International Textile Group, the parent company of Cone Denim, announced it will cease operations and close its Cone Denim White Oak mill after more than 110 years of production, effective Dec. 31. The firm said its Greensboro, N.C. plant was affected by changes in market demands, namely fabric sourcing outside the U.S., which resulted in considerably reduced order volumes.
The White Oak mill produced denim exclusively since it began in 1905 and was well-known for its Forties vintage American Draper X3 shuttle looms that manufactured its vintage selvage denim. The firm operates facilities in Mexico and China, as well as its Cone 3D Research and Development incubator, which focuses on advances in performance and sustainable denim fabrics.
Kenneth T. Kunberger, the president and chief executive officer of Cone Denim and International Textile Group, said “For more than 125 years, Cone Denim has defined American denim and authenticity with the White Oak mill representing the essence of Cone’s heritage. We truly regret having to take this action to close the mill, and we deeply appreciate the loyalty and dedication of all current and former employees of the White Oak mill. Their talent, effort, innovation, dedication and customer focus all combined to create a White Oak brand, heritage and legacy that will forever be the heart of the Cone Denim business.”
“Today that legacy fuels inspiration and drives innovation throughout Cone’s global denim platform, furthering Cone’s tremendous leadership in denim authenticity, sustainability and performance,” Kunberger said.
Over the coming months, the company will fulfill all orders for White Oak customers and provide transition services to employees. International Textile Group will continue to be headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., and operate its 10 manufacturing facilities across the U.S., Mexico and China.
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