E-commerce platforms enabled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) are changing the business model of many brands. However, Sudhir Kadam, Venture Partner of FYDA Growth Partners believes there’s still a lot to achieve. While moderating the keynote panel ‘AI in Retail/E-commerce’ at the 7th Annual Big Data Conference, he stated though it is easy to adopt AI if you start from scratch; it is difficult to dismantle a legacy system for big companies.
Matthew Tovbin, Software Architect at Salesforce, believes adopting AI is like transforming a company’s operations inside out. His company embraced AI a few years ago and has fully integrated the system into its operations. Similarly, GAP has been building quantitative models for over 30 years and experiments a lot on its platform to understand the behavior and interaction of its users. The brand aims to speed up its delivery process and identify the weak links in the process that are resulting in the loss of the time by understanding the relevancy of AI both from its scale perspective and its ability to add productivity to the value chain of e-commerce retail.
Use of AI is also helping companies like Levi Strauss to transform their business. Levi’s is leveraging data and algorithms on these platforms to enhance its consumer experience. It has been building applications to help its consumers shop online and has recently launched a ‘recommendation system’ which helps its customers to find relevant products.
However, there are many challenges brands are facing as they are working in a new domain with new technologies. Another challenge is the use of Natural Language Processing. Brands find it difficult to cope with both the language and image processing used in the NLP model. They believe the language used by the model is as stable as deep learning and the image processing quality is also weak. To counter this, they are reading high-level reviews on the technology and its applications. Through this, it they are able to isolate the problem areas for its customers.
Arijit Sengupta, CEO of Aible, believes one needs to be an expert data scientist to create AI and most people do not have data scientists. He expects AI to be most impactful technology in future. However, companies do not have the required knowledge about it.
Summing, Sridhar Muppalla, NIT Warangal brand ambassador said AI is the buzz word currently with companies investing money in it. However, his company also aims to promote startups as only if they are successful, they will hire more people.
A study by fashion website Lyst has indicated that women are opting for loosing fitting and relaxed denims over skinny denims. Mom jeans are becoming popular with 200,000 fashionistas opting for these type of jeans in a month. Demand for wide-legged jeans has also increased by 68 per cent while that for pastel coloured jeans has also increased by 103 per cent.
According to Lyst white jeans are also on many womens' wishlist, with searches up 42 per cent since the beginning of March. In the last week of May, white jeans sales came close to surpassing sales of blue jeans for the first time. However, 7 out of 10 shoppers search for blue jeans, making this style of denim the most sought after in the world.
The low rise cut that was beloved of Britney Spears and Girls Aloud in the noughties is also making a comeback with an increase in searches for ‘low cut’ and ‘hipster’ jeans in the last 6 months.
"Lindauer Dornier GmbH has launched the standard variant of its rapier weaving machine P2 at ITMA 2019. More flexible, faster and more efficient than P1, The P2 is the result of almost seven decades of expertise in developing and building rapier weaving machines. With its improved shed geometry and more rigid frame, better insertion performance, maintenance-free drive (developed in-house) and optimised positiveactive center transfer, the P2 henceforth replaces the P1 as the most flexible rapier weaving machine in the world."
Lindauer Dornier GmbH has launched the standard variant of its rapier weaving machine P2 at ITMA 2019. More flexible, faster and more efficient than P1, The P2 is the result of almost seven decades of expertise in developing and building rapier weaving machines. With its improved shed geometry and more rigid frame, better insertion performance, maintenance-free drive (developed in-house) and optimised positiveactive center transfer, the P2 henceforth replaces the P1 as the most flexible rapier weaving machine in the world.
The new P2 is 240 millimeters shorter and 40 millimeters lower than P1. "This simplifies its operation enormously", declares Thomas Laukamp, Predevelopment Manager of the machine. Furthermore, the P2 machine structure consists of clearly defined primary and auxiliary modules. This module-based construction principle is intended above all to make conversion and expansion work simpler. This in turn assures the user greater investment security, because users can respond more rapidly to changes in the market.
The P2 can be adapted easily and quickly for processing different yarns for clothing, home and technical textiles as well as for high-quality composite semi-finished materials.The central module in frame construction is 75 percent more rigid than the P1 and is also designed for optimum force flow. The torsional rigidity of the reed shaft has been increased by 50 percent to lend more stability to the weaving process.
Supreme flexibility in three variants Whether it is used with cam motion, dobby (up to 24 shafts) or Jacquard machines with up to 30,000 hooks and in conjunction with the EasyLeno® leno system developed by DORNIER – with up to 16 filling thread colors the P2 is the ideal tool for creative, flexible, precise and efficient production of top quality clothing and home textiles or technical textiles in glass, carbon or aramid.
The new machine is available in three variants: Besides the standard configuration, the P2V is a reinforced version offering a reed beat-up force as much as 37 kN, and the P2S heavy-duty weaving machine is supplied with a maximum reed beat-up force of 50 kN for very heavy and dense technical fabrics. Like all weaving machines from DORNIER, all variants of the P2 are equipped with high-performance interfaces so they can be integrated easily in the IT/tool environments in the weaving mills.
Besides the unrivaled DORNIER SyncroDrive® drive concept, three other patented, optional innovations by DORNIER offer potential for raising productivity further:the color selector and feed system DisCoS (DCS)enables exceedingly simple processing of up to eight colors; the Weft Saver (DWS) waste saving device enables weaving without a left catch selvedge, reducing waste, and the double weft rapier heads (DoPPIO) with free color transfer and parallel weft insertion.
Kornit Digital, a leader in digital textile printing technology, has launched a range of industrial digital textile printing solutions at ITMA 2019. These solutions enable unlimited design creativity, faster turnaround times and sustainable production.
The first of these solutions, the Kornit Presto is the world’s only industrial single-step solution for direct-to-fabric printing. The system is perfectly suited for the home décor and fashion markets. It eliminates the need for pre and post treatment of fabric and allows for high-quality printing on an extraordinarily broad variety of fabric types. The Kornit Presto solution uses the 100 per cent water-free patented NeoPigmentTM process, and is the shortest process from file to finished product, making it the most environmentally friendly solution available for direct-to-fabric textile printing today.
Kornit Konnect is a cloud-based software analytics platform that enables businesses to monitor production, analyse insights and manage their fleet, to eliminate blind spots. It includes a fleet management dashboard, data-driven benchmarks, actual production costs, and cost structures per job, making it easy for businesses to learn more, react faster and perform better.
Also on show in the booth are the Kornit Atlas and the Avalanche Poly Pro systems that were introduced earlier this year. Following dozens of installations worldwide and successful ramp-up at multiple customer sites, hundreds of thousands of garments have already been produced. Kornit will perform live printing of Adidas products on these two systems at ITMA. The Adidas mission is to be the best sports company in the world and one of their three key strategic choices is an Open Source strategy. Adidas is collaborating with Kornit to support their direct-to-garment innovation strategy, with Kornit as a key partner in digital embellishment. Adidas has recently invested in the Kornit Atlas and Avalanche Poly Pro solutions and is looking to expand its digital embellishment capabilities further.
The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts has set up a lace center in Andhra Pradesh. The center has have facilities such as exhibition halls, an auditorium, an open air theatre, meeting rooms, facilities for a craft bazaar, accommodation for buyers and designers besides an administrative set up etc. The objective is to help craftpersons, artisans, producers and exporters in the east and west Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh to develop new designs, adopt new production techniques of lace products, do marketing and exports through exhibitions and craft bazaars etc. This center will also enable the producing and exporting community to interact with foreign experts, designers and buyers with regard to product development and exports.
It is estimated that more than one lakh women artisans are involved in making lace products part time. More than 80 per cent lace exports from India originate from the east and west Godavari regions. EPCH has also taken various initiatives for enhancing the design and quality of lace and lace products by organising skill development programs in different segments such as stitching and garmenting, dyeing and capacity building and value added skills on crochet. India’s overall handicrafts exports have grown 15.46 per cent over last year.
Seams with strategic partner, the Reshoring Initiative, announced the winners for its Reshoring Awards in the three categories: Brands & Vertical Retailers, Textiles, and Cut & Sew Manufacturing.
Unionwear was presented with the Cut & Sew Manufacturers Award.Unionwear’s reshoring initiatives included re-engineering and re-designing reshored products, generating over 70 additional jobs in the U.S. and over $4 million in annual revenue.
Textile Award was presented to Contempora Fabrics. Its reshoring initiative was driven by Walmart’s commitment to purchase by 2023 an additional $250 billion in products made, sourced, or grown in the U.S. Contempora supplied the fabric used to manufacture employee vests for all Walmart U.S. stores, generating over $13 Million in sales in the U.S. over five years.
Mara Hoffman was presented the Brand Award. In 2015, the brand moved textile printing and cut & sew back to the US gaining better transparency in their supply chain and providing jobs for their community in NYC.
Textile mills in Rajasthan have been asked to pay four years’ entry tax on imports of yarn, dyes and chemicals, capital goods, spare parts, electrical goods and electronic goods. The industry says the levy of such a retrospective tax will not only hamper working capital but also break the backbone of the business.
What triggered the tax department to issue the letters to the mills is a Supreme Court order in October 2017 that upheld the validity of the entry tax. However, the judgment was only for the states of Kerala, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar.
Bhilwara in Rajasthan produces almost 45 per cent of the total yarn manufactured in India. The decline started with demonetization. With the Goods and Service Tax the entire system had to be computerized and prices of goods went up by 20 per cent leading to massive losses. More than 20,000 people are employed in the Rs 700 crore industry in Bhilwara, considered to be one of the textile hubs of India. Traders want minimal GST for all raw clothing categories including textiles, polyester yarn, wool and other materials. Further, textile traders have also sought tax sops for entities engaged in the business for more than 20 years.
More than 400 participants attended the three-day 2019 International Congress of Textile Innovation for Sustainable Development that was held in Lima, Peru, from April 24– 26. The congress provided a good venue for networking and discussing the US Cotton Trust Protocol with trade and global industry experts. Cotton Council International (CCI) participated as an exclusive sponsor in the fiber category.
Speakers from Germany, Italy, France and the US shared latest industry development news, trends and technologies, challenging the Peruvian textile industry to think about how to compete in the global economy. Andrew Jordan, on behalf CCI, conducted a presentation addressing the US Cotton Trust Protocol and a recent micro-fiber study. The attendees received updates on improvement progress from the U.S. cotton industry, the US cotton industry’s commitment to building on its legacy of stewardship, as well as transparency and trust from the farm to the customer. CCI also shared a presentation on the Cotton USA licensing program and the participating global brands.
Representatives from leading companies such as Creditex, Nettalco, Topy Top, Tejidos San Jacinto, Peru Fashions, Textil Romosa and La Colonial attended the event. In addition, Jordan held seven face-to face meetings with US cotton fiber buyers and export manufacturers during the week in order to listen to them and ask them about concepts related to the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and gauge what the industry considers valuable.
The United States has escalated its trade war with China. The higher tariffs will be applied to relevant US-bound goods exported from China. Tariffs on targeted exports have increased from ten per cent to 25 per cent. China has pledged to take counter measures. The tariff hikes could hit growth in both economies and drag down global growth. US importers received just five days’ notice about the sudden rise in penalties. The tariff increase is seen as inflicting significant harm on US industry, farmers and consumers, decreasing the competitiveness of American companies and reducing the efficiency of their global supply chains. A 25 per cent tariff on apparel imports is expected to increase costs for a family of four by 500 dollars a year.
The US’ decision to impose new taxes on Chinese exports comes after the United States accused China of backtracking on commitments made during recent negotiations on trade. China has been accused of unfair trade practices, particularly with regards to access to its giant market, intellectual property and technology transfers.
The dispute has hurt Chinese exporters, damaged some US companies and slowed global growth since it began last July. The risk of a complete breakdown in trade talks has increased. Global stock markets have endured a week of extreme volatility.
In 2018 US textile and clothing imports rose in value terms to their second highest level on record and in volume terms to a record high. Within 2018 total, imports of fabrics, made-up textiles and apparel reached record highs in volume terms. Apparel continued to account for the biggest share of total imports. However, its share was down to its lowest level in several years. By contrast, there were significant increases in the shares of yarns, fabrics and made-up textiles. Meanwhile, the average price of US textile and clothing imports fell for the seventh year in succession to a record low—reflecting primarily a decline in the average price of imports from China.
In terms of fiber type, manmade fibers accounted for the largest share of US apparel imports for the fifth consecutive year. China remained by far the USA’s biggest textile and clothing supplier. Furthermore, its share of total US textile and clothing imports reached a record high in volume terms, although in value terms its share fell. Cambodia and Italy both increased their shares of US textile and clothing imports in value and volume terms but Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico and Pakistan suffered declines. Bangladesh, India and Vietnam, meanwhile, more or less maintained their market shares during the year.