Project I, an innovative apparel manufacturing group started by fashion executives Jon Lewis and John Elmuccio, is collaborating with advanced knitting machine manufacturer Stoll America on a project to boost the Made in America movement.
The collaboration includes the installation of 300 3D flatbed knitting machines at a soon-to-be-named facility to help restore domestic manufacturing jobs with a full-scale, next generation facility that moves fully fashioned knit production to the United States. Production at the new U.S.-based location is expected to begin by the end of 2019.
“We’re partnering to create the apparel manufacturing and supply chain facility of the future,” Elmuccio said. “The collaboration with Stoll will strengthen America’s fashion market, restore apparel production jobs using the latest technology and revitalize the fully fashioned knit sector.”
Project I and Stoll’s advanced apparel manufacturing facility will involve the largest single order of Stoll’s latest 3D knitting machinery and software solutions in the United States. The venture is expected to create many jobs, according to the partners, and enhance Made in USA efforts to position the United States as a key source for apparel manufacturing, notably in knitwear.
“The apparel, fashion and luxury markets are ripe for disruption and resurgence in the U.S.,” Lewis said. “By shortening the supply chain and locating production in the U.S., fashion brands and retailers will be able to keep pace with emerging trends and react to, not just anticipate, customer demand.”
Installing the 300 high-tech flatbed knitting machines will take place over the next three years. Stoll will install the latest generation of ADF machines featuring yarn carriers that are independent of the carriage and can move horizontally and vertically, as well as the latest CMS 830 C&S Knit & Wear seamless knitting machines. Stoll will provide programming, training, manufacturing and on-site production support, while guiding new and existing customers to Project I.
“We have been working with Project I for over two years to turn this groundbreaking vision into a reality,” said Stephan Robertson, CEO of North American operations at Stoll. “At Stoll, we take great pride in reinventing ourselves as a high-quality OEM with the latest technology on the market…We needed a new competitive edge in the North American market. With Project I, we are finally able to make the United States a destination for advanced manufacturing and production.”