How honored I was to be able to interview my long time friend, AAPN member and industry leader Jesus Canahuati of Elcatex in Honduras.
By Mike Todaro
The Atlanta-based Americas Apparel Producers’ Network (AAPN) is hosting the Apparel Summit of the Americas in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, November 27-29, 2018. This supply chain event will include a program of speakers and plenty of networking opportunities as well as tours of brand new state-of-the-art mills built to address the need for agile manufacturing.
Honduras has a country development program, known as Honduras 2020. This private sector initiative is complemented by the public sector and was developed to grow the country both socially and economically. Honduras 2020 focuses on six strategic areas of the economy, one of which is textiles and apparel. One of the goals for the textile sector is to increase annual exports to $7.4 billion and add 200,000 jobs to the country’s existing 150,000 jobs by the year 2020. Another goal is to surpass Indonesia and Mexico to become the United States’ fifth most important apparel provider.
Honduran textile companies are ramping up synthetics output in Honduras. One such company is Elcatex, a company dedicated to producing knit fabrics, cut parts and full-package programs. Founded in 1984, the 500,000-square-foot mill has a capacity of 2 million pounds per week. In addition to its textile manufacturing investments, Elcatex operates Latin America’s largest above-ground photovoltaic generator that has a capacity of 7.5 megawatts, and also uses other forms of renewable energy including biomass.
Ahead of the Apparel Summit of the Americas in Honduras, AAPN’s Mike Todaro chatted with Jesus Canahauti, general manager, Elcatex, about his company and the Honduras 2020 initiative.
Mike Todaro: Why are you working in this industry?
Jesus Canahauti: I was born into this industry. In 1959, my father, Juan Canahauti, and his wife traveled to the United States where they met the brand Lovable. That same year, he obtained the line’s distribution rights in Honduras.
In 1965, he took the first step from distribution to actual production in what would become his own factory, Lovable of Honduras. Seeing the need for raw material within the country, in 1984 he created the company Elásticos Centroamericanos y Textiles, or ELCATEX.
I was born, raised and went to high school here in Honduras. I was fortunate to be accepted into the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta where I earned my engineering degree in 1987. When I returned to Honduras, my father encouraged me to build a small textile company within Elcatex in order to supply the fabric needed in his sewing facilities. Read More