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Posted Date: 10/1/2003

Industry Notes - October 2003

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is soliciting submissions for its annual Excellence in Social Responsibility Award. The annual award recognizes "Best Practices" in a variety of areas of social responsibility that positively impact the employees, business and/or community. Companies must be members of the AAFA in order for their submission to be given consideration. AAFA members, including supplier and international members, must be engaged in the manufacture, sale or distribution of sewn products, including materials, components, equipment, machinery and services. Submissions made in prior years cannot be resubmitted. The following are examples of demonstration projects under each category; however, creativity and new original programs are encouraged: preservation of the environment, community outreach, women's issues, health and safety and creative programs in the workplace. Submissions must be received by Oct. 17. For more information contact Mary Howell at mrhowell@apparelandfootwear.org.

Apparel Magazine has won an Award of Excellence in the 2003 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence competition. Close to 5,000 entries were judged in the 15th annual awards program. Apparel's editor in chief Kathleen DesMarteau and associate editor Tracy Haisley were honored in the Feature Writing category for a piece entitled "Major Retailers Usher in Era of Exchanges, Reverse Auctions." Published in the September 2002 issue, the article addressed how business-to-business (B2B) exchanges and online reverse auctions are changing the way retailers buy apparel. The story explored how the adoption of auction-based buying practices is leading to lower prices and improved efficiencies but also shaking some foundations of the traditional merchant-vendor relationship.

The award represents the fourth APEX Award won by the publication in recent years. APEX Awards are presented based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the success of the entry in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence. APEX 2003 is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications from newsletters and magazines to annual reports, brochures and Web sites.

The U.S. Department of Commerce presented Asheboro Elastics Corp. (AEC) with the Export Achievement Award. The Export Achievement Award recognizes the successful export initiatives of small- and medium-sized companies.

The Freudenberg Group has acquired the worldwide Comfortemp and the C degree brand and trademarks from Frisby Technologies Inc. Comfortemp products comprise a wide range of applications based on microencapsulated phase change materials (mPCM) that provide unique temperature balancing benefits. Freudenberg intends to further develop and grow the business. The expansion of its mPCM activities under the Comfortemp and C degree brand will allow Freudenberg to grow in its core markets, the company reports.

Gerber Technology received two awards for quality and innovation from the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Partnership Inc., an affiliate of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The two CQIA Innovation Prizes (CIP) were presented to Gerber for its InfinityTM Plotter and GTxLTM cutter products. The CQIA and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognize Connecticut organizations that excel in managing quality improvement for business success and growth. Applications are assessed based on rigid quality standards set by Baldrige-trained examiners.

Grass Roots Movement: Small- and medium-sized businesses manufacturing products made in the United States are organizing a march on Washington, D.C., to protest governmental policies giving preference to Third World countries over U.S. companies. If you or your company would like to participate in this march, which will encompass all industries affected by imports, please contact Michele Goodman at e-mail: Michele@AtlasHeadwear.com.

Lee Jeans is once again sponsoring Lee National Denim Day Friday, Oct. 10 for individuals and companies to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. More than 1.2 million people at 22,000 companies participated last year to raise more than $6.7 million. Lee National Denim Day is a day on which participating companies let employees wear denim to work in exchange for a $5 contribution to the Komen Foundation. This year, Lee Jeans has joined forces with actress Christina Applegate to raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

Safer Textiles Group has acquired the assets of Hampton Transfer Prints Inc., formerly held by Flynt Fabrics Inc. This newly formed company will be called Hampton Paper and Transfer Printing Inc. and will remain at its Johnson City, TN location.

SANRIO, the international stationery and gift company, has signed three licensing agreements to expand into the infant and toddler markets. The Hello Kitty and Hello Kitty Baby product collections will include bedding, quilts, sheets and bumpers, room dcor, as well as diaper bags, bibs, blankets and plush toys.

Shore To Shore has opened a new 60,000-sqare-foot production facility in Chennai, India. This plant is located 25 km from the Chennai International Airport and services garment manufacturers in the southern region of India. A New Delhi operation will continue to serve the northern Indian market. The new facility is staffed by 275 manufacturing and administrative employees, and offers the company's full range of printed and woven brand identification products.

Sportswear manufacturer and imprinter Trau & Loevner will create men's, boys' and junior girls' apparel and headwear around several General Mills brands and properties. The collection will include long and short sleeve T-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, knit caps and baseball caps featuring The Pillsbury Doughboy, Pillsbury logo and the Green Giant and Sprout characters. The apparel will sell in mass market retailers, mid-tier and specialty retailers nationwide. General Mills Trademark Licensing and Royce have joined together to create a new line of women's, tweens' and children's socks. This collection will include designs featuring the Trix Rabbit, Lucky the Leprechaun, Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, Honey Nut Cheerios Buzzbee, Boo Berry, Frankenberry and Count Chocula, as well as The Pillsbury Doughboy and Cheerio's. A line of men's socks will feature a Wheaties design. The character socks will be available at mass market retailers, department stores, drug and grocery stores nationwide. 

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