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Industry News | 2/7/24

Sheertex Owner Goes Vertical, Wants To Democratize Its Technology
Sourcing Journal | February 6, 2024

SRTX, best known for its first technology, the patent-pending Sheertex Rip-Resist knit, has inaugurated its new global headquarters: a 300,000-square-foot fully vertical facility in Montreal. Going vertical was significant for three reasons: fast prototyping, IP protection, and cost, according to founder Katherine Homuth, who realized these benefits after breaking a few machines overseas and waiting far too many weeks for samples.

Unifi Cuts Headcount Amid Rollout of Profitability Improvement Plan
Sourcing Journal | February 6, 2024

Greensboro, NC-based Unifi is implementing a cost-reduction and profitability-improvement strategy that includes workforce cuts and new executive appointments. The maker of Repreve recycled synthetic yarns said it is streamlining its operations with headcount reductions set to lower expenses by $10 million to $15 million each year. The company did not specify how many jobs would be impacted.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Complete Image Manufacturing Launches as Detroit TUKAcenter
Press Release | February 5, 2024

Complete Image Manufacturing (CIM) recently became the 70th TUKAcenter, serving the Detroit metropolitan area. CIM offers local brands and fashion designers product development and manufacturing capabilities, including virtual sampling, training, and demand manufacturing. CIM TUKAcenter Detroit is owned and operated by Milton Putman and Terra Carter. It officially launches in February 2024, and will be highlighted in an upcoming documentary by a prominent industry film maker. Bringing our worlds together, Tukatech is a member of SPESA and Mr. Putman spoke at the 2023 SPESA Executive Conference in San Juan.

ITMF Global Textile Industry Survey: Business Situation and Order Intake Improved in January 2024
Textile World | February 5, 2024

The most recent ITMF Global Textile Industry Survey (GTIS) revealed a significant improvement in the business climate, signaling a potential turning point driven by better inflation rates, increased real wages, and consumer sentiment in the United States, alongside expectations of interest rate cuts. Business expectations for July 2024 reached a peak unmet since late 2021, fueled by improved order intakes and a more optimistic consumer demand outlook, despite ongoing cost concerns. Order intake began showing recovery signs, with notable increases across regions except East Asia, particularly in North & Central America and South America.

1888 Mills Factory Closure Will Eliminate Nearly 200 Jobs
Home Textiles Today | February 5, 2024

As 1888 Mills prepares to shutter its Griffin, Ga. plant producing terry healthcare apparel, bedding, and bath and kitchen towels, the manufacturer filed a WARN notice outlining the related layoffs. The decision to cease production was primarily driven by rising operational costs, which “have made it increasingly difficult to maintain a sustainable manufacturing platform in the United States,” the company said. The move will impact 180 jobs, including weaving, finishing, hemming, warping, quality control, receiving, and maintenance.

Nashville Company Launches Made-to-Order, AI-Enabled Clothing Line
Sourcing Journal | February 1, 2024

Freedom Company, a made-to-order apparel purveyor, launched its first collection last week, focused on elevated basics. The brand partnered with domestic manufacturer Bespoke Manufacturing Company (BMC) in Phoenix, Arizona; each time a consumer places an order, BMC works to fulfill it. Though Freedom Company just launched, its onshoring play mirrors a greater trend in fashion and apparel. New data from Carl Marks Advisors shows that, in 2024, 48% of mid-sized fashion and apparel retailers have plans to up their onshoring strategies.

Lynsey Jones Named Executive Director of the Americas Apparel Producers’ Network (AAPN)
eTextileCommunications | January 31, 2024

Lynsey Jones is only the third person and second woman in 43 years to become Executive Director of the Americas Apparel Producers’ Network (AAPN). The official announcement comes after a long transition period during which time Ms. Jones worked alongside her predecessors. AAPN is a network of sourcing and supply chain managers and executives in the apparel industry.

Türkiye Eyes $40bn Apparel Exports Using Green Plan, Full Supply Chain
Just Style | January 31, 2024

Türkiye is said to be one of only two countries to offer an end-to-end apparel supply chain from fiber to final product and hopes to use this advantage along with its green transformation to fulfill its aim of doubling its apparel exports to the U.S. and Europe.

Shein and Temu Ship More than One Million Packages per Day in the U.S.
Fashion United | January 31, 2023

Chinese retail giants Shein and Temu are each shipping an estimated one million packages a day on average, according to data from ShipMatrix, a logistics consultancy firm. Research published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) show these volumes surpass those of well-known American retailers, marking a transformative shift in the industry. Their logistics operations, including sorting packages in China and an on-demand business model, contribute to cost-effectiveness, despite calls for transparency and issues concerning sustainability.

Retailers Have Finally Tamed Their Inventories: Report
Fashion Dive | January 31, 2024

Last year’s third quarter was the first time since the pandemic that sales growth in retail and apparel outpaced inventory, according to a Jan. 17 research note by Telsey Advisory Group analysts. Inventories across retail sectors were down 7.8% year over year in Q3 overall, compared to 38.2% growth in the same period the year prior. The analysts said they expect “most retailers to continue to control inventory” in 2024.

Sporting Goods Still Challenged by Inflation, Inventory Levels, Report Finds
Retail Dive | January 30, 2024

Almost all sporting goods leaders expect sales and margins to remain stable or improve in 2024, according to a report by the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry and McKinsey & Company. However, 81% said inflation, inventory levels, and cost of capital are a continuing challenge. Around 80% of respondents said they had a higher inventory peak than a year ago, with more than half saying overstocking was likely to be a persistent problem (as opposed to the findings in the article above for general retail).

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Zünd Establishes a New Subsidiary in Brazil
Company Announcement | January 30, 2024

SPESA member Zünd Systemtechnik AG is moving even closer to its Brazilian customers. As of the beginning of 2024, Zünd has acquired its long-standing sales partner BG Soluções Tecnológicas, which now operates under the name Zund Brasil. Zund Brasil is relocating its headquarters from Porto Alegre to São Paulo.

Homeland Security Eyeing Plan to ‘Safeguard the American Textile Industry’
Sourcing Journal | January 30, 2024

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is developing an action plan to aid beleaguered domestic textile manufacturers. After meeting with various American textile makers, and hearing complaints of “blows the industry has endured as a result of violations of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and the free flow of cheap goods facilitated by the de minimis shipment exception,” the Homeland Security Secretary enlisted U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, and other government offices to develop a comprehensive enforcement action plan for “illegal customs practices.” Read the Secretary’s readout of the meeting here.

U.S. Keel Labs Unveils T-shirt Made from Seaweed-Based Kelsun Fiber
Fibre2Fashion | January 30, 2024

Keel Labs announced the debut of the Kelsun T-Shirt – a sample developed in collaboration with Aditi Mayer – made from Kelsun fiber, the company's flagship product made from seaweed. Created to demonstrate Kelsun's plug-and-play potential in replacing conventional fibers used in the textile industry, this T-Shirt marks the first Kelsun garment made using industry-standard knitting machines.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | TextileGenesis Launches Two Consortia with the Footwear and Leather Industries To Advance Traceability in these Sectors
Press Release | January 30, 2024

TextileGenesis, a Software as a Service (SaaS) company under the umbrella of SPESA member Lectra, announced the launch of two new consortia bringing together players in the footwear and leather industries. The common objective of the two consortia is to encourage the sharing of the information needed to improve the tracking of materials throughout the supply chains of the footwear and leather ecosystems, guaranteeing ethical and sustainable practices. The collaboration of the different stakeholders around a shared traceability platform paves the way for a future where consumers can make informed decisions, where brands can deliver on their commitments, and where both industries can thrive in the long term.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Mimaki Europe Announces Appointment of New Managing Director
Press Release | January 29, 2024

Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting technologies, has announced the appointment of Takao Terashima as the new Managing Director. Starting his career at Mimaki in 1997 as part of the R&D Department, Terashima has developed his extensive expertise in Mimaki’s technology portfolio and the surrounding market over the past 26 years.

Kornit Digital Delivers on Promise of On-Demand Production at Scale with General Availability of Apollo Platform
Press Release | January 29, 2024

After a rigorous 4.5-year development phase and extensive beta testing with industry leaders, Kornit Digital announced that its Kornit Apollo solution is now commercially available. Acting essentially as a unified factory with a single operator, Apollo has the capacity to annually decorate over 1.5 million garments. Thanks to its advanced, proprietary automation system, which includes a versatile smart drying capability, it can concurrently handle various garment types with astounding proficiency.

New NSF Center Will Advance Textile Industry ‘Greening’
Press Release | January 26, 2024

North Carolina State University will serve as a core partner on a regional research effort to advance U.S. capacity for textile innovation that ensures environmental sustainability by recycling waste materials into fibers for new textiles, funded by the National Science Foundation. The effort will receive up to $15 million for two years and up to $160 million over 10 years.

Under Armour, Celanese Develop Spandex Alternative
Fashion Dive | January 26, 2024

Continuing its investment in fabric technology, Under Armour partnered with chemical and materials company Celanese Corp. to create a new stretch fiber, Neolast, as an alternative to elastane. Neolast will be produced using recyclable elastoester polymers. Celanese plans to make the fiber available to other companies in the apparel industry.

ARM Institute Signs Continuation Agreement with Department of Defense
Press Release | January 24, 2024

The ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) Institute is honored to announce a continuation of its cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program, which will continue the ARM Institute’s funding as a national Manufacturing Innovation Institute for the next five years. The ARM Institute leverages its ecosystem of more than 400 member organizations across industry, government, and academia to catalyze critically needed robotics and workforce innovations in U.S. manufacturing.

SEAMS Announces 2024 Board of Directors
Press Release | January 24, 2024

The SEAMS trade association recently announced the election of its 2024 Board members and officers. “While the demand for ‘Made in America’ products continues to increase, so do the challenges we face. The SEAMS 2024 Board of Directors looks to continue its support of our members by being the biggest advocate and voice for the domestic sewn products industry,” stated Britt Moore, incoming SEAMS President.

BASF and Inditex Make a Breakthrough in Textile-to-Textile Recycling with Loopamid, the First Circular Nylon 6 Entirely Based on Textile Waste
Press Release | January 23, 2024

With the launch of loopamid®, a polyamide 6 (PA6, also known as nylon 6) made from 100% textile waste, BASF is providing the first circular solution for nylon apparel made entirely from textile waste. Fashion retailer Zara has turned the material into a jacket made from 100% loopamid. Due to its capability to tolerate all fabric mixtures like PA6 and elastane, the cutting-edge technology behind loopamid allows textile-to-textile recycling of post-industrial and post-consumer textile waste. The fibers and materials can be recycled over multiple cycles.

China’s U.S. Exports See Biggest Drop in 30 Years
Sourcing Journal | January 19, 2024

China exports slipped by 4.6% to $3.4 trillion in 2023, the first contraction in dollar terms in seven years, according to recent data from its customs office. The United States contributed to the slump with a steep 13% drop in imports from China, its biggest deflation since the agency began keeping records. Numbers released by the U.S. Commerce Department indicate that Mexico will boot China from its position as America’s leading source of imported goods for the first time in 17 years.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Mimaki’s First DTF Printer Achieves Milestone Sales with over 300 Units Sold
Textile World | January 18, 2024

Mimaki Europe, a provider of industrial inkjet printers announced that its first DTF (Direct to Film) printer, the TxF150-75, has surpassed the milestone of 300 units sold across EMEA. With the highest sales in the UK, France, Italy, Iberia, and the DACH region, this fast-paced, wide-spread adoption of the TxF150-75 not only demonstrates the quality of the printer but also the rising popularity of the DTF printing method.

TrusTrace Lands $24M Growth Investment
Fashion Dive | January 18, 2024

Supply chain traceability platform TrusTrace received a $24 million growth investment, which the company said it will use to “accelerate its global expansion ambitions by strengthening its presence in key markets.” TrusTrace customers include Adidas, Brooks Running, Tapestry, and Asics, per the release, and it plans to offer services to regional and mid-size brands in 2024.

‘It’s a Tough Industry Out There’: A look at the Furniture Supply Chain’s Challenging Year
Supply Chain Dive | January 17, 2024

Furniture as an industry was hit especially hard by pandemic-era supply chain disruptions, and Behind the Seams shared several updates of furniture manufacturers and retailers shutting their doors in 2024. Supply Chain Dive takes a look at the factors that positively and negatively impacted the industry last year.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Discussing DPC with Graham Sullivan of SEDDI
The Interline | January 16, 2024

In an interview with The Interline, SPESA member Graham Sullivan, CEO of SEDDI, discusses cultivating a culture of innovation, and why fashion must see digital product creation and digital product development as long-term commitments, not just short-term fixes. This interview is one of a sixteen-part series that sees The Interline quiz executives from major DPC companies on the evolution of 3D and digital product creation tools and workflows, and ask their opinions on what the future holds for the extended possibilities of digital assets.

SPESA Announces Advancements Conference in Collaboration with CFA
California Apparel News | January 15, 2023

SPESA is headed out west, announcing its first-ever Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference to be held in Los Angeles at the California Market Center. In partnership with the California Fashion Association, the event will take place April 11th and feature a full day of educational sessions and productive dialogue about how manufacturing technologies can drive the industry forward with a focus on efforts being made specifically in California.

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