid, Stacey Gose reached her peak of frustration over how poorly women are served by the workwear industry. She was simply tired of shopping for menswear and she knew other women were too.
Candice Helfand-Rogers, December 12, 2017
The Business: Tougher is a women’s clothing company based in Oregon and run by its founder, Stacey Gose. She started up to give female construction workers, ranchers, foresters and other women who work with their hands the sort of high-quality clothing she herself wanted, but couldn’t find. Now, Gose is designing work pants that “allow tradeswomen and do-it-yourselfers … to knock out long hours in the field, backyard, or shop in comfort,” and that feature a waistband which “follows — instead of resisting — women’s curves.”
The Money: There are 22 days remaining in Gose’s campaign, but she has already surpassed her goal of raising $12,000. The initial amount will cover a first production run of the pants, and extra funds will go toward making the pants in additional colors and sizes.
Andy Giegerich, December 5, 2017
The company: Tougher
Why we’re watching: 2017 has been a year of exposing challenges for women in the workplace, but Corvallis’ Stacey Gose is working to make easier in a few industries where women are the most underrepresented, including farm work, construction and other trade jobs. Gose’s company TougHer makes workwear designed by and for women, so it fits, looks and lasts better. TougHer’s gloves are already selling well online and in a few West Coast retailers. The company also just launched a Kickstarter for women’s work pants.
Memoree Joelle, October 27, 2017
Women who work in trade, farming, and many outdoors jobs have faced a dilemma: finding women’s workwear that both fits and is durable. Frustrated by one-size-fits-all gloves, baggy, work pants and oversized shirts that only had the male form in mind, or the ridiculous looking “women’s” workwear that was often pink and made poorly, Stacey Gose took matters into her own hands. The entrepreneur and self-described DIYer has created a line of workwear that is tailored just for women. AfterEllen had the opportunity to talk to Stacey about her clothing line TOUGHER, and why it’s a game-changer for women who work (physically) tough jobs.
AfterEllen.com: First of all, I think what you’re doing with this is wonderful, and badly needed. It’s hard enough for women to find regular pants that just have decent pockets, much less work pants! What inspired you to start TOUGHER? Was the company inspired by personal background?
Stacey Gose: My personal frustration with major brands ignoring women who work hard was the genesis of TOUGHER. Born in Iowa, I come from a long line of female farmers. I spent many summers on my family’s farm, and because of that I remain an avid backyard do-it-yourselfer (DIYer) today. I love working hard outdoors! However, throughout the years I needed clothing that was durable and fit correctly. But the women’s workwear options weren’t durable – and were often shades of pink – while the men’s clothing were overly baggy, creating safety hazards, not to mention distractions from constantly adjusting my clothing.
Clare Duffy, October 2, 2017
Sage Faulkner, a New Mexico rancher, normally goes through five pairs of work gloves each year. Because she’s had to buy men’s gloves that don’t fit properly, they often get caught on barbed wire and tear easily.
But this year, she’s only owned one pair: gloves designed specifically for women by Tougher, a women’s workwear brand started by Corvallis, Ore., resident Stacey Gose.
“Stacey’s product fits better than any other product that I’ve ever had,” Faulkner said. “Especially as far as work gloves go, if I can get something that fits my hand, it doesn’t fit in the fingers, because women’s hands are just different than men’s. It just makes having a good comfortable fit not an option. The Tougher gloves fit my fingers, my hands, my palm, and they’re comfortable, it’s kind of a wow factor.”