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Landscape of a rust belt city with a map design overlayed on top of the image.

What it means to be from the Rust Belt


The Rust Belt is a name that has historically carried a negative connotation. It describes a section of northeastern and midwestern US states that faced economic and social decline throughout the past century. The name also took to represent the many cases of abandoned factories and buildings that fell into despair and quite literally rusted away. However, a closer look reveals that these communities are teeming with dedicated, hardworking, resilient Americans that represent our nation's values at its core. Rust Belt Nation was created to honor these often overlooked and underrated communities, while highlighting our communities’ very own successes.

“Dedicated to the hardworking Americans that represent our resilient communities to the core.“

A man from the Rust Belt community, wearing a hat and backpack over one shoulder.
Various people from Rust Belt communities posing candidly for the photo.
A community member from a Rust Belt city sitting on a bench.
Two Rust Belt community members posing together, appearing as mother and daughter.

We’ve taken a turn down memory lane, back to the glory days of long-lost American brands, in an effort to revamp and restore the vivacious personality of our community.

Rust Belt Nation Founders Stephen Olimpio and Ed Kennedy wearing RBN T-shirts and an RBN hat.


Founded in 2019 by Stephen Olimpio and Ed Kennedy, Rust Belt Nation set out to pay homage to the era of the American Dream--inspired by the work ethic, resilience and conviction of these great American cities. 

Both Stephen and Ed share a passion for repping this historic region, for old-American logos, and well, for great quality T-shirts. It wasn’t until they made the connection between homegrown relics of the past and their hometown’s story, that they discovered a new way to pour back into their community.

“The more we talked, the more we knew that being “American-made” and being based in Camden would be a huge part of our story.”
“The more we talked, the more we knew that being “American-made” and being based in Camden would be a huge part of our story.”
Landscape of a bridge and buildings on the horizon.

the Rust Belt