SEAMS' Member Spotlight: Harodite Industries, Inc.

Reprinted from SEAMS' newsletter:

In each edition of SEAMS' newsletter, it features one of it esteemed members. In this edition of SEAMS Member Spotlight, Harodite Industries of Taunton, Mass., is highlighted. Jay Tinkoff, Sales Director–Southeast, responds to questions.

Member Spotlight: Harodite Industries, Inc.

 

Year founded: 1910

 

Primary specialties:

Woven and nonwoven fusible and sew-in interlinings for apparel, knits, wefts, disposable wipes, Grilon® fusible yarn. The company handles custom finishing, laminating and coating at its mill in Massachusetts and die cutting, slitting, re-rolling and slit and slot at its factories in Travelers Rest, SC, as well as Aguascalientes, Mexico and Olocuilta, El Salvador.

 

Number of employees / locations:

Just under 100 at the four facilities.

 

Markets served:

Harodite services the apparel, filtration, automotive, footwear and wipes markets, as well as smaller markets in the home sewing and specialty areas.

 

Brief history and current ownership:

Harodite Industries is in its fourth generation of ownership with its president Aaron M. Albert. In addition to its family history, staff includes second, third and fourth generation, as well.

 

Company’s differentiators:

“The dedication of our workforce has always been the key to our success. They are responsible for maintaining our high standards of integrity, quality and continued growth and change. Our long-term commitment to research keeps us on the cutting edge of technology. We create solutions with the best ideas, materials and chemical processes. The most tangible measure of our success is the longevity of relationships with our many loyal customers.”

 

Activities during the pandemic:

“Where we could, we helped some of our customers who pursued PPE contracts. Primarily, we provided guidance, but we also provided some cutting, re-rerolling and some of our woven products that fell into certain specifications from our customers. This certainly never became a critical part of our business.”

 

Challenges and lessons learned during COVID-19:

“The biggest challenge continues to be encouraging people to get vaccinated. This should not be a polarizing issue, but sadly in today’s political climate it is.”

 

How company has adapted over the last few years to remain competitive:

“The textile industry began moving offshore in the ’80s and has not ceased. We continue to pursue a diverse customer base and have set up facilities in this hemisphere to follow our markets. We also continue to innovate both with our customers and suppliers on how best to solve their manufacturing problems.”

 

Thoughts on the Made-In-America/Americas movement and strategy to remain competitive in the U.S. and this hemisphere:

“The made in America movement is wonderful, but what is truly needed is a willingness by the big BRANDS who used to manufacture to commit to go back to producing a portion of their product in the USA. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if just 5% of shirts and slacks and suits and outerwear were actually made in the USA with interlinings and thread made in the USA, with fabrics made in the USA?

 

Biggest challenges and opportunities for manufacturing in the USA and this hemisphere:

“A big challenge for those who would be our customers in apparel and footwear is the complete lack of infrastructure. The costs of the equipment and trained personnel require an enormous commitment. It would also require those companies to be willing to forgo the extra profit from moving to inexpensive labor markets for their production. This becomes as much a moral issue as it does a business decision. But the biggest challenge we all face is the rampant and ‘per order’ price increases we are seeing on raw materials across the board. It used to be that a bad increase was 2%-5% – now it can be 58% or more. It appears there is a lot of price gauging occurring domestically because companies are suddenly sourcing locally what they’d been bringing from China for years and either can no longer get or the freight has made the pricing untenable.”

 

Business outlook for your company for the foreseeable future:

“We are cautiously optimistic and looking at business growth in the markets we serve as companies return from a COVID slump. We are also prepared to ride the roller coaster as we have for over 100 years.”

 

Business conditions and opinion on the health of the apparel/textile/sewn products industry markets it serves:

“The health of the apparel and textile industry in general is largely dependent on a healthy supply chain and workforce. It’s critical that companies, ours included, are nimble and flexible but also accepting of some of the challenges we all face when it comes to dealing with raw material cost increases.”

 

How long have you been a member of SEAMS and what is the value it brings?

“We have been a SEAMS member for five years. It has an amazing group of businesses that are members, and many have become friends, either as suppliers or customers. It is a great resource for sourcing Made In America products, and the annual meetings are wonderful to attend.”

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