Alternative Apparel, the Atlanta-based company founded in 1995, has been purchased by Hanes in a deal valued at $60 million. CEO Evan Toporek will continue to lead the company out of Norcross. Alternative is expected to have full-year 2017 net sales of approximately $70 million, according to Hanes.
In 2016 the company consolidated its operations moving 150 employees three offices across the country to the facility in Norcross. The move brought an expanded team of designers to the 130,000-square-foot distribution center which houses Alternative's online orders and store merchandise.
The Alternative brand features T-shirts, fleece and other tops and bottoms designed in-house and sold both wholesale and through retail, online and direct-to-consumer channels. There are three Alternative stores – in Venice, California; SoHo, New York; and San Francisco -- as well as the ecommerce site at www.AlternativeApparel.com .
Toporek, a graduate of Georgia Tech and a supporter of the local startups , said the acquisition will help bring Alternative products to a wider audience.
“We’re thrilled to share Alternative products and experiences on a grander scale by leveraging Hanes’ global supply chain and growth platform,” Toporek said in a statement. “Partnering with a like-minded company that is a longtime industry innovator and leader will benefit our employees, our customers, and our brand as a whole.”
While Alternative Apparel designs in-house, the company has outsourced production of all of its products. Hanes self-manufactures the majority of its activewear basics.
Greg Alterman founded Alternative Apparel more than 20 years ago. He started off as a traveling salesman, selling his line of cotton caps and T-shirts from the trunk of his car across the metro area.
Alternative Apparel would soon become one of the go-to T-shirt brands for designers and wholesalers seeking the perfect blank canvas. Alterman traded his car for a showroom and headed to Los Angeles to focus on design. His goal was to elevate the brand from t-shirts to a full collection of lifestyle comfort clothing.
Company innovations have included "Burnout Tees, " the now ubiquitous lightweight, almost sheer, but not quite, shirts and hoodies that come in a range of colors. There was also Alternative Earth, an eco-friendly collection that used organic cotton, recycled polyester and low-impact dyes.
Toporek, in a 2011 interview with the AJC, referred to the company as a "sleeping giant." " We are thoughtful and responsible in what we do. We aspire to be a well-known brand one day that does more than just sell things," he said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.