Headquartered in Wakefield and offices in Europe and Asia pacific, founded in 1997, Agion is a leader in providing safe, natural antimicrobial solutions based on silver, "Nature's Antimicrobial." The company is dedicated to developing consumer and environmentally-friendly solutions for antimicrobial protection. Mr Paul C Ford is the Chief Executive Officer of Agion. He has served the Company since 2000. During this span, he played several key roles, including most recently General Counsel. Mr Ford was appointed CEO of Agion Technologies in September 2008. A professional chemical engineer and attorney, Mr Ford has spent his career in highly regulated fields, first with the UpJohn Company in pharmaceutical intermediates and industrial chemical production, then with United Technologies' Corporate Environmental Group where he worked with the Environmental Protection Agency. He holds a B S in Chemical Engineering, J D from the University of Connecticut and its School of Law, an M S in Environmental Engineering from the University of New Haven, and an L L M in Intellectual Property from Franklin Pierce Law Center. Mr Ford is a registered Patent Attorney and admitted to the Florida and Connecticut Bar. In a tête-à-tête with Face2Face team Mr Paul Ford brings home current market movements of textile-specialty chemicals.
It’s a great pleasure for Face2Face to host you Mr Paul! A heartily compliments from entire fibre2fashion team for recent 'Frost & Sullivan’s 2009 Customer Value Leadership Award'. Taking the talk ahead let me request you to share a few words on this achievement.
Dedication to customer success is one of Agion’s core values. The Company is passionate about making our customers successful; we do that by providing first class products, creative solution and responsive customer service. This award affirms what I already know about our team.
We appreciate. So what niche Agion enjoys in Apparel, footwear and textiles industry? Who all are your clienteles?
Agion currently provides environmentally-friendly solutions for antimicrobial protection and odor control to the apparel, footwear, sporting goods, consumer goods and textile sectors including non-wovens, carpeting and upholstery. Some of our clients include the following: Adidas, CF Stinson, Columbia, Foss, Lands’ End, and Timberland.
Can you please also throw some light on the current picture in global textile –specialty chemicals?
Agion sees great growth potential in the industry as new technologies to combat odor emerge to set a new bar of performance particularly in apparel. Penetration of antimicrobials in particular for all market segments is still relatively small – for example, the technologies have only been adopted by higher end performance wear – and have not yet penetrated into mainstream casual apparel. We do expect this penetration to occur in the near future. In addition we are seeing growth opportunities in areas related to healthcare, ranging from uniforms to environmental design.
Encouraging! That makes us inquisitive about the current market size of specialty chemicals for protective textiles.
Market sizing is tied to vertical application and penetration within those segments. For example, performance finishes – whether antimicrobial, wicking, stain resistance, anti-wrinkle etc. – continue to be adopted as standard features for apparel. As far as antimicrobial fibers or finishes go, many segments are just beginning to adopt these features. In footwear, for example, Agion enjoys major market share – already there have been more than 100 million shoes with the Agion feature for odor protection. This is specifically in performance footwear such as running shoes, hiking boots, and ski/snow boots and this feature is quickly becoming adopted by mainstream retail brands including Walmart and Kohls.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.