Nexgen Packaging Continues EMEA Expansion

Westmont, IL / January 30, 2019/ PRNewswire / – Nexgen Packaging, a full service provider of brand identification and variable-data products to global brands and retailers, has appointed Gemma Ward as Director of Sales and Marketing. Continuing the expansion and growth plans of the company, Nexgen Packaging brings Gemma to its management team in the EMEA region. Gemma has vast experience in the retail, apparel and footwear markets and has held a variety of senior, customer-facing roles with tag and label manufacturers. Gemma’s experience in the EMEA region as well as in some of the key Asian garment manufacturing countries will be a strong contribution to the Nexgen Packaging Management team.

Manuel Torres, General Manager EMEA: “Nexgen has seen significant growth in EMEA over the past 24 months as customers have experienced the quality of our products, the benefits of our software platform and our commitment to customer service. Gemma’s background in tags and labels in the retail, apparel and footwear markets is a great addition to our team and I am excited to have her join the Nexgen team.”

About Nexgen Packaging Nexgen Packaging, LLC is a global provider of apparel brand identification and packaging products, servicing the creative, product development, and production needs of apparel and footwear manufacturers, retailers, and their global manufacturing partners. The company is focused on simplifying everything from the creative process to order execution, utilizing innovative technologies to increase efficiency and enhance customer service. Nexgen offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to meet its customers’ product identification needs, including woven labels, printed labels, heat transfers, hang tags, integrated tags, price tickets, RFID tags and labels, wrap bands, patches, boxes, poly bags and a broad range of specialized products. Our customers include a broad range of apparel brands and retailers. Nexgen has sales and manufacturing operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Guatemala, Vietnam, China and 11 other key apparel and footwear producing countries globally.

To learn more about Nexgen Packaging, visit www.nexgenpackaging.com

Agnes Siu - General manager for Vietnam Operations

Nexgen Packaging Appoints Agnes Siu, as General Manager, Vietnam Operations

Agnes Siu - General manager for Vietnam Operations

WESTMONT, Ill. and Vietnam /PRNewswire/ Nexgen Packaging, a full service provider of apparel identification products to retailers as well as to apparel, footwear and textile brands, today announced that Agnes Siu has joined the company as General Manager of Vietnam operations. Mrs. Siu has over 30 years experience in the retail, apparel and footwear industry most recently holding the position of Company Representative of Vietnam for Li & Fung where she was responsible for the business performance of key accounts and overall support of Li & Fung’s business in Vietnam for 4 years. Mrs. Siu has held senior roles throughout Asia including leadership positions in sourcing and merchandising for retail brands Gap and PVH as well as regional leadership roles for Avery Dennison. Mrs. Siu will be based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

“Nexgen continues to achieve strong market share growth in North America & Europe by providing our customers with quality products, exceptional customer service, and industry-leading technology that brings visibility and efficiencies to supply chain operations,” said Andy Effron, Nexgen’s
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.

“Vietnam is one of our fastest growing regions and we are extremely proud to have someone of Agnes’s caliber join our management team. The combination of her leadership roles with retailers in sourcing and merchandising with her experience leading trim and packaging operations throughout Asia will be of great value to our customers who are manufacturing in Vietnam. I have worked closely with Agnes in the past and I look forward to having her lead our efforts to grow our team and capabilities in Vietnam.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the Nexgen team,” said Mrs. Siu. “Nexgen has created an outstanding reputation with the retailers/brands and garment manufacturers globally. Their software platform has over 12,000 factories using it already and the visibility to the supply chain is unparalleled. The opportunity to expand our relationship with customers in Vietnam is significant and I am excited to be leading the effort in the region.”

About Nexgen Packaging

Nexgen Packaging, LLC Nexgen was founded with the goal of providing customers with the highest quality packaging products by leveraging software and analytics in the design and manufacturing processes. Since its inception in 2006, Nexgen has become a global leader in the tag and label industry offering a complete portfolio of apparel branding products, variable data products and other packaging solutions. We focus exclusively on retail, apparel and footwear brands and our success is directly linked to our core software offerings that are used by over
12,000 manufacturing entities globally.

To learn more about Nexgen Packaging, visit nexgenpackaging.com.

Nexgen Packaging - Manuel Torres

Nexgen Packaging appoints Manuel Torres as managing director, EMEA operations

westmont, ill. and reading, england, oct. 19, 2017 /prnewswire/ — Nexgen Packaging, a full service provider of apparel identification products to retailers as well as to apparel, footwear and textile brands, today announced that Manuel Torres has joined the company as managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operations. Mr. Torres joins Nexgen Packaging from Motorola Solutions where he was SVP and General Manager for EMEA and has led the international growth of the business during his 25-year career with the company. Manuel also led the Latin America region and as well the Motorola Enterprise business (now part of Zebra Technologies) for EMEA and was active with customers, strategic direction, and field execution.

“Nexgen continues to achieve strong market share growth in North America by providing our customers with quality products, exceptional customer service, and industry-leading technology that brings visibility and efficiencies to supply chain operations,” said Andy Effron, Nexgen’s Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “In Europe, we have seen promising early success with this model and are confident that under Manuel’s leadership we will rapidly move our business forward. I am very excited to have such an accomplished executive as Manuel join the Nexgen team.”

Jim Welch, President of Nexgen Packaging, added, “We are fortunate to have someone of Manuel’s caliber and character lead our efforts in EMEA. Manuel is a world-class leader, knows how to build high-performing teams and has a proven track record of establishing strategic relationships with customers. We all look forward to working with Manuel and establishing Nexgen’s leadership position in EMEA.”

“I am thrilled to be joining a team as well regarded in the industry as Nexgen,” said Mr. Torres. “Nexgen has created a unique offering for its customers by combining the most comprehensive portfolio of apparel identification products with industry leading manufacturing and supply chain software. I am excited about the opportunity to build and lead the team that will be responsible for bringing these solutions to customers in the EMEA region.” Mr. Torres will be based in Madrid, Spain.

About Nexgen Packaging

Nexgen Packaging, LLC is a global provider of apparel brand identification and packaging products, servicing the creative, product development, and production needs of apparel and footwear manufacturers and retailers, and their global manufacturing partners. The company is focused on simplifying everything from the creative process to order execution, utilizing innovative technologies to increase efficiency and enhance customer service. Nexgen offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to meet its customers’ product identification needs, including woven labels, printed labels, heat transfers, hang tags, integrated tags, price tickets, RFID tags and labels, wrap bands, patches, boxes, poly bags and a broad range of specialized products. Our customers include a broad range of apparel brands and retailers.

Jim Welch - President

Nexgen Packaging appoints Jim Welch as President

westmont, ill., sept. 13, 2017 /prnewswire/ — Nexgen Packaging, a full service provider of brand identification and variable-data products to global brands and retailers, today announced the appointment of Jim Welch as President. Mr. Welch joined Nexgen Packaging in 2016 and most recently led North America and European sales and operations. In his new role, his responsibilities will also include overseeing global operations, strategy, and corporate development. Mr. Welch came to Nexgen Packaging from Motorola Solutions (MSI) where he held a variety of leadership roles, including SVP and GM Field Operations for the MSI Enterprise business. Mr. Welch helped direct global go-to-market and regional strategies and helped orchestrate the successful sale of that unit to Zebra Technologies. Previously Mr. Welch held CEO positions and advisor roles with a variety of software startups in Austin, TX focused on artificial intelligence, data analytics, and mobility.

“Nexgen has demonstrated persistent sustained growth over the past several years and customer interest in our products and innovative software offerings continues to grow,” said Andy Effron, Nexgen’s Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We recognized that to meet our internal goals and customers’ rising expectations we needed to strengthen the leadership team and improve operational capabilities. We brought Jim on board to help us accomplish these goals and we have been thrilled with the operational improvements achieved and the caliber of team we are building under Jim’s leadership. Expanding Jim’s role well positions Nexgen to capitalize on market opportunities by continuing to make strategic investments in our people, software, and global capabilities.”

“Working with the team at Nexgen Packaging over the past year has been a tremendously positive experience,” said Mr. Welch. “The Nexgen founders have incredible industry knowledge and have built a successful business by delivering quality products and focusing on the needs of their customers. Additionally, their vision of developing software to improve manufacturing execution and bring transparency to supply chain operations is proving to be of tremendous value to customers. Nexgen is in a great position today and I am excited to be part of the Nexgen team that will deliver on the opportunities in front of us.”

“We started this business with the goal of providing customers with unparalleled brand identification products by listening to their expectations and executing,” said Mike Naimo, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for Nexgen Packaging.

“This model works and we are fortunate and thankful for our success to date. We know that to continue on this journey and scale with our customers we need to further invest in technology and constantly improve how we do things. Jim’s background with retail, software, and high-performing teams is a perfect addition to our team to help us achieve our goals.”

About Nexgen Packaging

Nexgen Packaging, LLC is a global provider of brand identification, variable-data, and packaging products, servicing the creative, product development, and production needs of apparel and footwear manufacturers and retailers and their global manufacturing partners. The company is focused on simplifying everything from the creative process to order execution, utilizing innovative technologies to increase efficiency and enhance customer service. Nexgen offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to meet its customers’ product identification needs, including woven labels, printed labels, heat transfers, hang tags, integrated tags, price tickets, RFID tags and labels, wrap bands, patches, boxes, poly bags and a broad range of specialized products. Our customers include a broad range of apparel brands and retailers.

To learn more about Nexgen Packaging, visit www.nexgenpackaging.com.

Contact: Debbie Bougas, [email protected]

Chica's Fas inc

Chico’s fas inc. and Nexgen Packaging announce strategic partnership

Chico’s FAS Inc. names Nexgen exclusive global provider of label and packaging products.

ROMEOVILLE, Ill., Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Nexgen Packaging, a leading global supplier of brand identification products to retailers as well as to apparel, footwear and textile brands, today announced that Nexgen will be the exclusive provider of global label and packaging products for omni-channel retailer Chico’s FAS, Inc. through its brands Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma. The two companies also agreed to leverage Nexgen’s cloud-based “Analytics as a Service” software platform to transform the ordering, manufacturing and delivery of labels and packaging products, providing Chico’s increased visibility into its supply chain activities and improved engagement with its vendor communities.

“In today’s fast fashion world retailers understand the key elements that impact their ability to deliver timely, in-demand products to their customers,” said Robert Loop, Nexgen’s co-founder and chief strategy officer. “Critical to delivering on this goal is having the visibility into, and understanding of, garment components and their impact on lead times and delivery dates.”

Nexgen was founded more than 10 years ago on the principle that technology, combined with industry leading design and global manufacturing capabilities, would enable customers to improve lead times and meet customer demand. With over 8,000 companies using the Nexgen software platform globally, Nexgen has been able to create features and applications that are providing the retail, apparel and footwear industries with un-paralleled insights into their supply chain operations.

A Long and Successful Partnership

“We have had a long, successful partnership with Chico’s,” Loop went on to say. “This next phase is a natural evolution in that relationship. Nexgen is focused on providing Chico’s with the highest quality label and packaging products and the Nexgen analytics software platform is key to ensuring accurate and timely delivery of our products to Chico’s and their vendors. We are excited to leverage the 10+ years of investment we have made in technology to bring increased visibility and performance to our customers’ supply chains via our rapidly expanding range of software applications. We greatly appreciate Chico’s confidence in Nexgen and are thrilled to be working so closely with this iconic brand.”

Todd Vogensen, EVP – Chief Financial Officer of Chico’s, said, “Chico’s is committed to working with our strategic suppliers on initiatives that can deliver operating efficiencies while also maintaining the quality and innovation that continue to delight our customers. The partnership with Nexgen is a great example of how we are looking to change how we operate, leveraging Nexgen’s industry and technology leadership to improve our business.”

About Nexgen Packaging

Nexgen Packaging, LLC is a global provider of apparel brand identification and packaging products, servicing the creative, product development, and production needs of apparel and footwear manufacturers and retailers, and their global manufacturing partners. The company is focused on simplifying everything from the creative process to order execution, utilizing innovative technologies to increase efficiency and enhance customer service. Nexgen offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to meet its customers’ product identification needs, including woven labels, printed labels, heat transfers, hang tags, integrated tags, price tickets, RFID tags and labels, wrap bands, patches, boxes, poly bags and a broad range of specialized products. Our customers include a broad range of apparel brands and retailers.

Nexgen has sales and manufacturing operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Guatemala, Vietnam, China and 11 other key apparel and footwear producing countries globally.

To learn more about Nexgen Packaging, visit www.nexgenpackaging.com.

About Chico’s FAS, Inc.

Chico’s FAS, Inc., through its brands Chico’s, White House Black Market and Soma, is a leading omni-channel specialty retailer of women’s private branded, sophisticated, casual-to-dressy clothing, intimates and complementary accessories as well as non-clothing items.

As of October 29, 2016, Chico’s FAS operated 1,510 stores in the US and Canada and sold merchandise through franchise locations in Mexico. The company’s merchandise is also available at www.chicos.com, www.whbm.com, and www.soma.com.

For more information about Chico’s FAS, Inc., please visit www.chicosfas.com.

Media Contact:

Robert Loop, CoFounder & Chief Strategy Officer, [email protected], 508-308-2500

SOURCE Nexgen Packaging, LLC

Related Links

http://www.chicosfas.com

https://www.nexgenpackaging.com

thingworx

Nexgen to develop supply chain applications for retail, apparel and footwear on PTC ThingWorx® IoT Platform

ROMEOVILLE, Ill., Jan. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Nexgen Packaging, a leading global apparel identification supplier, today announced that Nexgen has chosen PTC ThingWorx® Internet of Things (IoT) platform as its platform on which to develop solutions in the retail, apparel and footwear (RAF) industry. The agreement enables Nexgen to leverage and expand its integration with PTC FlexPLM® software announced earlier this year.

ThingWorx will serve as the platform on which Nexgen will build its cloud-based solutions for RAF markets targeted at transforming the ordering, manufacturing and delivery of brand ID offerings and other product components. Nexgen’s solutions will rely on PTC’s open cloud architecture, which will enable Nexgen to optimize the development and delivery of its products and services.

“Our customers are looking for ways to accelerate the time it takes to bring products to market and reduce the costs associated with the delivery of these products,” said Jim Welch, Nexgen EVP and GM. “Nexgen is enhancing its industry leading software solutions to provide real-time supply chain visibility and key to this is the PTC ThingWorx® IoT platform. The ThingWorx platform will allow us to quickly and effectively aggregate customer and industry data and provide our customers with unique insights via the predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities of ThingWorx. Nexgen is working with PTC to provide design and delivery solutions for customers in the RAF markets and is excited to extend that strategic relationship with PTC around the ThingWorx platform.”

A Comprehensive IoT Technology Stack

The centerpiece of PTC’s IoT technology portfolio, ThingWorx includes a rapid application development platform, connectivity, machine learning capabilities, augmented reality, and integration with leading device clouds. These features combine to deliver a comprehensive IoT technology stack that enables companies to securely connect assets, quickly create applications, and innovate new ways to capture value.

“The retail industry can benefit immensely from the capabilities enabled by ThingWorx,” said Eric Symon, general manager, Retail Business Unit, PTC. “Our collaboration with Nexgen is a terrific example of how ThingWorx can help companies in the retail industry improve their operations, develop more efficient processes, and improve the customer service experience.”

About Nexgen Packaging

Nexgen Packaging, LLC is a global provider of apparel brand identification and packaging products, serving the creative, product development, and production needs of apparel and footwear manufacturers and retailers, and their global manufacturing partners. The company is focused on simplifying everything from the creative process to order execution, utilizing innovative technologies to increase efficiency and enhance customer service.

Nexgen offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to meet its customers’ product identification needs, including woven labels, printed labels, heat transfers, hang tags, integrated tags, price tickets, RFID tags and labels, wrap bands, patches, boxes, poly bags and a broad range of specialized products. Our customers include a broad range of apparel brands and retailers.

Nexgen has sales and manufacturing operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Guatemala, Vietnam, China and 11 other key apparel and footwear producing countries globally.

To learn more about Nexgen Packaging, visit www.nexgenpackaging.com.

PTC, ThingWorx, and FlexPLM, are trademarks or registered trademarks of PTC Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.

Media Contact:

Robert Loop, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, [email protected], 508-308-2500

PTC Technology

Nexgen packaging announces technology integration with PTC FlexPLM

Timely and accurate information about label quantities and specifications throughout the retail, footwear and apparel value chain enable streamlined operations and reduced costs.

ROMEOVILLE, Ill., March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Nexgen Packaging, LLC, a leading global supplier of brand identification products to retailers as well as to apparel, footwear and textile brands, today announced a technology integration with Needham, Massachusetts-based PTC Inc. (NASDAQ: PTC), a global provider of ThingWorx® Internet of Things (IoT) technology platform and PLM solutions.

The integration enables retailers and brand owners to electronically interchange product label information — including quantities and specifications — between their Nexgen systems and a retailer or brand owner’s PTC FlexPLM® solution. The integration is specifically aimed at value chain participants in the retail, footwear and apparel (RFA) industry.

As the central offering of the PTC connected supply chain solution [that leverages PTC’s ThingWorx® technology], PTC FlexPLM is an intuitive, web-based PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) solution. FlexPLM helps retail, footwear, apparel, and consumer brands communicate, track milestones, preempt performance bottlenecks, and quickly gain visibility throughout the product development value chain.

By establishing a technology-based integration between PTC FlexPLM and the Nexgen systems, PTC and Nexgen will enable their mutual customers to:

  • Transfer a retailer’s product requirements for labels to Nexgen throughout the product development/sourcing process
  • Receive label information from Nexgen into the PTC solution so they can review and include it in their product specifications — e.g., to directly insert into a BOM (bill of materials)
  • Interchange label quantities throughout the product development and sourcing process

Enabling Reduced Lead Times, Lower Costs, Simplified Ordering, Fewer Errors

“Having accurate information about product labels immediately and automatically available throughout the value chain can significantly cut costs, reduce errors, and speed product delivery,” says Robert Loop, Nexgen Packaging Chief Strategy Officer. “With this solution, lead times will be significantly reduced. The trim ordering process can be simplified and significant economies of scale can be achieved by grouping label orders into larger production runs. It is a win for everybody in the supply chain.”

“We are particularly excited to work with a global leader in packaging identification,” says Eric Symon, General Manager, Retail Business Unit, PTC. “A key value of the ThingWorx initiative is to combine diverse technologies to capitalize on the enormous potential that IoT represents to our customers. We think the Nexgen-PTC integration is a shining example of that initiative in action.”

About Nexgen Packaging

Nexgen Packaging, LLC is a global provider of apparel brand identification and packaging products, servicing the creative, product development, and production needs of apparel & footwear manufacturers and retailers, and their global manufacturing partners. The company is focused on simplifying everything from the creative process to order execution, utilizing innovative technologies to increase efficiency and enhance customer service. Nexgen offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to meet its customers’ product identification needs, including: woven labels, printed labels, heat transfers, hang tags, integrated tags, price tickets, RFID tags and labels, wrap bands, patches, boxes, poly bags and a broad range of specialized products. Our customers include a broad range of apparel brands and retailers.

Nexgen has Sales and Manufacturing operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Guatemala, Vietnam, China and (11) other key apparel & footwear producing countries globally.

To learn more, visit https://www.nexgenpackaging.com/

About PTC Solutions for Retail, Footwear and Apparel

PTC solutions for retail, footwear and apparel are designed to meet the product lifecycle management requirements of retailers, branded manufacturers and their suppliers. These web-based FlexPLM solutions provide configurable functionality and information visibility across the enterprise and its supply chain. [According to the 2016 IDC industry report, PTC is leading PLM solution provider, footwear and apparel brands worldwide.]

To learn more, visit http://www.ptc.com/retail-plm

About PTC Inc.

PTC Inc. (NASDAQ: PTC) is a global provider of technology platforms and solutions that transform how companies create, operate, and service the “things” in the Internet of Things (IoT). The company’s next-generation ThingWorx® technology platform gives developers the tools they need to capture, analyze, and capitalize on the vast amounts of data being generated by smart, connected products and systems. The company’s field-proven solutions are deployed in more than 26,000 businesses worldwide to generate a product or service advantage. PTC’s award-winning CEO, considered an industry thought leader, co-authored the definitive guides to the impact of the IoT on business in the Harvard Business Review.

PTC, the PTC logo, FlexPLM and ThingWorx are trademarks or registered trademarks of PTC Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.

BT

BT joins new global alliance bringing real time digital insights from the store and across the supply chain

The Acuitas Digital Alliance is launched today by global technology leaders BT, Intel, NexGen Packaging, RetailNext and SATO Global Solutions.

BT today announced it is a founding member of the Acuitas Digital Alliance, bringing together like-minded technology innovators determined to bring the full benefits of the new digital era across the entire supply chain, all the way to the physical locations where customers do business. The Acuitas Digital Alliance demonstrated its first solution, BT In-Store Visibility, today at Retail’s BIG Show, the National Retail Federation’s annual conference, with technology provider Intel and fellow alliance founders NexGen Packaging, RetailNext and SATO Global Solutions.

The Acuitas Digital Alliance is a ground breaking initiative focused on providing a secure, cloud-based and future proof solution for businesses that want to take real-time advantage of big data and the Internet of Things to optimise operations throughout their entire supply chain while better engaging with their end customers.

The Acuitas Digital Alliance brings together leaders specializing in networking, hardware, software, analytics, content management, security and cloud services to integrate a wide range of technologies, such as IoT sensors, software and analytics, into a single comprehensive solution. This will allow organizations to optimise supply chain efficiencies, improve employee performance, cut waste and better manage compliance requirements. This will also help predict customer behaviour and create a great experience for consumers, including in physical locations such as stores.

Although many IT solutions already exist to manage such environments, they fail to integrate with one another. Retailers and other similar organizations are forced to work with a patchwork of technologies that reduce performance and isolate in separate siloes the data captured by each device at each stage of the supply chain and at points of sale. The result is an environment that offers a very limited view of consumer behaviour and poor insights on how to improve on-location experiences and operations.

BT In-Store Visibility will be the first solution developed by the Acuitas Digital Alliance and addresses the needs of retailers who want to bring their physical stores up to the same level of ease and quality of experience for customers and staff as their online outlets. This also allows them to ensure consistency across all their sales channels. Existing IT solutions simply do not deliver the comprehensive real-time functionality, data and insights needed for that type of ‘digital’ in-store experience. It’s one of the fundamental problems that the Acuitas Digital Alliance is focused on resolving.

Bas Burger, President BT Americas, said: “With ubiquitous connected devices and a generalised trend towards online dealings, organizations expect much more insight from their supply chain and from their interactions with customers. At their end, consumers also expect much more from their real world experience. The Acuitas Digital Alliance brings together the expertise and innovation required to integrate separate technologies into market-leading solutions addressing those expectations. The Alliance’s solutions will simultaneously address customer experience, employee experience, business operations and insight. With unmatched global networking, cloud and integrated services expertise, BT is a key contributor to the success of this new digital ecosystem.”

NOTE FOR EDITORS AND VISITORS AT RETAIL’S BIG SHOW

The Acuitas Digital Alliance demonstrates BT In-Store Visibility on BT’s stand (booth 1143) at Retail’s BIG Show in New York City from January 17 to January 19.

More on: http://www.acuitasdigital.com/

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com.

Care Label

Global distribution: giant care label

Apparel makers tell the story of international distribution on a very tiny canvas: the care and content label. As apparel brands increasingly sell their goods around the world, care labels become ever more complex.

“We started printing care labels over 30 years ago—back when it was dot-matrix printing and there weren’t any regulations,” said Emily Garcia-Velasquez, licensing and apparel account manager for Progressive Label in Commerce, Calif. “It was just a 1-inch-by-2-inch label—very simple.”

In addition to wash instructions, today’s labels also must include such information as fabric content, country of origin, and chemical disclosures and warnings. For example, California’s Prop. 65 requires manufacturers to include a warning label if the product contains certain chemicals such as lead. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires flammability warnings for apparel, and there are similar requirements in the European Union. Both the U.S. and the EU allow manufacturers to specify whether some of the fabric content includes recycled materials, but each requires that information be presented differently.

“The U.S. has a set of requirements. Japan has some similar requirements, some of the same requirements and then some additional requirements. That’s pretty much the case, country by country. And, of course, there’s the local language,” Kim Schneider, senior director of global compliance solutions at Glendale, Calif.–based Avery Dennison, said. “It’s really a key dilemma that the entire industry is facing. There’s a desire for a supply chain with maximum flexibility and the ability to ship products into any country, which would mean a lot of different languages and meeting all of the different requirements. That can result in a very long care and content label. Depending on where you’re selling, you could be looking at 30 or more languages.”

Last month, three trade organizations, the Brussels-based European Branded Clothing Alliance and two Washington, D.C.–based associations, the American Apparel and Footwear Association and the United States Fashion Industry Association, published a joint position paper regarding the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the EU. In the paper, the groups recommend “harmonisation of regulations on labeling” to resolve the difference between the U.S. and the EU. The position paper suggests simplifying the labeling requirements based on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and eliminating U.S. state and Member State requirements (such as Prop. 65) in favor of U.S. and EU federal-level requirements.

Robert Loop, a founding partner and chief strategy officer for Santa Barbara, Calif.–basedNexGen Packaging, said this is one of the “forefront issues” in the industry.

“We have customers considering moving up to 32 [languages] to increase the footprint of their label,” Loop said. “It would be a very complex label that would allow you to make one garment in Asia and ship it anywhere in the world. That’s the challenge: understanding all the laws of all the countries and then understanding all the care-label languages and all the symbols requires all the key components. You’d need a Ph.D. basically to figure it out. I feel for our customers.”

And while label providers try to give their customers some guidance, Loop points out that information about the countries where the garment will be sold ultimately comes from the manufacturer.

“It’s really the obligation of the importer of record for the accuracy of the care label,” he said. “As the label provider, we’re the execution phase, but the retailer or brand owns the complexity.”

Typically, the initial inquiry comes from a brand’s trim department, but “very often their legal department takes it over and says, ‘This is what we’re going to do with the care labels,’” Loop said.

It’s a similar process at Progressive, where all the care-label information is provided by the manufacturer.

“Since we’ve been doing it for so long, we are able to give advice on how to lay it out so it doesn’t seem so long,” Garcia-Velasquez said. “We do folding techniques to make it seem like a shorter label—when really it’s an 8-inch label that we fold down to a 3-inch label. They get all of the information that’s needed, but it’s not hanging down half of the shirt.”

Garcia-Velasquez also recommends customers include additional languages on the care label—even if they are not yet selling in those countries.

“I have customers that are just getting started, and if they think they might be selling in Canada and Mexico, it’s really not costing them anything else at all to just go ahead and include those two options,” she said. “It’s no cost but all value added, just in case.”

NexGen’s Loop also suggests manufacturers plan ahead.

“Have a plan to understand what the requirements are for that country and then work with a global label company,” he said. NexGen has a database of content information translated into about 32 languages. When new requirements arise—“as they often do each season,” Loop said—NexGen works with an ISO-certified translation company to get an authorized translation, which then has to be reviewed and approved by the brand or retailer.

Avery Dennison doesn’t recommend brands add additional languages to their tags “unless they have a firm plan to enter [those] new markets,” Schneider said. “We do have solutions that are flexible in re-engineering care labels to either meet global requirements or regional requirements. We [can] help our brands come up with multiple layouts in different ways so we can optimize space and get the care labels as small as possible.”

Companies looking for guidance on care-label requirements around the world can find some information from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), which publishes a table of international care-label requirements. However, OTEXA says this information is only a guide and recommends companies consult “your importer or the appropriate authorities to confirm the current labeling requirements.”

Avery Dennison publishes its own compliance guide for its customers.

Schneider said that as brands and retailers streamline their operations to keep competitive, some are reducing the resources they put toward care-label compliance.

“Brands that used to have an entire department that would deal with global care-label requirements—we find that those teams are either significantly reduced or their resources are being focused on other areas of the business,” she said. “That’s why we started putting together a whole legal compliance guide to help support our customers. As they enter new markets, the sorting and sifting through all the legal requirements can be an absolute daunting task. We find our customers are relying on us for our guidance in that area. And that’s something that we do really well.”