Our visit to the New York City Texworld Trade Show
Tuesday, January 22, 2019, three of my adult students and I attended the Texworld Trade Show in New York City. Faith and Marlon are shown in the picture on the left. All three of us had just arrived. We are about to connect with Faith’s daughter.
We went primarily to attend the Texworld Trade seminars in order to learn more about what is happening in the fashion industry.
The first seminar we attended was titled:
Trade Wars, Tariffs and Strategic Sourcing: What You Need to Know to Understand the Risks and Minimize your Exposure
Marlon poses with Gail after Gail’s presentation in pic 3, below. We learned after Ms. Strickler’s presentation that she, like myself, had previously taught at Jefferson University, then titled Philadelphia University.
Here are some of the points Ms. Strickler made:
- We have given up being the leader in trade, especially in textiles and fashion. We may not be able to recover our leadership role.
- Trump’s constant tweeting of changes in trade policies has everyone on edge.
- It is difficult for industry to plan.
- These new policies have caused disruption in our global trade relationships, reducing our standing as a leader in the world economy.
- There has been no action yet that effects apparel, but there is an environment of fear, causing prices in general to rise.
- Immediate consumer goods – such as clothing which is bought fairly often – is less likely to see an increase on tariffs, unlike goods such as washing machines, cars, and other large items which are bought less frequently.
- This policy prevents the consumer from realizing just how much the cost of living is increasing due to these new tariffs.
Visiting the booths
I stopped to talk with several vendors and, as a result, met Fyon, who, it turned out, had purchased my pant books from the FIT bookstore when she was a student at FIT ( Pic 5).
Discussing the Changes in Supply Chain was the topic of the second seminar we attended
Edward (Eddie) Hertzman, Founder and CEO of the Sourcing Journal spoke about trade and sustainability.
Here are some of the points Mr. Hertzman made about sustainability:
- Consumers say they are willing to pay more for sustainability, but at the cash register they don’t pay more. There is a bigger shift toward sustainability in Europe.
- He mentioned Greenwash – the attempt by some companies to make people believe that they are doing more to protect the environment than they really are.
- For a product to be truly sustainable, the pipe line has to be traced the whole way. Tracing sustainability can be almost impossible.
- Checking a company’s product to make sure it is sustainable poses problems: A company may send one sample, but if only one sample is sent, one can’t be sure the other samples are truly sustainable.
- Sustainability is too expensive for most industries.
- For existing companies, changing over to sustainability is extremely expensive and can be almost impossible, as a completely different supply train has to be put in place. The changes must then be explained to the customer.
Points Mr. Hertzman made about trade:
- There is lots of opportunity out there.
- Craftsmanship and sustainability are very important.
- Successful manufacturers do development of collections. One collection a year is dead. There needs to be a reason for customers to come back.
- Companies need to be focused, authentic, the best ever, must stand for something, and must concentrate on a target market. The more variables, the more problems.
- Manufacturing outerwear is very limited in the USA. It works better off shore.
- Small brick and mortar locations are now for the high-brow clientele who wish personal attention.
- Sourcing of materials – nothing surpasses traveling – one needs to go to the factories.
- There is a shift to the off-price retailers who provide an inconsistent assortment of second-hand, off-season brand name and fashion-oriented high-quality goods: irregulars, seconds, closeouts, canceled orders, overruns, and returned goods, sold at cheap prices.
Time to go home…
It was now five o’clock and time to begin the three-hour trip back to Philadelphia. Amtrack would have been much faster, but the New Jersey Transit and Philadelphia Septa trains are affordable. We chose economy over speed.
The Texworld Trade Show is presented every winter and summer. Attendance is free, but one has to represent a fashion business. I have a publishing business. My students registered under my company’s name.
© Laurel Hoffmann, 2019.