Concept III International announced that it has partnered with North Carolina-based Guilford Performance Textiles in response to growing interest in regionally sourced apparel.
Guilford was acquired in 2012 by automotive seating and power system giant, Lear Corporation for its automotive and specialty fabric expertise and production. Concept III, however, said the company’s high quality, synthetic knit performance textiles will be of interest to leading U.S. outdoor and active-wear brands it serves.
While Asian supply chains are still very important to U.S. brands, garment production in the Americas has become increasingly significant and Guilford and Concept III are well connected to the supply chain for apparel manufacturing apparel in the Western Hemisphere. A rise in global transportation and manufacturing costs has made apparel production in Mexico and Central America even more attractive with its lower costs and shorter lead times, said Chris Parkes, director of sales for Concept III.
“Outdoor and active apparel has become everyday street wear around the globe,” said Parkes. “Much of the volume is in poly/spandex or nylon/spandex which Guilford offers in a collection of ‘top-of-the-line knits’ and has done so here in the U.S. for over 65 years.”
While premium, smooth surface knits have and will make up the bulk of Guilford’s customer requests, the company is an innovation leader strategically geared to further develop countless unique fabrics, and finishes that enhance both performance and aesthetics.
“Our preference is to work with environmentally sensitive and compliant mills,” added Parkes. “Guilford has constructed a methane gas pipeline from a local landfill to power plant generators and also recycles 98 percent of all its fabric waste. Their social and environmental responsibility is impressive.”