Manufacturer Spotlight Q&A with Natasha Hartono, Marketing Coordinator with COBMEX® Apparel


While some businesses feel stuck in the past due to the worldwide pandemic (it’s hard not to long for simpler times right now), one company, in particular, has sought to focus on the future: COBMEX® Apparel.

In the midst of all the uncertainty that COVID has brought with it, COBMEX® has steadily remained a leading supplier of functional and stylish sweaters to the corporate and public safety industries. And while they continue to address the ongoing struggles of the pandemic, they continue to keep both eyes on what lies ahead. With new and exciting features, services, and products, COBMEX® was a natural choice for one of our Manufacturer Spotlight features in this issue of MadeToMeasure.


Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Natasha Hartono, the Marketing Coordinator of COBMEX®, to discuss the emerging products, services, and technology they have planned for the rest of this year and to discuss further what customers can expect from this public safety and corporate uniform supplier in 2021 and beyond. Take a look!

KENNETH: First of all, in your own words, how would you describe COBMEX®?

NATASHA: COBMEX® Apparel is the leading manufacturer of sweaters to the uniform industry that caters to public safety and corporate image wear industries. We are a knitwear supplier to many of the largest uniform distributors around the world. Over the last 23 years, we’ve established our reputation for manufacturing quality knitwear that is designed detailed and technically advanced. Our knitwear is stylish and built to perform. Our team designs for comfort, durability, and style. Because of our global reach, you have likely interacted with someone who is wearing a COBMEX® sweater in their line of work. Some of the industries we serve include police and fire departments, hospitality and healthcare, government agencies, retail and quick-serve restaurants, transportation, airlines, and many more.

KENNETH: What are the values of COBMEX®?

NATASHA: At COBMEX®, our principles guide us through our actions every day. Respect and integrity are at the core of every interaction with COBMEX®, with every member of our team. We not only stand behind our product but we stand in front of it with every action/process throughout the supply chain. We care about what we do and how we do it and enjoy sharing this passion with our customers. We are committed to ensuring that the employees who wear our knitwear, will love our products as much as we love creating them. Innovation, for example, at COBMEX® takes many forms, from creative marketing strategies, raw materials, and design to the manufacturing process, customer engagement, and our social and environmental compliance.

KENNETH: Walk me through a high-level overview of your company history.

NATASHA: COBMEX® was founded in 1998 by Phil Newman. His journey started long before this, with over 15 years of experience in the traditional apparel industry. He found himself in the uniform industry with a mission: To do one thing that was better than anyone else. By focusing on one product category, he was able to create a brand in a niche market. COBMEX® began by manufacturing what we still manufacture today – quality knitwear designed specifically for the demands of the uniform industry. As a result of the events of September 11, 2001, there was a major increase in the demand for uniform security. Today, our business has evolved to also service the corporate image sector, offering garments of the same quality, but with retail-inspired designs. As a result, we now have sales offices in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

KENNETH: What would you consider is your company’s biggest strength?

NATASHA: The quality of our products speak for themselves, but we also support the integrity of the product by providing world-class customer service. The feedback from our clients and salespeople is always extremely positive and highlights the quality of our products as well as the memorable client care that they receive. We always provide a positive customer experience, and has resulted in long-lasting customer relationships, many that have lasted for over 25 years.

KENNETH: Your company did a great job mitigating the challenges of COVID. Now that some of it is behind us, what is your company looking forward to in 2021 and beyond? What exciting new services or products are in the pipeline for COBMEX®?

NATASHA: Thank you! During this past year, we’ve ramped up our marketing strategy while building strong momentum. Some of these projects included creating and sharing our story through video production, increased social media presence, and adding new website features for our customers.

We are always looking for ways to stay close with our customers and maintain easy and accessible communications. Bridging distances and staying responsive through the past year has been a priority. Since our uniform sweaters are distributed globally, our newly launched multilingual website enhances the web experience and makes it even easier for our customers to conduct business with COBMEX® from wherever they may reside.

Also, in response to demand during the pandemic, we’ve introduced a Reusable 3-Ply Face Masks. We’ve received lots of positive feedback about the comfort, fit, and security. Personally, they’re the only masks that I wear. They are designed with three layers and have a built-in nanofiber filter which is recommended by government health officials. The adjustable ear loops and chin guard help to create a closer fit and the mask provides both comfort and protection.

KENNETH: That was great! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers out there?

NATASHA: Yes, we have some very exciting news at COBMEX®! We now have OEKO-TEX® manufacturing facilities in all our current manufacturing centers across the globe! This means that our STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification program will be extended throughout our uniform sweater collections. We also offer this certification through our custom sweater manufacturing capabilities, which we know our clients will appreciate.

This year, we also launched a new style within our Public Safety Collection! This is our Style 2026 COBMEX® Quarter Zip Military Sweater with shoulder and elbow patches, and it is also STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified. We’ve incorporated traditional public safety features with modern retail inspiration. This OEKO-TEX® certification means that “you can be certain that every component of the product from the thread to the buttons and other accessories has been rigorously tested for harmful substances.”

We also want to emphasize our customer outreach program where we work with our customers to provide them with information, photos, and logos, to make sure that they have the best tools available to them. This will hopefully create more engagement with our customers and further build our relationships with them. We are really looking forward to continuing to service and add value to our customers in the upcoming year. The best is yet to come! If you have any inquiries, please contact us at [email protected].

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