The former COO of a multibillion-dollar apparel company is once again dedicated to restoring American manufacturing
FARMINGTON, Maine , February 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — ORIGIN, known for its commitment to resurrecting American manufacturing with a domestic supply chain and workforce, announces Kip Fulk as a full-time strategic advisor and partner.
“I used to be part of the problem,” Fulks says of his new role, “and now I can be part of the solution.” Recalling his early days with overseas suppliers, Fulks aims to share lessons learned in business with Pete Robertsfounder and CEO of ORIGIN, who he believes is leading a significant shift in the apparel industry with a return to corporate responsibility.
According to Roberts, it comes down to consumerism, cost-benefit analysis, and American communities. “We start with people – from the American farmer who grows the cotton, to the communities where we operate our cutting and sewing plants, and all the way to the end consumer,” says Roberts, who wants consumers to know that their purchase means more. “We want them to know that wearing ORIGIN jeans or clothing isn’t just the latest fashion trend – it represents American jobs, innovation, craftsmanship and a return to pride in ‘Made in the”. UNITED STATES.'”
Communities across the country, once hubs of American production, have felt the effects of globalization and trade policies since the late 1970s and 1980s. Most notably, GATT reform and the PNTR status of the World Trade Organization for China in 2000 – triggering periods of sharply worsening trade deficits. To compound this damage, many traditional “Made-in-the-UNITED STATES brands” began to outsource with manufacturing overseas to increase the profit margin. From 2001 to 2010, the United States lost 5.8 million manufacturing jobs and 57,000 manufacturing companies closed their operations. Mainewhere ORIGIN is headquartered, factories abandoned in favor of cheaper foreign labor still lie in ruins, reminiscent of what Roberts calls “runaway capitalism and corporate greed.”
“Machines, jobs and our self-sufficiency have been shipped overseas but we are bringing them back!” explains Roberts. From trying to convince friends and family to support his vision just over a decade ago, to founding one of the fastest growing private companies in the business, Roberts says the path was not easy, but the mission is clear. “With Kip’s help, we will continue to show the world what the American people are capable of: relocating machines, preserving heritage skills that were nearly lost, and training a new generation of makers.”
In fact, two-thirds of ORIGIN’s workforce are millennials. ORIGIN already has more than 500 employees across six locations, with sales exceeding nine figures. Now, with Fulks on the team, Roberts feels he has fulfilled an essential piece of the leadership structure required for the company’s next big leap.
“ORIGIN is already on a great trajectory, and I’m excited to help them become the next iconic billion-dollar company,” says Fulks.
In regards to Kip Fulk
Kip Fulk is a serial entrepreneur who enjoys helping big business reach new heights. As co-founder of Under Armour, Fulks helped navigate the company’s greatest years of growth to date. He held numerous positions during his 20 years at Under Armor, including COO, CMO and Head of Apparel and Footwear & Innovation. From its humble beginnings in by Kevin Plank grandmother’s basement, to a public company of more than $4 billion in revenue, Fulks was integral to their success. Fulks is now applying his business acumen to new ventures as CEO of Friday Investments & Big Truck Farm Brewery, in addition to his new role at ORIGIN.
ORIGIN was founded when Pete Roberts in 2012, along with friends and family, felled a forest in the woods of Maine, built a timber frame factory, bought an old LLBean sewing machine, hooked up a generator and started to get to work. Although most companies import China Or PakistanPete was naïve enough to think he could spearhead a manufacturing renaissance and pledged that ORIGIN would be built by American workers using an all-American supply chain, without compromise.
As ORIGIN grew, abandoned equipment that hadn’t been used for over 30 years was salvaged and turned into working machinery to produce new products. When the pandemic highlighted the need for made-in-the-USA products and supply chains, ORIGIN doubled its workforce to meet pent-up demand, invested in two factories and a workforce in North Carolina, and relaunched America’s last denim manufacturing plant and laundromat with full production and staff. ORIGIN is a family-owned, salt-of-the-earth company, manufacturing all-American performance textiles and durable goods, including workwear and everyday wear, jeans, boots, fitness equipment and apparel. of hunting.
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