WASHINGTON — After two decades of consolidation in the U.S. textile industry, three textile lobbying and trade groups have agreed to merge and form a new association with a more unified and stronger voice in Washington.
Citing 30 years of “failed government trade policy” and contraction in the textile industry, the National Textile Association — the oldest textile trade association in the U.S. — said Wednesday that it has voted to cease operations and turn its assets and membership list over to the National Council of Textile Organizations. The merger will be effective Monday, according to NTA.
The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition is the third association taking part in the merger, according to NTA. A fourth association, the American Fiber Manufacturers Association, initially said to be part of the talks, did not ultimately join the merger and will remain a separate entity, although it is an active member of NCTO, according to an AMFA spokeswoman.
The new and broadened organization will operate under the existing NCTO name. Cass Johnson, current president of NCTO, could not be reached for comment.
“It is a sad day when a 159-year-old organization effectively serving its members decides to close its doors,” said Hank Truslow Sr., chairman of Sunbury Textile Mills, the only U.S. fabric maker that was a member of both NTA and NCTO prior to the merger. “We attribute this historic denouement to failed and destructive government trade policies under the last five presidents, Republican and Democratic.”
Overall, textile mills saw employment drop from 701,100 jobs in 1990 to 231,800 last month.
George Shuster, chairman of Cranston Print Works, chairman of NTA and cochairman of AMTAC, said, “The creation of this merged organization will allow the domestic textile industry to more quickly and effectively address the wide range of federal policy developments of importance to the over 1.5 million workers in the United States whose jobs are either directly or indirectly tied to this critical manufacturing sector.”
Karl Spilhaus, longtime president of NTA, said his members are “survivors of a turbulent economic climate, characterizing the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that made our American industry great.” Spilhaus will not be affiliated with the new NCTO but will continue to direct the activities of the Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute, whose members include Ermenegildo Zegna and Loro Piana.
NTA said the merger with NCTO’s representation of the wool textile industry, upholstery fabrics and knitted textiles will enhance the merged organization’s geographic breadth and reach. NTA’s Flock Association will also bring to NCTO a new textile sector.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations between the U.S. and 10 other countries could significantly impact trade flows in the textile sector and is an example of why the industry is seeking a stronger, more unified posture in Washington. The industry is pressing for a yarn-forward rule of origin that requires apparel to be made of fabric and yarns supplied by the U.S. or other TPP signatory countries to qualify for duty-free benefits when shipped back to the U.S.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.