Who Makes Buckle Jeans? (Are They Good?)

Who Makes Buckle Jeans

Buckle jeans are prevalent in malls across America, although you may also know them as BKE jeans. BKE is a private label of Buckle Inc. But, have you ever wondered who actually makes Buckle jeans? 

We can’t conclusively say who makes Buckle jeans, however we do know that Buckle manufactures most of its clothing in the U.S. and China. Considering BKE is a private label, it is just as likely that Buckle outsources the manufacturing of their jeans. 

In the article, we will discuss the history of Buckle Inc., their private label BKE, and how private labels work. 

What Is The History Of Buckle Inc?

Buckle was founded by David Hirschfield in 1948 under the name of Mills Clothing. They were originally only a men’s clothing store. David operated the store until 1965 when his son took it over. By 1967 Dan had purchased another store under the name of Brass Buckle. 

Only three years later the Brass Buckle became known as a denim specialty store and sold jeans and shirts. But again, only for men. Buckle didn’t begin introducing women’s clothing until 1977 when they opened their first mall location.

Brass Buckles finally changed its name to The Buckle Inc. in 1991 and began working on its private-label BKE, which was originally named BKLE. 

By 2006 BKE was making 45% of Buckle’s denim sales, making it a widely successful private label. 

Currently, Buckle owns and operates 442 retail stores in 42 states! They are one of the most popular denim retailers, and their BKE brand continues to be successful. 

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Are BKE Jeans High Quality? 

Although Buckle’s BKE brand can run on the pricier side, this is due to their high quality. Lovers of Buckle jeans continue to praise the design and quality of these jeans. 

Most of us are willing to spend a little more on a piece of clothing when we know it will last a long time, and this is the case with Buckle jeans. 

If you take care of your Buckle jeans they will likely last the rest of your life. 

Does Buckle Make Their Own Jeans?

While it is possible Buckle does produce some of their own clothing line pieces considering they are known to have factories in the United States and China, it is just as likely that Buckle utilized a third-party company to make the jeans under the BKE label. 

This is common practice for companies who create their own private labels, although it is more common when the company sells a wide variety of items under their private label. Since Buckle only sells clothing items, they could potentially produce their clothing themselves. 

But, Buckle doesn’t reveal this knowledge to the public, which leads us to believe they likely are supplied by another company. 

How Can I Trust Buckle Jeans Are Sourced From An Ethical Third-Party? 

We all know that fast-fashion and major retailers often support unethical factories. When you see a private label like BKE from Buckle and don’t know the full story behind where they source their clothing, you aren’t wrong to feel a little paranoid about that. 

However, rest assured that Buckle does provide information about the requirements they place on their suppliers. 

For instance, Buckle provides their Responsible Sourcing Standards and Code of Conduct on their website.

They also have taken steps to ensure that they are not supporting unethical working conditions, human trafficking, or slavery by making the following disclosures about their vetting of suppliers.

They participate in: 

  • Third-party verification, 
  • Frequent audits of supplier’s facilities, 
  • The certification process for all suppliers where they agree to the Code of Conduct, 
  • Accountability within the company, 
  • Frequent employee training. 

Buckle also has certain requirements on how their supply chain affects the environment and has developed a Green Team Committee to monitor the brands they sell and their own suppliers. 

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Why Doesn’t Buckle Reveal The Manufacturer Of Their Jeans? 

Your first reaction may be that it seems weird for Buckle not to reveal their manufacturer. But, this is common practice today. Oftentimes the contracts signed with suppliers will actually contain NDAs that don’t allow Buckle or the other company to reveal information about their partnership.

But, this isn’t because Buckle has something to hide. It simply allows them to establish their label without their customers having any other preconceptions about the supplier. 

And, as we can see, Buckle does seem to hold their suppliers to pretty high standards, which includes quality standards! Buckle wouldn’t be supplying jeans under their label unless they were absolutely sure they would be high quality. 

Almost all private labels outsource their manufacturing to another company in order to eliminate some of the work from the main company, without sacrificing quality.

As we stated before, it is possible that Buckle does actually produce their jeans, since their private label only makes clothing. 

However, we can not say that either is true with 100% certainty. 


Although BKE jeans made under the Buckle Inc are widely coveted and praised, Buckle doesn’t release too much information about how they are manufactured. 

Buckle does have manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and China where they may make their own clothing line. 

However, it is just as likely they outsource the manufacturing to another company. 

No matter who makes the jeans, Buckle makes sure they are always top quality and worth the higher price point.




Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Rvandplaya.com. Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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