A Utah company that only a year ago said it was hoping to help lead a rebirth of the American clothing manufacturing industry is out of business.
SanSegal Sportswear, a 35-year-old Sandy-based enterprise that made branded products for the Sundance Film Festival and other noteworthy customers that included the Smithsonian Institution and U.S. national parks, closed its doors late last week.
The reasons for the closure were unclear Thursday. Company owner Macon Rudick didn’t return messages left with one of the few remaining employees at its 75,000-square-foot plant in Sandy, where a year ago about 225 people worked.
Like many companies, SanSegal — which generated most of its revenue printing, silk screening and decorating T-shirts and other apparel for destination resorts and others in the tourism industry — was hard hit by the Great Recession.
A year ago, though, Rudick maintained that the company had turned the corner and was growing once again.
But Anne Peters, merchandise coordinator at the Sundance Institute, which puts on the annual film festival, said she heard in late summer from another vendor that SanSegal was going out of business. And when she called the company to arrange for it to do additional work for Sundance, she said her phone calls were never returned.
“We took our order to another local supplier,” Peters said.
Nick Duerksen, economic development director for Sandy, said he talked with a company representative Thursday and was told SanSegal had closed “for business reasons.”
“They said it was just a business decision they had to make,” Duerksen said. “I was really surprised. They’ve been here for a long time and had a really good reputation.”
Duerksen added that a month ago he spoke with company officials, who he said indicated they were planning on making [staff] reductions. “They didn’t say anything about closing.”
A check of court records Thursday revealed only one lawsuit involving SanSegal, a small claims action with a trucking company. Also, there was no bankruptcy filing for the company.
Three years ago, SanSegal (which also went by SansÉgal Sportswear) inked a deal to became the sole producer of hoodies, T-shirts, thermal underwear and other “official” apparel for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
The contract was carried over to 2011 — and again into this year, with designers expected to start work on the 2013 line of Sundance clothing before its difficulties ensued.