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News Coverage | 2024 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference

News Compilation

SPESA hosted its 2024 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference April 11th in Los Angeles, California. The event brought together an impressive line-up of speakers and like-minded attendees to discuss the latest trends, innovations, and challenges to domestic manufacturing for the fashion, apparel, and sewn products industries. See below for news coverage about the event.

Skip Ahead: Pre-Event Coverage


- Post-Event Coverage -

See below for news coverage following the 2024 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference. This will continue to be updated as stories roll in.

SPESA L.A. Event Accents Worker Value as Technologies Advance
California Apparel News | May 9, 2024

Dorothy Crouch interviews both speakers and attendees of the SPESA Advancements Conference, sharing a variety of perspectives on the event and highlighting the recurring themes of innovation and collaboration related to the U.S. sewn products industry.

Tukatech – At the Intersection of Innovation & Collaboration
Xochil Herrera Scheer | April 25, 2024

Hear from Xochil Herrera Scheer about her recent visit to the Tukatech Innovation Center — during the 2024 SPESA Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference — and her subsequent conversation with Tukatech Founder and CEO, Ram Sareen.

SPESA Conference Reveals How AI Can Aid Nearsourcing, Reshoring
Just Style | April 22, 2024

Just Style offers a comprehensive recap from SPESA’s 2024 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference, including panel highlights and a conversation with SPESA president Michael McDonald:

SPESA’s president Michael McDonald mentioned two primary objectives for the conference, both of which were accomplished, he said later: “First, we wanted to educate people in the room about the latest innovations in manufacturing technologies. It was an opportunity for our members, the suppliers, to showcase the work they’re doing to drive the industry forward. Secondly, we wanted to highlight and learn more about how the industry operates locally.” He added: “With LA being the largest US hub for domestic garment manufacturing, it was imperative to showcase the work being done there. So, not only did we embed local expertise into each panel, we also dedicated our introductory and closing panels to the industry in LA specifically.”

Variant 3D and Detroit’s Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center Bring 3D Knitting to the Motor City
Sourcing Journal | April 17, 2024

With onshoring on the brain for many brands and retailers, innovators from across the country are moving quickly to pilot programs to drive domestic textile manufacturing. At the Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference in Downtown Los Angeles, pioneers from Malibu and Detroit came together to talk about how combining advanced manufacturing with community-based social enterprise can propel the sector into the 21st century. This article highlights the panel led by Jen Guarino of SPESA member ISAIC.

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.

Garment and Fashion Industry Workforce and Economic Development Program

During the opening panel in L.A., representatives from the local industry, Garment Worker Center, and the City of Los Angeles announced a new initiative aimed at growing L.A.’s garment manufacturing industry while protecting workers.

The following news coverage of the new program, references the SPESA conference where it was launched:

Frank Henderson Presentation (Video)
LinkedIn Post | April 11, 2024

The Chicago-based Apparel Industry Board, Inc., shared a video of Frank Henderson's presentation on the use of automation and robotics in the sewing industry. "If you've never heard Frank Henderson speak you're missing out."


- Pre-Event Coverage -

See below for news coverage leading up to the 2024 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference.

SPESA Conference To Explore Future of Apparel Manufacturing in U.S.
Fibre2Fashion | April 5, 2024

SPESA's knowledge partner for the event, Fibre2Fashion, shared a look at the conference, noting our aim to foster dialogue and share insights on the future of manufacturing within the U.S. apparel, footwear, and accessories industries. Fibre2Fashion was most interested in supporting the conference because of the inclusion of sustainability, circularity, and waste management on the agenda. Conference attendees received exclusive first access to the outlet's knowledge paper: “Efficiency and Innovation: Navigating Waste Management in the Fashion and Textile Industries.”

SPESA Shares Final Agenda for L.A. Conference — Focuses on the Future of Fashion Manufacturing in the U.S.
SPESA Press Release | April 3, 2024

“SPESA members provide solutions to some of the fashion and sewn products industries’ greatest challenges. That’s why my predecessors created this event — as a way to effectively share these solutions with manufacturers, brands, and retailers,” explains SPESA President Michael McDonald. “However, there is no one person or one company that has all the answers. It is imperative that we continue to come together as a group, as an industry, to communicate, to learn from one another, and to collectively work toward a better future for our industry, our customers, and our planet.” This press release shared the final agenda for the conference.

SPESA Two-Part Conference Spotlights Rise of AI, Automation Solutions
Just Style | March 25, 2024

Just Style used this article to highlight two of our planned agenda sessions exploring the evolution within the fashion and sewn products industries focusing on automaton, advanced manufacturing, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Challenges, Opportunities & Best Practices in Sewn Products
Textile World | February 13, 2024

Textile World interviewed SPESA President Michael McDonald, asking about the association’s value proposition and the upcoming conference. "SPESA is a huge supporter of U.S.manufacturing, and we believe advanced technology is key to its future success. So, we thought it was time to bring that technology to the industry’s backyard."

SPESA Sets Its Sights on the West Coast for 2024 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference
SPESA Press Release | December 20, 2023

Our first press release for the event announced the date, theme, and partnership with the California Fashion Association. From the beginning, this event planned to feature educational sessions and productive dialogue about how manufacturing technologies can drive the industry forward.

Press pick-up:



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