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Industry News | 12/20/23

Updated: Jan 29


SPESA Sets Its Sights on the West Coast for 2024 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference
Press Release | December 20, 2023

For the first time ever, SPESA will host its Advancements Conference in Los Angeles, California. In partnership with the California Fashion Association, the event will take place Thursday, April 11, 2024 and will feature a full day of educational sessions and productive dialogue about how manufacturing technologies can drive the industry forward.


 
‘Made in the USA’ Has Global Appeal, Experts Say
Sourcing Journal | December 18, 2023

A recent U.S. Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) webinar featuring Dr. Sheng Lu, associate professor and director of Fashion and Apparel Studies from the University of Delaware, and his students, highlighted the current production and export strategies of U.S. manufacturers. According to the panelists, domestic producers are establishing the American market as a hotbed of sustainable innovation.


 
Corporate Due Diligence Rules Agreed To Safeguard Human Rights and Environment
Press Release | December 14, 2023

The European Parliament announced an agreement on corporate sustainability due diligence that sets obligations for companies to mitigate their negative impact on human rights and the environment. The policy will apply to all large EU companies and smaller companies within specific sectors including textile, apparel, and footwear. It will also apply to non-EU companies that do certain levels of business in the EU. Additional industry coverage is available here.


 
All Eyes on the Suez Canal as Container Shipping Giants Halt Passage Through Red Sea
Sourcing Journal | December 18, 2023

More major ocean carriers have halted their ships from entering the Red Sea as concerns of escalating attacks on vessels in the waterway’s chokepoint mount. As they reroute their goods elsewhere, some companies have also temporarily stopped accepting cargo to and from Israel.


 
VF Corp Lays Off 500 Salaried Employees Amid Turnaround
Fashion Dive | December 1, 2023

The job cuts come weeks after an activist investor demanded the conglomerate slash $300 million in expenses. A VF spokesperson on the layoffs: “While these decisions are never easy, they will give us the financial flexibility to invest behind our brands and better position us for long term growth. We’re committed to handling this restructuring with dignity and respect for all involved and want to thank those impacted for their valued contributions to VF.”


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | YKK’s Water-Repellant Zipper with GTT Technology Wins ISPO Award
Press Release | December 14, 2023

The ISPO Textrends judges have selected YKK's DynaPel™ water-repellent zipper as the Best Product in its accessories category. The competition, held twice a year in conjunction with the ISPO trade show, recognizes the most innovative performance textiles, components, and apparel.


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Mimaki Offers an Integrated Direct to Film Printing Solution
WhatTheyThink | December 14, 2023

Direct to Film printing is gaining steam and new SPESA member Mimaki has joined the fray. WhatTheyThink conducted a video interview with Mimaki’s Senior Textile Segment Specialist, Victoria Harris, to learn more about the company’s full end-to-end integrated system and when to use direct to film versus direct to garment solutions.


 
NCTO: National Defense Authorization Act Aims To Expand Government Procurement of American-Made Goods in Boost for U.S. Textile Industry
Press Release | December 14, 2023

The National Council of Textile Organizations commended Congress for passing the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act last week, legislation that will “help preserve the Berry Amendment supply chain and direct the Department of Defense to expand its procurement of domestically-made textile goods for military use.” The bill includes language calling for the DOD to report to Congress its assessment of the textile industry as it relates to labor shortages, contract forecasting, and lack of investment in manufacturing capabilities.


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Shimmy Technologies Trains RMG Workers to Adapt to Automation
The Business Standard | December 13, 2023

Shimmy Technologies, a New York-based industrial EdTech company has trained over 6,000 workers from various readymade garment (RMG) factories and technical training centers in Bangladesh in the last seven years.


 
U.S. Apparel Sector Issues Caution Over New U.S.-China Relationship Proposal
Just Style | December 13, 2023

The U.S. apparel sector has warned bipartisan recommendations for the U.S. to reset its economic relationship with China could signal a new "economic Cold War" and lead to higher costs for both fashion companies and consumers.


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Medical Device Contract Manufacturer Launches in Minneapolis
Today's Medical Developments | December 13, 2023

Visura Technologies, Inc., a privately owned medical device company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and SPESA member YKK Corporation of America have launched Evevo Manufacturing LLC, a new joint venture committed to serving emerging medical device companies in the Minneapolis ecosystem.


 
6 Reasons Why Global Supply Chains Are Shifting
Supply Chain Dive | December 13, 2023

Supply Chain Dive examines the reasons driving global business leaders to explore alternative sourcing strategies, including:  

  • Cost evaluations;

  • Concerns around tariffs and the rise of subsidies; 

  • The threat of geopolitics on supply flow;

  • Renewed focus on existing supply networks (think Mexico);

  • A need for speed and supply chain agility; and 

  • The consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals.


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Go Beyond UK-Made at the January Furniture Show
Furniture News | December 12, 2023

SPESA member Pathfinder Cutting Technology will showcase its latest collection at the January Furniture Show in Birmingham, UK.


 
Kik Is TradeBeyond’s Latest Supply Chain Win
Sourcing Journal | December 12, 2023

TradeBeyond, whose extended supply chain management solutions target private label and branded merchandise, will replace Kik’s existing analog systems with cloud-based solutions to optimize the European retailer’s supply chain end-to-end, beginning with sourcing, tendering, order collaboration, and inspection. “TradeBeyond’s unrivaled expertise in sourcing and supply chain management, coupled with the company’s strong Asian presence, make them the ideal partner for us,” Dirk Ankenbrand, chief marketing officer at Kik, said.


 
Nearshoring Apparel: Inside DXL’s Pivot to Central America
Manufacturing Dive | December 12, 2023

Sourcing from Central America has several advantages for DXL and others, including shorter lead times and faster speed-to-market. But there are also challenges — both policy-related and economic — that DXL and other apparel companies have run into as they look to source closer to their operations and customer base.


 
New Balance Commits $10 Million to UMass Boston To Establish the Institute for Innovative Leadership in Sport
Sourcing Journal | December 12, 2023

This substantial financial commitment will build on the New Balance Sport Leadership and Administration program, which was established at UMass Boston in 2018 and launched with $5 million from the athletic company.


 
Under Armour’s Breakthrough Fiber-Shed Test Method Now Available for Industry
Press Release | December 12, 2023

Earlier this year, Under Armour announced a breakthrough fiber-shed test method to help address the invisible, but daunting sustainability threat microfibers and microplastics pose to society and the planet. In partnership with James Heal (a leading precision testing solutions supplier), the brand has brought the award-winning test method to life with optimized fiber-shed test kits now available for industry use (and purchase). As part of the partnership, the companies are receiving continued support and technical guidance from testing service provider Hohenstein.


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Lectra Launches the Observatory of Innovation and Transformation in the Fashion, Furniture and Automotive Markets
Press Release | December 11, 2023

As a leader in technology solutions accelerating the transition of fashion, furniture, and automotive companies to Industry 4.0, Lectra announced the launch of its Observatory platform. The Observatory will focus on innovations and changes in the fashion, furniture, and automotive markets, to help these sectors stay informed and adapt to new opportunities. The Lectra Observatory’s first white paper on the advent of Industry 4.0 is already available online.


 
Shein, Global Fashion Manufacturer, Will Go Public in 2024
Forbes | December 11, 2023

The Chinese fast fashion maker and lifestyle e-retailer plans to go public in 2024. Three major companies, including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley have been mentioned as potentially being the lead underwriter of the IPO. Among the major investors are JAFCO Asia, IDG Capital, Sequoia Capital China, and Tiger Global Management.


 
WTiN Is Trialing a Digital Fiber Pricing Platform
Sourcing Journal | December 11, 2023

The World Textile Information Network (WTiN) recently announced the launch of its Fibre Hub, an interactive tool providing fiber pricing data for both conventional and emerging next-gen materials. While the UK-based B2B textile manufacturing intelligence and insights provider has long provided fiber and ingredient pricing data to the industry, it’s traditionally been done through PDFs, which aren’t as user-friendly as an interactive platform. With Fibre Hub, users can filter results by currency, supply chain, segment, variant, and data range.


 
Puma Expands Its Textile-to-Textile Polyester Recycling Program
Fashion Dive | December 11, 2023

Puma last week announced plans to increase the scale of its textile recycling efforts and replace recycled polyester with proprietary Re:Fibre materials in all its soccer club and federation replica jerseys beginning in 2024. The company said garments previously made from only recycled plastic bottles would instead be made using RE:FIBRE recycled materials that were made of old garments and factory waste.


 
Shirt Helps Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People Enjoy Opera
ATA’s Textile Technology Source | December 11, 2023

A pilot program at the Lyric Opera of Chicago is trying on a new approach for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to experience opera with the SoundShirt. This jacket-like garment is equipped with 16 haptic actuators that transmit sound from the orchestra and stage into pulses, vibrations and other forms of haptic feedback in the shirt itself. The SoundShirt differs from most accessibility technology, providing a mediated experience of the music that registers as physical and personal. Lyric’s SoundShirt project was launched in partnership with the city of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities (MOPD), but the garment itself was designed by CuteCircuit, a London-based wearable technology design firm.


 
New Conductive, Cotton-Based Fiber Developed for Smart Textiles
Phys.org & Washington State University | December 11, 2023

A single strand of fiber developed at Washington State University has the flexibility of cotton and the electric conductivity of a polymer, called polyaniline. Detailing their findings in the journal Carbohydrate Polymers, WSU researchers tested the fibers with a system that powered an LED light and another that sensed ammonia gas. The idea is to eventually integrate fibers like these into apparel as sensor patches with flexible circuits. These patches could be part of uniforms for firefighters, soldiers, or workers who handle chemicals to detect for hazardous exposures.


 
How To Improve U.S. Apparel Production, Export Strategies in 2024
Just Style | December 8, 2023

A new study suggests U.S. policymakers should consider supporting small and medium sized U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers, strengthening U.S. fabric production, and supporting exports from outside the Western Hemisphere to improve U.S. apparel manufacturer and export strategies.


 
Accelerating Circularity $1.5m Grant Will Expand Textile Waste Efforts
Sourcing Journal | December 8, 2023

Non-profit Accelerating Circularity has secured a $1.5m grant from the philanthropic organization Walmart Foundation and will use it to demonstrate it is possible to end textile waste.


 
The EU Is Taking On Fashion’s Open Secret: Destroying Unsold Goods
Vogue Business | December 7, 2023

Earlier this month, the European Union banned the destruction of unsold textiles and footwear. This comes as part of a broader push to tighten sustainable fashion legislation, with new policies around ecodesign, greenwashing, and textile waste phasing in over the next few years. The ban on destroying unsold goods will be among the longer lead times: large businesses have two years to comply, and SMEs have been granted up to six years. It’s not yet clear on whether the ban applies solely to companies headquartered in the EU or any that operate there, as well as how this ban might impact regions outside of Europe.


 
Why Bestseller and H&M Backed This Bangladesh Wind Project
Sourcing Journal | December 7, 2023

Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), together with Bestseller and H&M Group, have announced plans to develop Bangladesh’s first utility-scale offshore wind project, part of a bid to increase the availability of renewable energy in one of the world’s preeminent garment manufacturing centers. Bestseller has pledged to underwrite the $100 million required to get things off the ground.


 
Hilos Launches On-Demand Footwear Production Platform at Art Basel
Sourcing Journal | December 7, 2023

Hilos is bringing its revolutionary footwear 3D printing technology to the industry at large with the launch of a new platform called Hilos Studio in a partnership with fashion house Unknown Union. The label will be the first to release designs created with the technology, which allows independent designers and brands to develop footwear on demand.


 
With Color-Changing Fabric, Hong Kong AI Lab Aims to Reduce Clothing Waste
Reuters | December 6, 2023

The technology could help reduce waste by giving people more color choices for an item of clothing, says Hong Kong-based Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab). AiDLab hopes that the technology will one day be commercialized, but currently it’s on display in installations at shopping malls and other locations in Hong Kong.


 
EU Extends the Generalised Scheme of Preference Regulation
Press Release | December 6, 2023

The European Commission has extended the current EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) regulation until the end of 2027. The EU GSP removes import duties from products coming into the EU market from vulnerable developing countries.


 
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Digital Color & Textile Recycling Innovation Super Stars
International Fiber Journal | December 4, 2023

Apparel has traditionally been characterized by limited supplier collaboration and few long-term strategic relationships compared with other industries. However, a new survey conducted by McKinsey & Company indicates brands, recognizing the value of partnering with suppliers, are finally shifting to transform the apparel industry.


 
Apparel Brands Finally Shift to Deeper Supplier Relationships
McKinsey & Company | December 4, 2023

Non-profit Accelerating Circularity has secured a $1.5m grant from the philanthropic organization Walmart Foundation and will use it to demonstrate it is possible to end textile waste.


 
ICYMI | World Fashion Convention Photos

SPESA and the International Apparel Federation (IAF) recently hosted the 38th World Fashion Convention in Philadelphia. The event brought together more than 170 delegates from across six continents for thought-provoking educational sessions, unparalleled networking opportunities and endless discussions on how we all can play a role in driving the industry forward.


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