We normally don’t publish two posts in quick succession about the same topic, but the closure of Cone Mills – the last major selvedge denim manufacturer in the United States – is big news. Over at Sportswear International, there’s more info about the company’s future. An excerpt:
A spokesperson for the company confirmed that before shutting down ITV will deliver all orders it had committed to produce. The company also confirmed that it had to stop business for a series of reasons, including the strong competition from low-cost extra-European manufacturers and high fiscal pressure.
ITV preferred not to comment about what a local newspaper recently published about its future. According to the publication, ITV will stop production by October 2017 and asked the Tribunal to transform its current agreement with creditors (it profited from since 2014) into agreement upon liquidation. This way, if the Tribunal approves the request the company’s plant might be put up for sale and its debts might be paid with the amount earned through that sale.
Less clear seems to be its 90 employees’ future as, according to a new Italian work law reformation, unemployment benefits seem to be no longer available for companies facing difficulties.
Also ITG (International Textile Group), parent company of Cone Denim, the historical US denim manufacturer, had to take a drastic decision as it announced that after more than 110 years of continuous production, its White Oak mill in Greensboro will cease operations by the end of 2017. “Reasons for the decision were changes in the market demand that have significantly reduced order volume at the facility as customers have transitioned more of their fabric sourcing outside of the U.S,” said a corporate statement that included comments from Kenneth T. Kunberger, President & CEO of Cone Denim and International Textile Group. “Despite tremendous efforts to manage these changes, the plant’s large size provides much more capacity than is needed resulting in higher costs that cannot be supported in a sustainable business going forward.”