Takeaways from SGIA's garment decorating conference.
More than 150 apparel decorators, sponsoring suppliers, and industry observers attended SGIA’s first ThreadX conference, held in February in Palm Springs, California. The 15 educational sessions, developed by SGIA’s garment decorating committee, focused on e-commerce, innovation, and ecologically conscious business practices. Branding expert riCardo Crespo, a former executive at Mattel and 20th Century Fox, kicked off the event with a keynote on how companies can redefine their brands and transform their workforces by focusing on why — not who — they are. His theme was echoed by numerous other presenters, including a session on building a successful B2C apparel brand led by Charleston, South Carolina agency Blue Ion. As Blue Ion founding partner Robert Prioleau said, “The best brands are defined by what they’re made of, not what they make.”
The possibilities of e-commerce and the disruption it’s causing to traditional apparel decoration channels was another recurrent theme in the program. Frequent Screen Printing author Mark Coudray discussed how broader economic forces are driving the emergence of mammoth online apparel decoration platforms. Custom Ink, one of the companies that exemplifies this trend, was featured in the program, with COO Rob Kramer and VP of Business Development Andy Louis-Charles offering an alternate view on the competition between the new and established vendors and why they believe it can benefit all parties.
Other highlights included two sessions on sustainability led by Ryonet CEO Ryan Moor and Skya Nelson, president of Fed By Threads, as well as featured sessions from celebrated young apparel entrepreneurs including Johnny Earle of limited-edition apparel merchant Johnny Cupcakes, former “Shark Tank” contestant Mel Lay of SandiLake Clothing, and Tim Williams of in-store printing specialist YR Store.
Read more event coverage from Screen Printing.
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