• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Hi-Tech Apparel acquires custom-clothing software company Unmade

London-based fashion and sportswear software company Unmade, which enables brands such as New Balance, Decathlon and Ralph Lauren to offer customised clothing on-demand, has been acquired by global garment maker Hi-Tech Apparel.

The deal, valuing the company at ten times its revenue, offers Hi-Tech Apparel, the Thailand-based conglomerate and supplier to some of the world’s biggest sports brands, the chance to build a digital-first, globally distributed on-demand and custom clothing manufacturing model to meet customer demand.

Unmade, founded in 2014 by Hal Watts, Kirsty Emery-Laws and Ben Alun-Jones, offers technology that enables brands to turn designs into manufacturing-ready data, reducing waste and lowering minimum order quantities. Its platform, UnmadeOS, uses patented automation and visualisation technologies to deliver customisation, teamwear and small batch production at scale.

For brands, this on-demand apparel approach increases flexibility and helps them meet Sustainable Development Goals and corporate social responsibility targets.

Hi-Tech Apparel capitalising on brand’s desire for on-demand and custom clothing with Unmade acquisition

To date, the UK tech company has raised a combined 15 million pounds from Octopus Ventures, Felix Capital, MMC Ventures, Local Globe, and Connect Ventures, as well as Decathlon, the world’s largest sportswear retailer, which will remain a shareholder following the deal.

Hi-Tech Apparel said the acquisition builds on its two-year partnership with the UK tech company, which has seen the two businesses successfully deliver custom apparel to teams, from amateur clubs to professional athletes.

Following the deal, Unmade’s UK-based team, led by chief executive Hal Watts and chief operating officer Simon Rea, will remain with the business to further develop the industry’s leading digital solution for personalised and customised apparel and will be boosted by a “significant cash injection to propel growth with a series of new hires”.

Unmade to continue to be led by CEO Hal Watts

The acquisition will combine Hi-Tech’s manufacturing and logistics expertise with Unmade’s technologies to create “a market leading solution” for brands and retailers looking for a better approach to teamwear and customisation.

Unmade’s team will also have access to Hi-Tech Apparel’s significant resources, expertise and customer base, and will retain the autonomy to work with any brand or manufacturer.

Commenting on the acquisition, Watts, co-founder and CEO of Unmade, said in a statement: “This marks a huge milestone for Unmade and gives us a unique opportunity to implement our technology on a much bigger scale. It was clear from our first meeting that Hi-Tech’s vision for a digital, demand-driven supply chain solution was very aligned with our own.

“We’re extremely proud of the business and grateful to the team who built it over the last decade, in particular Ursula Davies, Simon Rea, and the founders who started out with me, pushing the apparel industry to work in a more on-demand and sustainable way.”

Hi-Tech Apparel is headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, and operates 13 manufacturing facilities with more than 14,000 employees across Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and soon Egypt. The garment manufacturer generates over 300 million US dollars in annual sales.

Wason Vitanakorn, chief executive of Hi-Tech Apparel, added: “Unmade perfectly aligns with Hi-Tech Apparel’s mission to build the digital infrastructure needed to achieve manufacturing distribution across multiple geographies in a demand-driven industry.

“We have worked closely with the hugely talented Unmade team for a number of years and believe in their ability to build on what is already industry-leading software to give our customers the responsiveness they demand.”

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