Keynote: Sourcing Merchandise in the New Political Environment
Rick Helfenbein, President and CEO, American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
In this session, American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) President and CEO Rick Helfenbein will share unique perspectives on sourcing merchandise in the new political climate following the 2017 Presidential election. AAFA sits at the crossroads of the many regulatory and legislative challenges that face the apparel and footwear industry. With a strategic focus on trade, supply chain management, and brand protection – the association helps the industry chart a course through these challenges in Washington, in the United States, and around the world. What new challenges does the industry face? What opportunities exist and how can we best seize them? With Inauguration Day 2017 just five days earlier, Helfenbein will draw upon his Washington, D.C. perch and his forty years in sourcing and manufacturing in the textile, apparel, and footwear industries – including green grass channel experience – to share his insights into the new political setting that defines commercial realities.
COMFORT IS POWER – The Science of How Comfort Increases Athlete Performance
Dr. Gregory Haggquist, Chief Technology Officer, Cocona
Golf is a game that combines mental acumen and physical stamina. To date, the science of comfort has been mostly based on subjective responses by users, with each user defining what is comfortable to them. New research in scientifically and objectively measuring comfort and its effect on the human body gives fresh insight into apparel design that can actually lead to better cognitive and physical performance. Dr. Haggquist will discuss the newest methods of measuring comfort and human performance and explain how increasing comfort in clothing, specifically to keep the core temperature stable, can profoundly impact athlete performance.
Speed to Profit
Edward A. Gribbin, President, Alvanon Inc.
How speed-to-market development and sourcing strategies can enhance customer engagement, grow sales and market share and materially impact bottom-line results. This session will explore how apparel and footwear brands are implementing new technologies, business processes and sourcing strategies to reduce product development cycle times and bring new products to market faster.
Near Sourcing Panel
Moderator: Mike Todaro, Managing Director, AAPNetwork
Panelists: Philip Poel, VP Global Manufacturing and Quality, Under Armour & Jesus Canahuati, CEO, Elcatex Corporation, Honduras
Apparel sourcing is shifing from Asia back to the Americas. For many brands, the Americas have proven to be faster, easier, better, cheaper and safer. Today, 60% of mens synthetic knit shirts and 55% of mens cotton knit shirts are produced in the Americas. This panel will share insights into market opportunities and industry leadership by producers based in the Western Hemisphere.
Opportunities In Duty-Free Sourcing: How To Cut Your Costs By Up To 32%
Moderator: Gail W. Strickler, President of Global Trade
Panelists: Steve Diblasi, VP Lanier Clothes & Oxford Golf, Marc Hansult, CEO DTRT Apparel & Bruce Thomson, Economist, World Bank
Duties on apparel imported into the US are as high as 32%. In a day and age where brands and retailers are struggling to reduce costs, no apparel company can afford to leave as much as 32% of the cost of a garment on the table. Learn where and how you can import garments duty free. We will discuss FTA's ( Free Trade Agreements) such as CAFTA, NAFTA and more as well as preference programs like Haiti Hope/Help, QIZ's and AGOA. The rules for each of these programs varies widely and knowing how to comply is essential.
New Technology/Innovation – What’s Happening with Wearable Tech
Bob Bland, Founder and CEO, MNY
Keynote: Protecting Your Name – How Social Compliance Secures Your Business Reputation
Avedis H. Seferian, Esq., President & CEO, WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production)
As Warren Buffet put it, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Sustainability and social compliance are becoming increasingly important aspects of supply chain management given how today’s global value chain operates in an instant communication media environment. As a result, the imperative of protecting your business reputation by adequately addressing social compliance and sustainability has never been stronger, from both a risk management perspective and for ensuring business continuity and competitive success. This session will focus on providing you with tools to proactively manage sourcing options (including social compliance issues) in order to allow you to be more flexible and responsive, without putting your brand at risk.
Give The People What They Want! Research shows which performance features Americans desire in apparel. You might think you are giving it to them, but are you really sure?
Dr. Robert Monticello, Sr. Tech Advisor, International Antimicrobial Council
Apparel brands and retailers are constantly searching for new ways to differentiate their products and, often, that means adding various performance features. One of the most popular trends today is adding “freshness” features to apparel. Research shows that 60% of consumers are interested in purchasing products that will remain fresh all day. Or, for those who already own ‘all-day fresh’ products, interest in re-purchasing items with this feature is 90%. Of course, antimicrobials help brands and retailers make and keep their all-day fresh promise.
Futurecast: What’s Next in Active Lifestyle
Roberto Ramos, Sr. Vice President Global Strategy & communications, The Doneger Group
Our hyphenated lifestyles require greater flexibility and fluidity, with apparel playing a key role. Activewear has surfaced as the transitional foundation as we toggle from work to workout and then to different forms of entertainment. Activewear has spun multiple expressions, with the consumer easily adding and subtracting elements to fit their needs. This session will look at the state of Activewear and its manifestations for tomorrow.
Social Compliance as a Global Sourcing Imperative
Moderator: Clay Hickson, VP Strategy & Business Development, WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production)
Share your perspectives on how social compliance has become a sourcing imperative during this roundtable discussion with your peers and social compliance specialists.
It has long been true that if a supplier wants to sell to a customer, there are certain conditions (price, quality, and lead time) that must be met before that sale can take place. If a factory cannot meet these requirements, they will not receive the order. While these pre-conditions continue to be just as important today as ever, in recent years, social compliance has been added to that sourcing imperative mix. That means that both suppliers and buyers (brands and retailers) must objectively demonstrate that they are abiding by the principles of ethical sourcing. Those who remain mired in the “old ways” of sourcing soon will find themselves left behind!