Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) September 10, 2013
The fact he even owned the shirt was pure chance.
Driving in the suburbs, he found his regular route closed off. The unfamiliar detour took him past the doors of a factory outlet he’d heard on the radio was having a sale. Inside, busy choosing items for his family, he fell into conversation with a company executive. “Here, try this,” said the man, offering a shirt. “It’s something new we’ve been working on.”
So it happened that, some days later, Douglas Sheridan, a 55-year-old veteran of the international performance apparel industry, was wearing the shirt as he limbered up for an assault on the Grouse Grind, a famous hiking trail on the North Shore mountains of Vancouver, B.C. As Sheridan, sweating profusely, reached the 1,200 m peak of the 2.9 km trail he experienced what he later described as “an epiphany.”
“There were beads of water on my shirt,” he says. “By the time my wife and I had gone for a coffee, the shirt had dried. And it didn’t smell. There was no body odor at all.”
Most people in that situation might have been vaguely aware of a sensation of pleasing comfort, but most people have not, as Sheridan has, a lifetime’s intimate acquaintance with the complex world of performance fabrics. In one of many senior executive roles, he was a member of a handpicked team that fought to rescue a near-bankrupt ADIDAS in the early 1990s. He was instrumental in creating the ADIDAS originals concept that helped restore the company to the pinnacle of success, with $20-billion in annual sales.
“I did the Grouse Grind three days in a row and I wore the same shirt each time and never washed it,” he says. “After the third day, someone said it smelled like cologne. There’s nothing else on the market that I know of that you can wear three days in a row like that. I was impressed. I’ve been around this industry a long time, working with new materials and understanding the processes. And never, never in my history had I seen anything like this shirt.”
So impressed was he, in fact, that Sheridan called the number on the card the company executive had given him and arranged a half-hour meeting. The half-hour chat lasted four and a half hours, and, by the end of it, Sheridan and Doug Thom, Chief Innovation Officer of Vancouver-based Garmatex Technologies, had bonded.
Sheridan described how, from his vantage point working in Asia, he had watched as major international apparel companies, seeking economies of scale, had switched fabric production from Taiwan to large mills in China. The result was an emphasis on volume rather than research into new materials. “The Chinese factory mentality — and I know it well because I’ve been on that side of the fence — was to make your money through volume. Nobody was investing in material technology,” he says. “The last thing any volume-based manufacturer wants is new technology because it means you must change all your machines.”
As Thom described the evolution of Garmatex, Sheridan was spellbound. He learned how Thom had co-founded the performance sports apparel company FIRSTAR, which had carved out a niche market, chiefly among professional hockey players. Many top players in the National Hockey League (NHL) swore by FIRSTAR apparel, claiming it to be better than anything else on the market. What further intrigued Sheridan was the secret behind the success of FIRSTAR products — a range of revolutionary new performance fabrics developed over years of painstaking experimentation in Taiwan.
While the “Goliaths” of the global apparel industry had been sitting on their heels for a decade or more, this relatively tiny Vancouver company had made leaps and strides in perfecting the fabrics of the future. It was using its proprietary KottinuTM fabrics in a range of finished products that boasted superior wicking properties, anti-bacterial agents and extraordinary comfort levels exceeding those of even natural cotton.
“What excited me was that I hadn’t seen anybody in the apparel sector doing this kind of technological innovation,” says Sheridan. “For a decade-plus, there had really been no material advancement in the industry. Garmatex materials are better than anything else on the market.”
Soon, Sheridan was sitting down with Garmatex Executive Chairman Keith Gracey, discussing the terms of his appointment as President and COO of Garmatex Finished Goods Division and Business Director of Garmatex International. Under Gracey’s tenure, Garmatex has hugely enlarged its horizons, converting the original FIRSTAR into a division producing finished products that act as a showcase to promote the sale of bolts of Garmatex’s Kottinu TM , along with its other technologically advanced fabrics and patented apparel designs, to leading international manufacturers.
In his new job, Sheridan wears two hats. As head of Finished Goods, he is charged with reinforcing the organizational structure and adding new brands. Sheridan sees a wide range of applications for Garmatex materials beyond the sports and leisure market, particularly in demanding environments such as police work, firefighting and hospitals. His second major challenge, as international business director, lies in bringing Garmatex fabrics to the attention of the major players in the multi-billion-dollar global textile industry. In this task, he is aided by his extensive contacts in North America, Europe and Asia, built up over years of dealings with top executives of iconic brand-name companies.
He’s already begun talks with several “Goliaths,” some of whom are already testing Garmatex materials, having been assured that, despite their proven superiority over other materials, they come at “industry-standard” pricing.
Sheridan says he was hired to “help strategize the commercialization of the Garmatex technologies — we’ve got a great idea, a great product, now we have to explain to potential customers what it can do for them — where it can fit into their line.”
“I don’t consider myself a salesman as such, but I can convince people to use things that I consider are pretty good. I’m selling a technical product that really works, and there’s really nothing else like it. “My first day (on the job) I said, ‘You know, the one major advantage we have in this business is that, from a material perspective, the industry is trailing years behind us. Nobody can catch up for years. Now we have to leverage that asset.’”
(Douglas Sheridan is a textile and apparel industry senior executive with over 30 years’ experience working with retail brands in Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Sales, Licensing, Distribution and HR. Most recently, he was a Principal of BKMS HK, a Retail and Footwear manufacturing group in China for brands including Geox, Boss, Skechers, Etnies, Patrick, Levis, Anta, Li Ning, and Lee Cooper and was the Asian region Master Licensee for Diadora Italy with 200+ stores in China and 75 stores in the Asian region. Sheridan was a Principal of Hong Kong based Lark International, responsible for $70M in apparel and accessories sourcing and sales to a global base. At Lark, he provided Design, Development, Marketing, HR and Sales management for the group and directly managed 40 staff in Hong Kong, China and New York. He was formerly VP of R&D and Corporate Marketing for Adidas Asia (Hong Kong) and was responsible for establishing Adidas development offices around the Asian region. Sheridan has also held positions at: Reebok/Avia (Taiwan) as Country Manager; Etonic-Tretorn, PUMA (Sweden) as VP of Product Design and Supply Chain; and Bata Footwear (South Africa, Italy, Canada) as Designer and Brand Manager.)
About Garmatex Technologies, Inc.
Garmatex’s performance technologies and fabrics: Kottinu™, T3®, Bact-Out®, Coolskin®, Warmskin®, Coldskin™, Steelskin™, Satinu™, Slimskin™, Camoskin™, Recoveryskin™ and Absorbskin™ have proven to be superior to any like products available in the market for comfort, fit and performance and are engineered using our proprietary “Moisture System Transference” (MST™) process which provides unrivaled moisture management control. Garmatex’s ground-breaking Kottinu™ fabric, with its amazing “cotton-like” comfort and feel, delivers unparalleled performance in moisture management, lasts 6 times longer than cotton, maintains color sharpness with minimal fade and is a viable alternative to cotton in any application where the inferior attributes of cotton have been considered “the standard”. Our patented T3® triple-gusset shirt construction, which allows complete 360 degree mobility of the shoulder without restriction or shirt binding, is the first garment construction design patent granted in decades.
Garmatex Technologies, Inc.
Garmatex Technologies, Inc.
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