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Industry News | 2/21/24

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Celebrating Excellence in Domestic Manufacturing Innovation and Impact
Press Release | February 21, 2024

The Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC), a nonprofit, national institute for the manufacturing of soft goods, has revealed plans to host its inaugural ISAIC Honors, which will serve as a tribute to honor and amplify the remarkable achievements of the unsung pioneers shaping the fashion and soft goods sector. The inaugural event will be held May 2, 2024, in ISAIC’s homebase of Detroit. The 2024 honorees share a commitment to domestic production, brand inspiration, and addressing critical issues like climate change through innovative solutions.

Sae-A Trading Reduces GHG Emissions by 80% in Indonesian Factories
Just Style | February 20, 2024

The South Korean apparel manufacturing company is introducing greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction facilities in its overseas subsidiaries in Nicaragua and Indonesia as it bolsters efforts to achieve the 2050 net zero goal.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Lectra Expands Furniture On Demand Offer with New Cutting Solutions
Furniture News | February 19, 2024

SPESA member Lectra is launching a new generation of smart and connected furniture-cutting equipment, VectorFurniture Q2 and VectorFurniture iX2. The announcement follows the recent launch of the company’s enhanced Furniture On Demand by Lectra offer. Lectra plays a pioneering role in enabling the automation of on-demand production for the furniture industry, facilitating the production of small runs at the same rate as mass production and promoting material savings.

2024 World Cotton Outlook: Demand Improvement Expected but Economic Pressures Remain
Press Release | February 18, 2024

National Cotton Council economists have analyzed and made predictions for the U.S. cotton industry’s 2024 economic outlook. Modest economic growth is projected for the next two years, but the projected growth rates are still well below the recent historical average. The organization projects 2024 U.S. cotton acreage to be 9.8 million acres, 3.7% less than 2023. Growers are facing difficult planting decisions as current prices fall short of production costs for many producers. Although if the Bloomberg article below is correct, decreased demand may also be an important factor in U.S. cotton’s future.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | How 3D Software Gives You 4D Capabilities
Sourcing Journal | February 16, 2024

3D software has certainly made incredible design strides in the industry, but SPESA member Clothing Tech LLC is taking things to the next dimension — and it starts with 4D. The Austin-based software company defines 4D as time, which it feels is often wasted on standard “3D” inefficiencies. That’s why the 3D design software platform unveiled its latest innovation, Fashionr, earlier this year. With Fashionr — created in a joint venture with Hexagon AB, a global leader in 3D design — designers can compress a garment’s timeline, improve communication, and create stronger collaboration between associates. Fashionr also helps keep excess materials out of landfills by reducing the number of physical samples produced and minimizing overproduction.

Walmart Leans Towards Bangladesh, To Ramp Up Sourcing
Fibre2Fashion | February 16, 2024

Walmart’s executive vice president for sourcing, Andrea Albright, recently affirmed the company’s intent to deepen its collaboration with Bangladesh and increase procurement, citing the country’s appeal as a lucrative sourcing destination. Walmart is already Bangladesh's second-biggest garment buyer after H&M, purchasing nearly $4 billion annually.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Messe Frankfurt Launches Seven Brand Events in Central Asia
Fibre2Fashion | February 16, 2024

Messe Frankfurt will extend its footprint in the Central Asian market by establishing seven brand events in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. According to the trade fair organizer, Uzbekistan’s strategic location as a crossroads of Europe and Asia positions it as a promising trade gateway and transportation hub, facilitating the economic development of neighboring countries and access to the wider region. The company wishes to promote business opportunities and foster the sustainable development of pillar industries, including cosmetic, automotive, and textiles and clothing. Messe Frankfurt is an associate member of SPESA and our partner for the Texprocess Americas trade show in Atlanta.

Ethiopia Inks $28 Million Deal To Develop Circular Textile Industry
Sourcing Journal | February 16, 2024

A partnership between Ethiopia and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will bring $28 million into Ethiopia’s textile and apparel sector to fuel growth focused on promoting circularity. The project will help textile and garment producers to implement recycling programs in their facilities that will not only reduce physical waste, but also monetary waste. Enhancements to regulation and institutional capacity also will be part of the project.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Factory Digital Transformation: Why Retailers and Brands Are Acting Now
Blog Post | February 15, 2024

The latest blog post from SPESA member CGS, Inc., explains why Factory Digitalization is the answer to so many questions surrounding performance improvement, price reduction, real-time production data, and more. CGS BlueCherry® Shop Floor Control, with the world’s largest installation base, offers state-of-the-art production management for production control; in-line and end line quality control; and automation and collection of real-time data.

Apparel Brands, Retailers To Cover Costs of Textile Waste under New EU Rules
Just Style | February 15, 2024

MEPs in the EU’s environment committee have voted in favor of adopting a proposed revision of the Waste Framework Directive that will set up extended producer responsibility schemes for textiles sold on the EU market. By January 1, 2025, EU countries will need to offer separate collections of textiles for reuse, preparing for reuse, and recycling. The new rules cover clothing as well as accessories, hats, footwear, and other textile products, in addition to other industries. Companies that sell to consumers in the EU will need to cover the cost of separate collection, sorting, and recycling textiles, with the amount charged proportionate to the cost of processing. Information on the Waste Framework Directive provided by the European Commission is available here. Additional industry coverage is available here.

Red Sea Crisis Explained: What It Means for the Fashion Supply Chain
Just Style | February 15, 2024

The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have led to shipping delays and additional costs for fashion brands and retailers. Just Style takes a deep dive into the crisis to reveal the short and long-term implications for the global fashion sector. 

Related: Sourcing Journal shared some interesting insights from the CEO of Foot Locker on why “Supply Chain Leaders Can’t Ignore World Events.

New EU Rules Tell Companies To Seek Permission Ahead of Green Claims or Face Tough Penalties
Just Style | February 15, 2024

Companies will now be required to seek approval for any environmental marketing claims before use or face severe penalties according to new rules adopted last week by the EU Internal Market and Environment committees.

SCI Manifesto on Audit and Standard Fatigue
IAF News | February 15, 2024

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) and the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) have released a manifesto to address audit and standard fatigue. The Standard Convergence Initiative (SCI) aims to encourage alignment between industry & multi-stakeholder Initiatives as well as brand or retailer proprietary tools to help combat audit and standard fatigue in the textile and footwear sectors. Additional industry coverage is available here.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Aptean Expands Apparel Industry Leadership Through Acquisition of Momentis
Press Release | February 14, 2024

SPESA member Aptean announced the acquisition of Momentis, a provider of purpose-built software solutions designed for the fashion, apparel, footwear, textile, and accessories industries. Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Momentis is utilized by over 250 leading fashion and apparel brands and supports more than $7 billion of annual order volume. With the acquisition of Momentis, Aptean adds new capabilities to its fashion and apparel offerings for wholesalers, importers, manufacturers, and self-sourcing retailers.

Data Points to 2023 as Turning Point in U.S. Apparel Nearsourcing
Just Style | February 14, 2024

Analysis of December data from the U.S. Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) suggests U.S. brands and retailers are gradually increasing their sourcing from suppliers based in CAFTA-DR regions. Dr. Sheng Lu and Just Style explain the numbers.

Shima Seiki USA To Host Demonstrations of Equipment and Software at Manufacturing Solutions Center March 5-7
Press Release in Textile World | February 14, 2024

Shima Seiki USA will demonstrate its newest knitting equipment and software at the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) at Catawba Valley Community College March 5-7, 2024. The free three-day show will include demonstrations of Shima Seiki flatbed knitting machines, which have the versatility of manufacturing a variety of products from gloves to different types of apparel as well as other textile products. In addition, there will be demonstrations of Shima Seiki’s Apex software system which includes 3D virtual sampling, pattern CAD functions, and knitting machine programming capabilities.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | 6 Innovative Ways To Green the Fashion Industry
Israel21c | February 13, 2024

This article highlights initiatives undertaken by Isreali companies, including SPESA member Optitex, to make the fashion industry more sustainable. Optitex’s digital pattern making and 3D design software solutions for the uniform and workwear industry enhance speed, efficiency, and fit, while reducing waste and costs. In addition, Optitex recently released its newest digital collection of YKK (also a SPESA member) zippers, buckles, and cord stoppers for designers to use in virtual samples of apparel, tactical wear, tech textiles, and backpacks.

Accelerating Circularity Kicks into a Higher Gear with New Walmart Grant in Hand
Home Textiles Today | February 13, 2024

Accelerating Circularity, the Walmart Foundation-supported NGO, is launching the next phase of its work — the new Building Circular Systems (BCS) phase — to expand circular textile-to-textile systems in the U.S. and Europe. There are 3 main workstreams for the BCS phase: 

  • Building Markets through expanded trials in both the United States and European Union.

  • Creating the Textile Hierarchy Tool that outlines pathways for used textiles to maximize resource savings and reduce environmental impacts.

  • Educating and providing access to information and available tools on circular textile-to-textile systems.

Accelerating Circularity will host a free webinar on February 29th to review the latest developments.

Four Ways Fashion Retailers Will Succeed amid Ongoing Economic Uncertainty
Just Style | February 13, 2024

Fashion retailers will find pockets of growth, despite ongoing economic pressures, writes Lectra’s Americas President and SPESA Board member Leonard Marano in a guest post on Just Style.

Unspun’s Phase 2 LCA Makes the Case for 3D Weaving
Rivet | February 12, 2024

New technologies require fresh methods of measuring impact. Unspun commissioned Green Story, a supply chain visibility analysis platform, to conduct a phase 2 life cycle assessment (LCA) to quantify and compare the environmental impacts of Vega, Unspun‘s first-of-its-kind 3D weaving technology, against conventional cut, make, and trim (CMT) production. The LCA found that the products made on-demand (with the 3D weaving technology) resulted in lower carbon emissions, energy use, water use, and fabric waste.

Cotton Demand from U.S. Textile Mills Drops to Lowest Since 1885
BNN Bloomberg | February 12, 2024

According to an updated U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast released last week, U.S. textile mills will feed just 1.74 million bales of cotton into their machines in the 2023-2024 marketing year that ends in July, the slowest rate in 139 years. That’s nearly 15% less than last year and even lower than the agency’s prior forecast.

Shein Opens U.S. Office To Support Logistics, Expand Market Presence
Just Style | February 12, 2024

Fast fashion giant Shein is growing its U.S. presence with a new office in Seattle that will serve as a hub for its fulfillment and logistics processes and speed up its delivery times to consumers. The Seattle-area office joins a growing team of over 1,500 employees across the country and a network of Shein locations across the U.S. Shein anticipates the new 10,000-square-foot office space will host more than 50 professionals by the close of 2024.

Columbia Sportswear’s Omni-Heat Infinity Supports Historic U.S. Return to the Moon
Press Release | February 12, 2024

We just thought this was fun to share! In a move to advance technologies and material innovations, and lay the foundation for a sustainable human presence on the Moon, heat insulation technology used in outdoor apparel will be implemented on a lunar lander in a first-of-its-kind partnership between Columbia Sportswear and Intuitive Machines, a space exploration company focused on pioneering the commercial landscape of the Moon.

Most Global Cotton Benchmarks Surge in January
Fibre2Fashion | February 12, 2024

A lot of cotton news in this issue. Over the past month, cotton prices have seen a significant uptick across various international benchmarks. The NY/ICE March contract, reflecting a longer-term trading range, has witnessed a notable climb from the lower end to the higher end. Starting at 80 cents/lb, the March contract now stands at 88 cents/lb, Cotton Incorporated said in a report. Fibre2Fashion looks at cotton data from China, Pakistan, and India.

To Kick Off New York Fashion Week, Governor Hochul Highlights $24 Billion Impact of New York’s Fashion Industry
Statement - New York State Government | February 10, 2024

New York Governor Kathy Hochul celebrated the state’s world-renowned fashion industry and its role in driving the state economy as part of the kick-off for the recent New York Fashion Week. The industry, which employs approximately 312,000 New Yorkers and generates more than $24 billion in statewide wages each year, continues to be a major employer and economic driver for the state. Governor Hochul also announced the industry investments included in the state’s upcoming annual budget and other advancements for the industry.

'They Are in the Right Place': New Fiber Innovation Center Brings Gaston College to Forefront of NC Textile Industry
WCNC Charlotte | February 9, 2024

“Textiles go far beyond the clothes we wear. For example, textiles are a part of the tires on cars and a big part of what goes into cell phones.” A local news outlet reports on the potential of Gaston College’s new fiber innovation center in North Carolina. According to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, the state leads the nation with nearly 20% of U.S. textile exports.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Revolutionizing Textile Digitization: How AI and SEDDI Textura Are Shaping the Future
Blog Post | February 8, 2024

“The industry has been stuck in a loop — extended lead times and exorbitant expenses of physical sample shipping divert resources that can be better leveraged on the adoption of 3D technology and artificial intelligence.” The emergence of AI-based solutions, such as SEDDI Textura, have revolutionized the industry by enabling apparel brands, manufacturers, and suppliers to digitize their own fabrics and collaborate from anywhere in the world in the cloud, eliminating the need for traditional lab services. Read more in this recent blog post from SPESA member SEDDI.

U.S. Researchers Make Breakthrough in Threadlike Energy-Storage Devices that Can Be Woven into Textiles
TexFash | February 8, 2024

“Imagine you can make a yarn, just a regular textile yarn, that you also make into a battery.” A significant development for wearable technology, researchers have identified a “sweet spot” at which the length of a threadlike energy storage technology, called a yarn-shaped supercapacitor, yields the highest and most efficient flow of energy per unit length.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | AMANN India Begins Operations at New Production Site in Tamil Nadu
Fibre2Fashion | February 7, 2024

AMANN India has started production and commercial operations at its new state-of-the-art production facility in Ranipet/Tamil Nadu. It is part of the Germany-based international sewing thread producer AMANN Group (parent company of SPESA member AMANN USA). The production facility spans across 32,000m2. Specializing in sewing threads for various applications, the site boasts an initial production capacity of 800 tons per year. With a workforce of 200 employees, the company aims for a gender-balanced ratio of 50:50.

Inside Under Armour’s Plan To Make the Next Viral Sneaker
Footwear News | February 6, 2024

Under Armour is investing in new design talent with lifestyle expertise, representing a major shift for a brand best known for its performance-focused gear. Under Armour’s chief executive officer, Stephanie Linnartz, who is almost a year into her stint at the company, sees this shift toward more casual, street-focused looks as a natural response to changing consumer behaviors.

Materials Show: 3D Knitting Could Revolutionize Footwear Production, Experts Say
Sourcing Journal | February 2, 2024

“Cutting-edge technology and innovative production processes have the potential to forever change the way footwear is made.” That’s according to industry innovators at the recent Materials Show in Portland, Oregon, who spoke to the opportunities afforded by digital design and 3D knitting. This Sourcing Journal article features several industry leaders in 3D knitting, including Garrett Gerson, CEO of 3D-knitting technology provider Variant 3D, who will be joining SPESA member ISAIC in a discussion at the upcoming SPESA Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference in Los Angeles.

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