When Textile Pivots: Manufacturing in the United States
Last month, MarketPlace.org ran a story on NPR about the state of manufacturing in the United States. You can listen to it here.
The story caught our attention here at AEI because it followed DNA Textile Group’s decision to cease denim manufacturing by January 2018. At the time of the story, the company was actively shutting down production but honoring a final contract agreement with Polo.
It’s difficult to hear these sorts of stories, especially for anyone in manufacturing, and we sympathize with the tough decisions Monte Galbraith, president of DNA, had to make in laying off more than 200 employees over recent years.
There is a lot we could say about the state of manufacturing in the United States and the impact NAFTA has had since 1994. Indeed, there are only 2 denim manufacturers remaining in this country, the bulk of the industry having moved to Asia.
Like Galbraith, we prefer to look ahead and remain nimble. Most of all, we salute him for his commitment to diversifying and seeking innovative new industries.
Galbraith told Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal, “You know, and it’s a cliché, but it's not the biggest and the strongest but it's most adaptable that survive.”
He continued, “It still makes you upset that good people when they lose their jobs, but there's no turning back. No, there's not any way have I ever said can we go back to the old days because things do change. I just wish I'd looked a little forward and moved a little faster a little earlier.”
DNA Textile Group Technical has pivoted to focus on high-end specialty fabrics a move we hope positions the company as a next-generation textile manufacturer. Certainly, we rely on the success of our industry partners. At AEI this means keeping an eye on the changing needs of our customers and developing quality and process control solutions for tomorrow’s business needs.
We are grateful for and proud of our continued competitive position in the global textile market. Yet, we understand how important it is to keep looking forward. With this in mind, AEI has consistently delivered new iterations of our most trusted products, some of which have been in the market for more than 60 years. That’s not all; our engineers have designed products for the life sciences, nuclear, and energy sectors.
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