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Swift Galey Teams With DNA, Merges Denim Operations

Atlanta-based apparel, home and hospitality textile manufacturer Swift Galey and Columbus, Ga.-based denim manufacturer Denim North America (DNA) have entered into a joint venture called Swift Galey DNA to manufacture and distribute premium denim fabrics under the Swift Galey brand.

As a result, Swift Galey has closed Boland Plant, its denim-weaving, -dyeing and -finishing facility in Columbus and transferred production, resources and equipment to DNA’s plant. The closure has impacted some 600 employees, a substantial number of whom will be able to transfer to the joint-venture operation, according to John Heldrich, president and CEO, Swift Galey.
“We believe this is a great, viable long-term solution for both companies,” Heldrich said. ”I t allows us to have a strong, manageable footprint in the United States and to create our products in a more flexible and cost-efficient fashion.”

According to Swift Galey, DNA’s facility is the most modern in the United States and is able to operate with greater flexibility and efficiency than Boland Plant. Built in 1998 by DNA’s predecessor, Marubeni Denim, the facility measures 260,000 square feet and has an annual production capacity of 24 million linear yards of denim.

Larry Galbraith, CEO of DNA, now serves as president of Swift Galey DNA. Monte Galbraith, DNA’s president, now is managing director of Swift Galey’s Jeanswear division, reporting to Rick Waide, president, International Marketing and Jeanswear.

Monte Galbraith said the plant, which has not been running at full capacity, ultimately will employ 265 people. “As business dictates, we will be adding employees,” he said, “and we’re looking forward to doing so.”

November/December 2006