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.

Things to Do: Student Springtime

Happy Weekend!

The weather hitting above 50 degrees this weekend felt like the perfect opportunity to get some sun and fresh air… and a quick break from projects. I decided to head to the Bronx and visit the Bronx Zoo. Did you know that the Bronx Zoo offers free admission for any FIT student? Neither did I, until today! Any New York City college student gets free admission into the zoo. Have a friend who is not a NYC college student? No problem- the zoo has free admission for every guest every Wednesday!
It was refreshing to step right outside of Manhattan and visit a neighboring area. I am rarely ever in the Bronx, so I am glad to have had the chance to check it out. People typically spend a few hours at the zoo; I myself arrived at 2pm and stayed until closing at 5:30pm. I’m glad I took my time-the lions finally woke up from their nap at the end of the day!
From Herald Square, you can take the D Train to Fordham Road Station, and then the Bx12 bus from E Fordham Rd/Grand Concourse to Fordham Rd/Southern Bl which is only a three minute walk to the zoo. The trip is about an hour, but well worth it. The zoo is open seven days a week, 10am-5pm Monday through Friday, and until 5:30 on the weekend. Be sure to check it out!

Until next time,
Annmarie X

FIT Writing Studio Event

Hey Guys,

FIT offers many resources to assist any student during finals season. One of the resources available at FIT is the Writing Studio. Located in room C612 of the Feldman Center, the Writing Studio provides a place where student can receive advisement on their writing, papers, and projects. Professors and tutors can provide feedback, proofreading, and research methods in order to You can make an appointment with someone at the studio, or simply walk in for feedback. The studio offers many different events that encourage students to stop by and bring their work!
With finals just around the corner, the Writing Studio is offering a Late Night Against Procrastination event. Students are welcome to get started on any papers or projects as the semester comes to a close. The hours of the event are 9pm-12am on Wednesday, April 25th. Pizza and snacks will be served, so be sure to stop by! If a late night of work doesn’t fit your schedule, the Writing Studio is open Monday-Friday from 10am-9pm, and Saturday from 1pm-4pm. Stop in and say hi!

Annmarie X

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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)