MALDEN COUNTERS FALLOUT FROM COVILLE’S RECALL
NEW YORK — Malden Mills, known for its fleece fabrics, felt the heat last week when garments of a fleece fabric made by another supplier were hit with a flammability recall. However, Malden moved quickly to cool things off.
The recall announced by the Consumer Products Safety Commission involved 160,000 garments made from a fleece-like material produced by Coville Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Lawrence, Mass.-based Malden, which produces the trademarked Polartec and Polarfleece products, was besieged by inquiries from customers and consumers about its products. The volume of calls to Malden has been so great — up to 100 per day — that the company has established a consumer hotline to answer questions regarding fleece fabrics. The number is (800) 371-3896.
Malden also asked the CPSC to test its products, and after so doing, the CPSC issued the following statement: “The Commission has no reason to believe that these fabrics manufactured by Malden Mills present any danger to consumers.”
As reported, the Coville fabrics that are the subject of the recall failed the Standard Test Method for Flammability of Apparel Textiles, ASTM #D 1230-85. The federal government requires that all fabrics sold for apparel purposes pass the standards of this test. Polartec and Polarfleece fabrics, which did not ignite in the test, are described as Class 1, the most flame-resistant category available.
Jeff Bowman, Malden’s director of merchandising, said that as part of its normal product development, the firm routinely screens fabrics for compliance with all federal regulations.
Malden also said that it is spending $8.5 million this year on advertising and promotion for its apparel fabrics. This includes a focus on safety and performance aspects of Polartec and Polarfleece fabrics.
Malden, with sales of $400 million-plus, has its business split between apparel fabrics and upholstery fabrics.