Ibex to bring all its clothing production to North America by 2014

Ibex plans to produce 100 percent of its clothing products in North America by 2014. It's part of a larger strategy toward domestic sourcing and manufacturing, CEO John Fernsell told SNEWS.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
IbexWoolies.png

Ibex plans to produce 100 percent of its clothing products in North America by 2014, the company’s founder and CEO John Fernsell told SNEWS Friday.

The Vermont-based brand of outdoor wool apparel already manufacturers about 85 percent of product in the United States and Canada, but will return its remaining offshore clothing production in Asia within the next two years. It’s been a steady shift back home from a low of 65 percent North American manufacturing two years ago, Fernsell said. Some of the company’s hats and accessories will continue to be manufactured in Italy and some gloves in Sri Lanka, Fernsell said. And Ibex’s seamless production will remain in Turkey.

“We’ve found that we get beat up from our customers when they buy something of ours that we manufacture in China,” Fernsell said. On the flip side, “the amount of positive feedback for our products made here has gone up significantly in the past few years.”

Ibex contracts its North American production of garments with factories in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., along with a facility in Vancouver, Canada.

“For us it puts us closer to work directly with the manufacturing process, and that results in a higher quality product,” Fernsell said. “We made such a small amount overseas that the price difference to bring it back here was minimal.”

The shift toward more domestic production comes on the heels of Ibex’s announcement last November that it began domestically sourcing some of its wool from sheep in Montana — a program that will continue to expand in 2012 and 2013, Fernsell said. He estimated about 12 percent, or 15 of Ibex’s midlayer products will feature the U.S. sourced wool by the end of this year. The bulk of Ibex's merino wool is still sourced from New Zealand.

“I think the U.S. consumer is screaming for U.S. made and sourced products,” Fernsell said. “For the outdoor consumer, it’s not just how the clothes perform anymore — it’s also about how and where it’s made.”

The increasingly educated outdoor consumer isn’t satisfied with just seeing “Made in the USA” or “Imported” on the tag either, Fernsell added. “They want all the information,” he said, and they are starting to get it via scanning QR codes on clothing or scouring company websites.

“Every one of our products on our website will tell you where the fibers are sourced, where the fabrics are sourced and where it was sewn,” Fernsell said. In addition, the company posted educational videos about its production process. “People want to know everything,” he said.

--David Clucas

Related

ORD_QA_JohnFernsell_Ibex.jpg

John Fernsell: Ibex looks to bolster wool production in the U.S.

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 23-26. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update ...read more

uruguay_sheep_Ibex.jpg

Ibex looks to Uruguay to meet increasing demands for merino wool

As the production of merino wool has expanded globally, and demand for products made with merino wool has increased exponentially, companies such as Ibex are finding they need to look outside of New Zealand and Australia to source wool. This is why beginning in fall 2012, merino ...read more

Ibex_logo.jpg

Ibex keeps things stateside with new U.S.-grown wool program

Ibex will spread the wool wealth with a new test program to purchase from sheep farms in the United States, with plans to expand if successful. Ibex manufactures about 85 percent of its product in the United States, but most of its wool is sourced from abroad, President John ...read more

Long-haired woman wearing blue sweatsuit sitting on rock and looking to side, smiling. Blurred out trees and sky in background

Ibex is back!

Less than two years after going out of business, wool giant Ibex Outdoor Clothing is making a comeback with new owners, a new designer, and new designs—plus some rejiggered old favorites.  Shuttered in early 2018 after struggling to find its footing in a fast-moving and ...read more

Untitled

Ibex Outdoor Clothing Hires James Fisher as VP of Product

Media Contact:Verde Brand CommunicationsJulie Evans970.946.0856Julie@verdepr.com WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT (April 8, 2014) —Ibex Outdoor Clothing, manufacturer of premium technical Merino wool apparel and accessories, adds a key new member to its executive team. Effective ...read more

FootbalanceFootbed.jpg

Footbalance expanding in North America, bringing customized sole service to retailers

A Finnish custom-molded footbed company is expanding its North American footprint, picking up 15 new retailers since this summer. Footbalance (www.footbalance.com) is giving specialty retailers the option to offer custom-molded footbeds within 10 minutes to customers, plus ...read more

Ibex Outdoor Clothing Outfits Telluride Ski Resort

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT (Oct. 16, 2012) — Beginning this Fall, Ibex Outdoor Clothing will be the official wool clothing sponsor of Telluride Ski Resort in Southwestern Colorado. Ibex will outfit Telluride Ski Resort employees in its North American-made Merino wool apparel. ...read more

Ibex Opens West Coast Office in Emeryville, Calif.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT., (June 21, 2011) — Reinforcing its commitment to domestic manufacturing, Ibex Outdoor Clothing has opened a West Coast office in Emeryville, California to oversee production and manufacturing at the company's factories in and around the Bay Area. Ibex ...read more

Ibex Hires Outdoor Industry Veteran Ken Stone as Production Director

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT (Aug. 9, 2012) — Ibex Outdoor Clothing, manufacturer of technical merino wool apparel and accessories of the highest quality, adds a key new player to its management team. Effective immediately, outdoor industry veteran Ken Stone will head the Ibex ...read more