2023 AAPN Dallas Regional Conference

September 20 & 21 | An Education & Networking Event

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On September 21st, the AAPN hosted the Dallas Regional at the Haggar Offices. There were about 65 people in attendance including sustainability experts, brands/retailers, fabric & fiber manufacturers, trim suppliers, technology gurus, education and supply chain consulting firms. The meeting focused on all aspects of sustainability, such as traceability, circulatory, inventory strategies & each speaker offered innovative approaches to move the needle. As always, our members left the meeting with easily implementable solutions and calls to action. This may have been AAPN’s best regional meeting to-date!

The day was opened by host, Tony Anzovino, Chief Merchandising and Sourcing Officer at Haggar and AAPN President with a moment of silence for our dear friend and colleague, Bill Broadway (Copen United). Bill was an amazing supporter of the AAPN for many years, with a larger than life personality and a great friend to all of us, he will be missed by all.

What followed was a fascinating pair of presenters – industry veteran Brokie Lineweaver (Unifi) was interviewed by Maddie Anzovino (Backcountry) to give the outlook on sustainable fibers. Though there was a large generation gap between them, they spoke the same language when it came to sustainability and the future of textiles and apparel, showing the audience that sustainability concepts are all relative.

Stanton Thomas of o9 gave an overview of their “Digital Brain” platform. This is next-generation planning & decision-making software supporting all key planning processes on one single data model, at any level of granularity connecting to real-time market and enterprise knowledge helping to achieve true integration within and between functions. This is a tool that will move sustainability commitments within an organization from being an exercise in forensic accounting to being an integrated part of the planning process – ie like setting financial targets. Stanton spoke of the need for industry wide collaboration to build co-investment and co-innovation to drive sustainability throughout…sound familiar? This was a carryover theme from Bill McRaith’s presentation at the AAPN Annual Conference in July in Miami. Together, these guys are game changers!

Next up was Pam Peale (DeSL) moderating Tony Anzovino, Keith Dartley (Swisstex) and Ron Roach’s (Contempora) discussion on inventory challenges. The last two years have been a roller coaster for fashion brands. The supply chain disruptions of 2021 led to many companies struggling to get their hands on enough inventory, and then overbuying to compensate and speeding up leadtimes & logistics to ensure product was on shelves. At the end of 2022, some of the largest brands and retailers in the world found themselves holding a historic amount of excess inventory. We are seeing cancelled orders, price drops in Asia to compensate open capacity and corporate layoffs. The outlook for 2023 has remained dim and it will be 2024 before the apparel sector sees any relief. This was one of the most engaging conversations between panel, moderator and audience that we have seen at an AAPN event!

Kevin Myette (bluesign ag) sat down for a Fireside Chat with Lynsey Jones (AAPN). A complete subject matter expert, Kevin engaged the audience on a wide range of topics from RSLs & MRSL’s, to PFAS to traceability your supplier tiers. He ended with the simplest of messages: “Get to know your supply chain better than you ever thought you could. And when you think you’ve arrived, double down and get to know/manage it even better. Its not a supply chain, it’s a network”. We here at AAPN completely AGREE.

Moving into a discussion focused on circularity, Jon Day from Avery Dennison covered current textiles and apparel wastage stats & new legislation and how some brands were using this information to successfully build circularity into their ESG goals. Chuck Rogers from BV focused on achieving supply chain transparency in a positive light, showing the audience that, yes, it can be achieved.  He reviewed simple yet successful strategies that focused on identification, evaluation and mitigation tactics that were easily implemented. Both speakers gave our members tactical steps to apply to their own organizations.

And our final speaker of the day, Rebecca Dunn of Maersk, spoke about sustainable logistics. Our industry focuses so much on the textile and apparel waste, that this was a good reminder of all the good work that is being done to drive sustainability within the logistics world…pun intended. Cargo carrying transport represents about 11%of global emissions annually. Rebecca gave an overview of the legislative actions, internal work and innovations that are helping Maersk, and their customers, drive to net zero by 2040.

Las Thursday’s meeting was a full day of education & networking, while showcasing current and future industry leaders & leaving the audience with easily implementable strategies…just the way we like it at AAPN.

Agenda and Presentation links can be found below:

AGENDA (with links to presentations where applicable)