It time for Fashion Week, so follow the fashion leaders…smart coming…and going!
Hanes is one of those old North Carolina companies that seems to have been around forever. Founded in 1901 in Winston-Salem (a city more famous for tobacco than for textiles) brothers John Wesley Hanes and PH Hanes both started knitting mills in the early years of the 20th century. John’s factory, Shamrock Mills, made socks, while broth PH’s plant, PH Hanes Knitting Company, made cotton knit underwear. Shamrock was renamed as Hanes Hosiery Mill in 1914, and a few years later they switched from men’s socks to women’s hosiery. They were an early user of nylon when it was introduced to the market in 1939, and they were quick to embrace the seamless stocking in the early 1950s.
In 1965 the two companies merged to form Hanes Corporation, and in 1979 the company was bought by Sara Lee. Before too many years the giant knitting plants in Winston-Salem and across the piedmont of North Carolina were dismantled and sent to Central American countries. Then in the 2000s, production was moved primarily to China.
Very little Hanes production remains in the US, but they do buy their cotton yarn from Parkdale Mills, which operates around two dozen spinning mills in the South.