For its 2011 Annual Meeting — to be held May 1-3, 2011, at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Miami
Beach, Fla. — the Atlanta-based American Apparel Producers Network (AAPN) will gather its members,
which together represent the entire apparel supply chain, to discuss rising apparel costs and the
impacts of global market changes on each link in that chain.
“2011 will be a perfect storm of extreme uncertainty in pricing,” said AAPN President Carlos
Arias, referring to rising raw material, labor and other costs associated with apparel production.
Arias also is CEO of Guatemala-based denim jeans manufacturer Denimatrix LP, a subsidiary of
Lubbock, Texas-based Plains Cotton Cooperative Association’s Textile and Apparel Division.
According to AAPN, there are a number of factors impacting the apparel supply chain, creating
the potential for what AAPN Managing Director Mike Todaro describes as “death by a thousand costs.”
Issues include: declining cotton production worldwide including the reduction in cotton acreage and
corresponding rise in grain acreage as well as rising costs; the stockpiling of cotton by countries
that have traditionally exported it; a shortage of fine grades used in fine-count yarns; rising
costs of other raw materials such as polyester, nylon and spandex; yarn production bottlenecks and
delays; uncertainties regarding offshore contracts; and other issues.
“This is the classic apparel industry sandwich with those of us in the apparel supply chain
once again caught in the middle,” Arias said. “On the supply side, costs rise, yet on the customer
side demand for cheaper continues. Bottom line, garments are going to cost more and this can not be
countered by lowering the quality, speed, flexibility or innovation in this hemisphere.”
Talking about the benefits of the May meeting for attendees, Todaro said, “We’ll pull
together leaders from up and down the chain to figure it out. The power of the AAPNetwork is the
perspective you get on the real issues when you have the entire supply chain in a room.”
Carlos added: “AAPN is the supply chain of the Western Hemisphere. We hold ourselves to the
highest standards. Other supply chains around the world may face risks that, if poorly managed and
controlled, could lead to substandard quality being provided at the same price. The key point is
‘risk.’ It is certainly a risk that given an inflationary environment in raw materials and labor,
companies might choose to cut corners. How we all meet as a chain and analyze these issues from our
individual company and industry vantages will set each of us who write this action plan apart.”
Attendees will include senior managers and organization leaders representing all links in the
apparel supply chain. The format is described as “an interactive town meeting/brainstorming summit
where issues are identified and then opened for debate.” Included will be panel discussions
covering retail, brands, uniforms, fiber, yarn, fabric, trim, logistics, technology and factories.
“This unique format allows people to form relationships while collectively gauging the impact our
network makes on society, the economy and the environment,” AAPN stated.
For more information about AAPN’s 2011 Annual Meeting, visit
September 28, 2010