The Real Deal is handcrafted in a remote town in equatorial Brazil from recycled canvas tarps that once stretched across the beds of cross-country cargo trucks hauling open freight, from the steamy Amazon out to the bustling coast. Recycling, in fact, informs nearly every aspect of production, from the salvaged tarp scraps used as patches right down to the highly shapeable hat brim – the heavy wire inside was pulled from trash-bound old truck tires.
Our hats just aren’t like other hats. They’re rugged, and a bit ragged. The reclaimed truck tarps from which they’re sewn, having been battered and beaten in their former lives by all manner of harsh road and climate conditions, can vary wildly in color and overall looks, even within the same piece of tarp. Fraying is common, as are holes, with patches attached based on need, scrap availability and the individual hat crafter’s inspiration. Patch stitching is often heavy, in swooping loops, or in sharp spikes and dips that look like something from a lively EKG. Some hats even have bits of Portuguese writing stamped on them in waterproof black ink.