Final month, Worldwide Textile Group introduced its plan to shutter the historic Cone Denim White Oak mill in Greensboro.
The closing dealt a blow not solely to the almost 200 staff who will lose their jobs, but in addition to dozens of unbiased trend labels that supply their material from Cone, reminiscent of Raleigh Denim.
“I’m simply unhappy for all of the individuals dropping their jobs and the talent and expertise being misplaced,” says Victor Lytvinenko, co-proprietor of Raleigh Denim. “Loads of these individuals helped us construct our enterprise, in a approach.”
The White Oak mill opened in 1905, and the manufacturing unit lengthy produced the material for Levi’s 501 denims. In newer years, the plant has develop into the producer of selection for a lot of hip unbiased denim corporations that supply selvage denim woven on the mill’s classic looms, which date to the Nineteen Forties.
“In different nations, they’d declare White Oak a nationwide treasure,” Lytvinenko says. “There’s a cultural significance of that mill with the denim of america and North Carolina. That is the mill that really filed the patents for denim manufacturing.”
Lytvinenko says the closing got here as a shock. Raleigh Denim nonetheless has a provide of Cone material in its manufacturing unit, and Lytvinenko says he expects one other yr’s value of denim earlier than the mill closes on Dec. 31. He says Raleigh Denim is in talks with a mill in Georgia to maintain the majority of the corporate’s denim North American-made.