Interview with Jon Lewis & John Elmuccio

Face2Face
Jon Lewis & John Elmuccio
Jon Lewis & John Elmuccio
Executive Managers
Evolution St. Louis
Evolution St. Louis

Evolution St. Louis most high-tech knitting facility in US
Building upon St. Louis’ deep fashion industry heritage, Evolution St. Louis is revitalising the flat-bed knit sector in United States using the latest technology while creating new jobs. Jon Lewis and John Elmuccio, Executive Managers, Evolution St. Louis, speak to Fibre2fashion on the opening up of its new manufacturing facility in 3830 Washington Blvd, its plans to collaborate with STOLL and how the partnership is going to increase the productivity through simple and transparent production planning among other advantages.

Among the industries you serve, which one generates the highest profit?

We are a privately held company, so we can’t share that information at this time. What we can tell you is Evolution St. Louis will support a broad range of industries including, apparel and footwear, automotive, smart textiles, health and wellness and beyond.

What are the products that you can manufacture?

We can manufacture a broad range of products utilising our 3D and Knit & Wear complete garment technology – including fully fashioned knits, complex shapes, footwear and smart textiles. 

What percentage of your product line will be for consumption at home?

It would be difficult to give a percentage right now, but we do expect that we will be able to offer numerous products to consumers at home once we are fully operational.

Your company received fresh round of investment recently. How do plan to utilise it?

Evolution St. Louis appreciates its investors. We plan to continue to invest in innovative technology that will help us continue to grow and serve our customers as well as help us re-establish United States as a leader for advanced manufacturing and production.

Who are your biggest competitors across industries that you serve?

In the US market, Evolution St. Louis is the most high-tech, highly advanced knitting facility and we are proud to lead the revitalisation of US knit manufacturing.

With the new manufacturing facility opened up in 3830 Washington Blvd, how much is the production capacity going to increase? How many jobs is it going to create?

We will collaborate with STOLL and will create 50 to 60 new jobs within the first three years, with additional jobs added as we expand.

How do you foresee the future of apparel manufacturing in US? Will there be a trend of increased onshoring? What factors are going to contribute to it?

The dynamic shift in consumer buying patterns has created a paradigm for reimagining domestic manufacturing to allow fashion brands and retailers to address and react to the latest trends through faster, reactive purchasing and shortened supply chains. Evolution St. Louis will help position the United States as a key player in the apparel manufacturing market and supply chain, creating good-paying and sustainable manufacturing jobs in the St.Louis region.

What are the roadblocks being faced while revitalising the sector and what key steps are you taking towards it?

By shortening the supply chain and keeping production in the United States, brands and retailers will be able to better keep pace with emerging trends and react to — not just anticipate — customer demand.

What new technology are you using to revitalise the flat-bed knit sector?

We will use STOLL’s high-tech flatbed knitting machines and other innovative technologies to serve our customers. With STOLL’s cutting-edge technology, productivity can be increased through simple and transparent production planning, shorter reaction times, improved data analysis, automation and machine management. STOLL also offers software that help ideas become a reality – from design and pattern creation to intellectual property protection to production.

Have you yet started with the direct-to-consumer retailing concept with new brands?

Many of our customers focus on selling direct to consumer, and our ability to react quickly to demand is a key competitive advantage for us. 

Will you be looking at the export market? Which countries will that entail?

Right now we are focused on developing relationships with emerging brands and customers in multiple product categories. Eventually, we are sure we will take a look at the export market.

How can we make sustainability in fashion more accessible? What are you doing to help facilitate that?

Our customers are demanding that fashion and apparel do its part to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce pollution and create products that are sustainable, reusable and recyclable. Part of our values at Evolution St. Louis is to become a leader in this space, using our cutting-edge technology and innovative approach to do our part to protect our environment.

What is the role of the Fashion Fund that you are running?

The Saint Louis Fashion Fund helped connect Evolution St. Louis to local efforts focused on revitalising and growing St. Louis’ historic garment district on Washington Avenue. (PC)
Published on: 01/04/2020

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.

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