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OFF THE CUFF

OFF THE CUFF

OFF THE CUFF Member Newsletter for January 2018

Join USFIA at MAGIC in February!

We’ll be heading back to SOURCING at MAGIC in Las Vegas from February 11-14, presenting a not-to-be-missed session on Monday, February 12, How to Navigate the Impact of Washington on Sourcing. This session, which is free for everyone with a show badge, will feature USFIA Board Member Anna Walker, Senior Director of Global Policy & Advocacy at Levi Strauss & Co., and former Commerce Department official Joshua Teitelbaum of Akin Gump. Let us know if we will see you in Las Vegas! Click here for details.

AWI Podcast Highlights Supply Chain Traceability

Australian Wool Innovation’s (AWI) most recent podcast, The Yarn, highlights the 2017 delegation to the United States, where Peta Slack-Smith, AWI’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs & Market Access interviewed USFIA President Julia Hughes and other brands and industry stakeholders about supply chain traceability and sustainability. Click here to download the podcast in the iTunes store.

POLB Board Approves Rail Facility Project

This week, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, greenlighting a project within the Harbor District that will move cargo faster, with fewer environmental impacts. Click here to read more.

In the News

In January, we participated in just-style’s annual “What Lies Ahead for the Apparel Industry” series, in which USFIA President Julia Hughes provided her insights on challenges and opportunities, strategies for sourcing success, and more. Click here to read the series on the just-style website.

In Case You Missed It…

December 13USFIA and PwC hosted a webinar on China’s economic evolution and the impact on the future of sourcing.

January 17: USFIA and U.S. Customs & Border Protection hosted a webinar on how to enhance protection of your intellectual property rights.

January 18: USFIA and the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) hosted a webinar on strengthening minerals due diligence, featuring a Signet Jewelers case study on how responsible sourcing efforts are transforming jewelry industry from mine to retail.

January 25: USFIA and Integration Point hosted a webinar on how FTZs offer savings in your supply chain.

Calendar of Events

February 1 (San Francisco, CA): There are still seats available at USFIA Fashion Forward at Levi Strauss & Co.! Join us for our full-day West Coast event focusing on customs and social compliance.

February 2 (San Francisco, CA): The USFIA Social Compliance & Sustainability Committee will meet from 9am-noon at Levi Strauss & Co. All members are invited to participate. RSVP to Samantha at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

February 6 (Online): USFIA and Premier Partner PwC will host a webinar on tax reform.

February 7 (Online): USFIA and Akin Gump will host a webinar on NAFTA.

February 20-21 (Online): USFIA’s Sustainability Partner BSI will host their Annual Supply Chain Intelligence Review Webinar.

March 8 (Washington, D.C.): The USFIA Board of Directors will meet at Barnes & Thornburg LLP. RSVP to Samantha at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

June 26-28 (Brussels): The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) will host the Global Cotton Conference.

July 11-12 (Washington, D.C.): Save the Date! USFIA will host our annual Washington Trade Symposium and lobby day.

USFIA & SAC Sign MOU & Other Sustainability News

The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) has signed an MOU with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) to exchange membership and provide information about the group’s sustainability measurement suite of tools, the Higg Index, to our members to help them drive environmental and social responsibility throughout their supply chain. 

With this MOU, we join more than 200 global brands, retailers, and manufacturers, as well as government, non-profit environmental organizations, and academic institutions, including many current USFIA members, which are collectively committed to improving supply chain sustainability in the apparel, footwear, and textile industries.

SAC members contribute both data and resources to support the Higg Index, which measures sustainability performance and drives supply chain transparency and decision-making to improve efficiency and sustainability impact. The Higg Index is an open sourced, indicator-based suite of tools that enables suppliers, manufacturers, brands, and retailers to evaluate materials, products, facilities, and processes based on environmental performance, social labor practices, and product design choices. We’ll be working with SAC to provide information and updates about the tools through the USFIA Social Compliance & Sustainability Committee and activities like our webinars and conferences.

Companies or organizations that are not currently members of the SAC and are interested in accessing the Higg suite of tools, may inquire at apparelcoalition.org/join-us/.

Canopy: First Modern Straw Pulp Mill in North America Now Under Construction

For the past 15 years, environmental not-for-profit Canopy has been advocating to make commercial agricultural residue paper a reality. As of September 27th, Columbia Pulp, the first modern mill of its kind, which is slated to make pulp for paper and packaging out of wheat straw, is now officially under construction in Washington State.

By securing the support of large consumer corporations and creating focused demand, Canopy has helped position straw papers and packaging as a strong alternative to products made with virgin tree fiber. Through Canopy’s Second Harvest initiative, corporations such as Staples, EarthColor and over one hundred fashion brands have expressed clear interest in buying agricultural residue paper, packaging and/or textiles as they become available. Canopy’s market survey of 180 companies representing combined sales of more $100 billion USD has identified 1.4 million tons of unmet demand for a range of printing and writing grade papers alone, which is equivalent to the production capacity of 10 pulp mills the size of Columbia. When built, these mills could help revitalize rural areas of the wheat belt and bolster the green economy.

“Making paper out of agricultural residues such as straw waste is a smart way to alleviate pressure on forest ecosystems and provide sustainable business solutions,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s Founder and Executive Director. “We congratulate Columbia on this incredible first, and are excited to see the investment community mobilizing around this new green resource sector that services the growing paper and packaging market.”

For over a century, the paper industry in North America has logged forests to make paper – with widespread negative environmental impacts. Columbia Pulp will be using clean technology to produce pulp that will use significantly less water, energy and chemicals than traditional kraft-wood pulping processes. The result will be 140,000 tons per year of quality, price-competitive pulp for paper and packaging that will alleviate sourcing pressures on ancient and endangered forests. In addition, Columbia Pulp will use wheat straw residues purchased from local farmers to manufacture pulp for paper, providing a value-added stream to the region. After the grain harvest, once soil and animal needs have been met, the straw residues that remain are often burned in the fields.

“Making a competitive commodity product that is better for the environment and good for farmers is simply good business,” said John Begley, CEO of Columbia Pulp. “Columbia Pulp is proud to be on the vanguard of green innovation in the North American paper sector that I’ve worked in for over 40 years.”


For more information, visit www.columbiapulp.net.

Lenzing: Eco-Responsible Viscose Launches at Premiere Vision Paris

Society's environmental awareness has been growing steadily over the last decade, especially in the fashion and textile industry. Consumers today expect responsible retailers and brands to know their supply chains and to be able to trace product origins. To meet these increasing consumer demands, the industry is anxiously looking for more sustainable and transparent supply chain solutions. With Lenzing™ EcoVero™ fibers, Lenzing launches unique environmentally friendly and traceable viscose fibers. A special manufacturing system enables Lenzing to identify Lenzing™ EcoVero™ fibers in the final product, long after the textile processing and conversion steps have been completed. This ability to easily verify the original fibers means that retailers and brands can be sure that they are indeed incorporating Lenzing's eco-responsible viscose fibers, and not just any generic viscose that might not be in line with their sustainability goals. With this special identification technology for Lenzing™ EcoVero™ fibers, Lenzing provides an one-of-its-kind solution for the fashion industry and its supply chain to respond to consumer demands for reliable visibility of product origins that can be traced back to the fiber.

What makes Lenzing™ EcoVero™ fibers so eco-responsible? Lenzing enforces strict environmental standards during viscose production and has invested millions over the years to achieve eco-resposible production processes. Lenzing's viscose production sites where Lenzing™ EcoVero™ fibers are made comply with the stringent guidelines of the EU Ecolabel, a world-leading environmental manufacturing standard. Lenzing is also very transparent regarding raw material sourcing practices. Lenzing™ EcoVero™ fibers are made from wood. The wood comes from sustainable forestry plantations that are independently certified by industry-leading associations. Lenzing has a comprehensive wood sourcing policy that goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the most sustainable wood sources are used for viscose production. Lenzing™ EcoVeroTM fibers set a new industry standard in sustainable viscose based on the use of these sustainable wood sources (FSC® or PEFC® certified) and an ecological production process with significantly lower emissions and water impacts than conventional viscose.

Read more at http://www.lenzing-fibers.com/en/news/press-releases/detail/article/2017/09/20/the-fashion-industry-requires-more-transparency-the-answer-is-lenzingTM-ecoveroTM-the-new-sta/.

USFIA Member News for October 13, 2017

In Case You Missed It…

September 28: USFIA and Associate Akin Gump hosted a webinar update on the NAFTA negotiations.

October 5: USFIA and Customs Broker Partner GEODIS hosted a webinar with an update on Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits for travel goods.

October 11: USFIA hosted a webinar on sourcing from Egyptian QIZs.

Calendar of Events

October 18 (Online): USFIA will host a webinar update on forced labor enforcement featuring U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).

October 25 (Online): USFIA and Associate Member Akin Gump will host a webinar update on the NAFTA negotiations.

October 31 (Online): USFIA will host a webinar introduction to U.S. free trade agreements and preference programs, featuring an expert from the U.S. International Trade Commission.

November 2 (Online): USFIA and Associate Member GDLSK LLP will host a webinar on FTA/preference program verification audits.

November 11-12 (Cairo, Egypt): Destination Africa 2017 will take place, featuring an exhibition of Made in Africa textiles and apparel as well as a conference and networking events.

November 14, (New York City): USFIA and USFIA Premier Partner PwC will host a pre-conference customs event in the afternoon. Stay tuned for details!

November 15 (New York City): USFIA and the American Import Shippers Association (AISA) will host the annual Apparel Importers Trade & Transportation Conference. Visit www.importersapparelconference.com to register. Registration fees increase on November 1st.

November 16 (New York City): The USFIA Board of Directors will meet.

USFIA Partners Amber Road & GEODIS Collaborate on Compliance

USFIA partners are working together! This week, USFIA Customs Broker Partner GEODIS announced it will be using a solution by USFIA Innovation Partner Amber Road to ensure compliance with global sanctions and embargo lists. Using the Restricted Party Screening module in Amber Road’s Export On-Demand solution, GEODIS will be able to transform its screening processes, replacing numerous disparate and partial systems with a single system covering its worldwide operations. Click here for more.

USFIA Member News for September 22, 2017

USFIA Members Talk Social Compliance & Sustainability

Last week, we held the first open meeting of the USFIA Social Compliance & Sustainability Committee, where we discussed the key challenges in this space as well as plans for seminars, webinars, and other activities. And USFIA members have been featured in the media for their sustainability efforts lately. Anna Walker, USFIA Board Member and Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy at Levi Strauss & Co., was quoted in Rivet on the company’s goal to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020, and Fortune recognized Levi’s new commitment to expand their pioneering Worker Well-Being Initiative. In the meantime, Abercrombie & Fitch recently announced their partnership with the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) to ensure they are not sourcing from ancient or endangered forests. For more information on the committee or how you can get involved, contact us.

Dr. Lu on How the Global Apparel Sourcing Landscape is Changing

Dr. Sheng Lu of the University of Delaware and author of the USFIA Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study recently published analysis in just-style on how the global apparel sourcing landscape is changing. Providing his perspective on the business climate at SOURCING at MAGIC in August, he discusses the outlook for sourcing in Vietnam and the Western Hemisphere, as well as the rise of automation. Click here to read more.

Cast Your Vote for Nashville Fashion Alliance Honors

Have you cast your votes yet for NFA Honors? NFA Honors is an arts-immersive event honoring fashion industry advocates and entrepreneurs through a public and peer voted awards ceremony held in Nashville, TN. Support emerging brands by heading to the Nashville Fashion Alliance (NFA) website to vote for the public voted award, and become a member today to vote for the peer voted awards. Voting ends October 3, 2017. You do not have to be an NFA member to be nominated or to win. Learn more about NFA Honors and how to join the NFA in celebrating emerging talent by visiting www.nashvillefashionalliance.com/nfahonors.

In the News

In recent weeks, we were in the news talking about sourcing from Vietnam and China’s crackdown on polluting factories. For these stories and more, visit our website.

In Case You Missed It… 

August 30: USFIA and Associate Member Akin Gump hosted a webinar with an update on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.

September 7: USFIA hosted the semi-annual members-only State of the Industry Virtual Townhall featuring USFIA leadership, counsel, and partners. If you missed it, contact us for the recap!

September 15: The USFIA Social Compliance & Sustainability Committee met. For more details, contact Samantha at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Calendar of Events

September 28 (Online): USFIA and Associate Member Akin Gump will host a webinar with an update on the NAFTA negotiations.

October 5 (Online): USFIA and USFIA Customs Broker Partner GEODIS will host a webinar on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits for travel goods. 

October 5 (New York City): USFIA Associate Member KPMG LLP will host a Trade and Customs Update Seminar covering hot topics in international trade.

October 11 (Online): USFIA and International Affiliate Ready-Made Garments Export Council of Egypt will host a webinar on strategic sourcing using the Egyptian Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ).

November 11-12 (Cairo, Egypt): Destination Africa 2017 will take place, featuring an exhibition of Made in Africa textiles and apparel as well as a conference and networking events.

November 14, (New York City): USFIA and USFIA Premier Partner PwC will host a pre-conference customs event in the afternoon. Stay tuned for details!

November 15 (New York City): USFIA and the American Import Shippers Association (AISA) will host the annual Apparel Importers Trade & Transportation Conference. Visit www.importersapparelconference.com to register.

November 16 (New York City): The USFIA Board of Directors will meet.

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