Interview with Dr Gordon YEN

Face2Face
Dr Gordon YEN
Dr Gordon YEN
Executive Director
Fountain Set (Holdings) Limited -FSHL
Fountain Set (Holdings) Limited -FSHL

What innovative processes your R&D division has adopted as a cutting edge over competition? What new products would be added to existing products list?

Our R&D team is strongly committed in developing innovative knitted fabric. We constantly work with different international fiber companies to come up with functional and commercialized fabric for the retail market, such as Outlast®, Tencel® and Ingeo®.

Outlast® is a revolutionary fiber that contains micro encapsulated phase change materials called Thermocules™ that absorb, store and release heat as needed to regulate temperature. Fountain Set has joined with Outlast Technologies, Inc. to develop and manufacture fabrics for internationally renowned apparel brands since May 2002.

Tencel® is a 100% cellulose fiber boasting nano-fibril technology, a breakthrough innovation from the textile industry. The 'fabric by Fountain Set' eco series made from both 100% Tencel fiber as well as with blends of cotton, linen, wool or polyester, provides a unique drape for excellent appearance and silk like hand-feel.

Ingeo™ fiber is the revolutionary new fiber brand offered by NatureWorks LLC. A company based in Minnetonka, Minneapolis, USA. NatureWorks LLC is a stand-alone entity owned by Cargill. In 2005, Fountain Set and Ingeo™ teamed up to develop a new eco-friendly fabric collection and this collection encompassed under 'fabric by Fountain Set™' brand. These new environmentally sound fabrics eliminate the use of petroleum based synthetic fibers without compromising on performance and exhibit exceptional moisture management and quick dry capabilities. This collaboration with Ingeo fiber was to bring to Fountain Set’s customers a wide variety of high quality and eco-friendly fabrics under the ‘fabric by Fountain Set’ brand.

In 2005, the Group launched its first-ever integrated knitted fabric brand name, ‘fabric by Fountain Set™’ and this business strategy aims to create a distinctive edge by highlighting our product attributes to enhance customer recognition and to differentiate the Group’s products from those of the competitors. The Group will continue to build this product branding in the future by further featuring the ‘fabric by Fountain Set™’ brand at industry trade shows as well as publicity and marketing activities.

Fountain Set is also dedicated to develop own innovative fabric brands namely Dr. Dry®, Comforton™, invisi.dri™, as well as the latest launch of Sukool™ and ActivFresh™

Comforton™ is the moisture management fabrics by Fountain Set™ which is 100% cotton-based and provides superior comfort to the wearers with active lifestyles. invisi.dri™, the brand name of a line of comfort fabrics by Fountain Set™, combines the dual functions of water repellence at the fabric face and absorbency at the fabric back. For active sports, walking in the heat, or other stressful pursuits, garments made from invisi.dri fabric do rapid absorption of perspiration without unsightly moisture outside the garment. Thus, invisi.dri™ always keeps its wearers fresh and comfortable.

Do you foresee a fragmented or vertically integrated operation like yours to survive the post quotas phase globally?

In order to satisfy today’s apparel customers consuming behavior, retail brands focus more on producing diversified product range and styles with more fashion seasons. Additionally, the demand of functional textile products continues to increase, thus, to achieve more retail apparel market shares, the retailer brands choose their supplier which can provide the latest technologies on products, quick response to their needs, have wider material sourcing network, increase product diversity and reduce lot sizes at the same time.

As mentioned, Fountain Set is a vertically-integrated knitted fabric manufacturer which is able to offer operations from raw materials sourcing, spinning, knitting, dyeing, printing and garment manufacturing. Additionally, the Group’s dedicated R&D team is continuously focusing on product innovation and development. Hence, the Group can provide one-stop service station from product’s planning to product’s finishing. For meeting the global apparel industry trend and catering the needs of brands or retailers, Fountain Set is able to provide customized and high level of service. The Group operates as flexible and as innovative as the smaller competitors for providing product diversity, reducing lot sizes, and offering shorter lead time to its customer.

What is your analysis of the Chinese and world fabric market?

The domestic economy in China is expected to continue to grow in the long-term which should result in increase in consumer spending and demand for better quality textile products. Therefore, China will become the major consuming market and play an important role in the world fabric market.

To cater the demand, Fountain Set has well positioned itself to meet with the potential growth in the future. The Group is committed to increase its market share in the Chinese domestic market by actively expanding production capacity in our latest fabric mill in Jiangyin, Jiangsu province as well as continuously expanding the Shanghai and Qingdao representative offices for providing quicker response service to our local customers.

In addition, Fountain Set participates frequently in the International fabric shows for promoting the Group’s latest fabric products to the worldwide consumers. The Group also demonstrates its support to local university students of fashion design and textiles through generous sponsorship and joint efforts.

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Published on: 11/06/2007

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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