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Although many major brands switched to recycled fabrics the interest for recycled threads and accessories has remained low for a number of reasons.
Bodo Th. Boelzle, the CEO of Amann Group throws some light on the special characteristics of recycled sewing threads as he converses with Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Manushi Gandhi.
Amann Group is a leading producer of high-quality sewing and embroidery threads. It was founded in 1854 by Alois Amann. The company’s product range includes universal sewing threads to special high-tech threads all sewing applications. With its headquarters located in Bönnigheim, Germany, it operates in more than 100 countries worldwide. The group’s turnover is approx. 145 Million Euros.
Bodo Th. Boelzle is the CEO of Amann Group since 2008. He joined the group in 1997 as the CFO. Prior to joining this group, he was the at Aramark GmbH, Neu Isenburg. He did his MBA in 1987 at Eberhard-Karls-University in Germany.
Threads are an essential raw material in apparel manufacture at the same time it is also a product sold at a very lesser rate. So, what has helped Amann Group to achieve such high sales figures over the years?
I would say our focus on doing well what we have known best for over 150 years - producing threads - and to improve our knowledge continuously especially with regards to the latest finishing techniques. It is true that threads are widely seen as a commodity specifically in apparel.
The interesting point though is the huge variety and diversity of products and materials which have to be sewn. Not only all types of garments, shoes and leatherwear but home interior, textile components for the automotive sector (airbags, steering wheels, soft tops..), technical textiles for aircrafts, batteries, filters and many more.
We are not only experts for sewing threads but for their applications too. Customers come to us not only for global presence, reliability in service and quality, but also for specialized application know-how. Very few companies can offer this in the thread world.
What is the annual growth rate of the company? What are social and political reasons that have affected the growth of the company?
Unlike a publicly quoted company our company is not only driven by its growth rate. As good Swabian entrepreneurs we look for financial stability too. We are able to achieve our projects through our own financial strength.
The annual growth rate of the last years alternated between 2% and 15%. For sure the financial crisis of 2008 had a strong impact on our business but due to our solid financial base, the Group has managed to recover from the crisis fast and is well prepared for the future.
How has been the demand for recycled threads in the market? Are they received well?
The interest for recycled materials and accessories started with the last soccer world championship in South Africa when the huge sportswear manufacturers started to concentrate on recycled fabrics. Many major European and American brands focus on sustainability in their company policy.
We launched our sustainable lifecycle product range offering polyester sewing and embroidery threads made of recycled pet bottles as well as an organic cotton thread, GOTS certified, 5 years ago. Although many major brands switched to recycled fabrics the interest for recycled threads and accessories has remained low for a number of reasons.
Other than apparels, what are the other applications of recycled thread?
The further field of application for recycled sewing and embroidery thread could be home textiles, shoe and leather industry.
Do think that there is a lot of scope of further development of recycled threads? Is there any scarcity of material availability for recycled threads?
As resources are limited the recycling process becomes more and more important. When polyester threads are concerned though there are unfortunately hardly any suppliers for recycled high tenacity filaments in the market.
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