Growing up in Colorado farm country not only gave John Cable a love of the outdoors, it gave him small-town values which he’s put into play on a global basis with Evolve. Cable was a manager of Fleet Feet stores and a manager and buyer for Athlete’s Foot before moving on to the wholesale side of sporting goods as a footwear product manager and then golf product manager for Head Sports. He also worked in operations and sales management in both bag and equipment companies. Ultimately, he transitioned to the manufacturing, operations, sales, and sourcing side of the golf and apparel businesses. There, he gained extensive experience in working with overseas factories and importing goods into the USA. Cable studied sociology and business at a small mountain college in Colorado. He and his wife have two daughters and enjoy sports and outdoor activities.
Evolve is a fast-growing, innovative designer and producer of customized branded apparel. We reinforce and extend our clients’ brands by developing and delivering custom-designed apparel solutions. Although a small/medium enterprise (SME), we partner with medium to large corporations such as Qwest, DIRECTV, and Chipotle Mexican Grill. Evolve provides optimal return on investment through a controlled supply chain and operationally efficient implementation program while exercising community and global consciousness through responsible and sustainable business practices.
Despite our SME classification, our global supply chain stretches around the world, from the United States to Mexico and through all parts of Asia. Design and product development is based in the United States at our Denver headquarters, and most of our quality control (QC) functions are done through our China office, often with help from third-party inspection companies. Our stated direction is to work with as few factories as possible so that, as a medium-sized business, we can control our supply chain efficiencies and quality as much as possible, which ultimately strengthens our partnerships. We have very stringent compliance requirements for our partner factories and perform third-party inspections yearly to assure our customers that their products are being produced in a socially and environmentally responsible facility they can be proud of. These yearly inspections by Asia Inspection are in addition to monthly visits and QC inspections by our overseas staff.
At Evolve, our small product-development staff continually strives to upgrade our knowledge of the ever-changing landscape of the global supply chain. In order to stay globally engaged, and compete with our much larger competitors and their extensive pool of experts, we have a tremendous ongoing need for partners, associations, newsletters, and events that can help increase our knowledge base. Although we have a great deal of supply-chain practical experience and education at Evolve, the global apparel business is changing constantly and requires us to stay on top of these changes, including C-TPAT requirements, free trade agreements, political/social changes, new sourcing areas, sustainability, socially responsible manufacturing, new legislation, customs, logistics, software solutions, and many others.
Fortunately for Evolve, there are numerous quality knowledge-base options to help us level the playing field with our competitors. One of the first and best decisions we made was to engage a 3PL broker/freight forwarder, Charles Schayer & Co. With offices overseas in the regions in which we operate, Charles Schayer & Co. has a very knowledgeable staff that treats us as if we were a much larger company.
Early on we also decided that we needed to belong to an association that would specialize in apparel importing to keep us up to date on all facets of our business and be an advocate for our industry. We have been pleased to belong to the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) for the last three years. Their seminars and daily newsletter informing us of what's happening in our industry, from new legislation to changes in customs and everything in between, have been instrumental to our success.
Fabric and garment testing overseas is also a high priority of ours. Specialty Technology Resources, Inc. (STR) has been invaluable as a strong and reliable partner with testing facilities in all of the regions in which we operate.
Along with our freight forwarder/broker partner, STR, and USA-ITA, we find that weekly and daily e-publications are useful tools. We subscribe to FIBER Journal, Emerging Textiles, Apparel Magazine, Inbound Logistics, AATCC News, and Eco Textile News. We have also found trade shows and industry forums are great places for learning from industry experts, including the MAGIC Marketplace and ASAP Global Souring shows in the United States and the Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. These shows are a must for SMEs to gain knowledge from the experts and investigate numerous sourcing possibilities.
In addition, one of the main charges of our company is to be involved in efforts to increase the use of sustainable fabrics and reduce our carbon footprint. In order to accomplish our goal to become a better corporate citizen of our great planet, we joined The Organic Exchange. Their mission “to catalyze market forces to deliver sustained environmental, economic and social benefits through expansion of organic fiber agriculture” echoes our company mission and values. Their regional and annual conferences along with their newsletters have been instrumental in helping us to set up processes in this area.
Staying competitive and more innovative than our much larger competitors can be a tremendous challenge for an SME in the global apparel industry. In order to accomplish this, we felt we would have a great need for additional knowledge and expertise from outside sources. This industry is ever changing, and although we have assembled a great team at Evolve, the only way we can provide the best quality programs to our customers is to have great partners and associations to help keep us globally involved in the apparel marketplace.