Jul 22, 2023

Fulflex maintains a leadership position in elastic rubber tapes and TPU tapes

In an exclusive interview, the company’s Chairperson Diya Garware Ibanez gave an overview of the company’s history, product range, its contribution to the textile industry, and future growth plans

Beginning the interaction with a brief history of the company, Chairperson Diya Garware Ibanez stated: “Our journey began in the US with its origins in Easthampton Rubber Thread Company, founded in 1863 and subsequently with the establishment of Fulflex in 1932. Our lineage in India stems from the Garware Business House founded in 1933, the pioneers in nylon tyre cords, plastics, polyester films, shipping, paints, ropes, and nets in the country. Garware Business House’s rubber business was founded in 1995 and quickly attained a global leadership position. The company later collaborated with Fulflex to form Garware Fulflex, thus creating a global market leader in the process.”

She added: “We cater to a variety of industries, some of which include medical, textiles, PPE, hygiene, sports, fitness, and rehabilitation,” she further stated: The company has emerged as a top supplier of elastic rubber tapes, ribbed tapes, elastic rubber threads, and TPU tapes for various textile applications such as – underwear, swimwear, lingerie, sportswear, shapewear, fitted bed sheets and many more. The other served market segments include industrial, insulation, food and agriculture, custom mixing, and custom calendering. The essential products in the portfolio can be defined as rubber tapes, threads, sheets, tourniquets, esmark bandages, resistance bands, rehabilitation accessories, and many more.

Going into details about the company’s manufacturing infrastructure, Diya said: “We are, by far the largest in size and capacities in our product range. Our world-class manufacturing facilities in the US and India are equipped with cutting-edge expertise in mixing, calendering, molding, extrusion, and polymers. They are designed to meet the highest standards in quality, safety, and sustainability.” This has led Fulflex to become a global leader in thin-gauge calendered rubber products and has expanded its capabilities in molded and extruded rubber and thermoplastic products.

“A solid commitment to research and development fosters a strong culture of innovation that allows us to meet the changing needs of the global market,” she added. Fulflex has established a strong presence in several key global markets. “We have a local presence in the US, Colombia, Luxembourg, Kenya, Singapore, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and India. We sell across more than 85 countries,” Diya pointed out. In fact, it is the vast product bouquet that the company offers which has helped it create a strong footprint both in the domestic and foreign markets.”

Elaborating on the importance of the textile industry for the company, Diya remarked: “We have been working with leading apparel brands such as Fruit of the Loom, Jockey, Hanes, Speedo, Marks and Spencer, and many more across the globe to supply our elastic rubber tapes for various textile applications. Our elastic rubber tapes and ribbed tapes have been designed and developed as the best solution to deliver consistent stretch and fit while achieving unmatched comfort, excellent laundering qualities, and resistance to salt water, chlorine, and sunscreen.” Speaking about a recent launch for the textile industry she added: “We have developed and launched TPU tapes for intimate apparel, T-shirts, and swimwear where a seamless appearance, fit, and aesthetics are critical.”

Listing down the advantages and strengths of the company compared to its competitors, Diya noted: “We have the most significant product portfolio showcasing extensive forms of rubber, thermoplastics, and other polymers. We serve a broad spectrum of markets such as textiles, medical, PPE, hygiene, sports, fitness and rehabilitation, industrial, insulation tapes, food and agriculture, eco-friendly products, custom mixing, and custom calendaring, thus making us one-of-a-kind. Our local presence globally in various countries helps us provide unmatched customer service and lead times.”

Replying to a question about the company’s sustainability focus specific to the textile industry, Diya said, “Our factories are zero-effluent discharge plants. We conserve water within our factory premises through a reservoir and do not use harmful substances in our products. We have installed solar panels in our factory and generate power for consumption at the plant.” As for the company’s future growth plans, she stated: “We are committed to sustainable growth and will continue undertaking solar power projects, water conservation, and tree plantations. Our philosophy is to reduce and recycle wastage. We are focused on strengthening our polymer processing capabilities and remain committed to best-in-class manufacturing practices.”