VIDALIA, La. — July 24, 2018 — A new textile maker, Vidalia Denim, has secured its initial funding to produce yarns and fabrics for the North American market.
Housed at a 900,000 square foot facility in Vidalia, La., the heart of the cotton-producing region of the Mississippi Delta, Vidalia Denim will employ more than 300 full-time workers, and is designed to set the standard for sustainability, quality, and range flexibility in North America.
Utilizing next generation indigo dye technology, Vidalia Denim boasts an ability to use less water and manage its power usage more efficiently than any other denim mill in North America. This environmentally friendly chemistry and technology allows for filtration and reuse of process water reducing total water usage by more than 60 percent of a legacy mill. Discharge water will exceed U.S. and EU standards for clean water discharge. Additionally, more than half of the mill’s energy needs will be met from renewable sources.
In making the announcement, Dan Feibus, CEO, Vidalia Denim, said he greatly “appreciated the help and support of the US Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration in helping to make the facility a reality.” He went on to thank the valuable contributions of “the City of Vidalia, Natchez Inc., our partners at Killebrew Cotton, our lead lenders at Jefferson Financial Federal Credit Union and Greater Nevada Credit Union, and especially Donny Wooley and his team at Ark La Tex Financial.”
Feibus continued: “We are also excited to be part of the Vidalia/Natchez community. We know that we will be able to draw from a pool of highly motivated associates and look forward to creating an excellent work environment and being part of this great community.”
Vidalia Denim will use e3 sustainable cotton exclusively in its operations, the first such operation in the world. The company will source its cotton from across the U.S. farm belt from various farmers enrolled in the e3 sustainable cotton program. Additionally, iconic denim brand, Wrangler, is in discussion with Vidalia Denim about the development of fabrics for their 2019 product collection.
“This is a significant development for e3 and marks a watershed moment for our program as for the first time a textile mill will use our program as its exclusive source of cotton,” said Malin Westfall, U.S. Cotton business lead of FiberMax and Stoneville Brands. “By utilizing e3 cotton, Vidalia will offer its customers complete transparency of leading grower sustainability practices,” he added.
These sentiments were also echoed by Roian Atwood, director of Sustainability for Wrangler, an initial customer of Vidalia. “This mill is pushing the standards for sustainability denim fabric in North America. At Wrangler, we are excited about the opportunity to work with Dan and his team and the e3 cotton growers committed to sustainable agriculture practices to produce good-looking denim that utilizes innovative manufacturing methods.”
Vidalia Denim Mills will begin full commercial operations during the first quarter of 2019, following an immediate ramp up in its operations during the remainder of 2018.
“We are excited about this project,” said Dan Thompson, executive vice president of Operations, “especially the unique and innovative technology that we will be introducing to North America.”
Posted July 24, 2018
Source: Vidalia Denim