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Industry News | 7/5/23

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Ahead of the FUTURE with Methods Workshop International, LLC
SPESA Q&A | July 5, 2023

Following the retirement of its former President and CEO, John Stern, Methods Workshop International, LLC, has a new name, a new leadership team, and exciting plans for the future. To celebrate the transition and honor the legacy of John Stern, we felt like it was a great time to re-introduce our readers to Methods Workshop, and share insights on the company’s history and its path forward.

Circular Economy for Textiles: Taking Responsibility To Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Textile Waste and Boosting Markets for Used Textiles
European Commission Press Release | July 5, 2023

Today, the European Commission has proposed rules to make producers responsible for the full lifecycle of textile products and to support the sustainable management of textile waste across the EU. This initiative will accelerate the development of the separate collection, sorting, reuse, and recycling sector for textiles in the EU, in line with the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The Commission is proposing to introduce mandatory and harmonized Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes for textiles in all EU Member States.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | CGS Exec Says AI Will Give Fashion Retailers ‘Much Smarter Tools’
Sourcing Journal | July 5, 2023

Paul Magel, president of the business applications divisions at CGS, Inc., in a conversation with Sourcing Journal founder Edward Hertzman, discusses how artificial intelligence can help companies reach new heights.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | UAPB Students Learn the Ins and Outs of Textile Production in North Carolina
NPR | June 18, 2023

Students majoring in merchandising, textiles, and design at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff recently traveled to North Carolina to learn about textile production up close. According to the school’s online news source, one of the highlights of the tour was visiting SPESA member [TC]² in Cary, North Carolina. Students and faculty were able to test out the company’s cutting-edge 3D body scanning technology, which helps consumers gain precise measurements for their clothing purchases.

Kornit Digital and Amaze Software Partner To Provide On-Demand Production and Fulfillment to Social Media Creators
Apparel Resources | July 5, 2023

A new collaboration between Kornit Digital and Amaze Software aims to provide social media creators with the necessary tools and resources to deliver branded products efficiently, boost engagement, and capitalize on revenue opportunities. Kornit’s global fulfillment network plays a pivotal role, facilitating connections between creators and high-quality garment and textile production fulfillers worldwide. Sourcing Journal also recently highlighted Kornit’s on-demand advancements here. Additional coverage of Kornit’s products is available here.

$19 Billion in Trade Stranded on Water as Canada’s West Coast Labor Negotiations Hit Pause
CNBC | July 4, 2023

The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association told CNBC that negotiations with the International Longshore & Warehouse Union and Canada’s Longshore Division are currently paused, pending further discussion with the federal mediators. VesselsValue warns vessel transit and turnaround times are set to increase as a result of the strikes and congestion looks to be mounting outside Vancouver, one of Canada’s main container ports.

Coats Sells Opti Zips EMEA Business Operations
Press Release | July 4, 2023

Coats Group plc, a leading manufacturer of thread and structural components for apparel and footwear, as well as an innovative pioneer in performance materials, has entered into an agreement to sell its Opti Zips EMEA business to Aequita, a German family office.

Kodak Establishes a Textile Testing Facility at Eastman Business Park
WXXI News | July 4, 2023

Kodak has put increasing attention on its Advanced Materials and Chemicals business in recent years, including capitalizing on the coating technologies that came out of its film production. The company has been making light-blocking fabrics, under the KODALUX brand name, and is now expanding to establish a textile testing facility at the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York.

A Good Yarn: The Alternatives to Viscose Rayon Made with Old Clothes and Coconut Water
The Guardian | July 4, 2023

Environmental not-for-profit group Canopy was recently awarded a $60m grant to accelerate the commercialization of next-generation viscose made from cotton waste, coconut water, citrus fruit, wheat straw, corn, molasses, and hemp. The company’s aim is to work with businesses to get 60m tonnes of new materials on the market by 2033. In this article, The Guardian explores two viscose alternatives that are ready to to be scaled up to commercial capacity.

Lululemon To Recycle Textiles Infinitely with Plastic-Eating Enzymes
Carbon Credits | June 30, 2023

A plastic-eating enzyme by Australian recycling startup Samsara Eco has found its way into the fashion industry through clothing giant Lululemon. The multi-year collaboration marks the Canadian athletic wear company’s first investment in a recycling company. More notably, it represents the fashion industry’s commitment to promoting new approaches that emit less carbon and recycle old textiles.

Fashion Sector Digitization Demands Greater Cybersecurity
Just Style | June 30, 2023

While digitalization brings enhanced sustainability, reduced waste, stricter inventory management, personalized designs, smart wearable tech garments, AI-enabled virtual fittings, and integrated supply chains, increasing online data offers bad actors additional attack vectors, says U.S.-based cyber exposure management company Tenable. In this article, Just Style outlines the major associated risks.

Nextil Group Opens Luxury Garment Factory To Meet Made-in-Italy Demand
Sourcing Journal | June 29, 2023

One of the largest apparel groups in Europe, Nextil Group, is opening a new luxury apparel factory in Bologna, Italy, to meet strong demand for French and Italian garments carrying the “Made in Italy” label. Earlier this year, the same company committed to investing $40 million in two new state-of-the-art production facilities in Guatemala that will produce garments and elastic fabrics for the shapewear and sportswear markets. Read more about Nextil’s plans for Italy here.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Japanese Sewing Machine Giant Sees Great Potential in Chinese Market (Video)
GLOBALink | June 28, 2023

This video from GLOBALink highlights SPESA member Pegasus’s foray into the Chinese market. As China’s high-end sewing market thrives, Pegasus’s newly established sewing center in Tianjin will help the company cater to China’s growing demand for high-performance, multi-functional sewing machines.

U.S. Fashion Manufacturing Hubs Share Success of Worker-owned Models
Women’s Wear Daily | June 28, 2023

In a recent knowledge-sharing webinar, grassroots fashion hub leaders talked about ecosystem development in fashion, and the success of worker-owned models.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Lectra Is Committed to Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations
Press Release | June 27, 2023

Three months after making its Corporate Social Responsibility policy one of its new strategic pillars, Lectra joins the United Nations Global Compact to contribute to a more sustainable future. In this press release, the company outlines its commitment to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Also in the news recently:

Nike Launches Aerogami, New Performance-Apparel Tech
Fashion Network | June 27, 2023

Nike recently unveiled Aerogami, its all-new performance-apparel technology “that increases breathability when athletes need it most.” New apparel will feature moisture-reactive vents that autonomously open and close upon sensing sweat against the body.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Fixing the Supply Chain, One Step at a Time: The Compelling Bottom-Line Business Case for Digital Dyeing
Company Announcement | June 26, 2023

SPESA Member Twine teamed up with The Interline to co-write a whitepaper on the potential of digital, on-demand dyeing technology for thread and yarn.

What To Know About the Panama Canal Drought
Sourcing Journal | June 23, 2023

A months-long drought at the Panama Canal is creating concerns for cargo being transported between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The Panama Canal Authority, which manages the canal’s operations, is expanding restrictions on the largest vessels traveling through the waterway as concerns over shallower water levels grow. With every restriction, less cargo can sail through the canal.

China’s Grand Plan for Central Asia Apparel Industry
Just Style | June 22, 2023

During the recent China-Central Asian Summit, leaders from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan signed a cooperation agreement primarily geared towards facilitating trade of agricultural products, including cotton, incorporating improved custom clearances, advanced logistics systems, and mutual industrial collaboration. Experts say the availability of resources such as cotton and wool from these neighboring states could boost Chinese apparel production.

Star Fades International Expands Reach with New Guatemala City Office
Rivet | June 21, 2023

California-based Star Fades International (SFI) is expanding its footprint in the Americas. The full-package development hub with production partners in the U.S. and Mexico opened a new office in Guatemala to support its growth efforts. SFI aims to expand its reach geographically and widen its product offering beyond denim to ready-to-wear knits and wovens.

Epson Introduces New Versatile DTG and DTFilm Hybrid Garment Print Solution
Press Release | June 20, 2023

Underscoring support for the growing textile and personalized products industry, Epson announced the hybrid SureColor® F2270 for both direct-to-garment (DTG) and direct-to-film (DTFilm) printing. The hybrid SureColor F2270 DTG printer incorporates DTFilm printing capabilities and goes beyond traditional garment printing and transfer to a wider variety of materials, including uniquely shaped items.

The Complete Playbook for Generative AI in Fashion | Case Study
Business of Fashion | June 20, 2023

From ChatGPT to Midjourney to Runway, the emerging technology is already showing why it could be one of the most consequential in decades for the fashion industry. In this Business of Fashion report, early adopters and experts unpack the opportunities and challenges of putting gen AI to use to design products, create campaigns and other content, and better connect with customers.

Where Are China’s Exports Going? Less and Less to the U.S., the Latest Trade Data Confirms
South China Morning Post | June 20, 2023

From toys and furniture to textiles and clothing, there has been a sharp drop-off in the percentage of U.S. imports from China, and countries such as Mexico are taking advantage. In the first four months of this year, 20.9% of textiles and apparel that the U.S. imported was from China – down about 4% from 2022, and almost half of the total seen 10 years ago, according to figures from the U.S. Office of Textiles and Apparel. Just Style provides additional data analysis here.

Australian Fashion and Clothing Industry Launches Roadmap to Circularity by 2030
IAF Member News | June 20, 2023

A number of Australia’s major fashion and clothing brands have committed to be foundation members of a national stewardship scheme that aims to make Australian fashion and clothing truly circular, and significantly reduce the 200,000 tonnes of clothing that currently goes to Australian landfill each year. Launched by the Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, the National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme design and the Roadmap to Clothing Circularity, will drive the industry towards clothing circularity by 2030.

How Footwear Maker Keen Tries To ‘Control the Controllables’ in Its Supply Chain
Supply Chain Dive | June 20, 2023

While not breaking news, this is an interesting profile on how one footwear company approaches supply chain visibility. Keen owns around 40% of its production, with company factories in Portland, Oregon — where the company was founded and is still based — as well as Thailand and the Dominican Republic.

A Manufacturing Investment Supercycle Is Starting
Axios | June 16, 2023

Fueled by hundreds of billions of dollars allocated by recent legislation as well as pent-up demand, there is massive new investment taking place in the U.S. manufacturing industry. Axios argues that understanding how this manufacturing boom plays out — how big and how long-lasting it turns out to be — will be crucial for understanding the macroeconomy of the remainder of the 2020s.

Retailers Are Trying To Fix Their Supply-Chain Forecasts
The Wall Street Journal | June 16, 2023

Retailers are turning to new technology and greater use of data across their supply chains in an effort to fix forecasting tools that were effectively splintered during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Wall Street Journal provides examples of retailers utilizing analytical tools and shared data with suppliers aimed at making them more agile in how they handle inventories.

Target, Walmart Investments Show South Carolina’s Port Appeal
Sourcing Journal | June 15, 2023

​​Charleston, South Carolina, ranks eighth among United States ports in terms of commercial activity. However, recent investments to create new facilities, upgrade existing ones, and make it easier for larger ships to access port terminals, combined with logjam issues on the country’s west coast, are increasing the state’s attractiveness for importers.

America’s Questionable Employment of Prison Labor Is Adding to Domestic Clothing Makers’ Woes
Just Style | June 15, 2023

American Apparel & Footwear Association CEO and President Steve Lamar talks to Just Style about the loophole in U.S. policy awarding apparel manufacturing contracts to U.S. prisons, and the issue of forced labor in America.

America’s Questionable Employment of Prison Labor Is Adding to Domestic Clothing Makers’ Woes
Just Style | June 15, 2023

American Apparel & Footwear Association CEO and President Steve Lamar talks to Just Style about the loophole in U.S. policy awarding apparel manufacturing contracts to U.S. prisons, and the issue of forced labor in America.

International Apparel Retailers Are Snagging Real Estate Space in the U.S.
Modern Retail | June 14, 2023

International apparel retailers hoping to win the favor of American shoppers are increasingly building out a fleet of stores in the U.S. Modern Retail breaks down the challenges these international companies are likely to face.

Unspun Raises $14M for On-Demand 3D Weaving Tech
Rivet | June 13, 2023

The fashion tech firm Unspun is expanding from body-scanning technology into 3D weaving manufacturing.

Double-Digit Declines Bite U.S. Apparel and Textile Imports
Sourcing Journal | June 13, 2023

While many industries seem to be finding some level of recovery from Covid losses, U.S. textile and apparel imports have not come close to pre-pandemic figures. U.S. imports in the sector are down by double digits again across the board comparing April of this year to the same month last year. Sourcing Journal breaks down the data from specific U.S. trade partners.

Robots Are Looking To Bring a Human Touch to Warehouses
The Wall Street Journal | June 12, 2023

Agility Robotics, Figure AI, and Boston Dynamics are among companies designing robots more closely modeled on human beings for use in distribution centers. The new machines are being engineered with the ability to walk around warehouses, reach items high on shelves, crouch to put things down, and pick up and move boxes, defying some of the physical limits on automation in the industrial world.

Super-Charged Smart Textile Can Multi-Task
Textile Technology Source | June 12, 2023

Scientists have developed a simple metallic coating treatment for clothing or wearable textiles which can repair itself, repel bacteria from the wearer and even monitor a person’s electrocardiogram (ECG) heart signals.

Vice President Harris Announces New Initiatives to Strengthen U.S-Caribbean Partnership
White House Fact Sheet | June 8, 2023

Among several other initiatives to advance cooperation between the United States and the Caribbean, the Biden Administration announced strong support for the extension of the HOPE/HELP trade preferences program for Haiti.

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