Our microfiber manufacturing partners are as
committed to quality and innovation as we are.
One of the most frequent questions we get is “Where is your microfiber made?” When our customers or potential customers ask that question, they’re hoping the answer is the USA. That’s not the answer to the question, the answer is China (mostly). Virtually all microfiber manufacturing is done there. It’s unfortunate, but there are no microfiber cleaning products wholly produced in the US.
With that out of the way, I do want to let our customers know about the people that we do business with there. I want to highlight the factory that custom manufactures nearly all of our microfiber towels and some of our mop pads. There’s a perception in the U.S. that Chinese factories are all sweat shops with awful working conditions. While I’m sure that those kinds of factories exist (although I’ve never seen it in person):
I want to show you that there’s another, more professional side of
Chinese manufacturing, and that’s who we choose to do business with.
The owners of this factory are a young married couple. The husband first came across microfiber in college and, being an entrepreneur, started selling it while still in school. Within a few years he had started his own factory. When I initially met them, I was surprised by their business philosophy and felt like we were kindred spirits. They’re as passionate about microfiber as I am. They focus on quality and innovation, not price. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. I’ve met with many other factory representatives and owners, and this owner was very different.I found that other factories weren’t as interested in discussing how to make better products, they were only interested in telling me how they can give me the cheapest price which generally translates into the lowest quality products. These owners were excited by our commitment to providing the highest quality at fair prices, and we geeked out talking about microfiber.When I visited their factory for the first time, I was stunned.
It was not what I had expected at all. I was led through the warehouse area, which was neat, clean and organized. They pointed out many pallets of rolls of microfiber. It was microfiber that was produced for Microfiber Wholesale but didn’t pass their standards because of relatively minor streaking in the dye. Quite honestly, I was surprised that they didn’t use it.
Next, we went moved into the manufacturing area. It too was clean, bright, organized.
I got to see some of our towels being made, which was really fun! I was surprised by how automated it was. While some items require more human labor, many items were being cut and sewn automatically, with operators simply monitoring the processes.Now I understood how they could provide better products while still being competitive with price.
More importantly, it wasn’t the sweat shop environment that you sometimes hear about. It was impressive to see specifications and operating procedures posted at each machine producing our microfiber and the quality control that goes on during production.
However, it really pointed out their commitment to quality.
Just when I thought I couldn’t be any more surprised, we stepped out an exterior door and onto a 1 acre on premises farm, which they said was organic! They use the farm to grow food to feed their employees. This is not typical by any means.
They grow all kinds of veggies and raise chickens and pigs.
They have 1 employee dedicated to taking care of the farm and another whose job is to cook the food.
The workday at the factory is a little different than the typical workday here. It’s longer but has a 2 hour lunch break.
Just like in the USA, all of the factory workers live locally and go home every night.
We finished the tour in the testing lab and then the show room.
Both were what I had come to expect at this point in the tour, impressive.
I’ve visited other factories in China. I’ve never seen anything appalling, but I have seen some practices that wouldn’t fly in the USA, mostly regarding safety (like operating heavy equipment in sandals and loose clothing, poor lighting, etc.) and ergonomics.It’s important to me that the people I choose to do business with are professional and treat their employees well. All of the factories that we do business with that I’ve visited have met this standard.
I hate the fact that manufacturing jobs in the USA have gone away over the years, but I’m proud that Microfiber Wholesale has managed to find responsible manufacturing partners outside of the USA.
Brett Haney – President, Microfiber Wholesale
2018 Update: I visited the factory again this year and they’ve made a big change; now nearly all of the production areas are air conditioned!