Some sad announcements are making the whole denim industry feel sorrowful these days: The Italian denim manufacturer ITV (Industria Tessile Del Vomano) will close its doors by the end of 2017 and so will Cone Denim’s historical White Oak plant.
ITV, founded in 1972 and based in Cellino Attanasio, near Teramo, in Southern Italy, has been a highly creative and leading Italian denim manufacturer. ITV had also been awarded with different recognitions, including winning the 2014 and 2016 editions of the Global Denim Awards organized by Kingpins Amsterdam (in the picture: the winning outfits by ITV at the 2016 edition).
A spokesperson for the company confirmed that before shutting down ITV will deliver all orders it had committed to produce. The company also confirmed that it had to stop business for a series of reasons, including the strong competition from low-cost extra-European manufacturers and high fiscal pressure.
ITV preferred not to comment about what a local newspaper recently published about its future. According to the publication, ITV will stop production by October 2017 and asked the Tribunal to transform its current agreement with creditors (it profited from since 2014) into agreement upon liquidation. This way, if the Tribunal approves the request the company’s plant might be put up for sale and its debts might be paid with the amount earned through that sale.
Less clear seems to be its 90 employees’ future as, according to a new Italian work law reformation, unemployment benefits seem to be no longer available for companies facing difficulties.
“After 45 years of activity ITV has invested in developing highly innovative products, focused on quality and respect of its clients and tried its best to maintain its whole production cycle in Italy, with deep sadness, it has decided to stop production by end of 2017,” explained a spokesperson of the Gnutti family, owner of the company.
“This decision was taken after a thorough analysis of the present state of the denim market where new trend and product research have left always more space for searching for more competitive prices only. In such a world, ITV’s structure is no longer competitive.”
Also ITG (International Textile Group), parent company of Cone Denim, the historical US denim manufacturer, had to take a drastic decision as it announced that after more than 110 years of continuous production (also see our report on the company’s celebration in 2015: http://www.sportswear-international.com/news/stories/Cones-White-Oak-mill-celebrates-110th-anniversary-9488), its White Oak mill in Greensboro will cease operations by the end of 2017. “Reasons for the decision were changes in the market demand that have significantly reduced order volume at the facility as customers have transitioned more of their fabric sourcing outside of the U.S,” said a corporate statement that included comments from Kenneth T. Kunberger, President & CEO of Cone Denim and International Textile Group. “Despite tremendous efforts to manage these changes, the plant’s large size provides much more capacity than is needed resulting in higher costs that cannot be supported in a sustainable business going forward.”
The company will work closely with its White Oak customers to fulfill all orders and meet customer needs over the coming months, including transitioning styles to its other global platforms as ITG continues to be headquartered in Greensboro, NC with ten manufacturing operations across the U.S., Mexico and China.
The company will also work closely with affected employees – according to local sources’ estimates these are around 200 - to provide transition services and other support including severance benefits and assistance in finding other employment opportunities.