Headquartered in Gastonia, North Carolina, the family-owned and operated business of Champion Thread Company (CTC) has focused its innovative sewing threads, engineered yarns, trim components, and industry expertise to help global textile, protective apparel, home furnishings, automotive, agricultural, industrial, and other sewn products manufacturers solve their sewing and product construction challenges. Fibre2Fashion spoke to Matt Poovey, president of Champion Thread to know more about the company and the business of threads.
Where does Champion rank in the industrial thread market and what are your major strengths?
Champion Thread Company (CTC) is a market leader and among the fastest-growing thread manufacturers in North America. Our goal is not to be the largest, so we do not limit our focus to the mass market. We consider our industry expertise, innovation, and commitment to customer service to be our most critical success measures.? In contrast to the largest and smallest players, we are recognised for our commitment to providing customer-driven solutions engineered and tailored to meet their specific needs. So, we are more technical and service-oriented than most of the others. Another strength and differentiator for CTC is our commitment to deploying leading-edge manufacturing technology. Our production facility is a showcase for flexibility and automation, which enables us to innovate constantly.
What are the end use applications of your industrial threads and specialty yarns?
CTC provides thread, yarn, and other solutions for virtually every sewn product application - ranging from apparel to industrial and everything in between. We serve many of the unique, custom, and niche markets that the mass market players will not. We do the personalisation, customisation, and development these companies need to innovate in markets that the volume-focused providers ignore.
How has the industrial threads and specialty yarn market been impacted by the pandemic?
Like most companies in our industry, our clients were hard hit in the second quarter of 2020. With mandatory shutdowns and restrictions, that time was devastating to many of our clients. However, most have experienced robust growth that returned in Q3 and have recovered the losses from Q2. We are fortunate to have not only recovered those losses but surpassed previous levels of production and sales.?
Of course, e-commerce is driving much of this growth. Personal savings are historically high, allowing consumers to invest in durable goods such as furniture, appliances, and other home goods.
What are the major challenges being faced even now? Is the industry back on track or yet to recover?
While the industry is recovering, challenges related to the virus persist. Of course, some regions are recovering faster than others as the pandemic eases there. The apparel market's recovery has lagged some of these markets I mentioned earlier, but consumers are now starting to once again shop for clothing and accessories.
CTC has been in the textile industry for 40 years now. What changes/trends have you witnessed in the threads market till now?
Over our four decades, many changes have effectively reshaped our industry and business. Perhaps the most significant impact has come from globalisation, which has revolutionised our industry. This includes the many developments in global and regional trade agreements.? Significant advancements in technology and automation have become the absolute lifeblood of competitiveness and innovation across our industry and in our business.
What new innovations have you come up with?
Constant innovation is at our core. We have delivered more innovations for our clients than I can list here. Of course, our latest creation is the development of our new Renu line of 100 per cent recycled industrial sewing threads. We have also developed a wide range of filament products that can effectively replace traditional core spun sewing threads at highly competitive prices.?
The fact is that we are innovating every day. We do a tremendous amount of development to meet specific customer needs. Whether it be specialised yarns, application-specific sewing threads, or other industrial applications, we constantly create engineered solutions. A key differentiator for CTC is our interest in and capacity to respond to our customers' needs.?
What has been your growth story?
Over our entire 40-year existence, CTC has maintained consistently high growth. We attribute this growth to our customers' support and trust in our ability to deliver solutions to their toughest manufacturing challenges. We have grown from our roots as a distributor to a leading developer and manufacturer over this time.
Which are your major markets today?
Again, we service a very diverse range of markets. In addition to industrial sewing threads, we are very excited to work with emerging markets like geotextiles and wiring cable.?
How does your supply chain network work? What regions of the world are part of your supply chain?
We source our raw materials and commodity textile globally, primarily from Asia. We then do all of our manufacturing in our ultra-modern, lean, and flexible manufacturing platform at North Carolina, US.
What percentage of sustainability and circularity do your threads and yarns promise?
As illustrated by our new Renu recycled sewing thread line, sustainability is a core focus of CTC. But our commitment to sustainability does not end with our products. We practice sustainable business practices across all of our operations. We are, for example, committed to reducing waste, water usage, and recycling in our manufacturing operations.
What kind of performance does your new line of thread Renu promise to impart?
Renu threads offer clients a green option at virtually the same level of product performance when compared to traditional sewing threads.?
What are your key marketing and branding strategies with respect to your product offerings?
At CTC, it is not just about the product. It is rather about developing and providing a turnkey solution for each client's need. We focus more on engineering, customising, and personalising solutions for our clients versus the mass market. When customers work with CTC, they are not buying a thread - they are buying a solution.
What are your revenue targets for the next 2 years?
With a 40-year track record of success, we are well-positioned to continue our rapid growth into the future. We expect to see consistent, double-digit year-over-year growth continuing into the foreseeable future. (PC)
Published on: 30/04/2021
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.
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