This week Andy Wynne, TMC CEO and developer of Nuyarn joins us on the podcast. If you are not familiar with Nuyarn Merino, it’s revolutionized the merino wool industry. For the past century, we’ve been twisting yarn and downplaying a majority of the performance and comfort aspects that natural fibers have in nature. Nuyarn manufacturing technology has vastly improved the benefits of Merino wool in terms of comfort, performance, and sustainability.
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How were you introduced to the outdoors?
I’ve been in the outdoor industry for most of my life since I was a small boy. Our business sort of gravitated more and more into the outdoor sector over the last five years. And that’s really because of Innovation technology and the culture of our business. So in doing business with like-minded companies, we find ourselves having exited from other sectors to supply into the outdoor industry. It’s an industry that’s very passionate. And we’re very passionate about our business and everything that we do in our business seems to align very well with that sector.
What are some of the sectors that you are not participating in?
We used to sell a lot into the fashion industry and then also into some of the industrial and more high-performance areas of flame retardants and that sort of thing.
We’ve sort of weaved through a natural progression of our new performance products have gravitated into a world of our own and that’s been really been very exciting for us. But we find ourselves in the outdoor industry doing business with brand partners who are at the sort of pinnacle of technology and innovation of their sector. And we really enjoy being there.
Performance Attributes of Nuyarn.
TMC essentially comes from a textile background. And so most of us were historical textile engineers and found ourselves gravitating into the apparel industry in 2007, 2008. We were somewhat plagued with the ICAN economic challenges around the world. And a lot of businesses that we did business with basically said to us, “well, you know, if you can’t offer us apparel, don’t come and see us because we don’t have the capacity to buy fabric any longer.” And so our business sort of started to evolve into textile and apparel, and we were very fortunate to have a really good demographic of customer and performance customer.
We sort of changed gears. We brought some really, really smart people into our business, and we really upped our game. We got into the marketplace and really understood where the opportunities in the market were and with whom. And what we had to do to create it. As a business, we were very successful in creating textile innovation or apparel innovation.
I had two options as the CEO
My option was to go out and recruit people from the industry that I knew wool, or go out and recruit people from other parts of the industry that were ignorant. And what we settled on was to go out there and recruit people that didn’t know wool, because I was determined to be an innovator in the space.
How did you get started?
We started from grassroots, getting onto farms, talking to growers, farmers, et cetera, and really understanding the real unique attributes of wool and what we were dealing with. And yes, we did understand that wool keeps you warm when you’re cold and keeps you cool when it’s hot.
We discovered that wool is an enormous high performing fiber and has the capacity to absorb moisture from the vapor stage. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the opportunity was that we could take wool and we could gear it up if we had the capability to be a summer high-performance natural fiber.
Fast forward to today and TMC, with our new yarn technology, we created a yarn structure where we draft fibers around a very, very high-performance filament yarn with no twist.
So now this is an enormous achievement for us because we can create a two-ply yarn 35% finer than the industry can create a single yard.
This has given us the ability to sit down in front of our brand partners and say, look, what are you wanting to do? Are you wanting to create the world’s lightest climbing shirt. You want to create a very innovative cycle shirt or running shirt or other high-performance items. And so we’ve been able to sit down, understand what it is that our brand partners are wanting to create. Then, go away and because we are a vertical business, we were able to do fiber selection, spin the yarn, make the textile and the apparel, and we’re able to do a total package solution all the way to apparel.