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Industry News | 6/21/23

Industry News

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Making 3D Design as Easy as Drag-and-Drop
Sourcing Journal | June 20, 2023

Check out this video interview with SPESA member Clothing Tech’s founder and president, Bill Wilcox. This interview is the second in a four-part video series where Wilcox discusses how Clothing Tech has crafted a simplified 3D software that makes designing and updating fashion garments much easier. You can see part 1 of Wilcox’s conversation with Sourcing Journal here.

VF Corporation Appoints Bracken Darrell as President & CEO
Press Release | June 20, 2023

Big news from VF Corporation this week. Yesterday, the company announced the appointment of Bracken Darrell as President and CEO, effective July 17, 2023. Darrell comes to VF with a unique background in tech, having previously served as President and CEO of Logitech International S.A. VF Board member Richard Carucci on Darrell’s new appointment: “We conducted an extensive search and determined that Bracken has all the attributes to excel in this role. He is a transformational and visionary business leader with a strong track record of performance across multiple industries.”

ITMA 2023 Ends on a High Note with Strong Industry Participation
Press Release | June 19, 2023

CEMATEX offers a recap of the recently wrapped ITMA 2023 which took place in Milan, June 8-14. According to the release, more than 111,000 visitors attended the show from 143 countries. The top six visitor arrival countries were Italy (29%), followed by Turkey, India and Germany (6% each), France (4%), and Brazil (3%). You can read additional show coverage from Just Style here.

Made in America: It's Trickier Than it Sounds
NPR | June 18, 2023

No breaking news story here, but a great 12-minute listen for your morning or evening commute. NPR’s White House correspondent Asma Khalid talks with policymakers, economists, and even visits a factory floor in Minnesota to learn more about how the U.S. and China trade war has impacted U.S.-based manufacturers.

Hiring Activity in the North American Apparel Industry Decreased by 38% in Q1 2023
Just Style | June 16, 2023

The North American apparel industry experienced a 38% drop in new job postings in Q1 2023 compared with the previous quarter, with the highest share accounted for by Walmart with 18,000 job postings, according to GlobalData’s analysis of apparel company job postings.

UPS Workers Authorize Strike in Thick of Teamsters Contract Negotiations
Supply Chain Dive | June 16, 2023

UPS workers, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, voted in favor of authorizing a strike in the thick of national contract negotiations. The Teamsters are seeking a new five-year agreement that eliminates excessive overtime and the two-tier wage system that separates full- and part-time UPS workers from making the same hourly pay. While 10-20% of UPS’s roughly 24.3 million packages shipped could be picked up by FedEx, USPS, or other regional carriers, it is expected that the remaining backlog of shipments could take weeks or even months to clear after an agreement is reached. You can find additional coverage from Sourcing Journal here.

Why ‘China Plus Many’ Is a Realistic Future for the Supply Chain
Sourcing Journal | June 16, 2023

All eyes on Mexico. And Canada. According to Freightos Baltic Index (FBX) data, the U.S. is continuing to reduce its reliance on China, and Asia at large, and Mexico stands to be the biggest beneficiary. Mexico overtook China by 15% in overall U.S. import volume during the first quarter of 2023, while Canada overtook it by 5%, marking the first time in more than 20 years that trade volume shifted to both U.S. neighboring countries, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

De Minimis Reform Gains Momentum as Forced Labor Concerns Mount
Sourcing Journal | June 16, 2023

Last Thursday, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Neal Dunn (R.-Fl.) reintroduced the Import Security and Fairness Act, which seeks to prevent imports valued under $800 from non-market economies, such as China and Russia, from utilizing the de minimis provision to skirt duties, taxes or fees to the U.S. government. The legislation would also require Customs and Border Protection to gather more information on such shipments, including their country of origin and the identities of their importers.

How Made-to-Order Manufacturer Hanin Slashed Sampling and Sped Development
Sourcing Journal | June 15, 2023

Hong Kong-based manufacturer Hanin has traded in mass production for an on-demand model, leveraging 3D software development company Embodee’s Orchids technology. Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Embodee’s Orchids technology has helped Hanin shorten development processes by several months. Using Orchids, Hanin was also able to cut the number of sample rounds, saving time as well as cutting costs.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Zund Expands Its Portfolio of Digital Cutting Solutions with Launch of Q-Line with BHS180
Print Week | June 14, 2023

Prasanna Venkatesh, managing director at Zund India, answers questions about the recent launch of Zund’s Q-Line with BHS180 board handling system. According to Venkatesh, the Q-Line with BHS180 not only complements Zund’s current product offering, but also raises the bar for industrial, efficient, pallet-to-pallet production. He adds that the system is specifically intended for the demands of highly automated, industrial finishing of printed boards for displays and packaging.

West Coast Port Labor Deal Struck
Sourcing Journal | June 14, 2023

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced a tentative agreement last week on a new six-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports, ending a grueling 13-month labor battle. West Coast ports have been hit with a series of disruptions over the past two weeks, causing concern that the interruptions could ripple into larger supply chain issues, like ship backlogs or congestion. President Joe Biden, several ports, and industry trade groups all expressed relief and support for the tentative deal. You can read their reactions here.

New Balance Planning $70 Million New England Manufacturing Facility
Sourcing Journal | June 14, 2023

New Balance is showing its support of close-to-market production with a $65 million factory expansion in Maine and a tentative plan for a new footwear factory in New Hampshire, which would add to the five manufacturing sites it already runs in the U.S. In a statement, New Balance COO Dave Wheeler said the company is “excited about the opportunity to expand our domestic manufacturing footprint in New Hampshire and add hundreds of family-sustaining jobs to the Londonderry community.”

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | After 50 Years, Lectra Continues to Move Forward
Sourcing Journal | June 13, 2023

Lectra’s vice president of marketing in the Americas, Ketty Pillet, recently spoke with Sourcing Journal about the company’s growth and expansion over the past 50 years. “Looking a few years back, we would’ve never imagined how fast the industry would transform, and I don’t think that will slow down anytime soon. Lectra will continue to innovate by releasing new software several times a year to digitalize the chain,” said Pillet. “I’m really excited to see what the future holds for Lectra.”

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | INDA Announces Finalists for World of Wipes Innovation Award
Nonwovens Industry | June 13, 2023

Last week, SPESA associate member INDA announced the three finalists for its World of Wipes Innovation Award. The Award will be presented at the 17th annual World of Wipes (WOW) International Conference, July 17-20, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, GA. The three products vying for this award are a cleaning and disinfecting device from 2XL Corporation, a wipe utilizing biotransformation technology from Avgol Nonwovens, and a reusable towel dispensing system from Yowel.

2-Decade Hiatus Ends with IAF Convention in North America
Fibre2Fashion | June 13, 2023

Thanks for the shoutout, Fibre2Fashion! The publication last week shared news about IAF and SPESA’s joint 38th World Fashion Convention, taking place October 22-25 in Philadelphia at the historic Bellevue Hotel. Fun fact: the event is set to be the first IAF convention in the U.S. in more than 20 years. Interested in learning more? Visit

Garments, Textiles Among Most At-Risk of Being Manufactured with Forced Labor: Report
Manufacturing Dive | June 8, 2023

According to the 2023 Global Slavery Index from Walk Free, garments and textiles are some of the most at-risk products of being manufactured with forced labor. Modern slavery risks are seen at each level of garment supply chains, the report states, including growing and producing raw materials, processing these to inputs and manufacturing. As we’ve covered before, the forced production of cotton and other materials in China’s Xinjiang province led the U.S. to pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in 2021, which bans products from the region. Prior to the Act, Bloomberg reported that fast-fashion giant Shein had used cotton from Xinjiang province.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | YKK Achieves 100% Renewable Energy Purchasing at 31 Sites Worldwide
Press Release | June 5, 2023

SPESA member YKK continues to lead the charge when it comes to climate action. The company recently announced that the number of YKK locations that have switched 100% of their electricity consumption to renewable energy in fiscal year 2022 has increased by 20 locations, reaching 31 locations globally. Additional coverage on the announcement can be found here.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Aptean Expands Supply Chain Offerings Through Acquisition of TOTALogistix
Press Release | June 1, 2023

Here’s an ICYMI for you: SPESA member Aptean earlier this month announced the acquisition of TOTALogistix, a leading provider of cloud-based transportation management systems (TMS) to manufacturers, retailers, and distributors in North America. The addition of TOTALogistix complements Aptean’s capabilities in its existing supply chain products enhancing Aptean’s ability to help organizations optimize logistics operations across their entire supply chain. In other news, Aptean announced today that it had received Frost & Sullivan’s Customer Value Leadership Award in North American ERP Software for the Food and Beverage Industry. Aptean was highlighted for deployment of best practices in innovating and creating new products, solutions, and services that meet evolving customer needs.

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