Lancashire workwear giant announces £12m collaboration

One of Europe’s largest workwear garment manufacturers, Alsico Group, has announced it is moving 90% of its fabric sourcing to fellow Lancashire company Carrington in a £12m collaboration.

The Preston-based company already works with Carrington purchasing technical products for the flame retardant workwear sector and lightweight fabrics for the healthcare industry.

The new contract, however, will move the supply of polyester cotton products – a staple textile of the workwear industry – back to the UK for the first time in 50 years.

The arrangement will see Adlington-based Carrington supply two million metres of fabric in 2017, with scope to rise to four million during 2018, in a contract potentially worth £12m over the first two years.

Alsico’s decision to move textile sourcing to its Lancashire neighbour was based on several factors. This included Carrington’s ability to supply products ideally suited to the industrial laundry (workwear rental) sector – Alsico’s largest market.

“This is really great news for manufacturing in Lancashire – with two companies coming together to create high quality products and jobs in the UK,” said David Toon, chief executive of Alsico.

“We operate at the premium end of the workwear market, requiring the highest quality fabrics and products which we know Carrington can deliver. This was not an overnight decision, we have been working with Carrington for several years and have been impressed by the strength of the business and the strategic plans of their senior management team. We’re now looking forward to a long working relationship.”

Carrington, one of Europe’s largest workwear fabric manufacturers, recently announced it was increasing its production capacity to more than 50 million metres per year and investing £10m in its Lancashire headquarters – where it will be developing a state of the art R&D facility. The Alsico contract will now also see Carrington increase its workforce by 15%.

Neil Davey, sales director at Carrington, said: “Lancashire has such a strong heritage in the textile industry, it’s great to see the region again building such a strong reputation in the workwear sector.

“Our collaboration with Alsico is a natural partnership, not just because of our proximity but also due to the global ambitions and scale of both companies.”

Carrington already supplies 2.5 million metres of personal protective equipment (PPE) fabrics to Alsico. The new contract will provide polyester cotton fabrics suitable for regular high temperature and drying suitable for industrial laundries.

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