Celebrating our Industry’s Rising Stars

Each month, Behind the Seams explores a different aspect of the sewn products industry with an editorial/introduction from the SPESA team called SPESA Speaks (which is only slightly confusing that it's also the name of our blog). This is the June 2021 SPESA Speaks.


Our regular readers may have noticed that the SPESA team likes to recognize milestones. We recently celebrated SPESA’s 30th anniversary, the 2-year anniversary of our team coming together, the newest addition to the SPESA family, not to mention dozens of birthdays, holidays, and employees of the month. This month, we are publishing our 23rd and 24th issues of the revamped Behind the Seams, marking a year of news, events, and commentary for the sewn products industry.

We shared our first SPESA Speaks in July 2020, summing up the previous quarter in just two words: Plans Change. That first issue of Behind the Seams explained our ideas for the new newsletter, including the implementation of monthly themes. We looked at the industry’s response to Covid-19 and all the ways in which companies adapted to their changing environments.

In August, we took a deep dive into the major role technology plays in shaping the design, manufacture, and sale of sewn products.

In September, we researched the history of Labor Day and the changing dynamics of workforce development in the United States.

In October, SPESA Chairwoman Nina McCormack shared her thoughts on the past, present, and future of the sewn products industry leading into our annual Executive Conference.

In November, we highlighted the impact politics and policy can have on our industry. While SPESA is not a lobbying organization, we want our members, and readers, to be aware of and understand the laws, regulations, policies, and political movements that can help or hinder your ability to do business. That is also why we added the Trade & Policy Round-up to Behind the Seams each month.

In December, we spent time examining a few topics we felt didn’t get enough attention during the craziness of 2020, such as reshoring and sustainability.

We began 2021 looking into the future, and lauding our industry’s ability to evolve from one generation to the next, without losing its core values.

In February, we learned about diversity and inclusivity in the sewn products industry — not only as they relate to the workforce, but also the importance of considering those aspects in products and services through adaptive fashion and brand representation.

In March, we let our love for trivia spark a conversation about the role of women in the history of sewing and the current industry efforts to achieve gender parity and equality across the global supply chain.

In April, SPESA sent out our annual State of the Union address, and asked “How can we make the industry better than it is today?”

In May, we focused on supply chains, not knowing when we chose the topic a year prior that they would be at such a critical juncture right now.

We have covered a lot of topics since July, but we are just getting started.

This month, we once again want to explore the future of the sewn products industry. But, rather than focus on the issues and challenges ahead of us (although there will be a bit of that too), we are shining a light on the future leaders of the sewn products industry.

Our industry is growing and evolving. And all of the exciting topics we love to discuss — reshoring, automation, customization, sustainability, supply chain transparency, workforce development — will only be possible with the support and enthusiasm of the next generation.

We encourage readers to let us know if you have a colleague within your company or elsewhere whom you consider to be a "rising star" within the sewn products industry. You can never have too many reasons, or people, to celebrate.