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Industry News | 2/15/23

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Retail Today on the State of the Fashion & Apparel Industry
Retail Today | February 2023 Issue

Three SPESA members, including CGS, Inc.’s Paul Magel, Lectra’s Leonard Marano, and Alvanon’s Janice Wang, were recently featured in Retail Today’s State of the Fashion & Apparel Industry, published in February 2023. In three separate articles, the experts discuss how the industry is changing, challenges on the horizon, and what will help the industry propel into its next chapter.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | AMANN Group’s State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Facility in India
India Textile Magazine | February 6, 2023

AMANN Group is developing its first production site in Ranipet, India. The commissioning of the production facility in Ranipet marks another milestone in the rapid development the AMANN Group has taken since 2010, when the first Asian production was inaugurated in Yancheng, China. The factory in Ranipet will be state-of-the-art in terms of resource conservation and sustainable processes and the first AMANN production site worldwide equipped with a zero liquid discharge wastewater treatment plant (ZLD).

How AI and Automation Bring Made in America Roaring Back to Life
Sourcing Journal | February 14, 2023

Machine learning and sophisticated hardware and software are two of the major reasons apparel manufacturing is enjoying a resurgence in the U.S. and bringing considerable blue-collar and white-collar employment along with it. Check out this piece by Sourcing Journal highlighting the work of several U.S.-based companies turning to new technologies to improve efficiencies on the factory floor.

Supply Chain Issues to Impact U.S. Cotton Industry Growth in 2023
Just Style | February 14, 2023

The latest data from National Cotton Council economists shows U.S. cotton acreage is projected to be down 170%. While production costs remain elevated, cotton harvest-time futures prices are currently 16.5% less than a year ago and the prices of most competing commodities are relatively unchanged. The current economic signals are reflected in the 2023 survey results as many growers indicated a shift away from cotton to other competing commodities.

U.S. Apparel Import and Sourcing Trends: Asia vs. Near-shoring from the Western Hemisphere
Sheng Lu Fashion | February 14, 2023

Dr. Sheng Lu, Associate Professor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware, offers a comprehensive analysis of trends impacting the U.S. apparel industry according to the latest trade data released by the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). You can check out additional coverage of Dr. Lu’s research here.

How Many Facilities Have Been Affected by Turkey’s Earthquake? Here’s What We Know
Sourcing Journal | February 10, 2023

At least 9,210 apparel, footwear, and textile manufacturers surround the epicenters of two powerful earthquakes that struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on the morning of Monday, January 6. According to various reports, some intact factories in the region are opening their doors to workers and their families, as well as other victims of the earthquakes, who have lost their homes and require food and shelter. Additional coverage from Sourcing Journal can be found here.

The VF Foundation Announces $8.3 Million in Community Investments, Highlighting Efforts in Climate Action, Equitable Access to the Outdoors, and Women’s Empowerment Worldwide
Press Release | February 13, 2023

Of the $8.3 million granted, nearly $2,635,000 supported causes aimed at creating more inclusive and accessible outdoor spaces; $2,682,500 supported women’s empowerment and community development; $1,642,000 supported projects in sustainable innovation; and the remaining investments supported scholarships and mentorship programs created to ensure more diverse representation in the apparel, footwear, and outdoor industries. In its press release, VF notes plans to work with community and industry organizations, including Shimmy Technologies, to support its efforts.

Contract Negotiations Begin for East, Gulf Coast Ports
Sourcing Journal | February 9, 2023

How the East Coast negotiations will play out remains to be seen, but if the talks end up anything like they have on the West Coast, then all parties may have to wait a while before a resolution is reached. Negotiations on the West Coast have been stalled since summer and the more than 22,000 members of the ILWU have been working without a contract since their previous agreement expired on July 1.

Retailers Join $950M Commitment to Central America Sourcing
Supply Chain Dive | February 9, 2023

The White House unveiled a $950 million round of investments by private sector players in Central America sourcing, infrastructure, and businesses. The latest investments bring the total to $4.2 billion since the May 2021 launch of Vice President Kamala Harris’ “Call to Action for Northern Central America,” according to a White House fact sheet released last week. Altogether, 47 companies and organizations have been involved with the Partnership for Central America. Jonathan Fantini Porter, Executive Director and CEO of the Partnership for Central America, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming 2023 SPESA Executive Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | AAFA Updates Industry’s Most Trusted Restricted Substance List with PFAS Class Restrictions
Press Release | February 7, 2023

“The RSL provides a trusted solution for our members — and a compact with their consumers — to provide reassurance that our members have eliminated all substances found unsafe from their products,” said AAFA President and CEO Steve Lamar. “This tool is just one part of AAFA’s ever-updated programming and initiatives to achieve highest ethical and responsible standards — so that members, consumers, workers, and the environment thrive.” Additional industry coverage can be found here.

China's Factory Prices Fall as Manufacturing Struggles to Recover
Reuters | February 10, 2023

China's January factory gate prices fell more than economists expected, suggesting that flashes of domestic demand that had stoked consumer prices after the zero-COVID policy ended are not yet strong enough to rekindle upstream sectors. The Chinese economy continues to face significant headwinds, including an ailing property sector, weakening external demand for Chinese exporters, and near-record levels of youth unemployment.

SPESA To Host 2023 Executive Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 30-31, 2023
Textile World | February 7, 2023

Textile World shares information on SPESA’s upcoming Executive Conference, taking place Thursday, March 30, and Friday, March 31, at the iconic Caribe Hilton located in the Condado neighborhood, just a short ride from historic Old San Juan. The two-day event will bring together industry professionals for learning, networking, and the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of San Juan.

From 'Made in Bangladesh' to 'Designed in Bangladesh'
TBS News | February 5, 2023

"We have become used to the term 'Made in Bangladesh' not 'Designed in Bangladesh.’ But the new generation of Bangladeshis is starting to think differently and act differently. And as part of this generation, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to create change. I'm living the dream of so many people, so it's an opportunity which comes with a lot of responsibility," said Bangladeshi designer Rokaiya Ahmed Purna who designs footwear in Bangladesh to be manufactured in the West.

Major Textile Factory in Haiti To Close Plant, Lay Off 3,500
Associated Press | February 2, 2023

One of Haiti’s biggest textile factories announced recently that it is closing an assembly plant and laying off 3,500 workers. S&H Global, whose parent company is South Korean garment manufacturer Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd., said that strikes and social unrest have led to numerous delays in shipments, order cancellations, and other problems. The company said its clients have opted to use other more reliable suppliers and factories elsewhere in the Caribbean and Central America. Additional coverage can be found here.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Methods Workshop Under New Management
The Needle's Eye | February 2, 2023

After more than 40 years, SPESA Board member John Stern has decided to take a step back from his company Methods Workshop. Stern will still be involved in Methods Workshop but will be handing over the day-to-day operations to a new management team. "I look forward to Methods Workshop INTERNATIONAL thriving…and trust that you will give them the same support as you have graced me over these years,” said Stern.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | PFAFF Welcomes Dr. Frank Meyer as New General Manager
Press Release | February 2, 2023

On February 1, Dr. Frank Meyer has joined PFAFF Industriesysteme und Maschinen GmbH as General Manager for both locations in Kaiserslautern and Bensheim. In his new role as General Manager of PFAFF Industriesysteme und Maschinen GmbH, he will lead the areas of research, development, production, and strategic purchasing.

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