In today’s law enforcement and/or military world, if you ask someone to name a company that can be a single source for uniform and personal equipment needs you might get quite a few answers. Some of the larger companies in the industry are well known for the conglomeration of products you can find in their catalog. One answer you might get, and it might surprise you because they’ve been known for so long almost exclusively for their uniforms, is Propper International.
Founded over fifty years ago (1967) Propper started out making one product for the US Navy: those “Dixie Cup hats” that sailors became for somewhere in the early 20th century. It only makes sense that the company would grow from one uniform item to multiple items, full uniforms and more, but how many people realize that their product line now spans far more than uniforms?
A couple years back this author was at SHOT Show and visited the Propper booth. I was expecting to see the typical uniform line items like shirts, pants and even boots. What I wasn’t really expecting (because of my own lack of being informed) was the rack of plate carriers, helmets, mannequins displaying concealable body armor and more. It was surprising to see the entire line of backpacks, duffle bags, gear bags, gun bags and pouches.
A confession was in order and it was about my own lack of information regarding the full range of Propper products. I had somehow remained unaware of the fact that they produced so much more than apparel lines for men and women. I had expected the line of footwear as a logical expansion and even the outwear because it has to be uniform as well. Just when I thought I was doing pretty well accepting the additional products in their armor and bag lines, I turned around and got hit with a whole new reality.
More revelation when I took another step, looked around some of the crowd and saw the entire line of belts, hats and socks were all there as well and, again, made sense to me as extensions of the uniform and apparel lines.
What I learned through the course of the next half hour spent in the Propper booth, and an experience I’ll continue to repeat at each SHOT Show I’m sure, is that Propper is steadily growing and adding new items to their product lines and they are far from being “just a uniform company.”