Launches Online Marketplace for Textiles

Atlanta — — an Internet global sourcing platform for manufacturers and buyers — has launched into the textiles arena.

More than 15,000 textiles buyers and factories covering home, apparel and industrial textiles are currently registered in the MFG marketplace. The mix is currently 25% home, 25% industrial and 50% apparel, according to company founder, president and ceo Mitch Free. MFG hopes to grow home to about 50% of traffic. Home textiles transactions currently have about an $80 million annualized value, said Tony Forcucci, global director, textiles.

After manufacturers register, they set up parameters for the types of business they want: minimums, maximums, capabilities, qualities, deliveries, etc. When buyers submit a request for quote (RFQ), MFG sends it only to the manufacturers that have the ability and capacity to bid on the job. Buyers can also restrict where their quotes are sent by country. When the bid returns, the MFG program calculates in the total landed cost, then sends it to the buyer.

Buyers and bidders grade each other through a peer review system, as is the case on eBay.

“For manufacturers, we deliver a lake stocked full of fish,” said Free, who said buyers of all sizes use the service. “Buyers get better prices from market transparency.”

Buyers pay no fee. Manufacturers pay an annual subscription ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. does not take a percentage of the transactions.

Free, a designer of manufacturing software, created the company eight years ago. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and brokerage firm Fidelity Investments are both stakeholders, he said.

A marketplace tracker on the home page shows the total value of all open RFQs on the site for the past month as well as the daily value of open RFQs by industry. As of late October there were some $1.1 billion in open textiles RFQs.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

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