POND Threads Manufacturing, a web-to-print, integrated, and automated on-demand apparel manufacturer, and Merchadise Inc., an end-to-end solutions provider that offers a full stack of services that enables e-commerce needs for brands, announced that they have come together for a joint business venture: to build a mega facility. The name? Merch Farm.

According to Alex Young, POND CEO and co-founder, Merchadise is a perfect partner for POND as they played a key role in the development of POND’s Shopify integrated production software. “Once I partnered with Alex Phelan (president and CEO of Merchadise), the scale and demand for high-quality, premium products printed on demand really started to show itself,” says Young. When he first started in the apparel world, Young was working in the very niche segment of speedos. Now, things have grown rapidly.

“We saw this opportunity to take premium cut-and-sew and direct-to-fabric (DTF) products and bring in all the software for Merchadise, and you know, owning the full stack and having control of our own factory gives us the ability to do what we want for those who want retail quality not just [general] merch,” Young adds.

The evolution of the two brands working together is now culminating into Merch Farm, a facility that will have the capability to output 1.2 million printed blank garments and 300,000 cut-and-sew items per month once it’s built. The goal is to break ground in the September/October timeframe of this year.

As Young mentioned, DTF will become a big part of the equipment lineup. Even though they’re still in the testing phases with the printers, he has high hopes for the technology’s role in Merch Farm’s future. “The feedback [so far] is amazing,” he states. “You don’t have to design around a print method. The customer can send whatever they want, and we can give them that within reason.”

As plans for Merch Farm unfold, things will of course change. Young notes that customers will continue to work directly with the POND factory and team, but that the physical location will become more of a sampling house where they develop products and test software.

As far as the future goes, Young has big plans beyond launching the new facility this year. “My goal is to fill up our capacity within a year and build a second or even third facility within two to three years,” he says. “We will continue to put out high-quality products and provide a safe place for people to work so they can grow as well.”

As Merch Farm is built out and products are brought online, Young notes that they will keep customers abreast to when the expanded capacity is available.

“It’s crazy to think I started out making speedos,” he finishes, “absolutely crazy to think about how much we’ve grown.”