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Industry News | 4/19/23

What You Missed in San Juan - 2023 SPESA Executive Conference Recap
SPESA | April 19, 2023

At the end of March, SPESA and many of our favorite sewn products industry colleagues traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the 2023 SPESA Executive Conference. This was our first time hosting this event in Puerto Rico, and the first event in a very long time that we have held outside of the contiguous United States. It was also a new format for us, devoting just as much time to factory tours as educational sessions. The whole thing was a risk. But, boy did it pay off!

Texprocess Americas Exhibitors Eligible for New Industry Innovation Awards
SPESA | April 19, 2023

For the first time, this year's Texprocess Americas and Techtextil North America shows will feature awards honoring the outstanding innovations and performance of their exhibitors. An independent jury will determine the winners to be honored during the shows based on such criteria as innovation, novelty, business relevance, potential, creativity, and readiness for marketing. Applications are due Friday, April 21st.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Sewn Products Equipment Company To Exhibit Never-Before-Seen Products at Texprocess Americas
SPESA | April 19, 2023

SPESA member Sewn Products Equipment Company (SPEC) will be exhibiting at the upcoming Texprocess Americas trade show, May 10-12 in Atlanta. Products to be demonstrated include an impressive conveyor belt-style fusing machine with intake feeder belt system and an automatic stacking machine; a heavy duty, fully automatic roll-slitting machine; and a Collarette cutting system that is brand new to the market in 2023.

Myanmar's Apparel Exports Jump 51.6% in 2022, Japan Largest Market
Fibre2Fashion | April 19, 2023

Myanmar's apparel exports surged by 51.63% last year, reaching $6.495 billion in 2022. Data analysis shows that Myanmar's apparel exports made a full recovery in 2022 from the impact of Covid-19. The rapid rebound is surprising given the country’s political upheaval and unrest.

China Sourcing Tied to Largest Supply Chain Risks of 2023: Report
Supply Chain Dive | April 18, 2023

Sourcing from Chinese manufacturers is chief among supply chain risks in 2023, according to analytics firm Everstream’s annual risk report. The analysis gave a 90% risk score to the possibility of delays and cancellations from China-based suppliers, noting the continued likelihood of localized Covid-19 disruptions in the country. Everstream also pointed to cybercrime, ESG violations, high commodity prices from Europe — stemming from energy shortages — and financial insolvencies in the supply chain as the other key risks facing companies this year.

Global Textile Sector's Order Backlog at Record Low in March 2023: ITMF
Fibre2Fashion | April 18, 2023

On average across all regions, order backlog in the global textile industry fell to the lowest recorded level in March 2023 — at 2.2 months. Expectations about order backlog in six months’ time are steadily falling as well, as per the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF). Order backlog has been declining since the second quarter of 2022 in line with a falling order intake. This translates for textile machinery producers into much fewer new textile machines ordered, and thus lower order backlog given machine types.

European Industry Associations Endorse EU’s Circular Economy Proposal
Apparel Resources | April 18, 2023

The European Union’s objectives for a circular economy — including the EU Commission’s proposal to convert the Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste into a Regulation and the decision to keep the internal market’s legal foundation — have received considerable backing from the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX) and several other European industry organizations. However, the associations have expressed concern over the potential erosion or split of the legal basis of the Regulation on Packaging and Packaging Waste, as part of the regulatory process. Read the full association joint statement here.

Turkiye's Apparel Exports to U.S. Double in 5 years; $798mn in 2022
Fibre2Fashion | April 15, 2023

Turkiye’'s (Turkey) exports to the U.S. reached $3 billion in Q1 this year, with apparel exports showing a steady upward trend over the last five years. Fabric exports from Turkiye to the U.S. also increased to $163.42 million in 2022, compared to $129.050 million in 2021.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | VI.BE.MAC Geared Up To Partner with Bangladesh in Its Growth Journey
Apparel Resources | April 14, 2023

Apparel Resources caught up with Ali Zain Raza, the Global Sales Director of SPESA member VI.BE.MAC on the sidelines of the Garmentech Dhaka event, during his first-ever visit to Bangladesh. The article explores VI.BE.MAC’s plans for the future as well as its collaboration with JACK.

Inspired by Polar Bear Fur, Synthetic Fabric Is 30% Lighter and Warmer than Cotton
Apparel Resources | April 14, 2023

An 80-year endeavor to develop a synthetic fabric inspired by polar bear fur has been successfully accomplished by three engineers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Plans are in motion to transform the material into items that are readily available on the market after the results of their innovation were recently published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Denim Mills Invest To Streamline Production
Rivet | April 14, 2023

As denim mills begin to showcase their Fall/Winter 2024-2025 fabric collections, they’re sharing how recent investments in technologies and machinery are streamlining (and greening) their production.

Jeanologia Aspires To Make the Most Sustainable Jeans
California Apparel News | April 14, 2023

Reducing its consumption in garment finishing is the key mission of Jeanologia, a Spain-based leader in sustainable technology that claims it can reduce water usage in garment finishing to 1% of the amount used in conventional methods.

Port Labor Disputes Raise New Fears over U.S. Import Disruptions
The Wall Street journal | April 14, 2023

Flaring labor tensions at West Coast ports are sparking fears of growing work stoppages that would hobble the flow of goods through some of the country’s biggest trade gateways as importers prepare for the year’s busiest shipping season.

Should the U.S. Apparel Sector Prepare for Recession or Recovery?
Just Style | April 13, 2023

An analysis of U.S. apparel import trends in the first two months of 2023 by Dr. Sheng Lu, University of Delaware, explores whether the U.S. is headed in the direction of recession or recovery.

Nearshoring Presents Opportunities (and Challenges) for Mexico
Sourcing Journal | April 13, 2023

While Mexico’s economy stands to gain even if only a fraction of the U.S. manufacturing base heads south of the border, there are significant impediments that could prevent it from reaping any major rewards. Three key obstacles include inadequate infrastructure, such as supply of water and energy; security-related concerns; and competition from other countries, according to a new report from the lead economist for Latin America at S&P Global Ratings.

Canada’s Fine Cotton Factory Touts Benefits of Nearshoring
Sourcing Journal | April 13, 2023

Canadian textile and apparel supplier Fine Cotton Factory has been a fixture of Ontario’s manufacturing sector since 1997, but the group is branching out from the bedding, mattress, and home textiles for which it’s known with a vertically integrated operation offering extensive knit fabric capabilities for apparel. The producer has upped its investments in technology, sustainability, and talent in pursuit of domestic business.

Furniture Companies Still Paying for the Supply Chain Crisis
FreightWaves | April 13, 2023

Furniture inventory is still up 20% from last year as consumers slow down consumption of durable goods. Freight Waves examines the effects of the pandemic and the ensuing supply chain crisis on the U.S. furniture industry.

Investors Are Tightening Their Belts. How Can Fashion Companies Still Get Funding?
Fashion Dive | April 13, 2023

Rising interest rates, elevated inflation, and concerns over a potential banking crisis have prompted potential investors to tighten their belts. However, experts say startups can still appeal to venture capital firms by finding ways to lower their customer acquisition costs and focusing on sustainability.

Maersk Opens New Global Service Centres in Mexico and Brazil To Better Serve Customers in the Americas
Press Release | April 13, 2023

Maersk has announced the opening of a new Global Service Centre (GSC) for the Americas Region, based in Mexico City, with a dedicated satellite center in Santos, Brazil. In 2022, Maersk witnessed exponential growth in Latin America as part of its strategy to become a global integrator in container logistics. Read more in Sourcing Journal.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Hodges International and Tukatech Unveil TUKAcenter in North Carolina, USA
Press Release | April 12, 2023

Hodges International, Inc. officially became the 68th TUKAcenter in the world with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility utilizing SPESA member Tukatech's most advanced solutions. The smart factory features advanced automation and a comprehensive suite of software and analytics tools to monitor and optimize production processes.

How New High-Tech Clothing Can Keep You Warm and Protect Your Privacy
Lifewire | April 12, 2023

A growing number of high-tech clothing options can do everything from warming you up to protecting your privacy. This consumer-facing article explores the latest innovations from clothing brands Vollebak, Cap_able design, and Bearbottom, as well as North Carolina State University.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Lectra Brings Production Back In-House with the Inauguration of Its Manufacturing Facility in Tolland, Connecticut
Press Release | April 11, 2023

SPESA member Lectra, a major global player in the fashion, furniture, and automotive markets, recently celebrated the inauguration of its manufacturing facility in Tolland, Connecticut. The implementation of operations in this facility marks an important milestone in Lectra’s 2023-2025 strategic roadmap as the company expedites bringing manufacturing in-house for improved quality and customer satisfaction. In addition to this press release, we also recommend reading this profile in the Hartford Business Journal.

90,000 Stores at Risk of Closing, New Report Warns
Sourcing Journal | April 11, 2023

At least 50,000 retail stores are estimated to close over the next five years, based on new data from UBS retail analysts. That estimate presumes retail sales growth of 4% annually and e-commerce penetration up from 20-26% percent by Fiscal Year 2027. But a protracted recession where retail sales grow just 3-3.5 percent annually would place downward pressure on closures, raising the forecast to 70,000 to 90,000 location closures.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Key Takeaways from The Hill's Disability Summit
SourceAmerica | April 10, 2023

SPESA member SourceAmerica® sponsored The Hill’s Disability Summit, which brought together policymakers and business and nonprofit leaders to discuss practical solutions and necessary policy reforms to increase employment across the disability community and achieve employment for all.

U.S. Textile and Apparel IMPORTS Fall 13% to US$17.5 billion
Apparel Resources | April 10, 2023

U.S. imports of textiles and clothing declined in the first two months of 2023, falling 13.01% to US$17.55 billion from US$20.18 billion in the corresponding period of 2022. With a 24% market share, China continues to be the U.S.’s top supplier of textiles and apparel. Vietnam comes in second with a 14.97% share. Bangladesh and Nicaragua were among the top ten countries supplying the U.S. with clothing, with annual import growth rates of 4.7% and 2.3%, respectively.

U.S. Textiles and Apparel EXPORTS up 2.52% in Jan-Feb 2023
Fibre2Fashion | April 10, 2023

Exports of textiles and apparel from the U.S. grew by 2.52% in January-February 2023, reaching a value of $3.82 billion. Apparel exports increased by 13.91% year-on-year, while fabric exports rose by 1.88%. U.S. textile and apparel shipments increased to the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Mexico.

New Color-Changing Fabric Technology Announced
Textile Technology Source | April 10, 2023

Fiber optic and fiber-device scientists in the laboratories of the University of Central Florida have developed a new technology for an innovative textile that changes color and appearance on demand. The scientists believe ChroMorphous technology is a first in e-textiles and fabrics as older versions of color-changing fabrics, which relied on sunlight or body heat to work, did not allow the user to decide when and how the transformation would take place.

How A.I. and DNA Are Unlocking the Mysteries of Global Supply Chains
The New York Times | April 7, 2023

Amid growing concern about opacity and abuses in global supply chains, companies and government officials are increasingly turning to technologies like DNA tracking, artificial intelligence, and blockchains to try to trace raw materials from the source to the store.

Warehouse Jobs Drop to Lowest Level in 15 Months
The Wall Street Journal | April 7, 2023

Warehousing employment has fallen to its lowest level in more than a year as companies slash payrolls amid a downturn in the goods-moving economy. Employers cut 11,800 jobs last month, extending a decline in a logistics sector that was struggling to hire workers in the first half of 2022.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Zünd To Demonstrate Digital Cutting Automation at FESPA 2023 in Munich
By FESPA | April 4, 2023

The FESPA Global Print Expo in Munich, May 23-26, is Europe’s leading trade show for large-format digital printing. During the event, SPESA member Zünd will demonstrate how powerful digital cutting systems — combined with intelligent software tools and various solutions for automated material handling — can make digital cutting even more efficient and cost-effective.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Groz-Beckert Intensifies Efforts in Bangladesh
Apparel Resources | March 29, 2023

Mirza Tanzim Hossain Beg, Senior Regional Sales Manager of SPESA member Groz-Beckert, in discussion with Apparel Resources, gives a brief rundown on productivity, efficiency, and quality as the three core success strategies that make the company one of the leading names in Bangladesh along with its emphasis on digital innovation.

Knowledge, Experience Set To Gather in Atlanta
Textile World | March 29, 2023

It’s a tall order to organize a major trade show once every two years. It’s an even bigger challenge to host a large, collocated event in back-to-back years. Read Textile World’s expectations for the 2023 editions of Texprocess Americas and Techtextil North America.

Fashion History Lesson: The Origins and Recent Strides of the U.S. Garment Labor Movement
Fashionista | March 28, 2023

Fashionista’s Fashion History Lesson dives deep into the origin and evolution of the fashion industry's most influential and omnipresent businesses, icons, trends, and more. In this latest installment, the publication looks at historic U.S. events and argues that tracing fashion labor movements in the U.S. is a way to better understand the history of the nation as a whole.

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