Over 30 Years Of Excellence
In 1984 David Parkes and Bob Wilson started Concept III Textiles to sell Borg pile fabrics to the outerwear and ski industry. Wilson coined the company name. The “III” stood for service, styling and sales, and it still does. Parkes now partners with son Chris and daughter Helen at the company, with a staff of nine and offices in the US and Europe.
Concept III Grew Up with Outdoor
Parkes watched the outdoor industry branch out from the ski industry in the mid-eighties, driven by a handful of outdoor aficionados like Yvonne Chouinard at Patagonia and retailers like REI. A bourgeoning category of technical textiles from rip-stop to Goretex®, Polarfleece (now Polartec®), Thinsulate® insulation was a major catalyst in building interest in new types of performance apparel.
He saw outdoor as a unique new market tailor-made for his textile expertise and knack for service and embraced the new category. Concept III’s influence on products in the marketplace in the past 30 years has been significant.
The company works with a literal “Who’s Who” of prominent apparel brands in the US and Europe and firmly maintains that it is textile innovation that drives apparel sales — that only those with exciting new products are the ones that survive and thrive.
Concept III stays on top of innovation partly by carefully choosing the mills and technologies with which it partners — only those with 5-star research and design capabilities in addition to high quality production and environmental standards. In the beginning all of those partners were domestic. Today Concept III works with partners around the globe. Most are privately owned.
Evolution Includes Expanding Services
Along with innovation, service is key to Concept III’s success. Those services have greatly expanded. In the last 10 years, Concept III has added complete product development services from textile development through garment production and supervision. Now, completely vertical in operation, the company often refers to itself as “one-stop” shopping for bringing textile-based products to the marketplace. As Chris Parkes points out: “The buck stops with us — we, quite literally, call Asia at 3 a.m. so your staff doesn’t have to.”