Nice article in the winter issue of Craftsman Quarterly:
Judith Schwartz writes about the people who are trying to turn around the near disappearance of American wool processing within the United States. Ecological reasons for keeping sheep (they contribute to carbon sequestrian if pastures are managed correctly), natural dying, and efforts to make American wool products competitive (based on value not on cost) with Chinese products made from American wool.
Woolrich, Inc. has announced that it will be closing the Woolen Mill in Woolrich, Penn. It is anticipated that fabric manufacturing operations will cease by the end of the year and will affect up to 40 employees in the mill.
“The decision to close the mill was made following a comprehensive review of our overall woven fabric business and the considerable capital improvements needed to modernize and maintain viable operations,” said Woolrich President Nick Brayton. “Unfortunately, due to higher manufacturing costs, eroding margins and continued unprofitability within the Mill, it is no longer economically feasible to continue our Pennsylvania based Woolen Mill operation.
Woolrich will provide career transitional services for affected employees. Retirement and pension planning services will also be provided for those employees not seeking re-employment.
“We are eternally grateful to all our employees for their years of dedication and loyalty to the company and our number one priority right now is to help affected employees through this transition,” Brayton said. “While this was a very difficult decision, our strategic approach to align our collections globally remains our primary focus and we are continuing the next stage of the globalization of the Woolrich brand.”
The company plans to maintain its wholesale, retail, and e-commerce apparel businesses.
Source: ASI Weekly November 9, 2018