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Industry News | 8/16/23

GK Global Chairman & Forbes Books Author Yusuf Amdani To Speak at Upcoming 38th World Fashion Convention this October in Philadelphia
Press Release | August 16, 2023

SPESA and IAF are pleased to announce the addition of Mohammed Yusuf Amdani Bai, GK Global Chairman and Forbes Books Author, to the impressive speaker line-up for the upcoming 38th World Fashion Convention being held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 22-25, 2023. Mr. Amdani is a successful businessman, visionary, entrepreneur, and investor. His experience in Pakistan, Central America, and around the world spans textiles, real estate, lifestyle, technology, and agriculture.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | NC State Wilson College of Textiles to Create First of Its Kind Textile Training and Education Program in Honduras
Press Release | August 15, 2023

North Carolina State University’s Wilson College of Textiles has been awarded a $2 million, two-year grant from the United States Agency for International Development to develop a technical textile training program, titled Hilando Oportunidades (Spinning Opportunities) in northern Honduras. A major component of the program will be developed by SPESA member Shimmy Technologies which will create app-based training modules and machinery simulations to expand access to the training and increase knowledge retention for trainees.

US H1 Import Data Shows Vietnam Loses Out on China Raw Material Reliance
Just Style | August 15, 2023

Vietnam’s reliance on China for apparel raw material inputs is seeing it lose its sparkle as an apparel sourcing destination for the U.S., with shipment volumes for the first half of 2023 falling 18.6% on a year-on-year basis.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Keep Costs in Check and Boost Your Bottom Line: New Whitepaper from Aptean
Company Announcement | August 15, 2023

Fashion brands and manufacturers are being challenged by rising costs and tough economic conditions. That’s why an estimated 53% of brands are pursuing technology to automate more tasks, according to SPESA member Aptean. Check out the company’s latest whitepaper to learn five ways apparel brands are lowering costs to propel growth.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Preslow Moved Its Manufacturing Business away from Asia and Back into Mexico
Mexico Daily Post | August 14, 2023

Uniform and corporate apparel manufacturer Preslow has chosen SPESA member Lectra to help move its manufacturing away from Asia and reshore more production back into Mexico. This article features SPESA Board member Lenny Marano. Additional industry (and Lenny) coverage is available here.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Stitching the Future: Brother International Corporation Announces New Innovation for 2023 Sewing, Embroidery and Quilting Machines Exclusive to Brother Authorized Dealers
Press Release | August 14, 2023

The Brother “New Innovation for 2023” product lineup features four best-in-class sewing, embroidery, and quilting machines, including the Stellaire2 Innov-ís Combination and Embroidery-Only Machines, the Entrepreneur One PR1X Single-Needle Embroidery Machine, the PQ1600S High-Speed Straight Stitch Sewing & Quilting Machine, and the first ever PrintModa Studio Fabric Printer.

Biden Administration Looks To Boost Sustainability in Federal Procurement
Supply Chain Dive | August 14, 2023

The Sustainable Products and Services procurement rule aims to strengthen “existing sustainable products requirements by directing Federal buyers to purchase sustainable products and services to the maximum extent possible,” the White House said in a press release. The proposed rule covers the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and NASA.

Garment Workers Clash with Police in Bangladesh, Say Reports
Apparel Resources | August 14, 2023

A clash erupted between workers of a garment factory and the police in Savar August 12th as workers staged a demonstration, blocking the Dhaka-Aricha highway to demand their overdue salaries even as police resorted to baton charging and firing tear gas shells. Additional coverage is available here. Meanwhile, another group of Bangladeshi garment workers convened a protest rally calling for a minimum wage increase to account for the escalating cost of living.

Long Delays at Panama Canal After Drought Hits Global Shipping Route
The Guardian | August 14, 2023

Commercial ships are facing long queues and delays to travel through the Panama Canal as a lengthy drought in the Central American country has led to a cut in the number of vessels able to pass through one of the world’s most important trading routes. Additional coverage from CNBC reports it is “going to get worse before it gets better.”

Ghana to Train Youth in Apparel-Making Skills
Sourcing Journal | August 14, 2023

A new module called “Youth in Garment and Textiles,” launched August 14th, offers newly created employment opportunities to young people in Ghana. The module will bridge skill gaps and create sustainable jobs that will contribute to the growth of the apparel industry in West Africa. It will teach skills related to tailoring and dressmaking, in addition to fabric selection, cutting techniques, sewing, garment construction, pattern draping, and alterations.

Material Return Leading Textile Circularity Movement in Carolinas
eTextileCommunications | August 11, 2023

A startup in North Carolina is carving out a promising niche in the retrieval of fibers from textile waste. eTextileCommunications shares the inside scoop.

Amazon Reportedly Scrapping 27 of 30 Private Clothing Labels
Fashion United | August 11, 2023

U.S. retail giant Amazon is reigning in its own-label fashion business as it looks to cut costs and tackle mounting regulatory pressure.

Mushrooms Inc., Set To Revolutionize Textile with Innovative Mycelium Thread Technology
Apparel Resources | August 11, 2023

The mycelium thread boasts remarkable properties that enable it to combat germs naturally and even detect microbes, marking a paradigm shift in textile functionality.

UK’s First Carpet Recycling Factory Leads the Charge Against Emissions and Waste
Apparel Resources | August 10, 2023

The factory, which cost approximately £10 million to establish, operates at the Lodge Farm Industrial Estate in Dusto and adopts a comprehensive approach to handling waste materials, sorting, and segregation. Innovative machines within the facility disassemble polypropylene plastic from carpet backing, creating versatile pellets suitable for various applications such as car bumpers and storage containers.

Hundreds of Workers Laid Off in Big NC Furniture Manufacturer Shutdown
WRAL Tech Wire | August 10, 2023

Asheboro-based Klaussner Furniture, one of North Carolina’s biggest furniture manufacturers, shut down suddenly last week laying off nearly 900 workers. This is the latest in a string of NC furniture shake-ups we’ve seen in the past year.

Coach Owner Tapestry To Acquire Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo Parent Capri Holdings for $8.5 Billion
CNBC | August 10, 2023

The transaction will create an American fashion giant that — while still not quite as large as its European competitors — will be better positioned to compete in the luxury market.

From T-Shirts to Airplanes: SPESA’s President Michael McDonald Highlights the Sewn Products Industry’s Advances and Challenges
WhatTheyThink | August 9, 2023

WhatTheyThink’s Cary Sherburne spoke with SPESA President Michael McDonald about streamlining supply chains, bringing textile jobs back to the Americas, finding more ways to automate the sewing process, and attracting new talent. Click the link below to read highlights from the conversation or watch the full interview here.

PPE Manufacturer Moves into Former Kitsbow Facility, Vows To Hire Former Employees
Black Mountain News | August 9, 2023

Fire-Dex, a company specializing in manufacturing personal protective equipment for first responders, will open in the building that once housed Kitsbow Cycling Apparel in Old Fort, North Carolina. Kitsbow closed in April after failing to raise enough operating capital to grow.

Sewts Raises €7m To Shape the Future of Robotics, Automation in the Textile Industry
Startup Weekly | August 9, 2023

German technology start-up Sewts, which aims to reduce manual labor with AI and robotics, has concluded a US$7.6 million series A financing round in a bid to solve labor shortages by automating clothing production. With its unique approach of combining AI, robotics, and material simulation, Sewts is providing robots with human-like perception and grasping capabilities. Additional industry coverage is available here.

Madagascar Garment Manufacturers Share Hidden Fashion Sourcing Potential
Just Style | August 9, 2023

Madagascar, known for its diverse wildlife and unique culture, also offers great potential for fashion sourcing. It stands out as a hub for handmade products, intricate embroidery, and a commitment to sustainability.

Pakistan Accord Outlines First Supplier List for Signatories
Fashion United | August 7, 2023

The Pakistan Accord, an agreement formulated by the International Accord to ensure worker health and safety in the garment and textile supply chains in Pakistan, has published its first list of approved suppliers for Accord signatories wishing to source responsibly from the country.

New CTPAT Updates Like TSA Pre-Check for Modern Slavery
Sourcing Journal | August 7, 2023

Effective August 1st, all trade compliance members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT), are now required to comply with new minimum security criteria related to forced labor, such as creating a code of conduct statement, demonstrating risk-based business mapping, furnishing proof of a social compliance program, providing due-diligence training for suppliers, and offering plans for remediation.

Young Workers in Asia Turn Away from Factory Jobs
Axios | August 7, 2023

Following in the footsteps of the West, factory owners in countries like India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam are having a hard time recruiting and retaining younger workers. While automation can be a solution, manufacturers say there's also a lack of young engineers interested in applying their skills to factory operations. At the link below Axios provides a topline overview of a longer piece by The Wall Street Journal.

Sizekick Launches AI for Size Recommendations
Press Release | August 7, 2023

Munich-based startup Sizekick has launched a new AI technology to reduce size-related returns in e-commerce. The artificial intelligence tool, backed by strategic partner and investor Hohenstein, has attracted well-known brands and retailers including U.S. outdoor brand Black Diamond, German brand Marc Cain, and Swiss retailer Rrrevolve.

Türkiye Earthquakes Six Months On: Apparel Sector Seeks Orders, Lower Duties To Boost Recovery
Just Style | August 7, 2023

All apparel factories are back in operation six months on from the tragic Türkiye earthquakes. International Apparel Federation President and Turkish Clothing Manufacturers’ Association Vice Chair, Cem Altan, discusses the status of the country’s apparel industry and urges fashion brands to place more orders to help it recover fully. Additional coverage on Türkiye is available here.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Picking the Right Apparel Technology To Take Business to the Next Level
California Apparel News | August 3, 2023

California Apparel News asked technology experts: What technology do you feel is the most important to move the fashion and apparel industry forward? Check out what the experts from SPESA members Alvanon, Aptean, CGS, Lectra, and Tukatech had to say.

Clarksville HanesBrands Plant To Shut
Arkansas Democrat Gazette | August 3, 2023

HanesBrands Inc. announced plans to close its hosiery manufacturing plant in Clarksville, Arkansas, next month, the last of its U.S. cut-and-sew operations. The closure will terminate an estimated 200 factory jobs. HanesBrands has since also announced a decrease in net sales in the second quarter of 2023, and related plans to cut costs and reduce its debts moving forward. Cost-cutting moves include relocating 250 previously U.S. corporate jobs offshore.

Despite U.S. Trade Tariffs and Pandemic Hurdles, China Is Still the World’s Factory
DC Velocity | August 3, 2023

Mexico’s steep rise in selling exports to U.S. markets in recent years has been supported by a simultaneous jump in Chinese exports to Mexico, according to an analysis by the Canadian logistics technology provider Descartes Systems Group.A new study suggests that when the U.S. seemingly reduced sourcing from the country, China did not reduce production but rather increased shipping goods and materials to companies with manufacturing facilities located in countries with friendlier trade relations with the U.S., chiefly Mexico.

Innovator Helping Nike, H&M ‘Replace Fossil-Based Plastics’ Nets $125 Million
Sourcing Journal | August 3, 2023

Newlight Technologies, Inc., a Huntington Beach, California-based materials maker that counts Target, H&M, and Nike as customers, announced it has secured $125 million in a new equity investment round led by decarbonization-focused investment platform GenZero. Additional industry coverage available here.

The Digital Textile Market Flourishes as Home Décor and Furnishings Embrace Advanced Printing Technology
WhatTheyThink | August 3, 2023

The global digital textile printer industry is estimated to reach US$2,212.9 million in 2023 according to Future Market Insights. Over the forecast period 2023 to 2033, global sales of digital textile printers are expected to rise at 9.8% CAGR, bringing the total market valuation to US$5,304.3 million by 2033. Growth in the market is driven by continuously changing fashion trends, a high need for advanced printing technologies, and increasing demand for customized and personalized home décor.

Asics Releases 3D-Printed Performance Slides
Footwear News | August 3, 2023

Asics has teamed up with 3D printing company LuxCreo on the second generation of its ActiBreeze hybrid sandal. To bring the style to life, the duo used LuxCreo’s Smart Factory Production Service. According to the printing company, the service accelerates production time and minimizes waste by taking digital 3D printing files and converting them to the exact quantity the client requests.

VF CFO: ‘Aggressively’ Cutting Costs Key To Optimize Distribution
Sourcing Journal | August 3, 2023

The portfolio company told investors it is “aggressively optimizing our distribution capacity” and other areas “where revenue is under pressure,” saying that VF is pausing some longer-term projects to focus on near-term initiatives. The firm also aims to rein in technology spending that does not face or impact the consumer.

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