UPW: A Yarn Play Ground to Inspire Designers

UPW:  A Yarn Play Ground to Inspire Designers

Understanding that today’s consumer wants something that’s more unique is easy.  Meeting that demand is a bit more challenging. 


That’s where UPW offers an ideal solution for knitters. The company’s extensive collection of stock yarns can be mixed and matched by designers to create proprietary yarns, without the hurdle of high minimum orders.  Orders from UPW’s stock service can be as little as 1 kg per color.


“Over the years, we have realized that the one thing that doesn’t change is change. We keep changing our business model to explore the best possible practices to serve our customers,” said Stephen Trigg, creative director.


“We are shifting away from simply providing a practical service and are now focusing on providing newness to the market,” he added.  The company offers a wide range of yarns including cashmeres, textural tweeds, and rustic looking slub yarns. UPW’s ability to strike a perfect balance between offering cutting edge creativity and being commercially practical has made it a favorite of many of the world’s leading brands and retailers.


“Because we have our own in-house fancy twisting facility, we are uniquely placed to make fancy twists using our core qualities.  We can combine colors and textures from our stock yarns to make exciting new yarns individually tailored for our customers,” said Mr. Trigg.  He regards UPW’s stock service as a “yarn play ground” where designers can work with the company’s more than 2000 stock yarns to create almost infinite new developments. 


Established in 1984 with its headquarters in Hong Kong and factory in Dongguan, China, UPW is currently the world’s largest woolen yarn spinner. The company is now adding new facilities to expand its semi-worsted yarn capacity by 40 percent this year.


Creativity and Speed

In today’s market, creativity goes head to head with the demand for immediate delivery.  Fortunately, UPW is able to deliver on both.


“One of our key selling points is our Genuine Stock Service. This enables designers, small independent brands and retailers to get delivery on orders and samples immediately,” said Rodney Mak, sales director.   “Our investment in maintaining an extensive inventory gives us a lot of flexibility and speed to market.”


 “We love to work with small companies and grow with them. We offer them the ultimate flexibility from a knitting point of view.  Many independent designers and boutiques require small orders as they are focused on offering very unique products.  They can order small quantities through our stock service, and can re-order with quick delivery as needed,” said Mr. Mak.


“At the same time, even our bigger volume customers are looking for greater flexibility and faster deliveries, so are able to support them with this as well,” he added.


The Right Channel to Reach the Market

As an agile player in a fast changing market, UPW understands the importance of reaching the right customers at the right time.


“Inside Fashion gives us an excellent overview of what’s happening in the market, as well as valuable trend information,” said Mr. Trigg.


With its high quality editorial reports, compressive market research, and wide reach in the industry, UPW felt that Inside Fashion would be the right platform for their marketing campaign. 


 “One thing we really like about advertising in Inside Fashion is that our ads are surrounded by valuable market information, which gives us higher visibility to key buyers,” said Mr. Trigg.


Investing in Newness

Keeping ahead of the market requires continual investment in product development.


“One of our strengths is yarn engineering and we constantly play with fibers to make special products for our customers,” said Mr. Trigg.  “Price is important, but it cannot be all about price,” he explained.


To support its creative offering, the company is expanding its R&D team.


“We realize the importance of research and development so we are mirroring our production team with new R&D staff to work on the technical side,” said Mr. Trigg.

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