AAFA Weekly Brief
January 8, 2019

Newsletter at-a-glance

Happy New Year from AAFA!
This first edition of 2019 includes new resources for AAFA members on safety and environmental sustainability (see AAFA News) and the latest on U.S.-China negotiations.
January 8: U.S.-China trade talks in Beijing are progressing and will extend into Wednesday, an American negotiator said. (Source: Bloomberg)
January 5: Fashion is inherently sensitive to the policies and politics that shape cross-border trade. Recent talk of trade shifts between the US and some of its key trading partners has brought the issue to the fore. ... To highlight the proactive stance taken by some fashion players, American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) at the end of May published a letter signed by 60 US labels (including Abercrombie & Fitch, Kate Spade, Levi Strauss, Macy’s, Nike and Under Armour), arguing against increased taxation of Chinese textile and apparel imports. (Source: Business of Fashion)
January 4: ... Watch the video to hear what [Rick Helfenbein of the American Apparel & Footwear Association] has to say about the disruptive effect of the tariffs, how long the trade war is likely to last and what the situation has revealed about the vulnerabilities in the apparel supply chain. (Source: Sourcing Journal)
January 3: Rick Helfenbein, CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, says the U.S. is "tariffing" itself and this is "hurting bad." (Source: CNBC)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain & Manufacturing
January 4: ... The resource has been developed ... to assist denim finishing facilities in providing a safe and healthy work environment that prevents accidents, injuries or illnesses associated with their operations. (Source: ECOTEXTILE - login required)
January 2: ... “If those trade issues persist and are allowed to deepen, that will start to have a deleterious effect on the economy, and it’ll show up everywhere, from manufacturing to consumer confidence — you name it,” American Apparel & Footwear Association EVP Steve Lamar said in a mid-December interview with FN. (Source: Footwear News)
December 31: ... Following that disaster, two internationally backed efforts to improve safety standards were put in place. But on 31 December 2018, one of these projects winds up its operations. The other one is involved in a legal battle over whether it should continue to work in the country and under what conditions. (Source: BBC)
Supply chains don’t have to be complicated?
Customized Brokers, a Crowley Company
Customized Brokers, adds velocity and value to the apparel supply chain. As a single-source, total supply chain solutions provider, we have developed ways to more efficiently manage the complexities of importing both textiles and apparel. We have dependable, compliance-driven teams that keep abreast of regulations on this constantly evolving market.
To connect with one of our specialists, click here.
Brand Protection
January 3: Supreme Italia — the label described as a “counterfeit organization” by the actual Supreme — is set to open a flagship store in Shanghai. (Source: Hypebeast)
January 2: ... The issue of counterfeits on online platforms is not restricted to Chinese sites, of course, and media outlets frequently latch onto tales of duped buyers and frustration that presumably genuine goods are just the opposite ... The pressure to do more will no doubt continue, but expect increased communication in the coming year about what different platforms are doing to fight the good fight. (Source: World Trademark Review)
January 2: ... A new ecommerce law that went into effect on the first day of 2019 is sending chills through China’s “daigous”, who make money from buying goods overseas for customers back home. They previously operated in a grey area, but now they’re required by the new law to register as an ecommerce businesses and start paying taxes. (Source: abacus)
Prioritizing Your Technology Road Map: When is the Right Time to Change?
Centric Software
Thinking of upgrading your current PLM system but questioning if it’s the right fit for your business anymore? If you’re experiencing business challenges that your PLM should have avoided like disjointed processes, data errors and a reliance on emails to collaborate, then it’s probably time to wave goodbye to your current PLM. Watch our webinar and learn about the benefits of changing your PLM system vs. upgrading your existing system.
Watch now

How will trade policy impact your business in 2019? AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein discusses the lasting impact of the China trade war with Sourcing Journal’s Edward Hertzman in a series focused on trade's impact on the apparel and footwear business. Watch the first segment here to learn how the industry could be impacted for years to come. 

AAFA's Rick Helfenbein discusses trade with Sourcing Journal's Edward Hertzman. Watch here.

Welcoming the 116th Congress: On January 3, AAFA kicked off 2019 by going to Capitol Hill to welcome new Members of Congress during Swearing-In Day — the first day that Members convened for the 116th Congress. AAFA is keenly focused on educating new and returning Members as to the priorities of our industry, including removing trade barriers, simplifying regulations, and protecting our intellectual property. Contact Steve Lamar or Nate Herman if you would like to make a trip to D.C. to meet with your representatives!

NEW! In-depth guidance regarding denim finishing: As we closed out 2018, AAFA published an important new report for members: Health and Safety Guidelines for Workers in Denim Finishing (login required). This actionable 84-page report is specifically tailored to protect workers in the denim finishing industry and strives to assist denim finishing facilities in providing a safe and healthy work environment that prevents accidents, injuries, and illnesses. We thank the AAFA Safety in Denim Finishing Working Group for their tremendous expertise, advice, assistance, support and Sumerra for critical guidance and expertise.

NEW! 2018 Environmental Sustainability Benchmarking Survey Report: AAFA has summarizing findings from the 2018 Environmental Sustainability Benchmarking Survey and posted a new report to provide AAFA member companies with a barometer of how their environmental sustainability programs compare to the rest of the apparel and footwear industry. Download the 2018 Environmental Sustainability Benchmarking Survey Report (login required) for data including the structure and scope of companies’ environmental sustainability departments, the prevalence of partnerships between apparel/footwear companies and organizations or coalitions working on environmental initiatives, and the role that environmental initiatives play in the atmosphere of the company as a whole.

AAFA sessions in Las Vegas: AAFA will lead two sessions at the upcoming SOURCING AT MAGIC and FN PLATFORM in Las Vegas, on Tuesday February 5. Join us for:

1. E-commerce and The Real Deal (10:30 to 11:30 AM)
2. Trade Wars and Trade Deals (1:30 to 2:30 PM)

View session descriptions.

AAFA internship opportunities: Know someone interested in interning with the AAFA team in Washington, D.C.? We are currently accepting internship applications for opportunities in AAFA’s Government Relations as well as Communications and Marketing departments.

See all of AAFA’s latest letters, comments, and testimony here.

Congress and government agencies solicit comments on a range of issues that may affect your business – find a list of comment opportunities here.
AAFA Events
January & February
January 23 Webinar: Setting the Foundation for Business Growth with PLM
February 6 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
February 6 Environmental Committee Meeting 
February 7 Product Safety & Compliance Seminar
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars, scheduled events, and member/committee calls.
On April 15, Brooke Shields will emcee our #AmericanImageAwards!
Learn more about the honorees and tickets/tables at americanimageawards.org.




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