We have been sourcing performance sportswear since 1997, for some of the biggest sports brands out there and in the early days of sourcing textiles, the technology and innovation was created and driven by fabric mills who shared this with the brands who then specified this into their designs and requested the factory to produce it.
This technology drive from mills and brands in the textile industry still continues today but there is now another contributor that brings another dimension to the table as this drive is focused on how technology can be seamlessly built into each garment in the manufacturing stage of each garment.
This technology is being developed by a couple of the best garment factories around the world that produce the garments, many of which now employ a team of developers who continually look at available tech and work out how they can integrate this into their production capabilities in the hope to entice brands to adopt this into their products.
We work with a couple of factories in the Far East and Europe that have several advanced technologies that they have developed with their tech partners so that they can be built into fabrics or the manufacturing process. These technologies range from built-in micro LED lighting, Heating elements knitted into the structure of baselayers, Sensors that measure movement and performance, Cooling components to help regulate temperature, 360˚ mapping to help regulate temperature, Entire garment water repellency treatments, Stitch free bonding and laser cutting and 360˚ garment printing.
Our factories who all produce for quality, established brands completely hide the brands they work with and many of them don’t advertise or promote themselves at all. Most of them have terrible, single page websites that never promote the apparel they have made. Some factories even have separate buildings or floors that they keep for particular brands with a closed-door policy, only letting employed staff from that brand enter.
The factories that produce the finished goods also need to be vetted to make sure their “Promise” lives up to your expectations and the workers are paid and looked after the way you would if you owned that factory. All of our factories are audited by an authorised industry third party and many factories are then audited again by some of their larger clients.
These audits are usually to cover the ethics and technical aspects of the manufacturer. An ethical audit looks at working conditions, hours worked, fair pay, no child labour or bonded labour and environmental compliance. A technical audit then looks into the quality and maintenance of machines, safety, fire procedures, medical, training, lighting and general risk assessment.
All of the factories we work with have these audits completed on an annual basis and they also produce sportswear for some of the leading brands, which gives us further reassurance that additional audits are in place that is usually more stringent than the third party audits.
These technologies are not shared with every brand that the factory works with and are usually presented to their best clients first. Being a partner with these factories and placing multiple brands with them allows us to see these technologies and build these into our client’s products if suitable. It is a benefit we are happy to pass onto our clients to make sure their product can compete in today’s technology drive in performance sportswear.
Many of these factories will not be present at the sportswear trade shows as their capacity is in such demand that they don’t need to tout for more business. Because they are in demand, they are also very selective as to which brands they work with which makes it very hard for brands to find these factories.
Many factories that present themselves at trade shows or on sourcing websites quite often present product they don’t produce or they copy a brands current production and claim they made this. Unless you visit the factory to inspect their quality and technology you would quite easily be convinced they did produce this.
If you are looking to improve your garment range with the latest garment technology, contact us today to see how we can help you. Our reputation and over 21 years of experience designing and producing performance sportswear means that we have the perfect factory for your product.