Hunter Targets Export Markets with Design Innovation

Invest Northern Ireland is supporting a £1.1 million investment by Londonderry-based Hunter Apparel Solutions. The company currently employs 92 staff and expects to create 13 extra jobs, in design and technical roles.

The company is the largest corporate uniform manufacturer and supplier in Northern Ireland. As market leader in its niche markets in the U.K. and Ireland, the company specialises in delivering individually tailored uniform packs for global companies and emergency service personnel - selling and managing the projects on-line from their base at Springtown Industrial Estate.

Invest NI support will assist the company to develop a design focused strategy, enabling the firm to deal more effectively with the increasing challenges faced by the apparel and textiles sector.

“Building our technical capability and reinforcing this with a strategic design focus will be vital as we maintain and improve our market position,” says Graham Hunter, managing director, Hunter Apparel Solutions.

“By offering more innovative, specialised products, anticipating the needs of niche markets and developing strategic partnerships, Hunter’s will use the challenges faced by the textile and apparel industry as an opportunity to offer valued added products and exploit commercial opportunities in export markets.”

Leslie Morrison, chief executive, Invest Northern Ireland adds: “Many local textile and apparel firms are feeling the impact of competition from low-cost economies but the sector realises that innovation and design focus will be vital in strengthening its position in the global marketplace. Companies are addressing new product development, introducing latest technology and systems, improving marketing and investing in staff training.

“The Invest NI support offered to Hunter Apparel Solutions reinforces our commitment to the company’s region. It is a component of the Invest NI North West Action Plan, which has resulted in almost £100 million of new investment in the North West region during the past 12 months.”

Hunter’s clients include: British Airways Plc; Emirate Airlines; Northern Ireland Fire Brigade; Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Kent Fire Brigade and Cambridgeshire Fire Brigade.