Category Archives: Henry

AAFA 2018 Sourcing Conference

This last week, I had the privilege to attend the American Apparel and Footwear Association’s annual sourcing conference. This year, the event – Supply Chain Innovation: The Key to Success in the New Retail Dynamic – was held in the Ronald Reagen Center in Washington DC.

Who is the AAFA?

The AAFA is an industry organization which represents more than 1,000 companies, including name brands, retailers, and manufacturers. AAFA represents the voice of the industry regarding public policy and political issues. Providing knowledge and services such as supply chain management, trade policy, and brand protection, being a member of the AAFA has major benefits.

 

What was the event?

The AAFA hosts an annual conference which is mainly attended by group members covering topics relevant to the current standing of the industry regarding best practices, political issues, and global issues. This years event was: Supply Chain Innovation: The Key to Success in the New Retail Dynamic. Innovation was the main topic during this event. Innovation in supply chain methods, industry relationships, ERP, robotics and other machinery were all discussed. The conference is also a great time for industry members to network and expand their contacts to create new business relationships.

Club trip to Precision Custom Coatings

This month, the Production Management club took a trip to the Precision Custom Coatings headquarters in New Jersey, which consists of the Precision Textiles division, focused on non-woven fabrics, coatings, and laminations. PCC services a wide variety of industries, including apparel, automotive, footwear, filtration, bedding + mattress, and home goods. We took a guided tour through their non-woven production facility and got to see the different processes of creating non-wovens and coating them.

First, their fiber comes in bulk orders shipped in big bundles. These fibers are densely packed and need to be separated in order to be turned into a fiber. To do this, the fibers are sent through a machine called a “carding machine”. While they are separated in the machine, the quantities of mixed fabrics are determined at this stage, such as a 20/80 (20% one fiber, 80% another fiber).

Once the fibers are separated and somewhat layered together, they must be bonded together. This is where the variety of machinery and fabric types comes in. We were lucky to see several methods that PCC uses to bind their fibers. One method is with repetitive exposure to pressure and heat. With the fibers evenly exposed to heat, they loosen up and latch onto each other.

Another method, the “Needle Plunge” method, involves running the fibers through a machine where a bed of needles repeatedly poke the fibers from both above and below. This condenses the fibers and locks them in place.

The other method we saw was the “Saturate” method. This involves a fusible resin application to the fibers, where, exposed to heat, they will bond together. The resin is funneled into a tube with tiny holes all on the outside where the resin can be dispersed onto the fabric, the white residue in the above-left photo is residual resin.

Once the fabrics are finished, they undergo inspection by the workers. Here they are looking for any inconsistencies in the bonds of the fabric, tears or snags, uneven thicknesses or color, and any other imperfections.

 

It was an amazing opportunity to visit Precision Custom Coatings. The staff were all extremely friendly and gave us so much information. A lot of what we saw is talked about in classes at FIT, but seeing it first-hand really puts it in a different perspective. It made me think a lot more about the mechanics and engineering involved in the production of fabrics.

So if you ever hear of a club taking a trip, don’t just shrug them off. They are definitely worthwhile and can lead to some awesome discoveries!

 

Fashion News Source Pt. 4

Hi there everyone! We’re starting the countdown for the year and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s been busy since Spring Break with not much time for relaxing, but it’s all been very much worth it. This installation of Fashion News Sources brings to you a site you might have previously heard of before as it is a major resource in the apparel industry.

Fashion News Source: #4

Apparel Magazine

Designed for industry executives, Apparel Magzine knows whats going on in every aspect of the apparel industry. Separated into five categories, they provide in-depth information and analysis fit for execs. Catagories include Design, Supply Chain/Production, Retail Intelligence, Apparel Tech, and Financial News. As a production student, I love that they have a category dedicated towards the subject. It includes all sorts of information that we go over in class, including PLM systems, sourcing, transportation, and order management.

As a production student, I don’t focus as much on the other categories provided by Apparel Magazine, however, knowing the depth and breadth of the information provided in the Supply Chain/Production section, I would bet money that they live up to the high standards set on it by the industry.

This is truly a fantastic source to get your information. It is a necessity in your information loop.

(photo courtesy of Apparel Magazine)

Welcome New Students!

FIT sent out their decision letters as of April 1st. Let me be the first to congratulate all of you who have been admitted to FIT. This is a very special moment and you should take a second to appreciate it. Attending college is a very rewarding experience that not everyone is lucky enough to be a part of. Your hard work and effort have gotten you here. Continue on with that and there is no telling where your life will take you.

Make sure that you confirm your spot within your intended major at FIT with the tuition deposit. You don’t want to be late with that, or else your spot might be taken by somebody else. Also, snap a photo of you with your acceptance letter and post it with the hashtag #FITwelcome to show off your pride. I remember receiving my admittance packet and being so full of happiness. I knew where I was finally going to go to college, and I was going to finally be living in New York City. This is definitely a moment that you should share with your family and friends.

Whether you’re staying close to home or heading across the country, FIT is excited to have you. You will make many new friends while here and will learn more than you could have imagined. This is what you have been dreaming about.

Fashion News Source Pt. 3

Here we are again, back with the third installation of fashion news sources. This media outlet is very special. They are relatively young, being around for just about 6 years, though they have made a name for themselves, both in the media world and in the world of their readers. I’m proud to introduce you all to our next news source.

Fashion News Source: #3

Industry Dive

Created with executives in mind, Industry offers insightful analysis on key topics in a variety of industries. Starting out with only two industries, over their 6 successful years, Industry Dive now covers thirteen industries: biopharma, CIO, construction, education, food, HR, healthcare, marketing, retail, smart cities, supply chain, utility, and waste. For students at FIT, we are most likely interested in their retail coverage.

Retail Dive is not specific to the apparel industry, but seeing how the apparel industry is massive, it is often covered. From e-commerce to brick-and-mortar, Retail Dive covers the major stories. You can subscribe to Retail Dive to get important articles sent to you so that you never miss a beat.

As a Production Management student at FIT, it is hard for me to not bring up Supply Chain Dive. The supply chain is a major component of any product, and all FIT students should be aware of what is going on in the industry to some extent. Again, you can subscribe to Supply Chain Dive to make sure you receive articles in your email.

I highly recommend looking at Industry Dive and seeing what interests you. They cover all the major happenings in the respective industries and truly supply information worthy of an executives time.

(photo courtesy of Industry Dive)