Glen Clyde socks maker – Company History

 

November 1992. With one desk and one telephone, Mitsuru Hashimoto commences operations in a rented room of a factory in Horifune, Tokyo. With a background in design, however little knowledge in craftsmanship, no sales continue for some time. On asking for advice, the master craftsmen would reprimand, "We're busy, go away!" However, with time, Hashimoto slowly befriends the craftsmen and is taught all things craftsmanship.

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April 1993. Around the time of the Birkenstock boom in Japan. Hashimoto presents his Slub Mix socks to Japanese select shop Beams to an exceedingly positive response. The company is registered as a corporation, and finally able to develop new business opportunities.
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June 1993. Relocation of offices to the building neighbouring the factory. The craftsmen continue to reprimand Hashimoto on a daily basis.

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September 1993. The arrival of the sneaker boom. Railroad socks eventually become commonplace in the market, leading to the development of ankle socks - "Make it so you can't see it." All companies approached with the ankle socks decline. All but Beams, would take a chance on carrying them. With no official name decided for the new style of socks, the buyers aren't able to make an invoice without a product name. Hashimoto thinks, "The socks stop at the ankle, so how about ankle socks?" The name is decided then and there. Much to Hashimoto's dismay, few additional orders are placed, leaving behind a mountain of stock.

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May 1994. Almost at the point of calling quits, Japanese magazine "Begin" feature the ankle socks in their recommended section. A phone call from Beams two days later, changes the history of socks in Japan. Ankle socks are a huge hit. It was worth not giving up.

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April 1996. Relocation and establishment of head offices in Sendagi, Bunkyo City.

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Early 1999. Ankle socks are now mass produced at low costs in China. Business in Japan begins to become difficult for domestically made products.

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Early 2003. With the marketplace now flooded with men's ankle socks, energies are diverted toward the ladies market.

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2004 to early 2005. Ladies knit tights and knee-high socks start to become popular, announcing the arrival of the ladies legwear era. Having expanded in the ladies market, this returns favourably.

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2007 to early 2009. With the boom of natural products for the ladies market, cotton, linen, wool, hemp, along with other natural materials including eco yarn, start to become acknowledged in favour of Glen Clyde.

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March 2009. New line CHUP launches. Collection debuts at JUMBLE exhibition in Tokyo.

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September 2009. In response to popular demand, CHUP also launches ladies sizes.

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May 2011. CHUP opens doors to the international market.

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September 2011. New line, CRAFTS MAN CHUP launches at JUMBLE exhibition in Tokyo.

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November 2011. Glen Clyde undergoes restructuring, launching new international division.

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January 2012. New line, & LIFE SOX is announced to be launched in Japanese publication, Free & Easy.

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March 2012. New line, FLIDIS debuts collection at JUMBLE exhibition in Tokyo.

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May 2012. A joint association is established with West Indian Sea Island Cotton to launch a made in Japan line of Sea Island Cotton socks - a lifelong dream of Glen Clyde founder, Mitsuru Hashimoto. The day the Sea Island cotton yarns arrive, Hashimoto embraces them and falls asleep. He dreams about Sea Island Cotton socks.

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July 2012. Glen Clyde 20th year anniversary.

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September 2012. Glen Clyde Sea Island Cotton collection launches at JUMBLE exhibition in Tokyo.

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January 2013. CHUP, & LIFE SOX, CRAFTS MAN CHUP, and Glen Clyde Sea Island Cotton collections make their debut appearances at Pitti Uomo in Italy.

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August 2013. CHUP debuts partnership with J.CREW, launching through all US stores.

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January 2014. CHUP and & LIFE SOX show their Fall/Winter 2014 collections at Liberty Fashion & Lifestyle Fairs in New York.

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February 2014. Relocation of head offices from Sendagi to Nezu, with further development of new show rooms. The showrooms are designed and built by DEMODE9, with an interior design focusing on vintage American antiques.
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June 2014. CHUP establishes a joint partnership with US based outdoor sock specialists, Smart Wool. A Made in USA, CHUP x Smart Wool line is launched.

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February 2015. CHUP joins the Jacket Required trade show in London as one of the exhibitors.

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May 2015. Glen Clyde buys 4 sock knitting machines for our exclusive use. This allows us to better pursue new projects as well as expand production of CHUP.

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September 2015. The specially made sock for American shoe brand, Alden, is launched after a year and a half spent in development with Lakota, the Japan distributor of Alden.

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November 2015. Entering our 25th anniversary year, thanks to the support of a great many people. Five more months until our founding date anniversary.

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January - February 2016. CHUP and our new brand, CHUP White Label, join as exhibitors at the Liberty show in New York and Jacket Required in London.

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March 2016. Our new brand, CHUP White Label as well as Glen Clyde Womens are unveiled at the Jumble show in Tokyo. 

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April 2016. We install hand-linking machines for low-gauge socks. This makes possible hand-linking for all types of socks. This equipment is very rare within and outside of Japan. 

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April 2016. We reach the 25th anniversary of the founding of Glen Clyde. We continue to take on new challenges day by day while putting to use our experience and know-how. We promise to continually work hard while keeping in mind our desire to bring you good socks. We look forward to future opportunities with you all!

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November 2016 We release the very first Cordura socks in Japan. Our Glen Clyde Cordura collection realizes these durable yet comfortable to wear socks. User responses immediately after release have included comments such as, "I'm never buying anything else again!" We look forward to future developments as the arrival of an entirely new material is not an everyday occurrence.

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January 2017 Exhibited at Liberty Fairs tradeshow in New York. This marks six years since the introduction of CHUP to the U.S. market. We get the sense from observing customer responses that the CHUP brand is finally taking root. We will continue to put out good products that will be enjoyed and loved by even more people.

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March 2017 We open our first Glen Clyde store! Located in 2k540, a collection of artisan brands. DEMODE9 assisted with interior work so that we can provide everyone with Glen Clyde products. The shop also carries large size CHUP, found nowhere else in Japan. Please stop by if you're in the neighborhood!

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December 2017 The launch of our new brand, Life Long, via crowdfunding. We achieved 400% of our target amount and the new line was received well beyond expectations.

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January 2018 CHUP shows at the Liberty trade show in New York. Glen Clyde's OEM market in the US is gradually growing as we work with brands such as Best Made, 3Sixteen, and Druthers.

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March 2018 Release at the JUMBLE trade show of the new style SULUCKS, which was originally sold only in our Glen Clyde store, Sock Club Tokyo. Our store is receiving acclaim as a lifestyle-centered store.

Glen Clyde Inc. (office and showroom)

2-35-2 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo 113-0031
Email: info@glen-clyde.com
Phone: 03-3823-7631

Glen Clyde Shop ("Sock Club Tokyo")

5-5-9 Ueno, Taito-ku
Tokyo 110-0005

Phone: 03-5846-8907