Fernando Capellan and Tony Rodriguez at Grupo M headquarters

Fernando Capellan and Tony Rodriguez at Grupo M headquarters

Dominican Republic apparel maker Grupo M is teaming up with Los Angeles based premium laundry and finisher Blue River Denim to upscale the finishes of denim, twill and knit products coming out of its DR/Haiti co-production model.

Grupo M's Fernando Capellan and Blue River's Tony Rodriguez plan to launch a 'Laundry Lab' in August to create new and innovative washes and finishes for the global apparel market.

The lab is being equipped with the latest technology, the companies say, and will accommodate designers and product development teams from new brands and current customers looking to produce premium products in the Caribbean country.

"This new venture with Blue River and their expertise is exactly what is needed to enhance and launch the new vision of our denim business where customer designers and merchants will have the opportunity to develop their new concepts and convert their ideas to product in our unique DR/Haiti duty free environment," explains Fernando Capellán, president of Grupo M.

Blue River Denim, which has years of experience from working the high-end fashion premium denim market, will develop products with onsite personnel as well as in LA for the DR/Haiti setup.

With customers including Levi Strauss, Warnaco, DKNY, American Eagle Outfitters, Polo and Aeropostale, Grupo M employs more than 9,000 workers and produces knitted and woven garments for men, women and children.

Its main hub is in Santiago in the Dominican Republic, where all washing and finishing takes place. It also operates the Compagnie Development Industriel (CODEVI) sewing facility in Ounaminthe in Haiti to take advantage of preferences under the HELP Act (Haitian Economic Lift Program) as well as co-production with the Dominican Republic and the DR-CAFTA agreement.