The July Image Award has been presented to Hemingway Apparel. Located in Hemingway, the industry operates in a facility that was built in 1962 by a company called Warners, which was later sold in the late 60’s to the Mistee Lingerie.
When several workers and local financial supporters became aware Mistee Lingerie was about to be closed they decided to come together and make an offer to buy out the company. The offer was accepted and Hemingway Apparel officially began in 1978.
In the mid 80’s the industry employed approximately 400 people as well as contractors that worked under the umbrella of Hemingway Apparel. In the 90’s they consolidated and continued under the one corporation Hemingway Apparel.
The company produces apparel for private label brands ranging from fashion underwear, lingerie, shirts, athletic wear, sleepwear etc. In March, at the beginning of the pandemic, Hanes announced the Parkdale Initiative to start production of gowns and masks. Hanes reached out to Hemingway Apparel for production. Hemingway Apparel converted the t-shirt and printable shirts lines to masks and have since been in overtime and at max capacity. Most of the 50 employees are local in the county and work Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. producing about 30,000 garments (15,000 being masks) a week.
Co-owners Chris Marsh and Jack Marsh are a father/son duo that have been together in the business since Chris was around 21 years of age. Chris recalls childhood memories in the office while his dad was working and feels he has always been at home there. Chris says he and his father make a great pair because they have created a schedule to ensure one of them is onsite at all times during working hours. Looking to the future they want to enter the medical garment segment of the industry long-term. Chris feels they will remain in the lingerie and athleisure industry ongoing. Chris is very proud of their dedication to the county and is committed to staying and employing locals long into the future.