‘MADE IN USA’
Moderator: Andrew Fraser, InMocean Group LLC
Stitch Texas – Apparel Development and Production in the USA – Kristopher Robin Stevens, Stitch Texas
Kristopher is the owner of Stitch Texas, a one-stop apparel development and production company in Austin, Texas, that specializes in developing and launching emerging designers through education, technical design and sample development, all the way through production. Throughout his years of experience working in the apparel manufacturing industry, Kristopher has gained experience in a wide range services and skills including product development, materials sourcing, factory operations, industrial cutting and sewing, apparel CAD systems and technologies, and project management. In this presentation, Kristopher will share insights into the domestic apparel development and production world, including its challenges, and solutions.
Manufacturing in the USA – Wesley Horne, Hornwood Inc.
Successes and challenges faced by a textile manufacturer operating in the USA will be shared. The importance of supply chain alignment within the Americas region, how the adoption of technology and automation is critical for US manufacturing as well as the diversification of markets and creating economic stability will be discussed. The importance of university partnerships and the training of workforce to fill the technical knowledge gap from the previous generation to now will be addressed. A glimpse will be provided into this privately held company which allows it to focus on the long game plan versus making decisions based on quarterly earnings.
Everest USA Scaling New Heights – Courtney Cruzan, Everest Textile USA LLC
Taiwan owned Everest Textile’s ‘Made in America’ investment started in the beginning of 2017 with the acquisition of a 400,000sqft plant in North Carolina. $60 million in machinery investment created a vertical facility from yarn texturizing, knitting, weaving, dying, printing, finishing and garment manufacturing. US fabric capacity is 2.5million yards/month with star product 4-way stretch synthetic functional wovens. Everest’s ‘Made in America’ fabrics supply its own Haiti garment manufacturing with duty-free quick turn delivery of finished garments to US brands. Now with 352 employees, scaling the Everest USA mountain scape has its ups and downs, though Everest in determined to be the ‘Made in America’ market leader and be well-positioned ahead of US manufacturing competition.
ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES AND PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
Moderator: Bert Truesdale, TenCate Protective Fabrics
Higg MSI and Product Module– A New Tool for Material Selection and Environmental Assessment – Michele L Wallace, Cotton Incorporated
During the past ten years, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has developed a suite of tools, the Higg Index, as a common approach for evaluating apparel, footwear, and textile sustainability performance with the goal of highlighting hotspots and opportunities. The foundation of both product modules [Higg Design/Development Module (DDM) and the recently released Higg Product Module (PM)] is the Higg Material Sustainability Index (MSI). This cradle-to-mill gate tool produces a single score, or index, that attempts to simplify the process of comparing some environmental impacts of materials. Through several case studies, this presentation will provide an overview of MSI, its life cycle basis and metrics, and the challenges involved in applying MSI and Higg product tools. Potential areas for evolution of the index are included.
Visibility and Collective Action: Textiles’ New Narrative – Jessica Kosak, The Sustainability Consortium
Visibility into textile supply chains creates a portal through which a business can assess its sustainability. Using a science-based approach, The Sustainability Consortium has created a number of toolkits designed to create transparency between an organization and its supply chain, assess hotspots, and benchmark this data to be used in measuring progress on both an organizational level and against others making similar products. Corresponding improvement opportunities weave a clear path forward for companies to implement change. By continually analyzing scientific research and our own data, we can identify large scale hot spots, and launch innovation projects like The Wastewater Challenge to act on issues too big for one company to solve alone. Through collective action, sustainable impact can be realized at scale.
California Proposition 65 – The Wild, Wild West – Louann Spirito, SGS Consumer and Retail Services
This presentation will provide a brief background of the California regulation which requires a warning to consumers of hazardous chemicals in products. Recent changes to requirements of this complex regulation will be discussed, as well as strategies for compliance. Solutions to minimize risk and testing costs will be presented and case study examples of enforcement will be provided.
Microfibers and the Textile Industry: A Status Report – Ned Cochrane, Mount Vernon Mills, Chair NCTO’s Microfibers Committee
NCTO will provide an update on the textile industry’s microfiber activities. The report will include the status of state and federal regulations, test method development and other pertinent issues that impact the textile industry and consumers.
Water Risks Influencing the Future of the Textile and Apparel Industry – Karen K. Leonas, North Carolina State University
Water is widely used throughout the textile and apparel supply chain. It is key to wet processing from preparation to finishing and can occur during fiber, yarn, fabric or garment production. As increased water scarcity and pollution contribute to worldwide water risks, the textile and apparel industry is threatened. In addition to loss of this natural resource, the reputations of brands and retailers is also at risk. This study looks at the overall risks by geographical region and global efforts to reduce pollution and water use in the industry. Drivers influencing transformational change are identified including collaborative efforts through organizations (i.e. PaCT, ZDHC, TSC, AAFA) and evaluation of innovative technologies. Case studies supporting the adoption of new practices are included.
Sustainability and Performance Today: Water-free Dyeing and PFC-free, Water-free DWR Finishing – Gary S Selwyn, Green Theme Technologies Inc
Zero waste stream, water-free finishing has long been a goal of the textile industry. Dyeing and DWR finishing are among the greatest contributors to pollution and the spread of fluorocarbons. The water-free, fluorocarbon-free finishing technology developed by Green Theme Technologies uses high gas pressure to achieve DWR performance that exceeds all water-based methods (PFC-free, C6 and C8) in performance and laundry durability. The free-radical polymerization process for the DWR finish can be combined with water-free dyeing, providing cost-efficiency and process simplification because they both are done simultaneously in the same equipment. This eliminates the need for dye baths and tenter frames, while also providing product differentiation via previously unattainable visual enhancements and a well-justified claim of product and process sustainability.
The Key Drivers and Impacts of the Chinese Government Regulatory Actions on the Textile Supply Chain – Ron Pedemonte, DyStar LP
The Chinese government began the process of tightening the environmental controls for producing textile raw materials, intermediates and dyes a few years ago. However, since Q1 2018, the Chinese government has employed and deployed more inspectors to audit chemical manufacturers. The result of these audits has caused thousands of manufacturers to close and production capacities to decrease. The global textile industry has experienced supply disruptions and price increases. This presentation will review the key drivers for the environmental policy changes in China, the textile product classes that have been most impacted, and a future outlook of the supply chain for textile dyes.
PRODUCT DESIGN and SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGES
Moderator: Karen Muhlin, VF Outdoor Inc.
Comparison of LED Lighting Adopted by Retailers to Typical LED Spectra Adopted by the CIE – Roland L. Connelly Sr., RoLyn Group Color Consultants
Many retailers have adopted LED lighting for their stores, and many of them have different characteristics. The CIE has adopted a number of “typical” LED spectra that hopefully represents the majority of types of LED’s that retail, brands and industry are currently using. Using both current methods, such as CRI and CCT as well as newer TM30-15 as well as several other metrics, the variability among all these different
LED’s is analyzed. This all relates to the ability of retailers and their worldwide supply chains to effectively communicate about color both visually and instrumentally.
Working with Designers to Understand Feasibility – Christy Velez-Douglas, JCPenney
Convincing Designers that limitations exist can be a challenge. Especially when they return from a shopping trip with a neon cashmere sweater and they expect you to find a match in your Color Library of cotton color standards. Designers don’t want to hear about the different dye classifications and limitations. Designers expect that any color can be matched and if a color match doesn’t exist in the Color Library, they will cut a swatch of that perfect color and send it to the mill. This presentation will discuss our approach to working with Designers to help them understand feasibility.
Lands’ End Universal Collection of Adaptive Clothing – Cathy Mays and Sarah Halime, Lands’ End
Lands’ End new adaptive clothing Universal Collection ensures the brand delivers on its promise to be a place where every kid fits in™. This Collection, designed for easy dressing for kids, parents and caregivers alike, is made to look exactly like Lands’ End’s best-sellers but with some helpful, innovative features. Instead of button closures, tops and bottoms have magnetic and rip & grip closures. To make each item as sensory friendly as possible, all pieces have either heat transfer or satin tags plus smooth, clean-finished seams and waistbands to eliminate potential irritants. As the preferred provider of school uniforms globally, outfitting students and faculty of all ages and sizes, this Collection was a natural evolution seeking new and meaningful ways to help parents and kids.
Retail’s Apocalypse or a New Dawn? – Tony R. Anzovino, Haggar Clothing Co.
The Western Hemisphere’s apparel industry has adopted narrow and deep strategies developing meaningful relationships with influential brands within the U.S. and from around the world. But as complete market shifts take place rendering existing business models of its partner brands obsolete, how do manufacturers adapt to this future?
Surveying the retail landscape from the perspective of the Americas Apparel Producers Network (AAPN), President of AAPN and Chief Sourcing and Merchandising Officer at Haggar Clothing Co. Tony Anzovino, shares cutting-edge insights on retail performance, predicting the winners and the losers in the long-haul.
TECHNOLOGY AND PROCESS INNOVATION
Moderator: Barry Brady, Organic Dyes & Pigments LLC
Transforming Industries with Materials Science Innovation – Linda Elkins, Gore Innovation Center
Gore Innovation Center leader Linda Elkins will offer an engaging dialogue around the challenges of creating an innovation ecosystem founded in materials science as part of a corporate open-innovation program. Given Gore’s rich history in materials science advancements and substantial cross-sector relevance, Linda provides a unique perspective on materials science innovation opportunities. From health tech wearables to aerospace applications and beyond, Linda will discuss learnings and insights from her latest endeavor – the Gore Innovation Center – and the partnerships established to date. Moreover, Linda will address topics like scouting, opportunity execution, balancing agility and speed while maintaining brand integrity and collaborating with stakeholders to forge a path to business creation – all while capitalizing on Gore’s materials science expertise as the backbone to transform industries and products.
Insect Repellent Textiles and Apparel Value-Added Products for Today’s Savvy Consumers – Don Alexander, Anovotek, LLC
Today’s consumers’ demand more than just style, fit and comfort. Tech savvy consumers are looking for innovative, value-added products that not only look and feel good, but also deliver performance benefits making their lives more enjoyable and often improving safety. Sales models are evolving at a tremendous pace, providing the consumer with detailed information and virtually endless product options only a couple of clicks away. These changing market dynamics, coupled with innovation in chemical technology and sales tools, offer great opportunity for textiles and apparel with performance features such as insect repellents. This presentation will address the prevalence and global increase of insect transmitted diseases, repellent and insecticide technology and innovation in textiles and apparel, and challenges, opportunities and strategies for selling high tech products.
The Future of Cool: Advances in Cooling Technologies for Fabric – Apurba Banerjee, brrr° Inc.
For more than two decades, cooling technology hadn’t changed much. Due to this gap in progress, scientists are making big strides by experimenting with concepts such as infrared radiation, nanoporous fibers made from polyethylene and a wide variety of other methods to cool the wearer. The presentation will elaborate permanent cooling technologies using endothermic natural cooling minerals. Coupled with active wicking and rapid drying, cooling technologies instantly and continuously pulls heat and moisture away from the skin, and it consistently outperforms existing brands in independent lab tests. Using new ways of incorporating the permanent cooling minerals such as sputtering, core-sheath yarns, they are opening a new frontier in cooling by making the cooling particles smaller, more dense and more uniform for a superior cooling performance.
Intelligent Drapable Circuitry: A Framework for the Engineering and Design of E-Textiles – Madison Maxey, LOOMIA Technologies, Inc.
The electronics in our world are supported by a core enabling technology – a printed circuit board. These boards make our TVs, toasters and phones responsive and interactive. This enabling technology is everywhere, however traditional PCBs cannot easily enter textiles to make soft goods intelligent. In order to bring intelligence to textiles, we need a different kind of PCB – an electronic textile.
Developing a new enabling technology requires the development of not just products, but philosophy. What does it mean to make a good, scalable electronic textile? What does it mean to be “washable”? This presentation explores these questions that, together, create a philosophy for scalable drapable circuitry development.
Challenges and Learnings on the Apparel Fabric Development Journey – Vikram Sharma, Honeywell Inc.
Spectra® is a unique fiber that has great properties in terms of strength, abrasion performance, cooling etc. Traditionally, this fiber was used in soft and hard armor ballistic applications. Now, we are building on the fiber’s ability to blend with other natural and synthetic fibers to allow it to be used in new applications. Most recently, it is being used in lightweight high-performance fabrics creating new opportunities to bring value to packs, bags and sports and outdoor apparel etc. The presentation will focus on the fiber’s properties, why use it and the challenges and learnings we have encountered on the development journey. Both technical and business challenges will we discussed.
FIBER, FABRIC, AND MATERIALS INNOVATIONS
Moderator: Christina Rapa, W.L. Gore & Associates
Effect of Novel Lightweight Material Innovations on the Physiological Comfort of Structural Firefighters – Meredith McQuerry, Florida State University
This research investigated the impact of novel lightweight turnout composite materials on the physiological comfort of structural firefighters during intense physical activity. Four ensembles were evaluated: 1) a lightweight turnout suit prototype, 2) a control turnout suit, 3) a single-layer garment, and 4) base layers. Ten male firefighters participated in a human wear trial involving two test conditions: graded treadmill (measured volitional exhaustion) and simulation exercises (i.e. hose carry, dummy drag, weighted rope lift, stair climbs, tire flips, etc.). Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), lactate threshold, core temperature, skin temperature, physiological strain, sweat rate, and heart rate were measured along with subjective comfort assessments. Relationships between material weight, ensemble weight, and physiological strain were analyzed.
Lenzing Drives Circular Economy in the Textile World through Branded Lyocell Fibers – Tricia Carey, Lenzing Fibers Inc.
Lenzing achieves textile circularity milestone through the innovation of REFIBRA™ Technology, a new lyocell fiber based on cotton scraps and wood. This is the first man-made cellulosic fiber featuring recycled material, produced on a commercial scale with a closed loop production process and fiber identification for transparency.
REFIBRA™ reborn TENCEL™ lyocell fiber stands for “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” addressing the more than 50MTons of textile waste discarded annually. The fiber is made from post-industrial waste with no compromise on strength or aesthetics. As circularity and transparency becomes a growing issue in the textile sector to prove material origin, we strive to offer greater solutions, collaboration and trust to our customers.
Influence of Fiber Selection on Personal Microclimates and their Effects on Sleep Quality – Renuka Dhandapani, Cotton Incorporated
Poor human sleep quality is a significant health concern with around one-third of adults suffering from sleep disruption. A study was done to explore the significant research gap of the effect of the sleeping system on the microclimates that affect the quality of sleep. The study objectively compared thermal management performance of selected materials on a thermal manikin Newton in a hot ambient environment. The study found that using different fiber composition types in sleepwear and bedding significantly influenced the microclimate, particularly next to skin microclimate temperature. Some ensembles demonstrated next to skin microclimate temperature consistently 3 °C more than suggested thermoneutral conditions. Human studies have already proven that temperatures above the thermoneutral levels disrupt sleep hence affecting the quality of sleep.