Industry News | 9/6/23
The Circular Fashion Challenge: Can AI Help To Close the Loop?
Vogue Business | September 6, 2023
As the concept of circular fashion has gained traction, researchers and entrepreneurs are developing tools they hope brands will implement to finally close the loop. One of the latest is new AI sorting technology developed by California-based company Refiberd. This Vogue Business article explains why improved sorting will be central to transforming how the fashion industry deals with waste. Additional industry coverage is available here.
Cargo Route Opens from Southern Chinese Port Guangzhou to South America
Fibre2Fashion | September 6, 2023
A cargo vessel recently left Nansha Port in Guangzhou in Guangdong province for Brazil, marking the first regular direct shipping route from the southern Chinese port to South America’s eastern coast. It is the fifth global marine route freshly designated for BRICS countries, helping to expand trade channels between enterprises in South America and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
U.S. Government Invests $22 Million in Smart Surveillance Clothing
Interesting Engineering | September 5, 2023
The fantastically named SMART ePANTS is a U.S. government program seeking to develop active smart textiles with sensors, cameras, and wires woven directly into garments. The person wearing this technology, in the form of a shirt, pants, or underwear, can record audio and video in their surroundings, and their location will be trackable via a geolocation sensor. The clothing is being developed under the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).
China-Plus Move To Positively Impact Asian Manufacturers, Says Miran Ali in Conversation with AR
Apparel Resources | September 5, 2023
Miran Ali, Managing Director of Bangladesh’s renowned Bitopi Group, recently spoke with Apparel Resources about multiple issues and developments such as buyers’ changing sourcing strategies, Bangladesh’s export performance, and the growing focus on non-traditional markets. Mr. Ali will be speaking at the upcoming World Fashion Convention in Philadelphia on creating more effective, productive, and resilient supply chains.
Infor Brings Environmental Impact Data Capturing Capabilities to Its PLM Platform
Sourcing Journal | August 31, 2023
Industry cloud firm Infor is combining its PLM platform with Made2Flow’s technology, which analyzes and validates sustainability data for the fashion industry. According to the partners, the new interface will synthesize environmental insights and provide full visibility and transparency across Tier 1 through Tier 4 of the supply chain.
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Zünd America Presents: Digital Cutting Days ‘23
Press Release | August 30, 2023
Zünd America is hosting an Open House September 28-29, 2023. The highlight of the event will be the U.S. premiere of the brand-new, most advanced generation of Zünd digital cutting systems, the Q-Line with BHS180. Ongoing live demonstrations throughout the two days will also feature other recent Zünd innovations targeting various industries and applications.
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | YKK USA Provides Sustainable Fasteners to Designers at Atlanta Sustainable Fashion Week
Press Release | August 30, 2023
SPESA member YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. announced its collaboration with Atlanta Sustainable Fashion Week (ATLSFW) to showcase its sustainable zippers as part of designer collection pieces at the organization’s event from October 10-14, 2023. In addition to utilizing the company’s sustainable zippers on the runway, YKK will host a workshop on September 23, 2023, called Zipper 101, introducing designers to the fundamentals of YKK® zippers. This collaboration offers emerging and established eco-friendly designers needed resources to scale their businesses.
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Aptean Strengthens Global Leadership Team with Appointment of Miguel Gernaey as CMO
Press Release | August 30, 2023
Aptean, a global provider of mission-critical enterprise software solutions, announced the appointment of Miguel Gernaey as the company's new Chief Marketing Officer. Gernaey brings decades of expertise in B2B enterprise software marketing to guide strategic growth for the company.
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Alvanon Announces Speakers for 3D Tech Fest 2023
Company Announcement | August 30, 2023
Alvanon, a world leader in sizing and fit technology, has announced the presenters for its upcoming 3D Tech Fest 2023: Redefining Fashion Intelligence, the annual gathering of global experts exploring the intersection of fashion and technology. 3D Tech Fest 2023 will host more than 50 expert speakers from business, technology, fashion and apparel, retail, the outdoor industry, and academia. The free virtual conference will take place September 26-28.
KARL MAYER To Host Textile Innovation Conference Sept. 12-14 in Greensboro, NC
eTextileCommunications | August 30, 2023
The KARL MAYER GROUP is inviting textile and apparel industry professionals to attend its Textile Innovation Conference at its TexLab in North Carolina. The company will have live demonstrations from both KARL MAYER Warp Knitting and STOLL Flat Knitting divisions, as well as technology presentations and exhibits from industry partners from pre-production through post-production. SPESA President Michael McDonald will be providing an industry update at the event.
Furniture Maker Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Shuts Down over Inability To Secure ‘Critical Financing’
Retail Dive | August 30, 2023
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, an upscale furniture maker and retailer, announced it is shutting down effective immediately. The company closed down because it was “unable to secure critical financing to continue business operations,” according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice filed in North Carolina. The company laid off more than 500 employees. Local news coverage is available here.
A New AI Tool Enables Personalized Experiences in Made-to-Measure
Fashion United | August 30, 2023
3DLook, a leader in AI-driven body scanning and virtual try-on solutions, has introduced Mobile Tailor 2.0, a user-friendly SaaS product allowing businesses to digitally measure customers' bodies for personalized experiences.
Global Apparel Sector Splurges on $2.5bn M&A Deals in Q2 2023
Just Style | August 29, 2023
A report by GlobalData suggests the value of apparel merger and acquisition deals increased 20% to $2.5bn in Q2 2023 compared to Q1. Just Style breaks down the related themes and trends.
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | SourceAmerica Announces 2023 Grassroots Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.
Press Release | August 28, 2023
SPESA member SourceAmerica announced today that its annual Grassroots Advocacy Conference will take place September 11-14, 2023, in Washington D.C. The annual event brings employees with disabilities, their families, and employers from SourceAmerica's nationwide network of nonprofit agencies to Capitol Hill, where they share their employment journeys with members of Congress and discuss how public policy shapes the employment choices and opportunities for people with disabilities across the nation.
Factory Strikes Flare Up in China as Economic Woes Deepen
Nikkei Asia | August 28, 2023
A flurry of worker protest videos have surfaced on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, in recent months as slowing demand and supply chain shifts heap pressure on the country's factories, many producing textiles and apparel. Strikes and protests increased sharply in 2023, according to a report by China Labour Bulletin (CLB), a nonprofit organization advocating for blue collar workers. At this rate, CLB projects that there could be at least 1,300 protests by the end of the year.
What To Know About the EU’s Upcoming Digital Product Passport
Fashion United | August 28, 2023
We have shared a lot recently on the various rules coming out of Europe relating to supply chains, sustainability, and product safety. This Fashion United article does a good job explaining the proposal under the new Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) — the cornerstone of the European Commission’s approach to more environmentally sustainable and circular products — that introduces digital passports for a variety of products, including textiles. Officially titled the Digital Product Passport (DPP), the tool will require brands to collect and share data from a product’s entire lifecycle accessible in the form of a digital twin.
South Korean Firm To Boost Bangladesh’s Shoe Accessory Industry with a Significant Investment
BNN Breaking | August 28, 2023
In a strategic move to leverage Bangladesh’s rapidly growing footwear industry, South Korean company, Dongwoo BD Ltd., is pouring $8.62 million into the creation of a new manufacturing facility dedicated to shoe accessories. Just Style reports additional investments in Bangladesh’s footwear industry here.
Can the T-Shirt Be Perfected?
The New York Times | August 27, 2023
This New York Times profile follows the founders of U.S. apparel company Buck Mason. The brand recently purchased a sewing factory in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, producing T-shirts with fabrics made at a nearby cloth mill that Buck Mason also bought.
Clothing Suppliers Urged To Capitalize on $908bn AI Opportunity
Just Style August 25, 2023
GlobalData’s Artificial Intelligence in Retail and Apparel report says the AI market will be worth $908.7bn by 2030, and apparel manufacturers have the biggest opportunities to capitalize on that growth, depending on where they choose to apply the technology. Specifically, the data analytics company encourages clothing manufacturers and processors to apply AI technology in the areas of human-AI interaction, decision making, and creation. This article also explores how AI can assist in navigating macroeconomic challenges for clothing firms, including sustainability, inflation, and supply chain disruption.
Adore Me Aims for More Sustainable Production with New Ever Dye Partnership
Glossy | August 25, 2023
Lingerie brand Adore Me has newly embraced an incubator-like process of working with technology and sustainability partners; it’s focusing on long-term partnerships and innovative startups. Adore Me became the first U.S. brand to work with Ever Dye, a 2-year-old fabric dyeing company out of France. Ever Dye’s process combines pigment with a bio-sourced organic polymer binding agent, which makes for a more sustainable way to dye fabric.
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | BedTimes Interview: Hank Little, President, Atlanta Attachment Co.
BedTimes Magazine | August 24, 2023
This interview with Hank Little, president of SPESA member Atlanta Attachment Co., is the final installment of a series from BedTimes Magazine interviewing industry experts in sewing and gluing machinery.
How California’s Proposed Emissions Reporting Bill Would ‘Break New Ground’
Sourcing Journal | August 23, 2023
Fashion industry groups, including the American Apparel & Footwear Association and the Council of Fashion Designers of America recently came out in support of a proposed California bill that would mandate greenhouse gas emissions reporting. Sourcing Journal breaks down what the legislation entails and its possible impact on the manufacturing and sewn products industries.
Sneaker Impact Uses AI-Driven Tech To Deconstruct Shoes for Recycling
Sourcing Journal | August 22, 2023
Miami-based startup Sneaker Impact has invested in technology to deconstruct shoes and apparel down to raw materials, which can then be used to create new products. The company recently unveiled an AutoSort machine which relies on artificial intelligence and optical sensors to identify materials, from textiles and meshes to foam and rubber, and separate them for recycling, eventually transforming discarded footwear into foam flakes and fabric fluff sent to recycling partners.
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Q&A: How Messe Frankfurt’s Textile Trade Shows Support the SDGs
Sourcing Journal | August 22, 2023
Among the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a call for “global partnership.” SPESA partner and trade event organizer Messe Frankfurt, the United Nations Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, and the UN Office for Partnerships are exemplifying this concept through a collaboration that raises awareness for the SDGs at international fairs. Sourcing Journal discusses sustainability and trade shows with Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles and Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt.
SPESA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Tukatech and Inèdit Partner To Bring neoTextil Suite of Adobe Photoshop© Plugins to North America
Press Release | August 21, 2023
SPESA member Tukatech will now offer the textile and apparel industry a robust suite of Adobe Photoshop© plugins. Geoff Taylor, President of TUKAweb, explains “We are pleased to be the first and only distributor of neoTextil in North America, which adds another affordable and MAC-native option to our extensive CAD/CAM portfolio.” neoTextil is a design plugin for Adobe Photoshop©, to separate images into color channels, create multiple colorways and repeats, and generate photo-realistic digital prints and simulations.
Cutting, Sewing Methods Key To Reducing Garment Microfibre Pollution
Just Style | August 21, 2023
A new research paper titled “Impact of sewing on microfiber release from polyester fabric during laundry” reveals that laser and ultrasonic cutting methods can reduce the microfibre release of garments by up to 20 times compared to using conventional scissor-cut edges. The study analyzed a variety of cutting and sewing methods of knitted fabrics and their impact on the microfibre release of garments during laundry.
What Minnesota’s Ban on ‘Forever Chemicals’ Means for Manufacturers
Manufacturing Dive | August 17, 2023
Minnesota will become one of the first states in the country to ban PFAS from products sold or distributed in the state. The law, which goes into effect in 2025, will impact a wide variety of household products — including textiles and textile furnishings — and the manufacturers who produce them.
Key Trends To Watch as World Clothing Trade Moves from China to Wider Asia in 2023
Just Style | August 16, 2023
Dr. Sheng Lu reveals the world apparel trade patterns of 2022 and the critical issues to watch in the second half of 2023 based on the recent World Trade Organization Statistical Review 2023 and data from the United Nations.
Mexico Expands Tariffs on 483 Products To Protect Domestic Markets
Mexico News Daily | August 16, 2023
Mexico’s Economy Ministry (SE) published guidelines for new tariffs in the government’s official gazette (DOF) in August, including new or increased tariffs on certain textiles and furniture. The tariffs, amounting to between 5% and 25% depending on the sector, will be in force from August 16, 2023 until July 31, 2025.
What’s Behind the Summer of Supply Chain Labor Unrest?
Supply Chain Dive | August 16, 2023
From port disruptions to UPS and Yellow’s dust-ups with the Teamsters, disputes between unions and employers are a recurring threat to the steady flow of goods. Supply Chain Dive breaks down the cause and effect.
What Happens to All the Stuff We Return?
The New Yorker | August 14, 2023
This isn’t breaking news but it's fun to see our industry in The New Yorker. This article is more evidence that the issue of circularity in the textile industry has hit the mainstream dinner table conversation circuit. The topic is also on the agenda for the upcoming World Fashion Convention in Philadelphia.