Octavio Echavarría Hernández, Julio Echavarría Hernández and Alfredo Mesa Vélez, found in Medellín - Colombia, the Zigzag sock company that produces socks for children. After some years of operation, this company is liquidated, giving way to the creation of Calcetería Victoria with Octavio Echavarría Hernández, Julio Echavarría Hernández and Alfonso Velásquez Vélez as main partners.
After liquidating Calcetería Victoria, the brothers Octavio and Julio Echavarría Hernández, inaugurate the Crystal Media Factory, in the Antioquia neighborhood of the city of Medellín, with their own brand Galax, thus laying the foundations for what would be one of the largest companies in Colombia.
The Spanish brand Punto Blanco, accredits Crystal for the manufacture of the products in Colombia, for its trajectory and high quality standards and the company's corporate name is changed to Crystal Socks, to support this recognized European brand.
After years of growth and development, in 1989, Carlos Manuel Echavarría Toro, son of Octavio Echavarría and president of the Organization, is negotiating to acquire the French administration company Textiles Modernos, dedicated to the manufacture of garments under the own brand Gef (Acronym of Gerard Fortier). The company is renamed Vestimundo.
Within the process of transformation and adaptation of Gef to the consumer of the XXI century, the baby brand proposal Baby Fresh is launched this year.
Thanks to the growth of international markets and the Company's participation in them, the company Sotinsa, dedicated to the production of socks for export, is created in the Free Trade Zone of Rionegro, Antioquia, in Colombia, and the textile process is transferred from Vestimundo to Marinilla, Antioquia, thus expanding the productive capacity.
Almatex is born, a new company that is dedicated to the administration and expansion of the chain of own stores in the main cities of Colombia.
We acquired our garment plants, Printex in Armenia, Nicole Pereira and Nicole Manizales and; in agreement with PARKDALE MILLS, the largest producer of yarns and yarns in the world, we built Colombiana de Hilados in the Free Trade Zone of Rionegro, Antioquia, in order to guarantee the constant supply of raw material for the companies of the Organization and third parties.
The plants of Marinilla, Sabaneta, La 30 and the management company of the Retail business are integrated: Almatex, under the new corporate name CRYSTAL, seeking to optimize resources and processes. Sotinsa's production process ends its operations in the Rionegro Free Trade Zone and is integrated into the Sabaneta headquarters.
Faced with an increasingly interconnected consumer, our brands Gef, Punto Blanco and Baby Fresh enter virtual commerce each with its own online space.
Our Hosiery and Clothing plants of the Sabaneta headquarters, are moved to the headquarters of Marinilla and the Coffee Axis respectively to integrate with it, the production processes.
With more than 250 stores in Colombia, nearly 7000 employees and a presence in 14 countries in Latin America, we faced the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing the well-being of our human talent, accelerating our digital transformation process and enhancing our strategic focus on sustainability to innovate and create new growth opportunities for the business.
Aware of the importance of continuing on our path towards sustainability and the positive impact of these actions on our environment, we launched several eco-efficient initiatives: we began the installation of 7387 solar panels in our production plants in Rionegro - Zona Franca and Marinilla, to supply our processes with solar energy; we moved our Manizales manufacturing plant in order to modernize its infrastructure and achieve greater efficiency in the process; we began planting 150,000 trees in the eastern Antioquia region to reduce the impact of carbon emissions; and we upgraded our water treatment plant to make the process more efficient. We also began planting 150,000 trees in the eastern region of Antioquia to reduce the impact of carbon emissions, and we upgraded our water treatment plant to make the process more efficient.