The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Apparel Federation (IAF) underlining a renewed commitment to bring industry players together across the supply chain and across the globe.
According to the AAFA, this memorandum — which was signed by AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar and IAF secretary general Matthijs Crietee at the AAFA’s Executive Summit in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday — marks the start of a closer and more frequent collaboration to the benefit of both organizations and their members.
Throughout 2023, AAFA said it will work together with the IAF on projects that require global alignment across the industry.
What’s more, the memorandum further covers the IAF’s 38th World Fashion Convention, to be held in the U.S. this year for the first time in more than two decades. This convention will take place together with the Sewn Products Equipment Suppliers Association of the Americas (SPESA) in Philadelphia, from Oct. 22-25.
The AAFA added that this convention will offer a unique opportunity for its members to discuss and connect with garment and textile suppliers from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
“This year’s Executive Summit was focused on the ability to adapt, align and act,” Lamar said in a statement. “This is exactly what this MoU allows our respective members to do in a time where the production landscape is changing and partnerships are necessary for supply chain resiliency.”
“Traceability, sustainability, creativity, materials sourcing, innovation and information technology, and cooperation across the supply chain are just a few areas that this partnership will focus on,” added Crietee.
This news comes amid greater collaboration among industry organizations in the U.S. In January, the AAFA teamed up with the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA), the National Retail Federation (NRF), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) on a joint study on the the impacts of the Section 301 tariffs over the last four years on U.S. imports of apparel, footwear, travel goods and furniture imported from China.