The team uniforms on display and under construction at the headquarters of H & A Global Enterprises Inc. in Raritan Center are unlike any you have seen before. That is because each design is utterly original, thanks to a relatively new printing process that offers unlimited possibilities in colors, graphic elements, and above all, to the imagination. Since H & A Global Enterprises Inc. principals Abdul Majid and Muhammad Ali decided to harness and expand the potential of full dye sublimation to produce custom-made performance garments, athletes can literally wear their passion for sports on their sleeve.
“This is the beauty of this nation,” says Mr. Ali. “Americans are so into their sports that they will work a full week, then on the weekend go into the park and play softball. Almost everyone wears something with a team logo on it. A five- or six-year-old kid starts out with a team number from soccer or t-ball and carries that number and team loyalty with him throughout his life; he wants it on his shoes, his socks, his hat, everything. They all want to look good; they want to look different.”
To that end, H & A Global Enterprises Inc. has launched its own brand of uniforms for baseball, softball, soccer, football, hockey, and lacrosse: EVO9X, the Evolution of Sportswear. While H & A Global Enterprises Inc. continues to produce garments for several of the world’s leading athletic wear manufacturers, EVO9X puts absolute design freedom and flexibility into the hands of school, community, corporate and organizational sports teams and leagues. There are softball jerseys that look like tuxedos; others that feature a lightning bolt design so realistic you can almost hear the thunder; arm sleeves that mimic elaborate tattoos incorporating a team’s logo; animals, landscapes, abstracts, anything the customer chooses to convey team spirit and identity can be accomplished through collaboration with the EVO9X design team and the dye sublimation process.
Unlike silkscreen printing, which lays ink on top of a garment and requires separate mesh screens for each different color, name, and number, dye sublimation transfers a digital image deep into the fibers of the fabric. It will not fade or crack, and an order can be fulfilled in a fraction of the time traditional printing would take. Mr. Ali explains: “If we get a call from a coach on Wednesday saying one of his guys will not be playing on Saturday, but someone named John will be playing instead, I can make a shirt with the new player’s name and number in one day. All I need to do is put it into the computer.”
Where these uniforms are made is as extraordinary as how they are made. When Muhammad Ali moved from Pakistan to New Jersey three years ago he brought his family, with twenty years’ experience in the garment trade, and something else—the courage and commitment to buck the trend of manufacturing overseas, in order to create jobs and high-quality products in his adopted country. Everything is, as the EVO9X label says, “Proudly Made in the United States,” start to finish, from American-made fabrics.
“With everything being made overseas and sold here, where are people going to come up with the money to spend on all these things?” he says. “Making it cheaper over there is no way to help the economy here. It is important to bring textile manufacturing back to the United States. Sewing cannot be done by a computer; it employs a lot of people, and that’s good for everyone. Our products will be a bit more expensive than those made overseas, but this price has to be absorbed by people who want to help the economy. What we offer in return is fast turnaround, good quality, and the best flexibility.”