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SPESA Shares Final Agenda for L.A. Conference — Focuses on the Future of Fashion Manufacturing in the U.S.

Press Release


The SPESA Advancements Conference in Los Angeles, California, seeks to answer some of the most pressing questions facing sewn product manufacturers today. Conversations will revolve around workers’ rights, sustainability, waste management, automation, artificial intelligence, supply chain efficiency, and the future of U.S. manufacturing.


RALEIGH, N.C. – The Sewn Products Equipment and Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) has released the final agenda for its upcoming Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference, taking place Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. While SPESA has worked diligently to put together a well-rounded group of panelists who are experts in their fields, the association notes this event will strongly encourage audience participation during the event and ongoing conversations long after it is over.


“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.”


Attendees for the conference include U.S. apparel, footwear, and accessories manufacturers, as well as technology suppliers, designers, academia, government, and other fashion and sewn products industry stakeholders. 


SPESA Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference
April 11, 2024 | California Market Center, Los Angeles

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM | WELCOME

9:15 AM - 10:00 AM | GROWING, SUSTAINING, AND ADVOCATING FOR LOCAL WORKFORCES: A CONVERSATION WITH THE GARMENT WORKERS CENTER

As the U.S. sewn products industry continues to advocate for reshoring and more domestic production, how do we ensure that we’re not only building a strong workforce in our country, but also taking care of the people doing the work? Los Angeles is home to more than 40,000 garment manufacturing workers, and the perfect place to have this conversation.

Speakers:

  • Nayantara Banerjee, Industry Researcher & Strategist, The Garment Worker Center

  • Helen Campbell, Planning Director, City of Los Angeles, CD1

  • Guadalupe (Lupe) Tlatenchi, Founder/CEO, GTLA Apparel Development Inc.

  • Daisy Gonzalez, Campaigns Director, The Garment Worker Center

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM | CONVERSATION ON INDUSTRY EVOLUTION PART I: AUTOMATION & ADVANCED MANUFACTURING

Are you ready for a heavy dose of sewing automation? Our panelists will discuss developing automation solutions that increase human productivity and enable innovation. They will touch on the new developments in this area, sharing case studies related to automated material handling and sewing systems, and how their successes can be replicated for other parts of the soft goods industry beyond just fashion. This conversation will lead into our later conversation on AI.

Speakers:

  • Frank Henderson, Owner & President, Henderson Sewing Machine Co.

  • SK Gupta, Ph.D, Smith International Professor, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Southern California (USC) School of Engineering; Director, USC Center for Advanced Manufacturing

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM | NETWORKING BREAK

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM | A CONVERSATION ON INDUSTRY EVOLUTION PART II: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

AI may be the buzzword of the decade, but what does it mean for fashion and sewn products? Our speakers will dive into the different generations and types of Artificial Intelligence — diagnostic vs. predictive vs. generative — and how they can best be implemented into the production process, whether in design, manufacturing, or retail. This session will leave attendees with a deeper understanding of the transformative power of industry-specific AI and 3D technology in fashion.

Speakers:

  • Ketty Pillet, Vice President Marketing, Americas, Lectra

  • Eric Lee, Executive Director, Americas, Alvanon

  • Tirsa Parrish, Cofounder/Managing Partner, Fashion Index

  • Kyle Stephens, CEO & Co-Founder, KolAi Denim

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM | LUNCH

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM | SUPPLY CHAIN EFFICIENCY ACROSS THE BOARD

From the factory floor to the global supply chain, the sewn products industry is bursting with innovative tools and technologies to improve efficiency. This panel will highlight several of these examples, breaking down manufacturing efficiency vs. supply chain efficiency, and the factory connectivity needed to tie it all together. How can we create supply chains that are more connected, resilient, and sustainable in the long-term?

Speakers:

  • Jerker Krabbe, CEO, Eton Systems AB

  • Sven Sörbö, Sales Manager, California/Mexico & Technical Sales Specialist, Eton Systems AB

  • Justin Hershoran, Senior Solutions Architect, Aptean

  • John Robinson, Senior Strategic Account Manager - Apparel, Aptean

2:15 PM - 2:45 PM | NETWORKING BREAK

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM | SUSTAINABILITY IN GARMENT MANUFACTURING: NAVIGATING OVERPRODUCTION & WASTE MANAGEMENT

We want to have less waste in the sewn products industry. Great! What does that mean? And do we make it happen? In the simplest terms, the conversation about waste management can be broken into two parts: 1) How do we improve efficiency and utilize technology to create less waste in the production process? And 2) What do we do with waste when it does occur either as part of the production process or from overproduction? Global regulations will soon require manufacturers, brands, and retailers to have clear answers to these questions. So, let’s get to work! The speakers on this panel will lead the audience in a strategic discussion on waste management in the fashion, textile, and sewn products industries, highlighting equipment and technology that can help along the way.

 

Speakers:

  • Michael Rabin, Sales Director of the Americas, Morgan Tecnica Spa

  • Christian Birky, Founder, Because Capital

  • Stephanie Choi, CEO, Rewilder

3:45 PM - 4:15 PM | ESTABLISHING A SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION PILOT FOR DOMESTIC TEXTILE MANUFACTURING

The fashion industry’s carbon footprint accounts for a significant 2-8% of global Greenhouse Gas emissions. If we ever want to transition toward a net zero industry, the scaling and adoption of innovative technologies is critical. Yet, the process of adopting innovation can be time and resource intensive for manufacturers. To prove that an innovation is even beneficial for the industry, it has to be tested for scalability through strategic partnerships. The speakers spearheading this discussion are a prime example of such partnerships. In this session, they will discuss how to lift up a successful innovation pilot for the sewn goods industry, while upskilling and standardizing processes for the benefit of people and planet.

 

Speakers:

  • Jen Guarino, President & CEO, ISAIC

  • Garrett Gerson, Founder & CEO, Variant 3D

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM | FROM SUPPLIER TO BRAND: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF GARMENT MANUFACTURING IN LOS ANGELES (AND BEYOND) LOOK LIKE?

We have discussed uniforms in San Juan, automotive interiors in Detroit, now it’s time for fashion in L.A.! Hear from local industry stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities associated with sewn products manufacturing in Los Angeles (and the U.S. in general), as well as their predictions for the future and the investments that need to be made to support the domestic industry.

​​

Speakers:

  • Ilse Metchek, California Fashion Association

  • Ram Sareen, CEO & Co-Founder, Tukatech

  • Marty Bailey, US Standard Apparel

 

5:15 PM - 5:30 PM | WRAP-UP & CLOSING REMARKS

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM | NETWORKING RECEPTION, SPONSORED BY LECTRA


To learn more and register for the SPESA Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference, visit www.spesa.org/spesa-advancements-conference.

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