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Industry News | 4/6/23

Western Hemisphere Manufacturers Share Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions
Michael Penchansky, CGS, Inc. | April 5, 2023

After a thrilling panel discussion during the 2023 SPESA Executive Conference in San Juan, Michael Penchansky continues the conversation on collaboration, technology, workforce, and sustainability. Read for a great overview of our Nearshoring panel, with insights from our Western Hemisphere speakers.

Walmart Lays Off over 2,300 Warehouse Workers
Supply Chain Dive | April 5, 2023

Walmart this week highlighted that it has revamped its website and mobile app for shoppers. But it appears that the company will now rely on fewer people working in its fulfillment centers. Walmart plans to cut over 2,300 fulfillment center personnel, according to a Retail Dive tally. In related news, the retails giant reportedly expects that within three years, 55% of its fulfillment center volume will move through automated facilities, and a whopping 65% of its stores will be automated to some extent.

ThredUp: U.S. Resale Market Projected To Reach $70B by 2027
Retail Dive | April 5, 2023

As more retailers jump on the resale trend, the worldwide market for secondhand goods is predicted to reach $350 billion by 2027, according to ThredUp’s 2023 Resale Report. In the U.S., the secondhand market is expected to reach $70 billion by 2027, per the report. Those estimates represent a near-doubling of both the global and U.S. markets from where they currently stand.

By the Numbers: Biden’s Budget Priorities for Manufacturing
Manufacturing Dive | April 5, 2023

President Biden released his administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 in March which includes funding increases for initiatives to boost domestic manufacturing and clean energy. The budget includes a $6.5 billion increase in the CHIPS and Science Act, a law focused on strengthening domestic manufacturing, rebuilding supply chains and funding research, development, science, and technology. Additionally, the president is requesting funds to phase out per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution and greenhouse gasses.

Rezoning Proposal Puts Historic L.A. Fashion District in Peril
Sourcing Journal | April 4, 2023

The growing disconnect between the workers and manufacturers that produce goods in the U.S. and the decision-makers who govern has put an iconic slice of American industry in jeopardy. Los Angeles’ century-old Fashion District — 100 blocks of apparel and footwear factories, fabric mills, trims manufacturers, design studios, warehouses and retail spaces which house the largest, densest population of fashion industry workers in the country — is under threat due to a controversial rezoning proposal which will likely come to a vote next week.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Alvanon To Open New London Fit Studio in Collaboration with Leading UK Manufacturing and Design Enterprise Fashion-Enter Ltd
Press Release | April 3, 2023

SPESA member Alvanon announced a new UK-based Alvanon Fit Studio in collaboration with Fashion-Enter Ltd and its learning and studio facility — the Fashion Capital Designer Workspace. Inside the Fit Studio, designers and pattern makers for both emerging and established brands have the technology they need to test their garments on full form physical mannequins in a safe and private space, ensuring their collections achieve the best possible fit for their target demographic.

Manufacturing Solutions Center and the City of Conover Host Public Opening of MSC Phase II Building and Re-Opening of Upfit MSC I Building
Press Release | April 3, 2023

The 75,000 square foot Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) II building is a public-private partnership containing four operating companies which graduated from the MSC business incubator. The new building also contains a Fabric Formation Lab, Best Practices Cut & Sew Line, Structural Engineering Testing Area, Prototyping Lab, PPE/Resource Textile Lab, and state of the art meeting and conference area for economic development activities which are available for industry and trade meetings. The upfit MSC I building now contains PPE Testing and Product Development space to test the efficacy of masks, gowns, and other PPE products, in addition to expanded lab space and capabilities.

Kornit Digital Further Extends Its Powerful End-To-End Digital Production Portfolio, Introduces Smart Curing and Rapid SizeShifter at TecStyle Visions 2023
Press Release | April 3, 2023

Kornit’s new energy-efficient Smart Curing solutions include Orion for mid-level production, and Titan for higher-capacity volumes — both optimized for compatibility with Kornit Atlas MAX systems and based on field- proven solutions from the acquisition of Tesoma. Kornit’s Rapid SizeShifter for Atlas MAX is an adjustable pallet that quickly adapts to disparate application requirements — reducing costly downtime associated with pallet changes and streamlining production for accelerated time-to-market.

Inventory Up 34% at PVH as Orders Ship Faster, Earlier
Fashion Dive | April 3, 2023

At PVH, owner of the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands, the company’s inventory tells the story of its sector as countervailing supply chain trends play out. The story is similar to what others in the apparel industry have reported since Q4 ended. At Under Armour, inventory was up 50%, in part because capacity and speed returned to supply chains in the latter part of the year. Fashion Dive looks at the pros and cons of increased inventory across the supply chain.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Automating the Tedious Jobs in Apparel Manufacturing Industry
Apparel Resources | April 1, 2023

Artificial intelligence, robotic arms, automatic pick and place systems, robotic process automation, and software tools, amongst many others, help scale up productivity in apparel manufacturing while aiming to take tedious jobs away from humans. In this feature report, Apparel Resources examines several examples throughout the industry including ones from SPESA members Morgan Tecnica, Lectra, Eastman Machine Company, and VI.BE.MAC.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Eastman To Demo Full-Scale Automation at JEC World
Press Release | March 31, 2023

Eastman Machine Company, manufacturer of industrial cutting, spreading, and material handling equipment announces plans to demonstrate smart advanced manufacturing in collaboration with a leading digital automation technology provider at JEC World (Paris, France) on April 25-27. For the first time, Eastman will showcase full-scale automation in conjunction with its Eagle C135 conveyorized cutting system.

Digital Twin Ups the Game for Apparel Factories
Apparel Resources | March 31, 2023

In the fashion manufacturing industry, the digital twin of a given garment can contain every information from the design origin and fabrics used to create it, to production process detailing. Apparel Resources explores the advantages of using digital twins in the manufacturing industry, including fabric wastage reduction.

Shimmy Technologies Launches Campaign with Microsoft To Highlight Upskilling of Sewn Goods Workers
Press Release | March 31, 2023

Shimmy Technologies, an innovative industrial ed-tech company, announced the launch of its newest campaign, in partnership with Microsoft Unlocked. The initiative aims to showcase the exceptional quality and talent of Shimmy’s trainees — garment manufacturing workers — and promote their app-based training that is designed to upskill and reskill garment manufacturing workers anywhere.

From the Heartland of Our Nation’s Fabric
USTR Blog Post | March 24, 2023

U.S. Trade Representative Senior Advisors Beth Baltzan and Jamila Thompson released a blog post reflecting on their recent visit to American textile manufacturers in the Carolinas. In the piece, Baltzan and Thompson highlight the important and innovative producers in the domestic supply chain as well as the Biden Administration’s effort to craft smarter trade policy that creates a level playing field while also enhancing the resilience of critical American industries. Industry coverage of the trip is available here.

Registration for the 38th World Fashion Convention Now Open!
Press Release | March 21, 2023

IAF and SPESA are proud to announce that the registration for the 38th World Fashion Convention to be held October 22-25 in Philadelphia is now open. This edition in Philadelphia will, uniquely, bring together the full global supply chain, including U.S., Canadian and European brands, (Latin) American, European, African and Asian manufacturers, as well as solution and technology providers, educators and policy makers.

A Tragic Update From Kitsbow
Company Announcement | March 21, 2023

David Billstrom of cycling apparel company Kitsbow announced the company would be closing suddenly, with its last day of production around April 7th.

Next Level Apparel Partners With Grupo M for Nearshore Manufacturing
Advertising Specialty Institute | March 21, 2023

The Torrance, CA-based apparel company has formed a partnership with Grupo M, a vertically integrated manufacturer that will provide Next Level Apparel with nearshore garment production. With operations centered in the Dominican Republic, Grupo M is one of the largest textile manufacturers in the western hemisphere. Additional coverage is available here and here.

Tex-Tech Industries Expands in Winston-Salem, NC
Specialty Fabrics Review | March 20, 2023

Tex-Tech Industries, a manufacturer of specialty textiles, will create 49 new jobs in Forsyth County, Governor Roy Cooper announced. The company will invest more than $24.8 million to build a new manufacturing center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Importers Have Borne Nearly All Costs of Section 301 and 232 Tariffs, ITC Finds
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. | March 17, 2023

A new report from the U.S. International Trade Commission determined U.S. importers have borne nearly the full cost of the Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum goods and the Section 301 tariffs imports from China. The report has sparked further calls for the Biden administration to lower the tariffs, though to date the White House has shown little interest in doing so. The report is available here. Industry coverage can be found here.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | E-CON: A Big Step Towards a More Sustainable Future
Press Release | March 16, 2023

Under the new brand "e-con", Dürkopp Adler launches a pioneering initiative that combines state-of-the-art industrial sewing technology with environmentally friendly solutions. The M-TYPE DELTA e-con offers a 25% energy saving compared to other digital sewing machines with the same performance output and with improved sewing results.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | YKK Recognized as a Supplier Engagement Leader, CDP’s Highest Rating for Supplier Engagement on Climate Change
Press Release | March 16, 2023

YKK Corporation has been selected as a “Supplier Engagement Leader,” the highest score on the 2022 Supplier Engagement Report (SER) from CDP, the international environmental non-profit focused on measuring and reporting companies’ environmental impact. The SER assesses how effectively companies engage with their suppliers on climate change issues. Additional industry coverage is available here.

Supplier, Buyer Relations Are Shifting Again as Pandemic Strains Ease
The Wall Street Journal | March 15, 2023

The commercial relationships between retailers and their suppliers that shifted under the strains of the Covid-19 pandemic are transforming again as companies cope with continuing changes in consumer spending and high costs across their supply chains. Large companies including Walmart Inc. and Whole Foods Market are pressing suppliers to cut prices for goods while others have been canceling orders for products from clothing to appliances.

U.S. Producers To Plant 17% Less Cotton in 2023
Specialty Fabric Review | March 8, 2023

U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 11.4 million cotton acres this spring, down 17% from 2022, according to the National Cotton Council’s 42nd Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey. Upland cotton intentions are 11.2 million acres, down 17.3% from 2022, while extra-long staple intentions of 184,000 acres represent a 0.5% increase.

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