Believe it or not, a lot of products you might interact with on a regular basis are made by inmates. Electronics, auto parts, false teeth, and yes – clothing. Pendleton based Prison Blues has been selling workwear made by inmates at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institute since 1989.
What Does Prison Blues Offer?
If you’re looking for classic, durable workwear, look no further. Prison Blues offers yard coats, denim, button-down work shirts, sweatshirts, tees, and accessories. All of the products offer that classic, timeliness look you probably associate with old school workwear. You’ll find jackets with rivets, dark classic washes, and striped work shirts. Some Prison Blues pieces are available in rigid, meaning that they’re not pre-washed, tougher, keep their shape longer and will shrink to your size after you wash them.
Prison Blues Big & Tall Sizing
I was surprised to find that Prison Blues has a dedicated plus size section featuring all the products listed above. Navigating the Prisonblues.net website isn’t the most pleasant experience you’ll have this year, so I rounded up what I found below:
- Select jeans available to size 60 waist
- Button down shirts to 4XL
- Yard coats and denim jackets 3XL
- T-shirts and sweatshirts to 3XL
- Suspenders to 54 inches
Note that when you look at their website, you’ll see that their product descriptions show the sizes above, but that it is possible to choose sizes in tops that go to 4XL. I attempted to reach Prison Blues by phone but was unable to get an answer. According to their Facebook page, you can reach out to them directly to learn more about getting clothes in sizes 4X, 5X, and 6X.
Do the Inmates Get Paid?
According to the website, inmates making Prison Blues do indeed earn pay:
Prison Blues is the most highly sought job at the prison; inmates earn a prevailing industry wage, they keep around 20% of what they earn which equals to about $120 – $150 a month after paying taxes, with bonus incentives for quality and productivity.
The Prices Are Definitely Right
The company offers a variety of products at surprisingly affordable prices. The denim jacket will run you $54.99 and jeans range from $34 to $49. You can even pick up one of their yard coats for less than $50. Great prices for heritage products that are normally marked up by mainstream retailers offering lower quality, but similar products. Additionally, there’s no sales tax in Oregon, so that’s one less thing you have to pay for.