“Most of the innovation comes from customers because we’re on the cutting edge of product development” says Rich Clark, president of the Vancouver, Washington-based plastic injection molding contract manufacturer.
Beyond offering superior outdoor gear that performs where it counts—out on the trail—we wanted to collaborate with US manufacturers and source locally whenever possible. We believe in supporting sustainable manufacturing practices by shortening the supply chain and creating jobs in the US.Here at Cnoc, sourcing locally through Rex Plastics allowed us to develop the most durable and securely adjustable quick lock clamps based on our user feedback. According to Clark, there are many benefits to domestic manufacturing and sourcing locally, including advantages in logistics and quality.
“The nature of manufacturing is fast-paced,” Clark says. This rapid speed means it’s more effective to build relationships locally, and if a supplier isn’t delivering products to spec, it’s possible to visit. Plus, “anywhere in the US can ship ground in a week and not get tied up in customs.” Going local allows for a more agile and responsive manufacturing process.
“We’ve always been committed to purchasing domestic raw materials and not using overseas sources for tooling,” Clark says.
Family-owned and operated since 1971, Rex Plastics advocates for the Reshoring Initiative, a movement that helps companies shift thinking about the costs of manufacturing. Rather than fostering the belief that manufacturing overseas is less expensive, the Reshoring Initiative aims to show how local manufacturing reduces costs--savings that can be passed on to consumers. And when goods are produced domestically, this creates a skilled workforce in the growing manufacturing industry.
Clark says local manufacturing boosts the regional economy and provides jobs. Having a positive impact on employees’ lives is written into Rex Plastics’ core values.
“I think about the number of kids that we’ve helped get through college by providing jobs,” Clark says. “Families that we’ve supported over the last 48 years. That’s a good feeling.”
Our successful Kickstarter campaign proved the value of an investment in sustainable, human-centered manufacturing. You can still get a better than retail price on these incredible trekking poles with clamps made by Rex Plastics by preordering on Indiegogo.
Written by Erin Tillery