One of the benefits of working regionally is the ability to connect the dots which may have gone unnoticed. While traveling around the region it became clear that the textile industry is alive and well. One of the topics the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission is looking is the textile industry in the region and how that industry is growing/realigning within the larger state and national trends. Small startups like 1620 Workwear and 99 Degrees Custom are popping up alongside more legacy companies like Southwick. Folks may think that the textiles is an industry that went away a long time ago, but the reality is otherwise – textiles companies are here and many are growing in the Merrimack Valley.
Mass Innovation Nights are well known through Massachusetts. They highlight products from local and regional companies and give them a platform. It seemed like a perfect fit for IndusPAD, an industrial sized coworking and scale up space on the Lawrence/Methuen line. Mass Innovation Night hosted its 123rd event at the Lawrence industrial startup incubator in conjunction with the Lawrence Partnership and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. The companies featured were CathWear, Hope Sews, IG MODA, Southwick, Magnomer, gunaPAJAMA, Keysie, Terracea, Acadia Deerskin Chukka Boot, and Laced Boston. Having these small businesses and entrepreneurs pitching their products alongside textile titans like Southwick demonstrated synergy in the regions textile cluster. Working together with municipal and industry stakeholders helps the entire region galvanize around emerging industries and strengthens long term resiliency.