Founded in 1998, COBMEX® quickly emerged as a leading uniform sweater manufacturer for the Public Safety and Corporate markets. As the company celebrates its 25-year anniversary, it reflects on the journey that has shaped it into a symbol of quality, innovation, and unwavering commitment to its global customers.
Excellence: A Driving Force
Since its incorporation, COBMEX® has had a clear vision: to develop the best uniform sweater on the market. The company aimed to achieve this mission without losing sight of its core values of Respect, Integrity, Accountability, Passion, and Innovation. These values serve as the guiding principles for the company’s day-to-day operations and decision-making processes.
Prior to its founding COBMEX® President Phil Newman, gained a passion for the apparel industry through his hands-on experience on the factory floor, where he learned the intricacies of garment manufacturing. Having since worked for several fashion brands, his desire to expand his knowledge and expertise led him to extensive travels throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Years later, Phil and Jon Edberg, COBMEX® Partner and Executive Vice President, have guided the company to become a global enterprise, with offices in four countries.
“Since the start, our unwavering commitment to excellence has been key to our success. By prioritizing exceptional customer service and cultivating trusted partnerships, we have earned the loyalty of our valued customers.” – Phil Newman, Founder and President
COBMEX®’s loyal customer base and rapid growth are no coincidence. From the very beginning, COBMEX® understood that exceptional customer service is crucial for success. COBMEX®’s Client Care team serves as the face of the company, delivering impeccable service with a positive attitude. Its commitment to providing prompt and informative support solidifies its position as a trusted and reliable partner in the uniform industry.
“When I think of COBMEX®, what I often think of is family and relationships. It’s a group of people that have come together, building these incredible connections. Those relationships don’t stop within the company, they extend to everyone you interact with, making customers feel like honorary COBMEX® employees.” – Michael Smith, President of Unisync
Design and Innovation: The Fabric of COBMEX®
COBMEX®’s proprietary yarn developments have redefined industry standards. In 1999, the company launched Durapil™, a yarn that transformed the uniform sweater industry through its resistance to pilling, soft touch, shape retention, and unparalleled durability. Building on this success, Durapil Ultra™ was introduced in 2003, combining the qualities of Durapil™ with advanced anti-pilling capabilities.
Recognizing the complexity of knitwear manufacturing, COBMEX® employs a team of design experts to ensure excellence in every stage of the process. Expertise has been integral to COBMEX®’s success, enabling the company to design superior uniform sweaters that meet the rigorous demands of the Corporate and Public Safety markets.
COBMEX®’s Product & Design Team draws inspiration from international fashion runways to seamlessly blend functional features with modern designs. With a focus on the end user, the team carefully evaluates the unique needs of different sectors when designing. By incorporating performance-driven elements into their knitwear, COBMEX® ensures their products meet the highest standards of functionality and style.
Relationships and Pivotal Growth
The collaboration with the Network Association for Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) was a pivotal affiliation that acted as a catalyst for COBMEX®’s growth in the United States. By attending its first NAUMD conference in 2002 and then becoming a member in 2005, COBMEX® solidified its presence in the industry and fostered valuable relationships, partnerships, and friendships. The company continues to be proud and involved members with Phil Newman recently acting as Chairman and Jon Edberg currently serving on the Executive Committee.
“I want to thank Phil for bringing his expertise and leadership to the NAUMD. I believe you were instrumental in bringing the NAUMD back to a thriving organization. Thank you for that, and the industry thanks you.” – Bob Gates, Owner and Partner of R&R Group
In addition to its association with the NAUMD, COBMEX® achieved significant milestones by establishing new facilities and new markets. In its early years, the company moved into its first dedicated office and warehouse space in Toronto, while manufacturing its sweaters through semi-proprietary facilities in Mexico.
Over the years, COBMEX® has reinforced its global footprint by establishing a presence in Mexico, the United States, the UK, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The company’s commitment to the European market was exemplified when it attended its first Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide (PCIAW) conference in 2014 and later became a member. In addition, COBMEX® continues to expand its manufacturing capabilities in Mexico, as highlighted by the opening of its new proprietary factory.
COBMEX®’s unwavering attention to customer satisfaction and manufacturing excellence has earned it a reputation for quality products and service resulting in widespread industry recognition.
Examples of these accolades include the NAUMD Rising Star Award, which was presented to Pricila Neal, Senior Director of Product and Design, acknowledging her exceptional contributions and potential within the industry. COBMEX® President, Phil Newman, was honored with the prestigious PCIAW Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the professional clothing industry.
In addition to individual recognition, COBMEX® has recently garnered further industry praise, such as the NAUMD Innovation Award. This highlights the company’s creativity and relentless pursuit of design excellence, resulting in products that continuously exceed customer expectations.
Culture: The Core Fiber of COBMEX®
COBMEX®’s dedicated team has been integral to the company’s growth and success. Many employees who joined the organization during its early years have not only experienced significant personal and career growth but have also contributed to the collective progress of the company.
Executive Vice President, Jon Edberg, operates as an example of COBMEX®’s ability to foster an environment where employees can thrive and build long-lasting careers. Jon joined COBMEX® in 2004 as a part-time warehouse employee. With Phil’s mentorship, Jon quickly advanced through the ranks, excelling in both sales and manufacturing.
In 2018, Jon was promoted to Executive Vice President, formalizing his role in shaping the future of COBMEX®. In this same year, he was honored with the NAUMD “Next Generation Young Leadership Award,” celebrating his career progression, leadership development, and commitment to innovation.
“COBMEX® fosters a culture of continuous development that encourages employee growth. As Executive Vice President, I take pride in leading our talented team towards continued success, driving innovation, and positioning COBMEX® as a global leader in the industry.” – Jon Edberg, Executive Vice President
A Social Conscience
COBMEX® has been unwavering in its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility since its establishment. In 2020, COBMEX® launched its first Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®-certified Contemporary Collection, showcasing its dedication to product safety and quality. Highlighting its dedication to progress and responsible manufacturing processes, COBMEX® is currently transitioning many other styles to meet the rigorous OEKO-TEX® certification standards.
In 2023, COBMEX® took a significant step forward by initiating the development of its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Policy. This policy will represent a formal pledge to align its business operations with principles that prioritize long-term sustainability and create a positive impact on society and the environment. To ensure effective implementation of the ESG Policy, COBMEX® formed an Employee Sustainability Squad, a team dedicated to driving sustainable practices and bringing their commitments to life through collective effort.
COBMEX® is committed to making a positive difference in society through active participation in charitable causes. The company’s giving policies prioritize charities that promote environmental sustainability, health, child advocacy, and education. These initiatives reflect COBMEX®’s dedication to improving the lives of vulnerable communities and creating a better future for all.
COBMEX®’s journey of excellence continues to unfold, fueled by its unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, customer satisfaction, and ethical business practices. As the leading knitwear supplier in North America for the Corporate and Public Safety Uniform markets COBMEX®’s position is solidified as a respected partner in the apparel industry. Looking ahead, COBMEX® embraces a visionary approach that emphasizes sustainability, employee well-being, and customer satisfaction, driving innovation to shape the future of the uniform sweater market.