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Counting Down the Most Popular BTS Articles of 2020


Despite everything, we’ve learned a lot this year. And we hope to have helped you learn a few things too. We want to thank all of our loyal readers for your support this year and a big thank you to our advertisers for helping keep us going! Take a look at the most popular Behind the Seams original articles of 2020.

#15: Workforce Development & the Sewn Products Industry - SPESA Speaks serves as an editorial of sorts that introduces each month’s theme and content. In September, we kicked off Labor Day weekend with an examination of how Covid-19 reshaped the future of workforce development domestically.

#14: SPESA Announces Board of Directors Election Results - Pretty self-explanatory; this was a press release announcing the re-election of several SPESA Board members, representing Sewn Products Equipment Company (SPEC), Pegasus Corporation of America, Inc., Gribbin Strategic, DAP America, Inc. and Methods Workshop. Thank you again to everyone who attended this year’s SPESA Business Meeting & Virtual Executive Conference.

#13: A Conversation with Frank Henderson on Covid-19: Its Impact on the Industry & Manufacturing - We spoke with Frank Henderson, CEO of Henderson Sewing Machine Co., and master of automated sewing machines, about the current state of the sewn products industry amidst the pandemic and what it means for manufacturing, both domestically and globally.

#12: Discussing Workforce with SourceAmerica - As part of our exploration of workforce development within the sewn products industry, this article highlighted the outstanding work of SPESA member SourceAmerica, a national nonprofit agency that connects government and corporate customers to a network of over 700 nonprofit agencies that hire and employ professionals with disabilities.

#11: Technology and Its Role in Shaping the World and the Industry - Another SPESA Speaks entry, the article touched on our industry’s complicated past with technological progression, as well as the momentum needed to innovate, evolve, and keep pace with consumer and industry trends.

#10: Covid-19 Creates Ripple Effect in Global Supply Chains as Companies Prepare for Future Disruptions - A key purpose of Behind the Seams is to pull together industry news from all over and present our readers with a digestible amount of the information they need. This piece was a compilation of recent news articles reviewing the impact of Covid-19 on supply chains and the future outlooks related to a global economy.

#9: The Richardization of Apparel Manufacturing (And Why That's a Good Thing) - This guest post from Sarah Krasley, CEO of Shimmy Technologies, explored exciting innovations for workforce training and the laser focus on skills development that can build resilient manufacturing industries.

#8: A Look at the Past, Present, and Future of the Industry - As we approached SPESA’s 30th anniversary and our 2020 Executive Conference, we recruited SPESA Chairwoman Nina McCormack of DAP America, Inc., to pen a SPESA Speaks piece reflecting on her own time in the industry and how the industry has evolved in the past three decades.

#7: Legacy Series Part I: Mel & Dan Berzack on Family Across Generations in the Sewn Products Industry - In October, we launched the “Legacy Series” featuring conversations with families who have multi-generational ties to the sewn products industry. In the first entry, Sewn Products Equipment Company (SPEC) President Dan Berzack and his father, former SPESA Chairman and former SPEC President Mel Berzack, discuss their introductions to the industry and seeking out new innovation.

#6: USMCA Takes Effect - What It Means For Textiles and Apparel - Our first issue of the revamped Behind the Seams (July 1st) coincided with the implementation date of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, replacing NAFTA. This one is interesting because Behind the Seams readers haven’t shown much interest in the other trade articles we have posted.

#5: When History & Innovation Collide: An Interview with Lion Brothers CEO Susan Ganz - We spoke with Suzy Ganz, CEO of Lion Brothers, a woman-owned Maryland-based apparel company that celebrated its 120th anniversary this year. Suzy shared the story of the company’s evolution from America’s first embroidery businesses into a leading material science and innovation brand within the global apparel industry.

#4: SPESA Speaks: Plans Change - The title of our first SPESA Speaks article pretty much sums up the last 10 months. This article introduced the new Behind the Seams format and explained how Covid-19 forced us to throw all our other plans for the year out the window.

#3: Gerber Technology’s Leonard Marano Talks Innovation Behind the Business - SPESA member Gerber Technology, known for its innovative drive, continued to push the envelope when it opened its Innovation Center in New York City in 2019. We interviewed Leonard Marano, Chief Commercial Officer at Gerber Technology, to learn a little more about the Innovation Center and what the company was working on in the midst of a global pandemic.

#2: AFFOA: Working Toward a Manufacturing-based Revolution - Advanced Functional Fabrics of America is a non-profit institute aimed at transforming the manufacturing industry from traditional fibers, yarns, and fabrics to highly sophisticated devices and systems. We spoke with the AFFOA team about the changing workforce of the U.S. sewn products industry and the challenges related to training the next generation of workers.

*Honorable Mention: Announcing the 2020 Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas Virtual Symposium - While not SPESA-exclusive content, this article announced a SPESA-supported event, so we thought it merited a place on the list. Be sure to register for the next symposium sessions, starting up again January 13, 2021.

#1: Legacy Series Part II: Chat with Former VF Corporation Chairman & CEO Mackey McDonald - This article blew the competition out of the water. In our second Legacy Series entry, SPESA President Michael McDonald interviewed his own father, former VF Corporation Chairman and CEO, Mackey McDonald. Mackey shared his journey into the sewn products industry and insights on how to manage and operate a successful business.

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