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Mexican Earthquake Spares Textile and Apparel Firms

NEW YORK — Mexico’s apparel and textile manufacturers were largely spared by the devastating earthquake that hit Colima on Wednesday, which is believed to have resulted in the deaths of at least 23 people.<br><br>U.S. manufacturers with...

NEW YORK — Mexico’s apparel and textile manufacturers were largely spared by the devastating earthquake that hit Colima on Wednesday, which is believed to have resulted in the deaths of at least 23 people.

This story first appeared in the January 23, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

U.S. manufacturers with operations in the country, including VF Corp., Burlington Industries Inc., DuPont and Dan River Inc., said their operations, which were in the Mexico City area, were not affected by the quake itself or the power outages that hit other parts of the country.

Colima is on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, south of the capitol. Many apparel and textile plants have been opened over the past decade to the north and east of Mexico City, though in recent years, manufacturers have begun to migrate south in search of lower wages.

“Our facilities were not in that area, and the quake did not have any effect on us,” said a Burlington spokeswoman, noting that the company’s Mexican operation is in Yacapixtla. “From the perspective of power, phone and utilities, to where our employees live, were not affected.”

Similarly, a spokeswoman for VF, said, “None of our facilities, thank goodness, were affected in the earthquake.”

VF makes about 45 percent of its products in Mexico.

At Dan River, which operates a factory in Jilotepec, northeast of Mexico City, president of apparel fabrics Jim Martin said operations were not impacted by the quake.

An official at the Mexican Embassy in Washington referred questions about industrial damage in the Colima area to local police, who did not respond to phone calls. According to press reports, the quake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale.