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Articles by Cary Sherburne

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at [email protected].

Displaying 1-99 of 2109 articles

Nearshoring, Reshoring, Onshoring and New Shoring: The Face of Made in America Is Changing

Published January 30, 2023

The U.S., for several years, has been trying to bring back manufacturing across the board, including textiles and apparel. The pandemic and the resulting supply chain crisis spurred more action toward this goal. But simply bringing back manufacturing and doing the same old things, only here in America, I don’t believe plays into the American ingenuity theme. That’s where new shoring comes in. Yes, bring back manufacturing. But do it in a way that is innovative, automated, sustainable, and yet competitive. For more details about new shoring, there is an excellent article available on “The Sourcing Journal” (subscription may be required). 

GenZ and Millennial Representatives Weigh In on Sustainability, Workplace, and More

Published January 24, 2023

Andrea Bautil is a Millennial, a practicing architect currently working in the Dominican Republic, while Emma Vessels, GenZ, is finishing her degree at Kent State University in Fashion Merchandising. In this wide-ranging discussion, we hear directly from outstanding members of these two demographic cohorts on their thoughts about fashion and home decor, sustainability, and the impact their generations can have on the future of our planet.

Regenerative Fashion: An Exit Strategy for Fashion’s Troubled Relationship with the Planet?

Published January 23, 2023

There is no denying the negative impact the multi-trillion-dollar global fashion industry has had—and continues to have—on the planet. Some fashion brands are making honest and open efforts to reduce their carbon footprints; some are greenwashing; and some are simply doing nothing. Until consumers take a stand and drive Fast Fashion out of their wardrobes, not much is likely to change. But there is hope on the horizon, according to Paul Foulkes-Arellano of Circuthon Consulting. In this article, learn about Regenerative Fashion, benefit from Foulkes-Arellano’s deep insight, and think about how you can change your buying habits to help reduce fashion’s impact on the planet.

A Deep Dive into Climate Action—or Inaction

Published January 16, 2023

The venture-funded Climate Board, established in 2022, has amassed a wealth of materials on the topic of sustainability, including insights and research, and has conducted a variety of events. It was founded on the belief that knowledge-sharing is crucial to accelerating climate action. Its work attempts to bring solutions, supported by experience and evidence, to drive speed and progress. But there is a huge mountain to climb. A key finding of its research is that for many organizations, “Ambitious goals are more than twice as common as meaningful action.” This is not where we want to be. In this article, we explore some of the challenges and opportunities for mitigating climate change.

RRD Study Introduces Optichannel Marketing, Bullish Intent to Use More Print

Published January 16, 2023

Margo Yohner, SVP of Growth RRD Commercial and Digital Print, shares insights that RR Donnelley gained from its most recent survey with marketers and introduces a new term for us: Optichannel. She explains how this is different from omnichannel or multichannel and can be more effective. She also shares specific data from the report indicating marketers' intent to devote more of their budget in 2023 to print, including direct mail, brochures, signage, etc.

Future.Green's FutureCardVisa Promotes Green Shopping Habits

Published January 12, 2023

Gen Zer Eunice Jung is passionate about sustainability, and that passion really comes out in this interview, where she explains what is behind FutureCardVisa and how it can help consumers become more aware of their shopping habits, give more consideration to end-of-life for things they buy, and especially in fashion, using rental or resale to extend the life of garments with less ending up in the landfill.

FLOCUS Takes a Sustainable Approach to Fibers for Textiles and Other Uses

Published January 10, 2023

FLOCUS was founded by Sara Cicognani and Jeroen Muijsers to leverage the unique characteristics of Kapok as a fiber for multiple uses, ranging from stuffing for toys and other soft products to yarns and fabrics. Muijsers, a textile engineer, learned about Kapok about 10 years ago and recognized its role in delivering a more sustainable textile industry and its link to regenerative agriculture for a holistic approach that not only delivers sustainable fibers but also benefits farmers in subtropical countries. Learn more in this informative interview.

The Key to Z: Managing to a Generational Shift

Published January 9, 2023

Last summer, we asked our readers, “Are you ready for the Gen Z work force?” As we enter 2023 and the balance between open jobs and available employees still has not balanced out, it’s time to revisit this topic again. Remember that Gen Zers will make up 25% of the workforce by 2025, when they will range in age from 13 to 28. They are a rich source of potential employees—now and for years to come. We thought it would be good to review what they are looking for, how to hire and retain them, as we enter 2023 with an economy this is still a bit chaotic.

Regenerative Fashion: An Exit Strategy For Fashion’s Troubled Relationship with the Planet?

Published January 9, 2023

Paul Foulkes-Arellano of Circuthon Consulting is an expert in regenerative agriculture and regenerative fashion. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on the future of the textiles industry, and how regenerative fashion is an important element of making the industry more sustainable. And he discussed the link between agriculture and fashion as we move to a more circular economy.

Printful Adds Coloreel On-Demand Embroidery for Increased Design Flexibility

Published December 15, 2022

Printful, who has 10 factories worldwide producing on-demand garments, is beta testing Coloreel on-demand embroidery. In this interview, Elina Kruze from Printful explains why the company was excited about the ability to offer customers more design flexibility in embroidery. Coloreel CEO Torbjörn Bäck shares his thoughts on how Coloreel on-demand embroidery changes the market and delivers a more sustainable solution.

For Textiles and Apparel, Sustainability Is Key but Progress Is Slow

Published December 14, 2022

This was a year of recovery for textiles and apparel as supply chain issues began to settle a bit, and suppliers were back online after the pandemic. Consumers were also buying—both online and back in-stores, which is good news for brands. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne looks back at how the industry has slowly started to embrace sustainability and some of the initiatives to keep an eye on in 2023.

Polartec Innovation Delivers Waterproof Fabric with Breathability; Power Shield Membrane Is Also Plant-Based and Non-PFAS

Published December 12, 2022

Looking for an athletic garment that is both waterproof and breathable? With new developments from Polartec, that will become easier as its new Power Shield laminate is incorporated into garments expected to come to market in the fall of 2023. We spoke with Michael Cattanach, Polartec’s Global Product Director, to learn more.

Is a Capsule Wardrobe in Your Future?

Published December 5, 2022

For some time now, we’ve been asking, “What’s in your closet?” This is in the context of making your lifestyle more sustainable as the world struggles with a growing climate crisis. While governments, NGOs, corporations, and others are working to improve sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint, it really will take all of us to get this done. Learn how serious reconsideration of your wardrobe can be a contributing factor.

John Berthelsen Honored with Annual Recognition Award for Service to Furtherance of Education for the Graphic Arts

Published November 30, 2022

The Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) is recently announced the inauguration of an award honoring the unending service of John Berthelsen to the Education of Students interested in the Graphic Arts. The award, in his name, will be given out each year to a deserving individual or organization that exemplifies the ideals and practices of John over his many years of dedicated service to the industry and affiliated organizations. John was the first recipient. We had the opportunity to interview him and gain an understanding of the many contributions he has made over 50 years in the industry.

What is Carbon Capture and Why Is It Important?

Published November 28, 2022

There is a lot of discussion around companies and governments reducing their carbon footprints, aiming toward carbon neutrality by some date, and changes they plan to make to accomplish these sustainability goals as part of the effort to bring the climate crisis under control. But little is being said about a companion approach: carbon capture and repurposing. This article defines carbon capture and presents its current technological state.

Who Will Pay for Climate Change? Climate Pledges Fall Short and Developing Nations Call Out the Failures at COP27

Published November 14, 2022

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is in its 27th year, and achievements have fallen far short of expectations. COP27, which is underway as of this writing, has for the first time seriously put the issue of loss and damage on the agenda, with the hope that there will actually be some sort of resolution before the end of the conference, and that developed countries will actually follow through on their promises.

Is There a Future for Sustainable Ecommerce Packaging?

Published November 7, 2022

Companies like Amazon have been adding more environmentally friendly packaging strategies, although a lot of plastic is still used. And Neenah has introduced the Neenah Environment Mailer, which is curbside recyclable. Senior editor Cary Sherburne looks at the current landscape of sustainable packaging for mailers.

Neenah Introduces Curbside Recyclable Mailer for the eCommerce Market

Published November 1, 2022

Don't you hate getting all that plastic packaging when you order online, and then trying to figure out if it can be recycled, and if so how, or maybe it just gets thrown away? Neenah has an answer with its new Environment Mailer. Clearly printed on the mailer is the fact that it is 100% curbside recyclable and a patent pending coating repels water and adds strength. Ideal for all kinds of soft goods. Kristen Duncan and Jennifer Dietz of Neenah share the full story, including future plans to expand the product line and options even further.

Microban International Partners with Cosmo for Fresh Feet

Published October 31, 2022

Do you ever wonder why some people get bitten by mosquitoes more than others? A recent CNN story says mosquitoes like the smell of cheese and feet. Now Microban and Cosmo may have an answer…at least for the feet part. Their partnership is another example of applying technology to add value to textiles and apparel.

Are Shoes the Next Frontier in Sustainability for Textiles and Apparel?

Published October 24, 2022

We’ve been writing about sustainability issues in textiles and apparel and some of the advances that are being made, as well as the barriers—addition to Fast Fashion being one of the latter. But we haven’t really addressed a big segment of the market: shoes. In this article, we delve into some of the advances that will make shoes more sustainable, and also caution our readers not to become over-consumers—of shoes or anything else!

Tom O'Brien of AccuLink/AccuFlex Talks About Being Acquired by Taylor Corporation

Published October 19, 2022

We've known Tom O'Brien for many years and have always been impressed with his entrepreneurism, energy, and innovative approach to his business. He has now started a new chapter, despite his many threats to retire, with the acquisition of his companies by Taylor Corporation. In this interview, his enthusiasm for his new role is evident and we will continue to follow their news as it develops.

Sustainable Fibers Gaining Steam

Published October 17, 2022

We’ve been writing a great deal about sustainability options for the textiles and apparel industry with the hope that brands and consumers will be inspired to change their wasteful behavior, including getting rid of the fast fashion concept in lieu of longer lasting, more sustainable apparel, use of non-petroleum materials, more local and on-demand production, and more. In today’s article, we take another look at some of the advances in more sustainable fiber that can reduce the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Raspberry Creek Fabrics Continues to Grow, Innovate

Published October 17, 2022

Raspberry Creek Fabrics, based in Salt Lake City, was founded a decade ago, and has continued to innovate to meet emerging and existing market needs. Co-founder Justin Rammell tells the Raspberry Creek story, shares how automation has dramatically changed their business, explains the recent patent the company acquired, and mentions a move into wallpaper, a new business for them. The company has also established a marketplace for designers to be able to upload and sell their own designs. More coming in the future!

On the Eve of His Retirement, Frank Mallozzi Looks Back on 25 Years at EFI

Published October 11, 2022

Frank Mallozzi joined EFI 25 years ago with a charter to run the European business for the company. Today, he is the Chief Revenue Officer of the company and has seen many changes in the company and the industry over the years. At the end of 2022, Frank will be retiring from EFI, and we are sure he will be sorely missed. But we also look forward to seeing what the next chapter is for him. In this discussion, Frank talks about his experiences over the past 25 years and the opportunities ahead.

It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s...Graphene: Get in on the Ground Floor with Graphene in Textiles

Published October 3, 2022

Graphene is a miracle material with the potential to revolutionize textiles. Senior editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at the current state of graphene-enhanced textiles.

Sonora Stitch Factory: Bringing Made in America to Sewn Products

Published October 3, 2022

Erica Yngve founded Sonora Stitch Factory a couple years ago in Tucson and acquired two existing businesses. She has about 150 sewing machines to address a wide range of cut-and-sew applications, from apparel and home decor to boat and airplane interiors. Due to the difficulty in sourcing local sewing skills, she has also established a training program for sewists, to benefit both her business and others in the area that require these skills. This is another example of a start-up that is helping to reshore the North American textile industry.

Executive Q&A: 4Over Demonstrates Continued Growth with a Broad Services Portfolio

Published September 28, 2022

4Over is the largest trade-only printer in the United States with 10 locations and close to one million square feet of production space and 1,100 employees. The company offers offset, digital, and wide-format printing, covering a wide range of customer applications. Cary Sherburne talks with CEO Shaheen Javadizadeh, who joined the company in 2020 from the enterprise software industry, about company updates and industry insights.

Are Fast Fashion Retailers Heeding Environmental Concerns or Still Trying to Sell More Stuff?

Published September 26, 2022

In this space, and across many other industry spokespeople, the call for an end to fast fashion has been resonating loudly. But are the brands and retailers—and consumers—taking this call for a reduction in unnecessary consumption seriously? It seems not.

Czech-based GrapheneUP Jumps into Textiles

Published September 19, 2022

As we have been discussing in this space, graphene, a miracle material discovered in 2004, has begun to make inroads into the textiles industry, with a growing number of products that are graphene-enhanced, either with coatings, inks, or covalently bonded to the base fiber. We recently came across Czech-based GrapheneUP, who has added graphene-enhanced inks and coatings for textiles to their product mix.

Sparty Mill: Reviving Textile History

Published September 12, 2022

Are we starting to see a resurgence in the US textiles and apparel market? In a recent article, we addressed some of the activity relative to localized cut-and-sew operations, the “last mile” for apparel manufacturing. In this article, we take a deeper dive into what Hodges International has done with Sparty Mill to help this resurgence along.

Label Traxx Merges with Siteline, Batched

Published September 7, 2022

Label Traxx, an ERP designed specifically for the labels and flexible packaging industry, has merged with long-time partners Siteline (founded by Jennifer Matt) and Batched (founded by Matt Murphy). Label Traxx President Rob Mayerson explains why this is important for the industry, and for Label Traxx customers. Mayerson and his team will be at LabelExpo September 13–15 in Chicago.

A U.S. Cut-and-Sew Boom?

Published August 29, 2022

One of the key barriers to reshoring textiles and apparel has been the lack of sewing talent, the final mile, if you will, of localized apparel and home décor manufacturing. Recently we have seen a number of new cut-and-sew operations pop up across the nation, an encouraging sign for the future of the American textiles and apparel industry.

How Serious Is the Fashion Industry about Sustainability? And What Role Does Trade Journalism Play?

Published August 22, 2022

In this space, we have had a great deal of discussion about sustainability, supply chain, and the need for dramatic change in the textiles and apparel industry. In today’s article, we look at some of the important research and journalistic organizations that are helping drive this change, the important role they play, and some of their upcoming events.

Will Supply Chain Issues Help Drive Major Manufacturing Change in Apparel?

Published August 15, 2022

Before the pandemic, I never dreamed I would be writing about supply chain so often. But then, before the pandemic things were different…or were they? The problems were there back then, but they were exacerbated and brought to the forefront due to pandemic-related issues. With all the supply chain noise, we wondered whether there would actually be meaningful solutions soon, and/or whether reshoring and digital production would be accelerated. A Forbes article on the topic sheds some light here.

Spoonflower: One Year Later

Published August 9, 2022

Shutterfly acquired Spoonflower one year ago. Senior editor Cary Sherburne checks in with the company for a progress report.

Fashion Faces Growing Greenwashing Scrutiny

Published August 8, 2022

Greenwashing is rampant in the fashion industry, but there is growing scrutiny on this unethical practice. Will it be enough to reduce the tide of discarded clothing and other textile items that are burned or dumped in the landfill? Will we really get to any kind of circular life cycle for fashion? There are encouraging signs, but we are far from reaching any kind of critical mass.

The Demise of Newspapers. Or Not.

Published August 1, 2022

The newspaper business was in decline long before the pandemic. In fact, a publication called Newspaper Deathwatch predicted the demise of the printed newspaper in the U.S. by 2017. Luckily that did not come to pass. But what has happened is a consolidation of newspapers under large chains, the closing of many, and a reduction in the number of newsroom people they employ. The good news is that entrepreneurs and others are fighting to save local journalism. You may not hear the thunk of the printed newspaper landing on your porch, but there is hope that these efforts will boost local journalism and pause—and even reduce—the existence of local news deserts. Read on to get the full story and see how you can help.

4Over CEO Shaheen Javadizadeh Discusses 4Over Status, Market Conditions

Published August 1, 2022

With 10 plants and more than 1,000 employees, 4Over has established itself as the largest trade shop serving the U.S. printing, signage, and packaging markets. In this interview, 4Over CEO Shaheen Javadizadeh provides a 4Over update and an optimistic outlook for the future of the company and the industry.

Americas Print Show 2022 Predicting a Vibrant Event

Published July 26, 2022

Cary Sherburne previews the upcoming  Americas Print Show 2022, scheduled for August 17–19 in Columbus, Ohio, which will offer an opportunity for commercial printing professionals to once again gather in person after a long pandemic hiatus.

Have Book Publishers Missed the Boat?

Published July 25, 2022

The pandemic may have been a boon for books with people looking for things to do during lockdowns and reduced travel. But that boost is likely temporary and may be hiding a core failure of the industry to update business practices to meet changing demographics, competition from other types of entertainment, and the growth in self-publishing.

The Truth About Vegan Leather

Published July 18, 2022

How vegan is vegan leather, and what is the future of this alternative to animal-based leather? In this article, we summarize the literature on the topic, including how damaging animal-based leather is to the environment, the different types of so-called vegan leather, and the future of truly 100% plant-based leather, an important element of a sustainable future.

Are You Ready for the Gen Z Work Force?

Published July 11, 2022

According to the World Economic Forum, Gen Zers—those born between 1997 and 2012—will make up 27% of the work force by 2025. And they will bring with them an entirely new set of needs, requirements, and challenges for the workplace. Is your company prepared? We rounded up some information about what Gen Zers are looking for and how companies are—or are not—responding.

Two Steps Forward: Raspberry Creek Fabrics Patents a Unique Process for Digital Textile Printing

Published June 29, 2022

Utah-based Raspberry Creek Fabrics recently received a patent for unique web-to-print software for roll-to-roll fabric printing which automates the step-and-repeat process in a way that creates the smallest possible file, speeding the printing process. Senior editor Cary Sherburne talked to co-founder Justin Rammell about the process.

Post-Pandemic: What’s the Future of Subscription Services and Fashion Boxes in Apparel?

Published June 27, 2022

Subscription services and fashion boxes for apparel—the ability for consumers to sign up for periodic boxes of personalized clothing selections—predated the pandemic, but arguably, these services prospered along with the rest of ecommerce as a result of retail closures, work-from-home, and a general concern with going out in public. Will that success carry forward as we enter the endemic stage of COVID? And how do these services rank from a sustainability perspective?

Packaging Challenges: How Is the Industry Responding?

Published June 23, 2022

RR Donnelly commissioned an online survey of 300 procurement, brand marketing, and packaging engineering decision makers to provide insights that inform strategy, priorities, and investments. Survey participants are located in the U.S. across a variety of industry sectors. The results are summarized in this article.

A Sustainability Update for Textiles and Apparel

Published June 20, 2022

Sourcing Journal recently conducted an in-person sustainability summit in New York titled “The Road to 2030.” Sourcing Journal Founder and president Edward Hertzman spoke with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne to explain why this summit was different from other sustainability events and why he is optimistic that substantial changes will occur in the industry by the time 2030 rolls around.

Future Fibers: Innovative Fibers Are Set to Improve Textile Sustainability

Published June 15, 2022

It is estimated that some 60% of apparel is made of petroleum-based polyester or polyester blends, but there are several initiatives underway to develop more sustainable fibers that are made from natural materials. Cary Sherburne looks at four of these new, cutting-edge fibers being developed for apparel.

AlphaGraphics Owner Jeff Bittner Shares Strategies for Success

Published June 14, 2022

Jeff Bittner, owner of AlphaGraphics in Wood Dale, Ill., shares his experiences in maintaining the business during and post pandemic, including strategies for working through difficult times as well as his optimism for the future of the business. He reports that May 2022 was the best month ever for his store, which opened in 1998, and much more.

Digital Technologies: Driving Change in the U.S. Textiles & Apparel Market

Published June 13, 2022

As so often happens, entrepreneurs in the textiles and apparel industry are driving change in the U.S. market. While digitally-driven businesses have not yet reached critical mass, there are good examples of companies that are taking advantage of new ways of working and doing business to build the businesses of the future. We’ll be discussing this in an upcoming WhatTheyThink webinar scheduled for July 20 at 1 pm ET!

Fashion and NFTs

Published June 6, 2022

In this space, we have written a great deal about how the digital transformation is proceeding in the world of textiles and apparel. Mostly we have looked at supply chain, including the digital technologies that make reshoring more viable and production of textiles and apparel more sustainable. In this article, we take a look at how the fashion industry is jumping on the NFT bandwagon, generating an amazing amount of revenue, and, they hope, more customer loyalty.

SPESA President Michael McDonald Reports on Texprocess Americas

Published June 6, 2022

It's been four years since the last Texprocess Americas show, and according to SPESA President Michael McDonald, a co-organizer of the Atlanta event with Messe Frankfurt, it was an outstanding show, with the exhibit hall and the aisles crowded, and lots of innovation.

Modern VDP: What Is It?

Published June 6, 2022

Believe it or not, we have been printing variable data for at least 45 years. What we were doing then is what Jacob Aizikowitz calls Legacy or Classic VDP. In this video interview, he explains what he means by Modern VDP, how it differs from Classic VDP, the technology framework that was required to enable Modern VDP, how adoption of this framework helped print service providers differentiate themselves, and where we go from here.

Reusable Packaging: A Growing Trend

Published June 1, 2022

There is a lot of talk about recycling, but less talk about reusing, across a variety of product types from soda to sweat pants. Reuse has a key role to play in a circular economy, and packaging is one of the key offenders in terms of waste. The good news, though, is there is increasing interest on the part of brands, retailers, and consumers in reusable packaging, whether it is an insulated water bottle or a crate like the milkman used to leave on our doorsteps for refilling. (I’m old enough to remember that!)

Canon's Rich Reamer Talks about the Added Value of Fluorescent Inks

Published June 1, 2022

A recent survey by Canon U.S.A. revealed consumers’ sentiments and preferences regarding the appeal, attraction, and indelibility of fluorescent colors, especially fluorescent pink, an aqueous ink now available with the company's new imagePROGRAF GP Series printers. In this interview, Canon U.S.A.'s Rich Reamer, Senior Director of Large Format Printing, explains why there is a resurgence in interest in fluorescent inks and how they can add value to printed products.

Coloreel Changing the Face of Embroidery in North America

Published May 31, 2022

Ed Levy, Director of Software Technologies at Hirsch Solutions, discusses why customers are excited about being able to dye thread on demand with Coloreel. Hirsch Solutions distributes Coloreel along with conventional embroidery and direct-to-garment digital printing solutions, providing its customers with a wide range of garment decoration technologies. Hirsch has installed a number of Coloreel units in North America and sees significant interest from both existing and new customers in this innovative digital technology.

Print4All in Milan Sees Record Crowds, Vendor Sales

Published May 26, 2022

Cary Sherburne speaks with industry evangelist and WhatTheyThink contributor Pat McGrew about the Print4All show which took place in Milan. She talks about what both vendors and attendees were looking to achieve at the show, the technology sectors that were covered, and the overall enthusiasm of all attendees, especially being able to get back to in-person venues.

Sourcing Responsibility Network and YESS Work to Improve Sustainability, Human Rights

Published May 25, 2022

As the world becomes more conscious of human rights abuses and the impact of carbon emissions on climate, it can be difficult for brands to really understand how these issues are addressed across their entire supply chain. The Sourcing Responsibility Network is working to help brands better understand and address these issues, and the Yarn Ethically & Sustainably Sourced (YESS) initiative is doing so especially as it relates to cotton farming and harvesting. Patricia Jurewicz explains.

The FABRIC Act Would Support Better Working Conditions, More Reshoring, in Garment Industry

Published May 23, 2022

Several U.S. Senators are sponsoring the FABRIC Act to drive protections for garment workers in the U.S. and encourage more reshoring of the industry. This article explains why it is important, how it can benefit the industry and the environment, and encourages outreach to your own Senator to express your support. The legislation has already received the support of various stakeholders in the fashion industry, including designers, manufacturers, and industry bodies.

Sandy Alexander Sees a Bright Future for Print

Published May 19, 2022

Snow Peak Capital recently invested in long-time print industry leader Sandy Alexander, providing the company with additional resources for future growth. In this discussion, President & CEO Mike Graff talks about the ongoing value of print in the marketing mix, anticipation of future acquisitions, and notes that the company has many new offerings in the works.

Are We Paying Too Much Attention to Transitory Trends?

Published May 16, 2022

There is so much hype around fashion trends—the more different trends that can be hyped, the more fashion that gets sold, I suppose. But it’s not only bad for our individual pocketbooks, it’s devastating for the environment! In this article, we cite two other must-read articles that point out why we should not be following every transitory TikTok trend that comes our way.

Gietz-Vinfoil Americas to Introduce New Options for Embellishment at Amplify

Published May 16, 2022

The upcoming Amplify event in Minneapolis in June will be a great place to see all of the latest developments in finishing techniques. Embellishing print adds value and increases engagement, a good way to make direct mail, packaging and other applications more effective. In this discussion, Chris Leary talks about the offerings he will be showing at Amplify from Geitz and Vinfoil, two European companies that have heretofore had somewhat limited exposure in the Americas.

Are Your Marketing Practices Green? We Have Some Tips from Alliance Franchise Brands!

Published May 12, 2022

With the climate crisis top of mind and Earth Day having just been observed, there is increased attention being paid to sustainability. Burke Cueny, Vice President of Marketing at Alliance Franchise Brands, shares some of the ways the company helps marketing be more sustainable for its network and its customers across both signs and print, including use of QR codes and Purls, soft signage, and a blended marketing program.

The Value of Inkjet Printing in Direct Mail

Published May 10, 2022

As we exit the pandemic phase of COVID, direct mail has seen a resurgence, and production inkjet printing is an ideal mechanism for its production. Industry evangelist and WhatTheyThink contributor Pat McGrew talks about the direct mail market in general and the advantages of producing direct mail with HP PageWide production inkjet printers in this video, sponsored by HP.

Are You Looking at the Full Scope of Sustainability?

Published May 9, 2022

Sustainability seems to be the latest buzzword to grab hold of the business community, and I hate to even call it that due to its importance to the future of our world. But when companies talk about sustainability, are they truly looking at the whole picture, or just a part? And can they even affect the whole picture? Organizations such as the Responsible Sourcing Network and others are dedicated to giving brands and retailers broader insight into just exactly how sustainable they are.

Digital Printing of Home Decor Items Spurs Growth for Catalyst Fabric Solutions

Published May 9, 2022

Founded in 2016, Catalyst Fabric Solutions produces a wide range of home decor items in a quick-turn B2B model using heat transfer dye sublimation with a variety of printer brands. Operations Manager Jim King explains the company's business model and outlook for the future.

Annual Print Shop Franchise Review 2022

Published May 5, 2022

Print franchise networks struggled, like many businesses, in 2020. But most of them have bounced back almost to 2019 levels and are seeing good growth going into 2022. Senior editor Cary Sherburne provides our annual print franchise review.

Why Amplify? An Exciting New Show Taking Place in Minneapolis in June!

Published May 2, 2022

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Jeff Peterson, Executive Director, Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA), one of the organizers of AmplifyPrint.com; Kevin Abergel, President, Taktiful, an exhibitor; and Haley Quick-Hutchison, Vice President Infinity Foils, Inc., also an exhibitor, about what to expect at Amplify, taking place in Minneapolis in June, and the importance of beginning with the end in mind—consider finishing at the beginning of the job. They also explain some of the advantages of embellished pieces in direct mail, packaging, display graphics, and more.

Change Is Coming to the Textile Industry: How to Educate the Next Generation in Apparel

Published April 26, 2022

Many in the textiles and apparel industry struggle to find enough workers, as there is a lack of skilled workers in North America due to the outsourcing to Asia and other parts of the world that began in the 1970s. As brands have become interested in reshoring at least some of the production, how do they find those workers? Cary Sherburne talks to a few of the organizations that are working to grow the textiles and apparel presence in North America.

Graphene in Packaging

Published April 25, 2022

We’ve been writing a great deal lately about graphene, often referred to as a miracle material, but so far the focus has been on just about everything except packaging. Is there an application? Tetra Pak thinks so!

Fourth Generation Leadership at FurbushRoberts

Published April 21, 2022

Cary Sherburne talks to Caitlin Sullivan, President, FurbushRoberts. FurbushRoberts was founded by Caitlin's great-grandfather. She's been working in the business full-time since 1999 and part-time before that while she was in school at RIT. As the first female leader of the company, she took over running the company a few years ago and shares some of her experiences and thoughts about where she wants to take the company. She encourages others to consider a career in the graphic arts industry, taking advantage of association memberships, networking with colleagues and mentorships to smooth the way.

Freedom Leverages the Power of Digital for More Effective, Profitable Direct Marketing

Published April 18, 2022

In this feature, sponsored by HP, we explore how HP PageWide production inkjet printing systems have benefited leading direct marketing firm Freedom, based in Milton, Wisconsin. The company was an early adopter of production inkjet printing and now has three HP PageWide production inkjet presses installed.

Is Graphene a Key to Reaching Net Carbon Zero? This Panel Thinks So

Published April 18, 2022

I recently watched a very interesting panel discussion about graphene, its many uses, some of the challenges and barriers to market adoption, and the great work that a number of companies are doing to accelerate market adoption across a variety of industries. Why is this important? Graphene Council Executive Director Terrance Barkan sums it up: “The whole world is looking at how do we get to net carbon zero, and it is clear that legacy materials will not get us there. We need much better performance out of all of our materials, and graphene is so versatile across so many different application areas that it really is an important element of getting us to that net zero goal.”

Xeikon Update: New Developments in Labels and Packaging

Published April 5, 2022

Xeikon recently held a press briefing where it announced it will be holding a special Xeikon Café around developments in labels in light of the cancellation of Labelexpo Europe. Senior editor Cary Sherburne some highlights from that briefing.

Fossil Fashion: A License to Greenwash?

Published April 4, 2022

In this space, we have written about the damage Fast Fashion—the creation of inexpensive garments that are often worn once or twice and then tossed—does to the environment. Now let’s take it a step further and expand the concept to Fossil Fashion—clothing made with petroleum-based feedstocks, estimated at more than 60% of today’s production—and how the fashion industry is hiding behind so-called sustainability initiatives that are actually not sustainable at all.

Kyocera Ramps Up Production Inkjet Print Business

Published March 29, 2022

Industry veteran Michael Poulin is now the Director of Product Marketing & Business Development for Kyocera, building a robust team to enhance Kyocera's go-to-market strategies for sheetfed production inkjet. The company has already installed more than 200 TASKalfa Pro 15000c worldwide. Poulin provides more information in this exclusive WhatTheyThink interview. The TASKalfa Pro 15000c swatch book can be ordered here from April 2022 and beyond.

PGSF Gears Up for More Expansive Role: An Exclusive Update

Published March 28, 2022

There are certain people who give selflessly back to the printing industry, and are often involved in a wide variety of activities to support us all, a lot of it on a volunteer basis. Sometimes we wonder how they do it. No question, Jules Van Sant is one of those people! We caught up with her between meetings and flights to learn more about one of her activities, the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation.

Graphene One Brings New Functionality to Textiles with Kyorene

Published March 24, 2022

Graphene was discovered at the University of Manchester in the UK in 2004 and garnered a Nobel Prize. It is being used in a wide range of industries to deliver unique characteristics but has been relatively slow to enter textiles & apparel. Graphene One covalently bonds the graphene into the Kyorene fiber family, ranging from viscose to nylon to polyester and more. Director of Sales and Business Development Dave Vanek explains.

The Current State of Plastics Recycling

Published March 21, 2022

Plastic waste is a significant environmental problem for the world. But the good news is that new technologies, from design through end of life, are making it easier to recycle plastics and have them be a good citizen in the circular economy. The ultimate goal is to eliminate plastic waste. In this interview, we speak with Kara Pochiro, the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) about the ins and outs of plastic recycling.

Company Folders: Managing a Team in Ukraine Through Crisis

Published March 18, 2022

Vladimir Gendelman, Founder and CEO of Michigan-based Company Folders, provides an overview of his company and how it was founded, as well as sharing how he is helping his seven employees in Ukraine manage through this difficult time. In addition to ensuring they know their safety and well being come first and that their jobs and income are protected, Gendelman how he is involved with efforts to get needed supplies and materials into the country through https://www.realhelpforukraine.org/.

Is Sustainability Within Reach for Textiles and Apparel?

Published March 16, 2022

There is hope for improved sustainability in textiles and apparel, but it is not without its challenges. Cary Sherburne explains how a major need is to get a handle on how to make the supply chain more sustainable—but the efforts to establish take-back programs and find ways to recycle, resell and upcycle garments are not trivial either and present options for all of us to participate in this important effort.

Throwing Shades: What You Need to Know About Textiles and Color Management

Published March 15, 2022

Cary Sherburne talks to Mike Scrutton, director of print technology and strategy at Adobe, and Ray Cheydleur, printing and imaging portfolio manager for X-Rite/Pantone, about the similarities and differences between color management for commercial print and for textiles, and some best practices for textile-based color management.

Is There a Robot in Your Future?

Published March 14, 2022

Robots and cobots are increasingly being used in a variety of manufacturing and warehousing operations, but they have not yet made their way at scale into apparel manufacturing. Do you have one in your home or business? I do. Three actually. Here we talk about how robots and cobots are being used today, and give an example of an apparel factory that is leveraging robots for increased accuracy and efficiency.

Ukraine’s Printing Industry Stands Strong

Published March 10, 2022

As the unprovoked war in Ukraine continues to unfold and the world watches in horror, we have been in touch with the leader of a print media company in Boryspil, a city not far to the East of Kyiv. In this heartbreaking article, Igor Agarkov, publisher of Print+ magazine, Polygraphy of Ukraine directory (Ukraine), and administrator of the Social network of printers, shares his experience, views, and request to the world, and those of some of his colleagues based on questions we provided to him after he reached out to WhatTheyThink.

Xeikon's CEO Bullish About the Future

Published March 7, 2022

In this sponsored video, Xeikon CEO Benoit Chatelard shares an update on Xeikon's 2021 performance and a bullish 2022 outlook. He also provides an update on company's strategic objectives, sustainability position, and its corrugated business. North America Director of Marketing Donna Covannon chimes in with some very interesting and innovative customer applications. Chatelard also teased some exciting announcements for the upcoming Labelexpo Europe event.

9FIBER Brings Sustainability to Hemp Processing

Published March 7, 2022

There has been a great deal of interest in hemp as a renewable source of fiber. But conventional processing uses toxic chemicals and results in a lot of waste. What if hemp could be sustainably processed, using the entire plant and reducing waste materials post-processing—AND could help save trees. Sound too good to be true? 9FIBER doesn't think so!

HP Indigo Brings New Products, New Energy to DSCOOP 2022: A Conversation with Haim Levit

Published March 7, 2022

DSCOOP is back to in-person and the Indigo team is excited to be there. In this sponsored interview, created from written answers provided by Haim Levit, he reviews Indigo’s 2021 performance, advances in automation, new products being launched at DSCOOP, and a DSCOOP update.

SPESA and Messe Frankfurt Gearing Up for TexProcess Americas in Atlanta

Published March 3, 2022

SPESA and Messe Frankfurt are excited to be getting back to an in-person show. This year's event, scheduled for May 17-19, 2022, in Atlanta, Ga., will feature the latest technology for the sewn products industry. In this interview, Michael McDonald, SPESA's president, and Nina McCormick, SPESA’s past Chairwoman and CFO at DAP America, Inc. and the show's largest exhibitor, give us a preview of what to expect.

EFI Reggiani TERRA Gold Digital Textile Printing Technology for Prestigious Shroud of Turin Replica Project

Published March 1, 2022

When The International Center of Sindonology in Turin, Italy, was seeking a way to create realistic replicas of the Shroud of Turin for distribution to selected churches and museums around the globe, EFI's sustainable pigment-based digital textile printing technology was selected. In this interview, Adele Genoni, Senior Vice President and General Manager, EFI Reggiani, shares the story. WhatTheyThink filmed exclusive video at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, so our members can experience this amazing replica.

HeiQ AeoniQ Aims for a More Sustainable Textile Industry

Published March 1, 2022

Last October, HeiQ, a company known for its many fabric treatment solutions, announced its first foray into fiber development with a 100% cellulosic filament yarn called AeoniQ. The goal is to be in full production by 2025 and enable the textiles industry to begin to move away from petroleum-based fibers such as polyester. Carmen Danner, Director Business Development, and Enrique Herrero Acero, Chief Technology Officer, provide details.

Put on Your Smart Glasses

Published February 23, 2022

Remote monitoring of all types of equipment used in printing operations has been around for some time. However, its value became even more evident during the pandemic, when it was not possible—or at least difficult—to send technicians on site when a customer had a problem. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne looks at the current state of “smart glasses” and other remote monitoring options.

ISAIC Continues to Drive Skills, Innovation for the Sewn Products Industry

Published February 22, 2022

In this interview, Jennifer Guarino shares an update on the activities at ISAIC in Detroit, where they focus on innovation and talent development for the sewn products industry. Their unique approach to workforce management has helped attract many young people to the industry, with an average age of 31!

Are We Really Doing the Right Things to Address Supply Chain Issues?

Published February 21, 2022

There’s a lot of talk about a broken supply chain for the textiles and apparel industry. But what’s actually being done to fix it? And what happens if we don’t? Last fall, the Sourcing Journal hosted a Sourcing Summit that addressed these issues. Some excerpts are included in this article, along with a link to the full report, well worth reviewing if you have any supply chain concerns at all!

Mimaki Continues to Innovate in Digital Textile Printing

Published February 21, 2022

In this interview, we catch up with Victoria Harris, Senior Textile Segment Specialist, Mimaki USA, who updates us on the latest developments from Mimaki for textile printing, from a new entry-level dye-sub printer to its unique dual-ink model, and more. She also talks about changing demands in North America as brands look to mitigate the supply chain issues driven largely by the pandemic.

Business Transformation at Core Publishing Solutions

Published February 17, 2022

Todd Roth, Vice President of Operations, Core Publishing Solutions, a Thomson-Reuters Company, talks with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne about the transformation their plant has undergone since Sherburne's visit in 2016, driven by increasing demand for digital content in the legacy legal publications business. Today, about 70% of Core Publishing Solutions' output is commercial and educational publishing, a significant transition from its legacy business, which the company still continues to support.

BMC.fashion Brings Ultra-Automation to Apparel Manufacturing

Published February 16, 2022

In this interview, Kirby Best talks with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne about his latest venture, BMC.fashion. This vertically integrated and highly automated factory will include two Kornit digital textile printers, Gerber cutting, and 120 sewing stations. Kirby explains how he has applied all that he has learned over the years about on demand manufacturing to create a unique, highly automated and very innovative factory, including a unique process for training sewing talent that should make it easy to attract and retain this valued asset.

King Pro: Custom Screen Printing with a Personal Touch

Published February 16, 2022

Dani Diarbakerly has leveraged her experience with screen printing into her own business. She offers a wide range of screen-printed apparel products including direct to garment, screen printing on blanks, and a cut-and sew operation, as well as embroidery. She believes the best approach to the business includes a personal touch to make sure that customers receive exactly what they are expecting, including design assistance where needed.

Are We Approaching Industry 5.0 Already?

Published February 14, 2022

 With many of us barely beginning to understand what is meant by Industry 4.0, we’re now moving on to Industry 5.0! Acceleration is certainly a factor in today’s business and industrial environment. In this article, we define both Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0, and provide examples of how the textiles and apparel industry in North America can accelerate along with the market trends.

PIM Launches Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Accreditation Program

Published February 10, 2022

In the wake of the George Floyd tragedy, the Printing Industry Midwest (PIM) team decided to explore putting together a program to drive increased diversity, equity and inclusion in the printing industry. Today, the program is in pilot mode with a soft launch expected in the April timeframe. In this discussion, Kristin Davis of PIM explains the program, and Debby Boyd of JohnRoberts and Mariel Bolger of Bolger, two companies enrolled in the pilot program, talk about why the program is important to their companies and the industry.

Put on your Smart Glasses: Remote Equipment Monitoring Is Here to Stay (Audio)

Published February 4, 2022

Remote monitoring of all types of equipment used in printing operations has been around for some time. However, its value became even more evident during the pandemic, when it was not possible – or at least difficult – to send technicians on site when a customer had a problem.

Cotton: The Myths vs. Reality

Published January 31, 2022

In today’s world, we are inundated with misinformation and disinformation, and it is a constant daily battle to separate the wheat from the chaff, the truth from fake news. This is not limited to politics and healthcare. It’s also a factor in how the fashion industry—in cotton in particular—is portrayed. This article is a summary of a recent report by Transformers Foundation highlighting common myths about cotton. We recommend reading the full report and/or listening to a recent Supima webinar for the entire story.