The Atlanta-based Americas Apparel Producers’ Network (AAPN) recently held its first ever Carolina Mill Tour. The event was the idea of Ron Roach, AAPN Board Member and president of Contempora Fabrics; and was planned by Roach, AAPN’s Executive Director Sue Strickland and Managing Director Mike Todaro, as well as other AAPN members.
The objective of the tour was to educate brands and retailers on garment production in the United States beginning with fiber and yarn production followed by knitting and finishing.
The emphasis was on the Carolinas and the U.S.-based supply chain. On the tour, executives, managers and staff from Academy Sports & Outdoors, Columbia Sportswear Co., Full Beauty Brands, Haggar Clothing Co., Lacoste, Patagonia, Superior Uniform Group, Target and VF Corp. visited Unifi Inc., Contempora Fabrics, Carolina Cotton Works, Parkdale Mills and American & Efird.
Roach said after the event: “There are really two different educations — education on the details as to how things are made and education on how things get done. My focus was always on how things get made with the goal in mind of teaching, but certainly in all of this is the bigger picture of trust, speed, and ownership. Really nothing happens unless all three are present.”