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Industry News | 11/15/23

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

World Fashion Convention News


Now or Never for Advancing the U.S. Apparel Manufacturing Sector
Just Style | November 3, 2023

Just Style's Laura Husband sat down with SPESA President Michael McDonald in Philadelphia to discuss the current landscape for U.S. apparel manufacturing and why now is the time to invest in it. Notably, Mr. McDonald shares that it is his and SPESA's goal to draw attention to manufacturing efforts in the Western Hemisphere, and the World Fashion Convention set the stage to do so. He states: “When I joined the IAF I was adamant the Western Hemisphere is a re-emerging opportunity for manufacturing and IAF members should be interested in it.”


 
Fashion’s Working to Balance ‘Long-term Value Versus Short-term Pricing’
Sourcing Journal | November 8, 2023

In these uncertain times, experts say supply chains must evolve accordingly to manage disruptions and build in resiliency. Sourcing Journal outlines how this topic was raised during the 38th World Fashion Convention as speakers tackled trade trends, where production is moving, and new ways of working that improve efficiency.


 
U.S. Supply Chain Group To Aid Apparel Trade Reset, Unlock Americas Growth
Just Style | November 10, 2023

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles & Apparel at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Jennifer Knight, reveals the "co-production" fashion supply chain is the new focus for the U.S. with the CAFTA-DR region being well positioned to grow its fashion sourcing market share. Just Style reports on DAS Knight's presentation in Philadelphia.




We are extremely grateful to the press who attended and reported on the recent 38th World Fashion Convention in Philadelphia.


 

Industry News


Former Under Armour CEO Heading New PET Textile Recycling Venture
Sourcing Journal | November 15, 2023

Over the next decade, the demand for recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in textiles is expected to grow up to 30 metric tons per year. To help meet that demand, Paris energy transition technology business Technip Energies has partnered with Under Armour and IBM to launch Reju, a company focused on PET recycling. Led by former Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk, Reju will use VolCat, an IBM technology produced in partnership with Under Armour and Technip, for rejuvenating waste PET packaging and polyester on an industrial scale. The technology acts as a molecular sorter, regenerating hard-to-recycle polyester garments and PET packaging that would otherwise end up in landfills.


 
In Bangladesh, ‘Unprecedented’ Violence Over ‘Unsustainable’ Wages
Sourcing Journal | November 14, 2023

A fourth garment worker is dead in Bangladesh amid the South Asian nation’s escalating labor unrest, which has seen tens of thousands of factory employees violently clash with security forces over what they regard as an insufficient increase in the minimum wage.


 
Global Cotton Production Sees Slight Rise to 113.5 mn Bales: USDA
Fibre2Fashion | November 14, 2023

Global cotton production has seen a marginal increase, now totalling 113.5 million bales, according to the 2023-24 outlook of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cotton: World Markets and Trade report. This increase is primarily due to higher yields in Afghanistan, Argentina, the United States, and Paraguay, which have more than compensated for the reduced crops in Spain and Mexico.


 
AFC’s Seamless Project Completes First Phase, Key Milestones Listed
TexFash | November 14, 2023

Seamless, a first-of-its-kind initiative that aims to transform how clothing is made, used, and recirculated in Australia to achieve clothing circularity by 2030, has completed its first phase towards delivery of ambitious industry transformation and optimal outcomes for all key stakeholders. 


Leila Naja Hibri, CEO of the Australian Fashion Council, provided an overview of the Seamless Clothing Stewardship Scheme at the recent 38th World Fashion Convention in Philadelphia. Click here to view her presentation.


 
Intermodal Shippers To Get Another US-Mexico Option in January
Supply Chain Dive | November 14, 2023

J.B. Hunt, BNSF, and Grupo México Transportes are planning to offer shippers a new U.S.-Mexico intermodal service promising faster shipping speeds than are currently available. The new service will leverage rail networks in both countries.


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | The Move To Digitize Engineering in Textile Products
Textile Technology Source | November 13, 2023

SPESA member Graham Sullivan, CEO of SEDDI Inc., which supplies newly created digital data and design development tools to the apparel industry recently spoke on a panel with representatives from SPESA member AFFOA and Under Armour discussing developments in digital engineering for textile product design. Under Armour has engaged SEDDI Inc. to digitize its workflow, while AFFOA is in the process of mapping the industry’s needs for electrical and textile CAD and CAM tools for advanced textiles.


 
Ghana on Track To Synthetic Verticality as Biden Commits to AGOA Renewal
Just Style | November 13, 2023

President Biden has committed to renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act beyond 2025, however DTRT Apparel's co-founder and co-CEO Marc Hansult urges the U.S. to renew it for another decade at least to reap the benefits of synthetic verticality in the region. DTRT Apparel is in the final stages of financing for its first textile mill in Ghana to make synthetic-based performance garments in the region. (Read more from Reuters: How African Apparel Industry's Future Depends on U.S. Congress.)


 
Flooding in Italy Stokes Fears of Climate-Induced Supply Chain Delays
Vogue Business | November 13, 2023

Italy's Prato region, known for fabric manufacturing, has been hit with floods, impacting suppliers. It's the latest sign of climate change's impact on the luxury supply chain, and has raised alarm bells for manufacturing and raw materials sourcing capabilities.


 
Smart Textiles in Automotives
Textile Technology Source | November 13, 2023

There is a growing opportunity for the use of textiles within flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) that is of interest to the automotive sector, in particular. The FHE market is poised to grow by $135 million during 2022-2026. The market applications include smart surfaces with soft trim, smart surfaces with hard plastic, and display and mechanical components.


 
How Military Veterans Can Fill the Manufacturing Labor Gap
Manufacturing Dive | November 10, 2023

As the industry pushes to fill more than 600,000 open jobs, Manufacturing Dive argues veterans offer unique skill sets and leadership qualities to step into manufacturing careers.


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Requests for Sustainable Trims Lead to New Creative Opportunities
Rivet | November 9, 2023

The suppliers behind the buttons, rivets, zippers, patches, labels and hang tags that give denim styles their sartorial edge are becoming more conscious of their environmental impact, adopting fresh processes and innovative materials from seaweed to recycled metal. This Rivet article features SPESA member YKK USA, among other suppliers, explaining how brands are upping the ante when it comes to addressing the sustainability profiles of their trims, and how the potential for reuse and recycling has begun to guide design decision-making.


 
Global Fashion Brands Say To Raise Purchase Prices for Bangladesh-Made Clothes
Reuters | November 9, 2023

Global fashion retailers including H&M and Gap are committed to raising purchase prices for Bangladesh-made clothing to help factories there offset higher workers' wages, a U.S.-based association representing more than 1,000 brands said.


 
What the New Minimum Wage Means for Garment Workers in Bangladesh
FashionUnited | November 8, 2023

On November 8th, the Bangladeshi government announced the new minimum wage for garment workers: beginning in December, they will receive 12,500 taka (around $114 USD) instead of the previous 8,000 taka ($68 USD). While this is a significant increase, Bangladesh continues to lag behind other garment-producing countries. FashionUnited highlights the comparison, explaining how the new wage was calculated and what it means for workers.


 
Fast Fashion’s Slow Adoption of New Fibers Puts Green Targets At Risk
Bloomberg | November 8, 2023

Retailers like H&M and Inditex are buying only “peanut quantities” of the innovative fiber, circulose. This has been a blow to the drive to use more sustainable materials, according to a textile recycling supplier to both fashion brands.


 
Plastic Is Plaguing Lower-Income Countries. Where Does Fashion Fit In?
Vogue Business | November 7, 2023

The fashion industry is facing growing criticisms for its high environmental footprint. This has led to a shift in brands pledging to reduce their environmental impacts and announce their sustainability commitments. However, experts argue that the industry continues to overlook plastic, with packaging and synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester still ubiquitous.


 
Delaware Expert Dr. Sheng Lu Provides Insight on Fast Fashion
Delaware Today | November 6, 2023

University of Delaware Professor (and friend of SPESA) Dr. Sheng Lu recently appeared in an episode of ABC's Nightline on Hulu “Unboxing Shein.” Delaware Today follows up with questions about fast fashion and sustainable shopping.


Dr. Lu provided an industry update at the recent 38th World Fashion Convention in Philadelphia. Click here to view his presentation.


 
Fashion Industry’s Labor, Climate Impact Piques State Scrutiny
Bloomberg Law | October 25, 2023

State lawmakers across the U.S. are increasing scrutiny of apparel companies, with proposals aimed at boosting accountability for the fashion industry’s labor and environmental practices.


 
A Climate Tech Startup — and Earthshot Prize Finalist — Designs New Method To Reduce Clothing Waste
CBS News | November 6, 2023

CBS News highlights Circ’s efforts to sustainably “refashion” the clothing industry, from turning tobacco leaves into biofuels to recycling poly-cotton clothing to partnering with major brands. Circ plans to open its first industrial-scale factory by 2026, and replicate them around the world, recycling billions of pieces of clothing.


 
NRF’s 3-4% Holiday Growth Forecast Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story
Sourcing Journal | November 6, 2023

The National Retail Federation forecasts 3-4% retail sales growth for the November-December holiday shopping period. That would bring sales to $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion, versus $930 billion in 2022. However, after factoring in inflation ranging from 3.5-3.8%, holiday sales this year could end up flat or slightly negative. (Read more from Sourcing Journal: Fashion and Apparel Could Be Left Out in the Cold this Holiday Season.)


 
Will the Fashion Industry Outgrow PET Bottles if Chemical Recycling for Textiles Takes Off?
Waste Dive | November 6, 2023

As concerns about fast-fashion waste gain more attention, well-funded startups and longstanding chemical companies are starting to scale up the textile recycling market. Many apparel brands now use polyester made from post-consumer PET bottles in an effort to improve the sector’s sustainability. But using waste PET as apparel feedstock is “not a perfect solution.”


 
ILA Leadership Warns U.S. East Coast Dockworkers To Prepare for 2024 Strike
The Maritime Executive | November 6, 2023

The leadership of the U.S.’s International Longshoremen’s Association, the union representing dockworkers along the East Coast (and as far west as Houston and the Great Lakes), is working to harden its membership for a potential strike in October 2024. While the master contract for some 45,000 of the ILA’s 70,000 members has 10 months left, union leaders began more than a year in advance to talk about the potential of a job action.


 
New Balance, Reformation Among Brands Launching Sustainable Footwear Collective
Fashion Dive | November 3, 2023

Eight brands have partnered with EarthDNA, a nonprofit climate advocacy platform, to promote a circular footwear economy, focused on transitioning the footwear industry from a linear to a circular system.


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Tukatech Introduces Partnership with EcoShot by Metail
Press Release | October 30, 2023

SPESA member Tukatech announced a new partnership with EcoShot by Metail, a company specializing in visualizing people and clothes together. For almost two decades, Tukatech has strived to help apparel companies eliminate physical samples from the product development process with its industry-leading 3D sample making software, TUKA3D. With this new partnership, current and future TUKA3D users can showcase true-to-life 3D virtual garments on photorealistic digital models.


 
Zara Parent Company Inks $74M Deal for Recycled Polyester Material
Supply Chain Dive | October 27, 2023

Inditex entered a three-year agreement with Ambercycle, a company which developed a material, called Cycora, made from post-industrial and post-consumer polyester waste. Inditex is buying a “significant portion” of the annual production of Cycora for more than 70 million euros. The deal is meant to help scale the production of textile-to-textile recycled polyester and help Ambercycle support its first commercial-scale textile regeneration factory, which is expected to begin producing the material around 2025.


 
H&M Group Integrates AI for first Time with Custom Clothing Creation Tool
FashionUnited | October 25, 2023

H&M Group’s print-on-demand merchandise service Creator Studio has unveiled the retail group’s first use of AI, with a generative AI-powered custom clothing creation tool. The new AI tool enables anyone to mock up and produce garments utilizing AI-generated custom visual artworks based on text input by the user. Meaning that anyone can play designer and create their own artist-quality designs in a matter of seconds.


 
University of Oregon Announces Sustainable Textile Facility Near New Portland Campus
The Oregonian | October 24, 2023

The facility is part of an academic partnership with NTX, a Singapore-based company that makes textiles with waterless dying technology, which is more environmentally friendly than traditional methods. The multimillion-dollar facility will create a few dozen jobs, further cement Portland’s reputation as a hotbed of the sportswear industry, and could attract other research and development facilities. The supply chain company Luenthai also is partnering with NTX.


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