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Techtextil & Texprocess Innovation Awards: Changing the World with Textile Innovations

Press Release

Messe Frankfurt this week announced winners for the Techtextil and Texprocess Innovation Awards. A total of 15 winners in eight categories receive the coveted awards for their pioneering research, new products, processes, or technologies. The awards are considered to be important indicators of relevant trends in the global textile industry and reflect the innovative strength of the sectors. SPESA members Dürkopp Adler, Juki, and Veit are among this year’s winners. Click the link below to see the full list. 



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Manufacturing Could Be Short 1.9M Workers if the Talent Gap Isn’t Fixed
Manufacturing Dive | April 16, 2024

A report from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute this month claims that manufacturers could need as many as 3.8 million new workers by 2033. Roughly 1.9 million of those could go unfilled if current labor gaps remain unsolved. Click the link below for Manufacturing Dive’s five top takeaways from the report on the industry’s impending job gap and companies’ efforts to address it. 

Here’s another interesting piece from Fibre2Fashion on the role automation plays in addressing the workforce shortage.


AAFA Backs ‘Overdue’ GSP Renewal
Just Style | April 16, 2024

The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has expressed support for the renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Reform Act which was introduced in Congress earlier this week. Aimed at bolstering the competitiveness of U.S. companies while also supporting global economic development, the GSP provides beneficiaries with duty-free access to the U.S. market on thousands of products not generally produced stateside. New proposed changes to the program would also support worker rights and intellectual property protections. 

You can read more about the bill here and here.


Shein Taps Flexport as Logistics Partner for U.S. Marketplace
Supply Chain Dive | April 16, 2024

Through the partnership, Flexport can better handle Shein’s U.S. logistics needs — such as inventory management and order fulfillment — for merchants selling on the fast-fashion giant’s marketplace. More specifically, the arrangement allows sellers to integrate their Shein storefront with Flexport’s Seller Portal. Inventory can be synced between Shein and Flexport, and Shein orders can trigger shipping and logistics processes with Flexport.


California Fashion Association President Ilse Metchek Stepping Down
WWD | April 15, 2024

After almost 30 years representing the movers and shakers in the state apparel and textile industry, the California Fashion Association (CFA) is undergoing a major change. The Los Angeles-based association is merging with the California Retailers Association (CRA) in northern California. 


Ilse Metchek, CFA’s first and only president who headed the nonprofit since it was incorporated in 1995, will be stepping down as CFA president. She will become an independent industry consultant to the association, helping to write the CFA newsletter and provide other newsworthy information. The CRA will distribute the CFA newsletter and solicit continued membership.


Gildan Activewear CEO Vince Tyra Provides Key Focus Strategic Priorities
Press Release | April 15, 2024

Newly appointed Gildan Activewear Inc. CEO Vince Tyra has unveiled his key focus strategic priorities, outlined here. Gildan has been at the forefront of industry news coverage over the past several months due to some serious internal turmoil between the company's leadership and board of directors. Bloomberg explains it well: “Tyra was appointed in December [2023] after the Gildan board dismissed longtime CEO Glenn Chamandy following a disagreement over Gildan’s direction. Since then, investment manager Browning West LP has led a campaign to replace the majority of the board, dump Tyra and reinstate Chamandy — a plan that shareholders owning about a third of the stock have publicly supported.”

Despite the chaos, Tyra seems to have his sights set on a brighter future for the apparel manufacturer. You can check out additional coverage from Sourcing Journal here.


Denim Mills Invest To Streamline Production
Rivet | April 14, 2024

As denim mills begin to showcase their Fall/Winter 2024-2025 fabric collections, they’re sharing how recent investments in technologies, machinery, and materials are streamlining (and greening) their production.


VDMA Members at Techtextil: Focus on Automation, Digitalization
Press Release | April 12, 2024

SPESA’s associate member VDMA announced that more than 50 of its members will be presenting smart technologies for technical textiles in various application areas at the upcoming Techtextil in Frankfurt. Seven of those members will be in the VDMA group stand.

Check out additional coverage about Techtextil from Just Style here.


Experts at SPESA Conference Say AI Will Help, Not Harm, Supply Chain
Sourcing Journal | April 12, 2024

Sourcing Journal’s Kate Nishimura recaps the recent Artificial Intelligence panel from SPESA’s Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference last week in Los Angeles, and featured insight from SPESA members Ketty Pillet of Lectra and Eric Lee of Alvanon, as well as Tirsa Parrish of Fashion Index, and Kyle Stephens of KolAi Denim. The discussion aimed to quell fears and deliver a dose of reality to the discourse surrounding AI, speaking to both its growing capabilities and its limitations.

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NCTO Outgoing Chair Norman Chapman Delivers State of the U.S. Textile Industry Address
eTextileCommunications | April 12, 2024

“While the domestic textile industry is a key contributor to the U.S. economy and a critical part of the military and public health industrial base, our sector is facing a crisis of historic proportions as the result of rapidly deteriorating market conditions coupled with unchecked foreign predatory trade practices and diminished customs enforcement activities,” Chapman stated in the speech. “At the end of the day, some key fundamentals for the U.S. textile industry remained sound, while others weakened. While we expect to see ongoing challenges this year, which will test our resolve, we know collectively as an industry this will not weaken our resilience or our innovative spirit.”

The NCTO event also featured U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai who delivered remarks on how USTR is taking concrete steps to protect and bolster the American textile industry.

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These New Sneaker Models Rely on Circular Economy, Local Production and Customization
Fashion United | April 12, 2024

The global market for sustainable sneakers was estimated at 7.7 billion dollars in 2021 and is expected to grow to 13.5 billion dollars by 2031, with an average annual growth rate of 5.7%. However, when it comes to shoes, sustainable solutions are often still in their infancy. Fashion United explains the obstacles of creating sustainable footwear while highlighting four brands making it work this season.

Meanwhile, Japanese sportswear brand Asics this week announced the launch of its most circular performance running shoe to date, designed to be remade at the end of its life without compromising on quality or performance.


U.S. Lawmakers Plan To Extend Africa Trade Pact AGOA Through 2041
Bloomberg | April 12, 2024

Since it was signed into law in May of 2000, AGOA has created sourcing opportunities for U.S. brands and retailers while promoting sustainable economic development across the region, according to AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the Senate to once again extend the program ahead of its imminent expiration.

Additional coverage can be found here.

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L.A.’s Garment Worker Center Highlights New Effort To Support Industry and Its Employees
Los Angeles Daily News | April 11, 2024

During SPESA’s Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference, the Garment Worker Center and the office of Los Angeles Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez facilitated a panel discussion and provided details about their plans, officially known as the Garment and Fashion Industry Workforce and Economic Development Program, which aims to grow L.A.’s garment manufacturing industry while protecting workers.


“This task force represents a multi-stakeholder approach to strengthening the local industry and workforce, which will ensure good jobs and worker well-being are at the forefront,” Marissa Nuncio, Garment Worker Center Executive Director, said in a statement.

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This AI Tool Is Fighting Fashion’s Uyghur Forced Labor Problem. For Free.
Sourcing Journal | April 10, 2024

Read about how two academics — Laura Murphy, a professor of human rights and contemporary slavery at Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, and Shawn Bhimani, an assistant professor teaching supply chain management at Northeastern University — came together to create Supply Trace.  


The technology underpinning the database uses a combination of machine learning and human intelligence to connect the dots between buyers and the providers of their goods, creating strings of likely supply chain relationships that highlight potentially problematic nodes.

Looking for more AI industry news? Sourcing Journal does a great job reporting on the latest AI news in its Byte-Size column which can be read here.

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Red Sea Crisis Forces Operators To Use More Container Ships, Adding to Emission Concerns
Reuters | April 10, 2024

The shipping industry's pledge to limit its carbon footprint may suffer a setback as the current Red Sea crisis prompts it to use more vessels and take longer routes to ensure the smooth sailing of global maritime trade. "The extended travel times necessitate adding at least two more ships to maintain weekly Asia-Europe services per operator, further increasing the total emissions from the fleet for the same amount of cargo," said Yiannis Parganas, head of shipbroker Intermodal's research department.

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Sae-A Trading Announces Definitive Agreement To Acquire Tegra
Textile World | April 9, 2024

Sae-A Trading, the vertically integrated garment manufacturer and supply chain solution provider, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Tegra’s operating entities in Honduras, El Salvador, and the U.S. Tegra, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, develops and manufactures sports apparel products for global brands that outfit athletes and their fans.

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Sayari Launches New Supply Chain Mapping Solution To Automate Risk Detection in Upstream Suppliers
Press Release | April 9, 2024

Sayari, a leading counterparty and supply chain risk intelligence provider, launched Sayari Map, a supply chain mapping and risk screening solution aimed at enhancing visibility into complex global supply chains. According to Sourcing Journal, Sayari Map allows brands and retailers to screen their supplier networks against potential issues or hazards to business, like non-compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) or other regulatory and geopolitical considerations. 

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UPS Sees Big Opportunity in Mexico’s Nearshoring Wave
Supply Chain Dive | April 9, 2024

The delivery giant anticipates both financial and efficiency benefits by handling U.S.-destined volume further upstream. “The Mexico-U.S. border is one of two cross border trade flows growing notably in the world as companies shift their manufacturing and distribution closer to the United States, the largest consumption market in the world…Companies are taking advantage of tax savings and lower labor costs in Mexico for both manufacturing and distribution.”

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Apparel Execs Urge Sourcing Diversification Amid Geopolitical Risks
Fashion Dive | April 9, 2024

Industry leaders at the recent AAFA Executive Summit underscored the need to find alternative sourcing as U.S.-China relations continue to fray. As fashion companies look to pull more production out of China, other countries have come into the spotlight, such as Vietnam, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. While Latin America and Central America present an attractive nearshoring option, a lack of infrastructure around current apparel needs in fabrics and textiles makes it difficult to source more from those regions, panelists noted.

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Jordan Eyes Domestic Fabric Production as Israel-Gaza War Impacts Apparel
Just Style | April 8, 2024

From October to December 2023, the armed conflict in Gaza is estimated to have cost Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon $10.3bn, or 2.3% of their combined gross domestic product (GDP), and the figure could double if it lasts another six months, according to an assessment by the United Nations Development Program. Yazan Zubeidi, managing partner at Jordanian Modern Textile: “...Unless there are efforts to establish local fabric manufacturing capabilities, both the government and the private sector will struggle to mitigate the effects of regional conflicts on the industry. Without domestic fabric production, the options for addressing these challenges are limited, potentially resulting in price increases as the sector seeks to adapt and cope with the prevailing circumstances”

Back in November, SPESA’s past chairman Ed Gribbin predicted a possible fashion supply chain ripple effect if the Israel-Gaza conflict escalated.

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DHS Crackdown on Illicit Trade Includes Greater De Minimis Scrutiny
Sourcing Journal | April 5, 2024

The Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that it’s rolling out an “enhanced strategy” to counter illegal trade and “level the playing field” for the American textile industry. Efforts include sharpening the screening of small, sub-$800 package shipments that fall under the hotly contested Section 321 de minimis exception, including expanded targeting, laboratory and isotopic testing and “focused enforcement operations” that could mean greater scrutiny under UFLPA, from which they’ve been largely exempt due to the data they’re allowed to omit for customs review.

Just Style explores what the clampdown on de minimis loophole abuses means for U.S. apparel here. Additional coverage on NCTO’s response to the enforcement plan can be found here.

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These Are the Industry's Game Changers: Techtextil and Texprocess Impress with a Strong Knowledge Programme
Press release | April 4, 2024

I spy with my little eye…Michael McDonald! Yes, that’s right. SPESA’s president Michael McDonald will join an impressive line-up of speakers at this year’s Techtextil and Texprocess Knowledge Programme. Specifically, McDonald will take the stage for a co-hosted VDMA panel  with SPESA members Federica Giachetti (Morgan Tecnica) and Günter Veit (VEIT Group) to discuss how sustainability can be implemented with the help of technological innovations.

Read More…


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