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Industry News | 9/20/23

World Fashion Convention Speaker & Sponsor News

In just over a month, SPESA and the International Apparel Federation (IAF) will jointly host the 38th World Fashion Convention in Philadelphia, PA (October 22-25, 2023). This event is bringing together an impressive line-up of speakers and sponsors from companies across the globe. We’ve compiled recent news updates from some of those participating organizations.

From Circ making Prince William’s list of finalists for the Earthshot Prize, to the launch of Yusuf Amdani’s Forbes book, to Aii leadership being named a Vogue Business innovator, this will offer an idea of the caliber of content to expect at the event.

To learn more and register for the event, visit

Prince William's Earthshot Prize Announces Finalists for 2023 Awards
CBS News | September 19, 2023

This week, Prince William is in New York City for Climate Week, the climate summit that coincides with the United Nations General Assembly. During his visit, he announced 15 finalists for the 2023 Earthshot Prize. One of those finalists is a company called Circ that recently created a solution to enable the recycling of polycotton fabrics, which make up half of all textile waste. Additional information on Circ’s polycotton fabrics recycling solutions can be found here.

Circ’s Chief Commercialization Officer, Julie Wiloughby, PhD, will be taking the stage at the 38th World Fashion Convention, joining the Climate Action and Circularity panel.

Apparel Impact Institute Announces (Aii) First Grant Recipients from its Climate Solutions Portfolio (CSP) to Promote Decarbonization in the Fashion Industry
Press Release | September 19, 2023

Apparel Impact Institute (Aii) announced this week its first deployment of grants from its Climate Solutions Portfolio (CSP). This registry of proven carbon reduction solutions for the fashion industry is based on effectiveness, reach, scale, and cost, and represents the first deployed capital from Aii's catalytic Fashion Climate Fund. Grantees include Precision Development, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Made2Flow, BluWin and PwC.

These grants are funded by philanthropic contributions from the Fashion Climate Fund's lead partners including H&M Foundation, H&M Group, Lululemon, The PVH Foundation, Target and the Schmidt Family Foundation. Additional coverage on Aii’s announcement can be found here and here.

Bryant LaPres, Senior Director of Industry Engagement at Aii will join Dr. Wiloughby from Circ as a panelist for the Climate Action and Circularity discussion.

Rieter Incorporates Traceability in Fiber Preparation Using Haelixa Technology
Indian Textile Magazine | September 19, 2023

Rieter has signed a contract with Haelixa, an award-winning spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), to integrate traceability technology into its spinning process. A spraying system distributes unique DNA markers during mixing to ensure that every fiber is physically marked. With this, the presence of the original fibers during manufacturing can be verified later on through testing. In other news, Haelixa announced earlier this month that it had secured funding from the Zurich Silk Association (ZISG) to support its mission of DNA marker technology for complete supply chain transparency. Additional coverage can be found here.

Haelixa will be joining the 38th World Fashion Convention as a bronze sponsor for the event.

A&E Unveils New Sustainable Thread Products Awarded With Gold Level C2C Certified™ Material Health Certificates
Press Release | September 19, 2023

American & Efird (A&E) continued its advancement of sustainable practices and environmental stewardship this week with the release of two sustainable cotton thread products, each earning a Gold Level C2C Certified Material Health Certificate™. “We are pleased to continue to offer sustainable sewing thread solutions to our customers,” said Chris Alt, A&E President. “We are focused on meeting the current and future demands of our customers with new innovations, while doing right by the environment and the communities in which we operate.”

A&E will be joining the 38th World Fashion Convention as a bronze sponsor for the event.

IAF Launches Export Support Tool for Fashion Companies
Just Style | September 19, 2023

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) has recently launched the 'Gateway to Europe' platform to provide what it calls a comprehensive export support solution for fashion companies to navigate the European market successfully. ‘Gateway to Europe’ is a full-service solution covering marketing and sales; logistics and fulfillment; customs and VAT; financial organization and compliance and regulations. IAF points out that the platform is uniquely positioned to work within the context of its industry association members from all over the world.

IAF is hosting the 38th World Fashion Convention jointly with SPESA.

BGMEA Urges Responsible Business Practices, Outlines Green 2030 Targets
Just Style | September 19, 2023

We’ve seen the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in the news a couple of times this month. This week, BGMEA president, Faruque Hassan spoke at an event in Dhaka where he underscored the importance of addressing human rights and environmental concerns within the interconnected global economy of today. Earlier this month, BGMEA Vice President and Managing Director of Bitopi Group, Miran Ali, spoke with Apparel Resources about multiple issues and developments impacting the industry such as buyers’ changing sourcing strategy, Bangladesh’s export performance, the growing focus on non-traditional markets, and more.

Miran Ali will share additional industry insight when he participates as a speaker at the 38th World Fashion Convention on the Creating More Effective, Productive, and Resilient Supply Chains panel.

Lectra Takes Furniture on Demand to Mexico
Sourcing Journal | September 15, 2023

SPESA member Lectra announced this week that it will expand its Furniture on Demand solution to Mexico, making it available to producers south of the border. The cloud-based Furniture on Demand system connects to cutting room floor machinery to streamline production, reduce repetitive daily tasks, integrate orders and optimize costs. “Furniture On Demand is an answer to the economic complexities currently faced by the industry that also improves speed, quality, and traceability in the entirety of the manufacturing process,” said Leonard Marano, President of the Americas at Lectra and SPESA Board member.

Lectra will be joining the 38th World Fashion Convention as a bronze sponsor for the event.

Global Entrepreneur Shares Insights on Transforming Developing Economies
Press Release | September 12, 2023

Yusuf Amdani, one of the keynote speakers for the 38th World Fashion Convention, recently announced the launch of his new book World of Opportunity: Bringing Sustainable Business to Fragile Economies. Published by Forbes Books, Amdani guides his readers on how business can help shore up fragile economies. His programs have directly reduced migration levels while his nonprofit foundation addresses the needs of vulnerable populations. "It is my desire that we collectively paint a new landscape for the coming generations," said Amdani. "My hope is that, after reading this book, you'll see the world as a place you can touch and change. You'll grasp how doing business in developing countries can be an all-around win."

Yusuf Amdani will be joining the 38th World Fashion Convention as a keynote speaker.

TradeBeyond Acquires Pivot88’s Traceability SaaS
Sourcing Journal | September 12, 2023

Last week it was announced that Pivot88 was acquired by TradeBeyond, a platform that helps brands and retailers manage product development, sourcing and logistics. Pivot88’s platform gives users a 360-degree view of a product’s lifecycle, providing retailers with the supply chain data needed to mitigate risk and ensure compliance with labor and sustainability regulations and trade laws. Founder Stephanie Boivin said the deal would underscore the synergies between the two organizations. Boivin, who will transition into a leadership role at TradeBeyond, added that the acquisition will allow the firm “to offer an even more efficient and cost-effective way for global brands and retailers to improve their product quality, manage their supply chain partners, and reduce supply chain risks.”

Pivot88 will be joining the 38th World Fashion Convention as a gold sponsor for the event.

The Vogue Business 100 Innovators: Sustainability Thought Leaders
Vogue Business | September 11, 2023

Vogue Business recently announced its list of 2023 sustainability innovators, which include founders, activists, organizers, and designers all working toward a common goal: to bring fashion’s footprint within the realm of planetary boundaries, minimizing waste and spent resources. Included in the list is Lewis Perkins, President of Aii. Last year, Aii launched the $250 million Fashion Climate Fund to finance initiatives, from renewable energy to next-gen materials, that will help decarbonise the supply chain.

As noted earlier, Perkins’ colleague, Bryant LaPres, will join as a speaker on the Climate Action and Circularity panel during the 38th World Fashion Convention.

Vivobarefoot, Circ Partner for Circular Footwear
Just Style | September 6, 2023

Footwear manufacturer Vivobarefoot and textile-to-textile recycling company Circ have entered into a partnership to develop circular solutions and will be designing footwear uppers that can be recycled or upcycled. The two companies will collaboratively design and develop footwear uppers made entirely of a single material (polyester) that can be chemically recycled and reused in the production of new footwear without the need to add any virgin materials.

As noted previously, Circ’s Chief Commercialization Officer, Julie Wiloughby, PhD, will join as a speaker on the Climate Action and Circularity panel during the 38th World Fashion Convention.

The Puma x Lemlem Collab Offers A Vibrant Twist On Athleisure Staples
Refinery 29 | August 25, 2023

Last month, Puma announced an athleisure collaboration with Lemlem. The sportswear giant and the clothing and swimwear label founded by Ethiopian supermodel Liya Kebede released apparel and footwear that features a new version of the NITRO shoe, a lightweight athletic trainer with a chunky sole, as well as sports bras, leggings and outerwear, all in the geometric and abstract prints that Lemlem has come to be known for.

Jessica Ramey, CEO, Mercantilia Consulting and Production Manager at Lemlem will join the 38th World Fashion Convention as a speaker on the Manufacturing in Emerging Markets panel.

Industry News

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Fashion Efforts Get Big Boost from Detroit Homecoming Connections
Crain’s Detroit Business | September 19, 2023

September is Detroit Month of Design, which is keeping SPESA member ISAIC busy as it showcases the amazing design work coming out of the Motor City. In a recent piece penned by Crain’s Detroit Business, we learned how ISAIC’s Jen Guarino and former Donna Karan CEO Jeffry Aronsson came together for a dual-focused initiative on (1) bringing bigger-named designers to Detroit, and (2) creating a national institute for training and production in the city. Additional efforts to build Detroit as a fashion hub alternative to New York City and Los Angeles was highlighted in a separate piece here. To get a peek inside the ISAIC facility in Detroit, click here.

Port of Los Angeles Sees the First Volume Increase in 13 Months
Supply Chain Dive | September 19, 2023

Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles rose 3% YoY to 828,016 TEUs in August, marking the first increase in 13 months, port officials said. The recent 6-year contract ratification between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association helped restore stability and confidence to customers regarding where to ship their cargo, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement. Although port volumes increased in August, demand remains lower as shippers continue to face excess inventory levels.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Easier to Handle | Automated Production Lines & Roll-Pack Machines Streamline Mattress Manufacturing
BedTimes Magazine | September 19, 2023

SPESA member Atlanta Attachment Company is profiled in this article from BedTimes Magazine on the need for automated production lines and roll-pack machines. Looking at the current trends and demands in mattress production, Atlanta Attachment Co. offers the 1967-AX-Robot, and the auto-tape machine 1315R. Here’s Eugenio Fonts, vice president of marketing and international sales for Atlanta Attachment Co.: “Advanced material handling systems ensure precise and accurate measurements during production, preventing material waste and improving product consistency.”

FABRIC Act Reintroduced in the U.S.
EcoTextile News | September 18, 2023

A bill that seeks to improve conditions for 100,000 U.S. garment workers is getting another shot at becoming law. Last week, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Jerrold Nadler reintroduced the Fashioning Accountability and Building Real Institutional Change, or FABRIC, Act, a move to put an end to the “misuse” of piece-rate pay, which doles out pennies for every hem sewn or button stitched rather than a consistent wage. The measure also aims to boost domestic apparel manufacturing by creating a $50 million per year support program, administered by the Department of Labor. This comes after news last week that George Gascón, the Los Angeles County district attorney, announced that two garment company owners in South Los Angeles have been charged after being accused in a seven-count felony complaint of underpaying their workers and subsequently lying about it. Additional coverage is available here.

Heimtextil Returns in January with Focus on Textile Transformation
Just Style | September 18, 2023

The international trade show for home and contract textiles, Heimtextil Trends 24/25, is set to return January 9, 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany with a theme that will focus on textile transformation. Under the title “New Sensitivity,” the emphasis is on innovations and changes in the composition of textiles, in addition to aesthetic aspects. This includes plant-based textiles made from crops or plant by-products; technology and technical solutions transforming textiles; bio-engineered textiles; new coloring methods using naturally derived pigments; and regenerative textiles and materials.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | SourceAmerica Employment Inclusion Survey Reveals Nationwide Desire for More Employer Support for People with Disabilities
Press Release | September 18, 2023

SPESA member SourceAmerica announced this week results of a recent national survey that revealed 93% of respondents desire the private sector and government to take a more active role in supporting employment opportunities for people with disabilities.The poll of 1,000 employed Americans and 1,000 employed Americans with disabilities found that 9 in 10 respondents said it was important for their employers to value diversity and inclusion, specifically including individuals with disabilities.

BASF Invites Cotton Farmers to Discuss Regenerative Opportunity
Sourcing Journal | September 18, 2023

“BASF is dedicated to creating a better future for cotton production and the cotton textile industry,” Ray Daniels, seed sustainability manager at BASF, said. “We understand that cotton farmers are the cornerstone of sustainable production, which is why we are giving them an international platform to share their ideas on how agriculture must meet the needs of present and future generations through profitability, environmental health, and social and economic equity.”

Fashion industry urged to aid Morocco’s recovery post-earthquake
Apparel Resources | September 16, 2023

In the wake of a devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Morocco earlier in September, the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) is rallying fashion buyers worldwide to contribute to the rehabilitation of Morocco’s fashion sector. Morocco serves as a crucial hub for all three sectors within ETI’s membership—apparel and textiles, food fishing and farming, and general merchandise. Inditex, the parent company of Zara, has already taken action, donating more than $3 million to Spain’s Red Cross in support of the Red Crescent’s humanitarian relief efforts in the earthquake-stricken areas.

How the UAW Strike Could Have Ripple Effects Across the Economy
NPR | September 16, 2023

Recent news about the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike has raised concerns across multiple industries about the potential impact the strike will have on the economy, supply chains, automotive suppliers, and more. While experts say the U.S. economy is already getting bruised, the strike’s impact isn’t likely to push the nation into a recession. But the ultimate impact of the strike depends on things like how long the strike lasts, if companies lay off workers at other plants, how many workers walk off their jobs, and how long the unions and companies take to negotiate a deal. Check out additional coverage here.

Recession Fears are Abating, but Manufacturers are Still Pessimistic: NAM Survey
Manufacturing Dive | September 15, 2023

Manufacturing leaders are less anxious about an oncoming recession, but workforce constraints and dull demand are leaving them pessimistic, according to a recent survey from the National Association of Manufacturers. In a sign of growing confidence in the U.S. market, 42% of manufacturers believed the economy would go into a recession in the next year, down from nearly 57% who believed so in June.

Turning Waste Textiles into New Products in Hull
Innovation in Textiles | September 15, 2023

Yorkshire waste management firm MYGroup is building a sustainable textiles factory at its Hull site with a £500,000 investment that will create up to 30 jobs. The new factory will see waste textiles remanufactured end-to-end into new products in a UK-first that MYGroup says will put Hull on the map as an innovation center for textiles recycling, leading the charge in reducing the environmental impact of and promoting circularity in the fashion industry. Additional coverage can be found here.

PVH Ups Inventory Reduction Goal as Supply Chain Pressures Ease
Supply Chain Dive | September 14, 2023

Apparel company PVH is targeting a 25% decrease in its inventory-to-sales ratio by the end of 2024 as supply chain improvements continue to accelerate, CEO Stefan Larsson said in a Q2 earnings call late last month. The company, which owns brands Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, is aiming for the strategy to help the company better align inventory levels with consumer demand, “one of the highest value drivers in our business,” Larsson said on the call.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | ZCC Zünd Cut Center Ushers in a New Era in Digital Cutting Automation
Converter | September 13, 2023

Zünd has revamped the ZCC Zünd Cut Center software and user interface from the ground up. In Version 4, ZCC offers even more capabilities for flexible, automated file preparation and efficient digital cutting. Controlling the cutter via touch screen makes for an extremely intuitive and simple operation.

What July’s OTEXA Numbers Say About the State of Apparel Imports
Sourcing Journal | September 12, 2023

According to OTEXA, imports of cotton, wool, man-made fiber, silk blends and non-cotton vegetable fiber textile and apparel products slid by 15.6% in July of this year, for a total of 14.89 billion square meter equivalents (SME). Broken out, imports of textiles were down 11.5% in July for a total of 593.9 SME, while imports of apparel were down 18.1% for the month, for a total of 8.95 billion SME.

Allbirds Open Sources Net-zero Shoe Technology
Textile Technology Source (ATA Publication) | September 11, 2023

U.S. footwear brand Allbirds is making available the technology behind what it says is the world’s first net-zero shoe. The company has open sourced its toolkit for the M0.0NSHOT shoe by publishing it on its website. The shoe is currently a prototype due for commercial launch next spring. The toolkit includes sections on the shoe’s design, materials, packaging, manufacturing, transportation, end-of-life, carbon measurement, carbon sequestration and project partners.

SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | These Companies Have a Revolutionary Idea: Clothes That Actually Fit
Wall Street Journal | September 9, 2023

Is that Alvanon featured in the Wall Street Journal? Why yes. Yes it is. A recent profile on companies that are revolutionizing the way clothes are made (and fit) ran last week in the Wall Street Journal and included SPESA member Alvanon. Specifically the story highlights Alvanon’s consumer app, MyAlva - still in production - which aims to allow customers to see how clothing will fall on their body, eliminating the guesswork that often comes with online shopping. By sharing garment specifications with Alvanon, brands would in turn glean fit data to help them better serve their consumer base.

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