In this wide-ranging interview, EFI's Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Ken Hanulec, talks about RR Donnelley's acquisition of its first Nozomi, the growth in worldwide Nozomi installations, a description of the four models—two for corrugated and two for display graphics—and a look ahead at what EFI has planned for PRINTING United.
In recent months, we have seen a number of printer manufacturers jump into the digital direct-to-film (DTF) market, some with equipment dedicated to that application, and others hybrid DTF/DTG (direct-to-garment) solutions. Senior editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at the current lay of the land.
The fashion industry has been under fire for some time over its excessive carbon footprint and the pollution it generates. Now a new metric is being thrown into the mix: Traceability. In this article, we define traceability and cite several reports that paint a not-very-flattering picture of progress the industry is making.
Kirby Best is a veteran of on-demand, including his days running an on-demand book printing business, and now with a successful cut-and-sew factory in Arizona. Best shares the latest updates, including an exciting project in the bridal industry.
The volume of returns of unwanted purchased goods has skyrocketed, especially for ecommerce retailers. In fact, the value of returns in 2021 was greater than the U.S. government spend on national defense! There are programs in place to help mitigate this wasteful practice, including aggressive actions by Amazon and others to help with landfill diversion.
Angie Cohen founded Design Lab Miami nearly 15 years ago, starting with a studio whose goal was to educate children about sewing, life skills, sustainability, and more. Today, she not only runs the studio, with students as young as 7, but she also travels the globe, primarily visiting refugee camps and developing countries to share those skills with young women, giving them the tools to make their way to a better life. In this interview, Angie shares the Design Lab story and some of her plans for the future.
As Earth continues to heat up, brands, retailers and consumers alike are looking for innovate cooling technologies for textiles and apparel, and there are a number of them already on the market. As we note in this article, however, this is very much a “buyer beware” market, as not all cooling fabrics appear to operate as promised. Read on to learn more.
The Ferris State University Graphics Program just received a huge donation that has allowed them to set up substantial endowments for both scholarships and student recruitment. In this interview, Patrick Klarecki, Professor and Program Champion, talks about the history of the program, its current state, how they came to benefit from this donation, and what it means for the future of the program.
Mosquitos are the biggest killer on the planet, killing more than 725,000 people per year. That’s more than humans, snakes, dogs, and other creatures. But help is on the way. Researchers at North Carolina State University have done groundbreaking research on insect-proof textiles. Learn more!
SPESA, the Sewn Products Equipment and Suppliers of the Americas, is an industry association that represents suppliers to the industry, and plays a key role in the ability to streamline supply chains, bring textiles work back to the Americas, find more ways to automate the sewing process, and attract new talent. Cary Sherburne talks with SPEA president Michael McDonald.
Michael McDonald, President of SPESA, chats with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne about the challenges and opportunities facing the sewn products industry, the importance of changing mindsets for brands and consumers and the progress the industry needs to make in automation.
Cary Sherburne takes WhatTheyThink’s annual look at the state of the print franchises. 2022 was truly a recovery year after a very difficult business environment during the pandemic. Nowhere was this more evident than in the franchise networks serving the printing industry.
In this interview, Minuteman President Nick Titus provides an overview of the network's performance in 2022, including achievement of the largest systemwide gross sales the network has ever seen at more than $536 million, 125+ centers with revenues over $1 million, and 24 net new centers over the past two years. The company is also focused on employee acquisition and retention, including cross-training and ensuring a career path for center employees and owners.
Rich Lowe, Chief Operating Officer at Franchise Services, is very bullish on the future of their business and offers great insight on the future of franchises in the industry as well as some of the things the company is doing to grow its talent base. This informative interview has something for everyone.
Alliance Franchise Brands delivered 18% year-over-year revenue growth in print and 10% in signs in 2022, exceeding 2019 levels. Its new COO Ray Palmer notes that the sign business had already reached that level in 2021. The company also has effective recruitment programs in place, both for employees and new franchisees, with leadership training programs in place both to establish career paths for high-talent employees and to ensure new franchisees get off to a good start. Palmer explains these strategies in this interview with Sr. Editor Cary Sherburne.
Not only did AlphaGraphics have a record year in 2022 revenue-wise, but the company also say 23% year-over-year growth, added 12 new centers and 17 new owners, and had an average store performance of $1.3 million. In this interview, CEO Ryan Farris also describes some of the programs in place to help alleviate the recruiting issues in a tight labor market.
While Fortusis ended up with two less centers in 2022, revenues overall were up by 11%. The company is investing in infrastructure, with all of its centers now using a new ecommerce enabled website and making good progress on developing content for its learning management system. Also high on the agenda is recruiting new owners who are interested in opening new centers.
A recent Axios newsletter was headlined “No safe port in a climate storm.” In this article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne looks at some of the recent extreme events attributed to climate change, as well as greenwashing, greenwishing, and greenhushing, more buzzwords for your vocabulary. She highlights some of the projects that are underway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the way to getting to Carbon ZERO…a state we are not likely to reach for some time, but progress, however slow, is being made.
SaviCustoms has been in business for 20 years, with work previously produced in India. As General Manager Jeremy DeBoer explains, the work was re-shored to San Diego a few years ago. He also started SubMFG as demand grew for on-demand work, and now on-demand comprises almost 50% of the company's work. His story is inspiring, from the perspective of re-shoring, automation, on-demand, and of course, the challenge of hiring talent.
Since the early days of digital color printing, color management has been a struggle for many. And some struggle even in the analog world. Although the presses have improved, including significant color management automation, it can still be difficult to get everything right, especially when it is necessary to exactly match color across multiple press types—analog and digital—as well as to ensure good color representation in digital files often used during the proofing cycle. We spoke with Meredith Nichols, a certified color management and workflow automation consultant, and a member of the Color Management Group, about how she works with clients and why certifications are important.
Kevin Cushing has a rich heritage in the franchise business, both as a franchisee and a franchisor executive in both the restaurant and printing businesses. During his tenure at Alliance Franchise Brands, he engaged the organization with Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), a unique franchise organization, and now, with Breakthroughs LLC, he is bringing his operational expertise to clients in a variety of industries, including print, as an EOS franchisee. In this interview, Kevin explains EOS, how it works and why it is important to the printing and other industries who are looking to be successful in a dynamic future.
ITMA, the International Textile Machinery Association, opened the doors for its quadrennial show in Milan, running from June 8 to 14. Owned by CEMATEX and organized by ITMA, this edition is focused on “Transforming the World of Textiles.” For those of you in the printing industry who may not be familiar with ITMA, it’s the drupa of the textiles industry. In this article, we present some of the show highlights as of this writing. Stay tuned for more!
Solutum is a Cleantech company on a mission to reduce plastic pollution by providing sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic. The company has created a revolutionary compound that can be engineered to create a range of flexible packaging with versatile end-of-life options. Cary Sherburne talks to Sharon Barak, the company’s Founder and CTO, to learn more about this innovative approach to solving the plastics problem.
Kyocera printheads are popular components in many digital textile printing systems. Now, Kyocera has applied that knowledge and expertise to its first digital textile printer, FOREARTH, making its first public appearance at ITMA in Milan. In this interview, Sho Taniguchi, Kyocera’s Deputy General Manager, IDP Business DevelopmentDivision, explains the strategy behind development of this system and why they believe it is beneficial to the textiles market.
Kyocera printheads are a popular component of many digital textile printing systems. Now, the company has introduced its own digital textile printer. FOREARTH, which will be on display at ITMA, is the company's first digital textile printing system, a direct-to-fabric printer with inline application of pre- and post-treatments that enable printing on virtually any fabric. Minimal water usage and reduced fabric waste are part of Kyocera's approach to improving sustainability for the textiles industry.
Levi’s turns 170 this year, but it’s not letting its age get in the way of its innovation. The company reports that it has allocated 25,000 hours to a team of in-house robots over the past year. These robots, though, are not replacing employees. Rather, they are making work more efficient and enjoyable by freeing employees from performing a number of often repetitive and tedious tasks, and making more time for them to focus on more strategic activities. And Levi’s isn’t alone in harnessing the power of robots to make work more efficient. Here’s a quick pre-ITMA view of robotics in textiles, with more to certainly come from the world’s largest textile industry trade show, this week in Milan.
As commercial printers, in-plants, and sign and display graphics printers look for ways to expand their businesses and offer new products and services to their customers, expansion into the textiles industry looks like an interesting opportunity. Cary Sherburne explains how.
Did you know that one of the world’s most expansive museums of printing is located in Haverhill, Mass.? If you don’t know about this industry gem, we hope this brief overview will spark your interest in visiting the museum, and even more importantly, donating to ensure its longevity! I was fascinated during my recent visit, and truly, we only scratched the surface of what the museum has to offer.
Cary Sherburne recently visited the Museum of Printing in Haverhill, Mass., and sat down for an interview with Frank Romano about the museum's origin, its extensive collection, and popular museum events.
As part of the media, Adam Dewitz, Richard Romano, and I were pleased to be invited to a recent EFI Ignite customer event. It gave us an opportunity to visit the (relatively) new EFI facility in Londonderry, which includes an expansive Customer Experience Center, manufacturing, and administrative/support services, and see the latest display graphics offerings from the company.
Many of our members will remember Frank Mallozzi for his more than 25 years of senior leadership roles at EFI. As he moves onto the next chapter in his professional life, he has taken on an important role as President and CEO of the Center Reach Group, which is a consultancy focused on helping companies design and develop go-to-market growth strategies, execute on strategic plans and optimize marketing efficiencies while increasing sales productivity. We recently spoke with Frank to get more insight into his current role, and also to discuss some of the barriers he is seeing to a more accelerated adoption of direct-to-garment printing in the North American market.
imagePRESS V-Series represents next-generation innovation based on ground-up development efforts, and PRISMA solution developments include strategically migrating components to the cloud. Cary Sherburne talks to Katsuhiro “Jerry” Matsufuji, Canon U.S.A., Inc. vice president and general manager, marketing BICG.
In this discussion, Nick Benkovich of eProductivity Software (ePS) and Keith McMurtrie of Tharstern discuss the advantages to both companies and their customers. The plan is to maintain Tharstern as a brand and to be able to augment its capabilities with the many tools offered by ePS. Hope you enjoy this fascinating discussion!
Graphene was discovered in 2004, has been described as a miracle material, and its discoverers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 as a completely new material. We’ve written about graphene before, and usually there’s a graphene item in our weekly Friday Around the Web feature. But for more depth, this article reviews a recent study on products claiming graphene content and also encourages materials suppliers and manufacturers to do their due diligence and to seek certification that their materials and/or products actually include graphene. Spoiler alert: 80% of the products tested had no graphene content!
Loftware was founded 35 years ago in the founder's Maine loft, thus the name. Over the years, it has evolved into a cloud-based service for brands and label producers, managing all associated data, ensuring compliance with brand and regulatory guidelines, and producing print-ready artwork for its customers. SVP Marketing and Product Management Josh Roffman shares the story.
Earlier this month, in Debbie McKeegan's post, she noted that growth in digitally printed textiles is expected at 14.4% CAGR through 2030. Yet it will still represent only about 5% of global production of printed textiles. In this discussion with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne, she explains how younger designers and consumers have the ability to accelerate this growth even more and why it is important for the industry and the planet.
The fashion industry is in need of radical transformation in order to reduce its deleterious effect on the environment, including excessive wastewater, carbon emissions, impact on landfills, and more. In this article, we review a recent study produced by Aptean, which approaches the problem from the perspective of the value of an effective, purpose-built ERP, but we also note that the industry must go beyond that with a holistic view of the entire life cycle of its products in order to have any hope at all of meeting aggressive 2030, and even 2050, sustainability goals.
You may remember Jay Farr who founded ePACE in 1985, a mid-range print MIS solution and the first browser-based MIS, that was ultimately acquired by EFI in 2008 (now eProductivity Software). Following his commitments to EFI pursuant to the terms of the acquisition, Jay continued to be a presence in the Print MIS business, and in 2016, became an investor and the VP of Business Development for DocketManager. We recently spoke with Jay to learn more about this unique MIS solution.
How much fungi do you expect to see in your future? There is a tremendous amount of research and development ongoing to develop various forms of fungi—including mushrooms and their “roots,” mycelium—into replacements for everything from meat to leather and more. Read on!
The earthquake in Turkey was a truly devastating event. The death toll is nearing 50,000, a toll that is expected to grow significant over the coming days and weeks, making it the worst disaster in the country’s modern history. The only good news is that, miraculously, rescue teams are still pulling survivors from the rubble, including three that were rescued 11 days after the event, which occurred on February 6. The Istanbul Fashion Connection was scheduled for February 8 to 11 in Istanbul. Hanna Abdulla, News Editor for Just Style, was in the country for the event. We share a few of her insights about how the industry is working to help during this crisis and some background on the textiles industry in Turkey.
As fashion week hits New York’s runways it's a good time to review the state of the industry and its progress...or not...toward a more sustainable future. Here we provide high level results from a research report produced by The Climate Board in partnership with Textile Exchange: “Friction Points in Fashion and Textiles: Removing Barriers and Accelerating Climate Action.”
Senior Editor Cary Sherburne reports on the results—such as they were—from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s most recent conference, COP27, held in November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Spoonflower, and its parent company, Shutterfly, originated as digital printing operations, and both have made significant technological advantages, Kerry King, Senior Director, Process Innovation for Textiles & Wallpaper, Spoonflower/Shutterfly, shares her thoughts on the changes and advances we have seen in 2022 in textiles and home decor, and what we might expect to see in 2023 and beyond.
As a hardware provider to the printing industry, Heidelberg also has a robust software offering. In this interview, John O'Donnell, Vice President of Product Management for Prinect and Print Analytics, Heidelberg, explains the company's software strategy moving forward, including migration to the cloud, increased modularity, and growing the number of third-party software integrations.
The textiles and apparel industry overall has seemingly made little progress toward stated sustainability goals, but there are bright spots that light the way to a more sustainable future for the industry. In researching this article, we spoke with three thought leaders in the industry who we hope will act as an inspiration to others, accelerating the industry transformation that must ultimately occur, including Adobe, Raspberry Creek Fabrics and Spoonflower.
eProductivity Software, the result of EFI spinning out its software business, is arguably one of the longest standing print software companies in the industry, with its roots dating back to 1989 when Marc Olin founded ProGraph. Now as an independent software vendor, eProductivity Software is looking at ways to make its solutions more open and modular, and to partner with others that may have been challenging to partner with in the past. In this interview, Nick Benkovich, Vice President of Portfolio Product Management, eProductivity Software, explains where the company is headed and the industry trends it is working to capitalize on.
In this interview, Aleyant founder and CEO Greg Salzman talks about trends in the world of print software and explains how Aleyant, founded as a cloud-based software company, is continuing to address those trends with a modular, cloud-based approach.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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, 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's go-to information source with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, WhatTheyThink Email Newsletters, and the WhatTheyThink magazine. Our mission is to inform, educate, and inspire the industry. We provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today's printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.