At the recent Texprocess Atlanta, the IAF organised and moderated a panel discussion in partnership with SPESA. The discussions took a deeper look at technology, trying to find out how the apparel industry actually implements all the new technology and what that means for the industry. Panelists from different continents emphasized the international character of the IAF. The panel had: Dave Gardner, managing director of SPESA; John Stern, President of Methods Workshop; Han Bekke, President MODINT; Van Tucker, CEO of the Nashville Fashion Alliance; Ed Gribbin, President of Alvanon; Geoff Willis, CEO of Trigon Select; Mike Fralix, CEO of [TC]² en Stefano Festa Marzotto, CEO FBS Group en Member of the Board of Sistema Moda Italia.
The panelists agreed that for the industry to really change in a big way, just the technology is not enough. For large brands and retailers, really benefitting from the implementation of new technology requires a holistic view, all across the supply chain. It is about using technology to get the right product at the right place at the right time. For reshoring to take off, investments in access to finance and in improving drastically the knowledge of apparel production and fabric characteristics are crucial. It is relatively new terrain and it would be great if the initiatives from New York, Nashville, Amsterdam, London and Milan would share best practices to create a global reshoring knowledge hub.