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How Performance Apparel Can Still Thrive in the New Normal

To our friends in the Performance Textile Industry:

Saying these are unprecedented times is certainly an understatement. A worldwide pandemic is leading to economic stagnation, and thus creating unique challenges for anyone working within the performance textile industry. Simply put, COVID-19 is creating a financial strain for mills, suppliers and apparel brands.

The good news is there are parts of the world where things seem to be improving. Some of our partners are already coming back. In fact, they’re allocating time and resources to do what’s right. For example, Swiss-based HeiQ and U.S.-based Monterey Mills are manufacturing high-quality protective masks for frontline healthcare workers.

However, we can’t let our guards down just yet. No matter where you are in the supply chain, you will—if not already—feel the effects of the coronavirus. We wish we could tell you we had a pandemic playbook to guide us, but we don’t. What we can tell you is we will persevere. This industry has always been resilient. That’s why Concept III has sought out the positives we believe can help us all succeed in these trying times:

  • Consumers still want quality apparel. Now, with value being paramount, consumers will ultimately choose performance apparel over fashion brands.
  • Our industry focuses on utilitarian products that service real needs. For instance, workwear and durable apparel are still in demand.
  • Consumers still want to get outside, but they’ll now choose real nature instead of congested urban settings. Rather than wearing business-casual attire, they’ll recognize the value and need for the appropriate outdoor performance products.
  • If there’s a “new normal” on the horizon, then the “same old, same old” will no longer work. It’s time to unleash our creativity. Because the rules and strategies we adhered to just a few months ago have been upended, we can take liberties and inject fresh ideas into product leadership. At Concept III, we’re especially focused on new product development with our partner mills. After all, we recognize that consumers are anticipating sustainable innovations from their favorite outdoor brands.

In the five decades Concept III has been around, we’ve seen the good times and the bad. And just like you, we’re still standing. That’s because performance textiles stand as one. We’re proud to say this is an industry comprised of the world’s toughest and brightest people. In short, Concept III knows if we continue to stand together, we can weather this storm, and we’ll come out of it with a clear path toward a brighter future.

Let’s stay vigilant. Let’s stay focused.

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Your friends at Concept III