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Industry News | 3/20/24

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | DA Group Accelerates Market Penetration in Central and South America: Strategic Expansion into México
Press Release | March 20, 2024

The DA Group has announced it is taking a significant step towards intensifying its presence in the prospering markets of Central and South America with the establishment of DAP México in Santiago de Querétaro (QRO). By establishing its own subsidiary in México, the company is tapping into a dynamic market environment with considerable growth potential in the automotive, industrial, and garment sectors.

The State of Our Union
SPESA | March 19, 2024

In our annual address to members, the SPESA team notes the impact of politics on supply chains, a positive outlook for the state of the industry, and our new Board Chairman’s objectives for the association.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Groz-Beckert, Vanguard Pailung Collaborate on Circular Knitting Needle
Fashionating World | March 19, 2024

In collaboration with Vanguard Pailung, SPESA member Groz-Beckert unveiled a game-changing innovation in knitting machine technology, an innovative slider needle marking a significant leap forward in the realm of ultra-high-speed knitting machines for body-sized products. Leveraging Groz-Beckert's Technology and Development Center (TEZ), both companies collaborated closely to bring this cutting-edge solution to fruition. Slide needles operate without a needle latch, utilizing a controlled slide mechanism within its channel. The design enables the needles to withstand high speeds without the hindrance of latch impact, thereby significantly enhancing productivity.

SPESA Conference To Focus on Innovations in Sewn Products Industry
Fibre2Fashion | March 19, 2024

As reported in Fibre2Fashion, SPESA is preparing to hold our Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference on April 11, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. The event aims to unite suppliers and manufacturers to explore the latest innovations in the sewn products industry, with an emphasis on the progressive developments occurring within California. As the knowledge partner of the conference, Fibre2Fashion will release a knowledge paper on “Efficiency and Innovation: Navigating Waste Management in the Fashion and Textile Industries.”

Report: Safeguarding Supply Chains with Diversified Sourcing Maps and Shipping Strategies
Sourcing Journal | March 19, 2024

Sourcing Journal’s “Sourcing State of the Industry Report,” which dives into the global situations shaping the soft goods market, indicates that fashion’s primary risk mitigation move is diversification. Transportation bottlenecks — including drought-related traffic restrictions in the Panama Canal and Houthi attacks in the Red Sea — are causing shippers to adopt contingency plans such as rerouting or using costlier air freight. Meanwhile, difficulties tied to sourcing from China have ushered in a “China plus one” strategy that shifts some manufacturing away from the production power.

2024: A Transformative Year for Automotive Interior Manufacturing
WardsAuto | March 19, 2024

After a year of AI education in the automotive industry, 2024 is set to bring a major shift as automotive interior manufacturers now gear up to fully embrace Industry 4.0 technologies. This year is expected to witness the release of numerous updated vehicle models, prompting manufacturers to invest in new technology to keep up with the evolving landscape. This article, penned by SPESA Board member Leonard Marano, dives into the expected trends for automotive interior companies in 2024.

IHKIB and WRAP Have Signed a Collaboration Agreement To Boost Turkish Apparel Exports to the U.S.
Press Release | March 19, 2024

In a move to enhance the global competitiveness of the Turkish apparel industry, the Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association (IHKIB) has entered into a collaborative agreement with Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP). The agreement focuses on a pilot project developed by IHKIB and WRAP aiming to identify leading Turkish apparel companies exporting to the U.S. and encouraging these facilities to attain WRAP certification. In return, WRAP will provide in-person and virtual training at no charge to guide these facilities through the certification process.

Job Opening: Full-Time Faculty Position in Manufacturing and Supply Chain, School of Business and Technology
Fashion Institute of Technology | March 18, 2024

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), an internationally renowned college of art and design, business and technology, of the State University of New York, invites nominations and applications for a full-time tenure-track faculty position in the Production Management Department of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. The areas of focus for the position are on production facilities design and layout, and cutting room processes.

Welspun Investing $12.5 Million in U.S. Production
Home Textiles Today | March 18, 2024

Welspun, one of the largest home textiles manufacturers in India, is setting up the first of a series of pillow manufacturing units it plans to operate in the United States, a USD$12.5 million investment into onshoring. The company’s first fully automated pillow manufacturing unit in Ohio is expected to be operational by the end of September, with a production capacity of 6.7 million pillows annually.

China’s U.S. Apparel Market Share Growth Signals Struggle for Clean Break
Just Style | March 18, 2024

While U.S. apparel imports sank across the board in 2023, China was one of only four of the top 10 apparel suppliers to the U.S. to see market share increase in January. Just Style breaks down the latest import data from International Trade Administration’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA).

Global Interest in Nearshoring ‘At a Record High and Rising’ QIMA Data Shows
Sourcing Journal | March 15, 2024

The appeal of shorter supply chains is “at a record high and rising,” according to QIMA’s 2024 Sourcing Survey. After a year characterized by worry about inflation and geopolitics, more brands are looking to bring production closer to home in a bid to guard against further disruption. The growth trajectory is expected to continue over the coming months, with nearly two-thirds of businesses surveyed — including 54% in the U.S. and 50% in the EU — saying nearshoring and reshoring are a part of their 2024 supply chain strategy.

Mimaki Launches Environmentally Conscious, Two-Step Textile Transfer Printing Solution TRAPIS
Press Release | March 15, 2024

Mimaki’s new textile pigment transfer printing system, named TRAPIS, makes significant savings on wastewater compared to conventional methods. This latest innovation also broadens application possibilities for print service providers, with the ability to print on a multitude of materials, including natural fibers. TRAPIS provides a simple two-step process, consisting of an inkjet printer and a calender.

France’s Lower House Votes To Limit ‘Excesses’ of Fast Fashion with Environmental Surcharge
The Guardian | March 14, 2024

France’s lower house of parliament has backed a string of measures to make low-cost fast fashion, especially items from Chinese mass producers, less attractive to buyers. Last week’s vote makes France the first country in the world “legislating to limit the excesses of ultra fast fashion,” said Christophe Bechu, minister for the ecological transition. The measures still require a vote in the Senate.

Walmart Pilots Effort To Reduce Waste in Garment Manufacturing
Store Brands | March 14, 2024

Walmart and unspun, a fashion tech company using 3D weaving technology, have teamed up to launch a pilot program that they say could help reduce the environmental impact of garment production and shift more textile manufacturing back to the U.S. Working out of its microfactory in Oakland, California, unspun’s first-of-its-kind technology is said to more quickly and efficiently transform yarn into garments. In the pilot project, the two companies will explore how unspun’s 3D weaving machines can be used to make workwear style pants under a Walmart house brand.

ITMF, IAF To Jointly Hold Annual Convention in Uzbekistan in September
Press Release | March 14, 2024

The International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) and the International Apparel Federation (IAF) are teaming up for the first time to hold a joint annual convention September 8-10, 2024. This year’s venue is the ancient Silk Road city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan. IAF and ITMF are organizing the event with their mutual member, the Uzbek Textile & Apparel Industry Association. The theme of the convention is “Innovation, Cooperation & Regulation — Drivers of the Textile & Apparel Industry.”

The EU’s CSDDD Struggle and How its Approval Will Impact Global Apparel?
Just Style | March 14, 2024

Just Style takes a deep dive into the complications the EU's Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) faced prior to its approval last week and how it will impact apparel's global value chain.

Textile Recycling Company Infinited Fiber Closes $43.8M Funding Round
Fashion Dive | March 14, 2024

Infinited Fiber Company has completed a two-part financing round totaling 40 million euros. Part of the funding comes from new investors in the fashion and tech startup, including Zara parent company Inditex, and existing investors, including the H&M Group and Adidas. The investment comes less than a month after Renewcell, an Infinited Fiber competitor in the textile recycling space, filed for bankruptcy and said it was unable “to secure sufficient financing.”

Walmart Commerce Technologies Launches AI-Powered Logistics Product
Press Release | March 14, 2024

For years, Walmart has used AI to create a more efficient supply chain, reducing emissions while helping to ensure more of the items its customers want are available where, when, and how they want them. The company is now making its award-winning, AI-powered logistics technology, Route Optimization, available to all businesses as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution through Walmart Commerce Technologies.

Want To Fund Your Climate-Saving Fashion Innovation? Here’s How.
Sourcing Journal | March 14, 2024

The Apparel Impact Institute (Aii) is looking for solutions that can decarbonize the fashion industry — and it’s willing to pay top dollar to shake up the status quo. From now through the end of March, the multistakeholder organization is seeking a second round of applicants for the Climate Solutions Fund, the $250 million war chest that it’s mustered to identify, fund, and scale verified carbon-squashing innovations with the financial backing of H&M Foundation, H&M Group, Lululemon, the PVH Foundation, Target, The Schmidt Family Foundation, and HSBC.

Scientists Discover Greener Way To Get Blue Jeans
Rivet | March 14, 2024

A research team in Denmark has developed a new dyeing method that uses an enzyme for dyeing by leveraging a natural precursor to indigo called indican that turns indigo plant leaves blue when mushed together. As outlined in a study published by Nature Communications, this technology could facilitate large-scale production and application of indican without the need for toxic chemicals.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Swedish Digitized Solutions at Techtextil and Texprocess 24
Innovation in Textiles | March 13, 2024

Members of the Swedish textile machinery association, TMAS, will display technologies in alignment with the major digitalization theme of the forthcoming Techtextil and Texprocess 2024 exhibitions in Frankfurt. SPESA member Eton Systems will demonstrate its ETONingenious software. “Our latest software enables full transparency at all stages of making up and assembly,” says Eton CEO Jerker Krabbe. “ETONingenious is equipped with an immensely powerful web based graphical user interface fully adapted to the production environment.”

$2 Million To Go to Transforming Portland's Old Town Vacant Buildings into Fashion Manufacturing Facility
KGW8 | March 13, 2024

Owners in Portland, Oregon’s Old Town neighborhood are planning to take eight vacant buildings and turn them into a place for apparel and footwear companies to create, design, and manufacture together. The neighborhood is already home to Hilos, a company that prints 3D footwear on demand. The new initiative seeks to help local apparel and footwear companies stay on trend with cutting-edge technology, while also producing clothing right at home.

MIT and Ministry of Supply Test Shape-Shifting Dress Activated by Heat
Sourcing Journal | March 13, 2024

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Self-Assembly Lab have developed technology that allows a garment to be altered or customized by heat administered by a robot. The researchers used active yarns made of polyester that intentionally shrink when exposed to high degrees of heat, creating a tightened or cinched look that can be used to meet individual consumers’ sizing needs or styling preferences. The dress, created by MIT and fashion brand Ministry of Supply, starts out as a shift but can be altered to take on other silhouettes, like A-line or bodycon.

Biden vs. Trump II: What Will the U.S. 2024 Election Mean for Apparel?
Just Style | March 13, 2024

Just Style asks apparel industry experts to weigh in on the pros and cons of a Biden or Trump presidency after the U.S. election in November. Note: Just Style is not a U.S.-based publication.

Euratex Initiative To Upskill EU Textile, Leather, Footwear Industries
Just Style | March 12, 2024

The European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) has launched Aequalis-4-TCLF, an EU co-funded project aimed at fostering upskilling and reskilling within the European textile, clothing, leather, and footwear sectors.

This $600 Hoodie Is Made from Cotton Waste. It Might Be the Future of Fashion
Fast Company | March 12, 2024

Menswear designer Christopher Bevans has dropped a simple cream-colored hoodie made in partnership with Evrnu, a startup that creates new fibers out of cotton waste. The hoodie is made from Nucycl, a material that is compostable, biodegradable, and infinitely recyclable. Evrnu is among a wave of startups, including Renewcell (which recently went out of business, see below), Circ, and Syre, trying to curb the fashion industry’s impact on the planet by making recycled fibers that are as effective and affordable as virgin materials. This year, Evrnu plans to open its first commercial facility in South Carolina, fueled by $31 million in funding and $500 million in purchase commitments.

Mango Targets U.S. Growth To Make North America Third Largest Market
Forbes | March 12, 2024

Barcelona-based fashion retailer Mango achieved record sales of $3.39 billion in 2023 and committed to further expansion in the U.S. as the company pledged to open around 500 stores globally by 2026. The company is aiming to make the U.S. its third largest market and has ambitious plans following its latest stellar financial update.

NCTO CEO Tells U.S. International Trade Commission Unfair Trade Practices of 5 Asian Apparel Sourcing Countries Mirror Those of China and Hurt U.S. Textile Industry
Press Release | March 11, 2024

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to closely scrutinize the rise in U.S. imports from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan, noting the apparel producing countries’ “ultra-low cost pricing structures and ties to China.” The request was made during a USITC hearing on the export competitiveness of the five countries. USITC plans to submit a report of its findings to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which requested the investigation. In its industry coverage of the hearing, Sourcing Journal examines: What Makes an Apparel Producing Country ‘Competitive’?

Investors of Inditex Reportedly Pressuring Company To Go Public with Suppliers
FashionUnited | March 11, 2024

Inditex is said to be facing pressure from investors to make the details of its suppliers public in a bid to better assess supply chain risks. It is understood that many of the Spanish group’s investors are demanding for greater transparency from the firm, according to Reuters, a call that comes at a time when many clothing retailers are keen to prove the ethical standards of their operations.

KolAi Offers Free Online Certification for Laser Design Software
Rivet | March 11, 2024

KolAi Denim has launched a free online certification course for its laser design software, KolAi Designer. The software is designed to simplify the finishing process. Manufacturers simply take a photo of the brand sample and upload that image to KolAi Designer, which uses AI to convert it into a file that a laser machine will understand.

What U.S. Trade Data Says About Sourcing from China
Sourcing Journal | March 11, 2024

Almost two years after the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) took effect in the United States, its impact on trade patterns is palpable, new research has found. Only 71.6% of U.S. apparel imports hailed from Asia in 2023, the lowest in five years. Dr. Sheng Lu breaks down the trade data for Sourcing Journal.

The Remaking of the American Jean
The Washington Post | March 8, 2024

A slew of companies are redesigning jeans to lower their footprint, and a few of these models are now available in stores. The Washington Post shares the changes being made in denim to make jeans more environmentally friendly.

The Renewcell Post-Mortem, with Chief Commercial Officer Tricia Carey
Glossy | March 8, 2024

The world’s biggest textile-to-textile recycler, based on volume, Sweden-based Renewcell filed for bankruptcy on February 25. But the story of its demise started much earlier and points to wider issues within the fashion industry and its lack of readiness to tackle post-consumer material innovation. Glossy shares an inside perspective. Sourcing Journal also shared some thoughts on the topic in “Renewcell Saga Proves Industry Change Won’t Happen from the Inside.”

Swedish Researchers Created Viscose from Recycled Cotton
FashionUnited | March 8, 2024

Researchers at Lund University have achieved a breakthrough in textile recycling by developing a technique to produce new viscose from worn-out cotton sheets. The team's innovative method involves converting complex cotton fibers, laden with dyes, protective agents, and contaminants, into viscose fibers  a common material found in garments like blouses, skirts, and dresses. This approach not only addresses the environmental impact of disposing of old textiles but also reduces reliance on valuable forest resources.

India Integrates Apparel, Textile Sector To Seize China Market Share
Just Style | March 8, 2024

India is planning to integrate its textile and apparel industry more closely to achieve faster growth and become a reliable alternative to China and other Asian fashion sourcing hubs. The country’s industry declared a goal of increasing textile and apparel output from the present $160 billion to $350 billion by 2030.

USTR Seeks Public Comment on Promoting Supply Chain Resilience
Press Release | March 7, 2024

The Office of the United States Trade Representative has published a Federal Register notice seeking input to inform the development of trade and investment policy initiatives that promote supply chain resilience. The notice explains that resilient supply chains provide a range of sourcing options; adapt, rebound, and recover with agility following shocks; uphold labor rights and environmental protections; and strengthen the U.S. manufacturing base and workforce. To help achieve these objectives, the notice seeks information on developing sector-specific policy tools, strengthening domestic manufacturing and services, collaborating with like-minded trading partners and allies, and measuring resilience.

What Do the SEC’s New Climate Reporting Rules Mean for Retail?
The Fashion Law | March 7, 2024

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to adopt its highly anticipated climate-related disclosure rules for public companies this month, a move that will require companies listed on U.S. exchanges to disclose certain climate-related risks for the first time. For those who may be affected by the new rules, The Fashion Law has provided a good breakdown of the impact on apparel and retail entities. In addition, Manufacturing Dive explains how companies can use data tools and cloud-based solutions to better track emissions. And Supply Chain Dive explores how the SEC climate rule will impact manufacturers’ supply chains.

FabricLink Network’s The Textile Gateway — Connecting the Textile Industry to Students
Press Release | March 7, 2024

The FabricLink Network announced it is working with leaders in the textile industry to connect the industry to students through The Textile Gateway, and help find the next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. A new website will connect textile students with industry professionals, who share their knowledge and insights through videos, webinars, panel discussions, interviews, podcasts, and tours of textile facilities.

Shift in China-U.S. Trade Is Hurting California, Helping Texas
The Los Angeles Times | March 7, 2024

The U.S.-China trade war is reportedly the latest factor in the Texas-California rivalry. To get around U.S. tariffs and trade restrictions, Chinese companies have sharply stepped up investments into Mexico and been moving products into the United States by truck via Texas instead of shipping by sea through the massive port and distribution systems in Southern California.

Strikes at East Coast, Gulf Ports Are a Big Labor Risk this Year, and Trade Diversions Have Already Started
CNBC | March 7, 2024

The potential for a strike by the largest union of maritime workers in North America, the International Longshoremen’s Association, is beginning to rise on the list of concerns among logistics decision-makers and advisors in a year already fraught with a multitude of trade uncertainties. Cargo containers once bound for the East Coast are now beginning to head back to the West Coast to mitigate any service disruptions, a reversal of what occurred in 2022 and 2023, when East Coast ports made major gains in cargo volume due to both the massive vessel congestion and labor strife at ports up and down the West Coast.

Labor Unions, Domestic Manufacturing Groups Launch Coalition To Reform De Minimis Import Loophole
CNBC | March 6, 2024

Labor unions, domestic manufacturers, business associations, and other interest organizations recently announced a bipartisan coalition to target an import loophole allowing billions of untaxed goods into the United States. Members include the AFL-CIO, the Alliance for American Manufacturing, and the National Council of Textile Organizations.

Inspectorio Prepares for Next Phase of Growth with Appointment of Chirag Patel as CEO
Press Release | March 5, 2024

Inspectorio, a global supply chain quality, sustainability, sourcing, and compliance platform, announced the appointment of Chirag Patel as its new CEO. Co-founder and former CEO Carlos Moncayo will assume the role of executive chairman of the company’s board of directors. Last month, the company announced the release of the Inspectorio Supply Chain Management Platform, an end-to-end supply chain solution using artificial intelligence to provide a holistic view of supply chain operations, risks, and opportunities for optimization.

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