TREX pivots from knitting machine sales into gaiter manufacturing
Posted June 18, 2020
By Devin Steele (DSteele@eTextileCommunications.com)
MONROE, N.C. – Talk about a pivot – here’s one for you.
When COVID-19 started to spread around the world, TREX Machine Group transitioned from supplying knitting machines into manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – on its own equipment.
Specifically, into the production of gaiters.
The company, based here, began to get flooded with calls and requests for these type of face coverings as consumer PPE was quickly running short in supply – even though TREX was not a textile manufacturer.
The brother-and-sister duo of Mike Moody and Mary Kate Moody, who co-founded the company about three years ago, listened to these requests and kept hearing one common theme, they said: “made in America.”
“Everyone kept telling us they want a product that is manufactured in the U.S. and a supply chain they can depend on – and TREX came through!” said Mary Kate Moody.
As they talked to customers, the Moodys explained the machines needed to knit this fabric and offered to sell its machines to them as well as assist in the start-up knitting stages to ensure a quality product to consumers, according to Mike Moody.
“We discussed various fibers and yarns, knitting machine specs, dye and finish operations as well as cutting … with the entire supply chain located and manufactured in North Carolina, USA!” he said. All of the people we spoke with preferred to skip the headache of manufacturing, so TREX took it on for them.”
The TREX team began to experiment and came up with its own neck gaiters, branded “DINOs.”
“Through this process we found a hidden niche in the market in which most of the current manufacturing, if not all, was coming from China,” Mary Kate Moody said.
TREX now sells its DINO knitted sleeves as finished blanks, ready for dye sub print or work with a customer to develop a custom art design for their DINO, and provides the dye sub printed DINO in one swift order, Mike Moody added.
“Not to mention that our prices are equivalent or even better then China,” he said.
TREX Machine’s DINO specs:
Repreve yarns made from recycled plastic water bottles;
Parkdale yarns made from recycled plastic water bottles;
Fabric knitting in N.C.;
Fabric dyed, finished and heat set in N.C.; and
Cut to length in N.C.
Optional fabric additives include UV Fast P for personal protection incorporated into gaiter and provided by Huntsman; and Silvadur, an antimicrobial protectant provided by DuPont.
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