031 – Jason Robinson of UPS – A Force of Change

How UPS strategically partners with businesses, from shortening routes, improving supply chains, developing delivery by drones, sustainability and humanitarianism, and data and analytics…

Jason Robinson, Director of Marketing for the North Atlantic Region for UPS, joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. (Robinson’s profile)

Empowering competition, drones, and Orion

Robinson shares his love of the complexity of movement, how he fell into his job after growing up in UPS out of high school and worked his way up, and being in a new role only around since 2010. What UPS offers businesses to compete with large platforms, the impact of same day delivery, and how UPS creates challenges and forces change, the need for partnerships, and keeping the finger on the pulse. Drones, related regulations/policies, testing drones after the hurricane in Houston, logistics, weight limits, restrictions, how drones can help in rural areas, and challenges of introducing a new technology into existing infrastructure and fully deploying quickly. And the incredible tool Orion, which shortens the routes of drivers, saving millions of dollars on fuel.

Education, reducing the carbon footprint, and the UPS Package Lab

Industry training business about consumer expectations, asking consumers about behavior online, time in transit, custom shipping, the increase of mobile and loss of tablet activity. Sustainability and humanitarian focuses, increasing efficiency and safety by saving mileage and fuel by minimizing left hand turns. Material and packaging options for recycled materials, looking. And the UPS Package Lab has an eco packaging program, which can help with marketing.

Data and analytics, fly fishing, and being a strategic partner

Robust data and analytics from UPS and making those available to businesses, giving the delivery driver the opportunity to go into houses with a doorbell program, and the impact of residential vs. commercial. Personal questions cover fitting in family time, fly fishing in the Catskills, hiking trails, bucket list cultural experiences and wishes, Norway, and New Zealand (and, again, fly fishing). And UPS My Choice, and being strategic partners instead of a vendor.

030 – Marni Leopold, Lucia Palacios, and Mary Marino – Peru, Guatemala, and Africa

Material and textile matchmaking in other countries…

Marni Leopold (Luxury Sales & Management – ‎Trade Commission of Peru), Lucia Palacios (Marketing and Promotion Director of Vestex, Apparel and Textile Association of Guatemala), and Mary Marino (Trade Linkage Consultant, USAID Contractor at East Africa Trade and Investment Hub), join Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes on location at Sourcing at Coterie. Powered by Sennheiser.


Marni Leopold (Luxury Sales & Management – ‎Trade Commission of Peru) discusses her role as a matchmaker, making introductions between USA designers and brands with Peruvian manufacturers, materials and market. How the attraction to Peru starts with quality, some of the best raw materials in the world, fibers, fabrics, and Peru has a free trade agreement, so materials are duty free. Promoting manufacturing, a trade show, how Leopold became involved, a focus on Hema Cotton and Alpaca, and a love of ceviche.

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029 – Clay Hickson of WRAP – Sweatshop Watchdog

Watchdog for ethical manufacturing…

Clay Hickson (profile), VP of Strategy and Business Development at WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production), a non-profit organization “sweatshop watchdog” making sure manufacturers are ethical manufacturers, joins hosts Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes on location at Sourcing at Coterie. Powered by Sennheiser.

Certification and education, demands for ethical sourcing, and a history of concerns

Hickson discusses how materials are building blocks and sources of information, and how WRAP provides certifications and educational activities, doing it last year in more than 2500 factories in more than 40 countries. He reveals who pays for the costs and how many stakeholders and customers are demanding ethical sourcing including socially responsible investors. A look at child labor, forced labor, and structural integrity of building, along with the history of ethical sourcing concerns.

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028 – Ronnye Shamam of Shamron Mills – Not Run of the Mill

Garments and textile items for healthcare, linen supply and industrial settings…

Ronnye Shamam, President of Shamron Mills (a manufacturer of all types of garments and textile items for healthcare, linen supply and other industrial settings – (profile)), joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes at the MouthMedia Network Studios powered by Sennheiser.

Origins, mandating quality, and challenges

Shamam discusses how the company started with hospital gowns, and sells to distributors, how for many the quantities that Shamron Mills are not important enough to get involved in, and largely manufacturing overseas. Mandating that color, fasteners and fabric stand up to industrial laundries and high temperatures to sterilize, drapes in operating rooms that must be certain sized with specific openings, customized for superstar doctors, and children sleepwear regulations. Production locations, changing and modifying the business to stay aligned with customers and industry. The challenges of fewer mills and converters, having to adapt to make more overseas. How small runs and quick turnaround requires Made in USA.

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027 – Sharon Graubard of MintModa – Mapping the Thread

Fashion trend forecasting…

Sharon Graubard, Founder and Creative Director of MintModa (trend forecasting which enables trend-right product for all fashion and design-related industries – (profile)), joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes in the MouthMedia network studios powered by Sennheiser.

What MintModa looks for, looking for the thread, and trends as a mirror

Graubard shares how as a fashion forecaster she analyzes what’s going on — on the street and in culture — and meaningful narratives about fashion, along with some direction. How analysis happens, how the seeds of what’s coming are here and now, and focuses also on home interiors, beauty and design related industries. What she and her team look for, how you can kind of feel it, what’s coming next. Why you still have to travel to see trends, to feel and smell it. Seeing the world on your phone is not ideal, digesting info, how you can’t be everywhere and assess everything, how does info come in, what might be not so much a trend, more like assessing street tribes of fashion, looking for the thread not just low hanging fruit, new contexts, a strange mix bubbling up that becomes newness. Maps with arrows, like a psychological map behind the trend. Designers thinking they are their own trend forecasters, who the Internet affects. Now the consumer tells the industry what’s happening next. Need to see what designers think, along with what people are wearing. A self fulfilling-prophecy vs. a trend being organic? A trend has to be like a mirror.

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026 – Sabine Seymour of SUPASPOT – SUPApowers

Apparel as data platform with a biometric sensor kit from SUPASPOT…

Sabine Seymour, Consultant. Researcher, and Founder & CEO at SUPASPOT INC. (biometrics + extreme sports + fashion + artificial intelligence in a onesie at a dance party with the SUPA Powered Sports Bra having an integrated sensor made from fabric – (profile)), joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

A digital YKK, gathering data, potential blockchain for biometrics

Seymour details the biometric sensor kit for clothing, essentially a digital YKK, connecting to piece of electronics can be clipped into garment, automatically connected it to the SUPA app, with different applications on platform, integrating sensor like a trim or zipper into the garment. Correlating and aggregating data, evaluating levels of hydration for example, resulting in much data being gathered, every garment has a unique ID and can be traced, do not give the data away, but can make a transaction that can give deals in return for data sharing. No methods of data encryption, possible block chain for biometrics?

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025 – Andrew Dent of Material ConneXion – Staying in Touch with Materials

Innovative, advanced, and sustainable materials library…

Andrew Dent, Executive Vice President, Research for Material ConneXion (the world’s largest library of innovative, advanced, and sustainable materials – (profile)) – joins Stephanie Benedetto, Samanta Cortes, and Rob Sanchez at the MouthMedia Network Studios powered by Sennheiser.

Materials across industries, the magic of physical samples, and four tenents

Dent describes how Material ConneXion show clients who make anything them how to make better products ranging from beds, to clothing, flooring, appliances, vehicles, furniture, exploring new and interesting materials, providing both digital and in-person searches, but how there is no substitution for physical samples. The way it sparks innovation and inspiration, the ability to touch and feel materials across various markets. Four tenents for innovation to get into the library, artificial spider silk, and making fabrics out of milk.

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024 – David Sasso of Buhler Quality Yarns – Farm to Shelf

Sustainable manufacturing of fine count yarns with Buhler Quality Yarns…

David Sasso, VP of International Sales for Buhler Quality Yarns (manufacturer and supplier of fine-count yarns, with over 200 years of experience producing yarns, and dedicated to the highest standards, unparalleled service and sustainable manufacturing – (bio)) joins Samanta Cortes, Stephanie Benedetto, and Rob Sanchez on location at TexWorld USA in New York.

Centuries of experience, a partnership, and quality over price

Sasso discusses Supima, a premiere spinner for micromodal and tencel products from wood fibers, how the industry lost focus, what cellulose means to comfort and breathability, how the Buhler name goes back over 200 years, a premiere spinner of premium fibers in Europe, was core product and yarn, and having been in high demand for luxury products on global basis. A partnership putting together strategies going forward, global vs. regional strategies, market changes, how Buhler knows about manufacturing of yarns, fabrics and apparel, and looking at the whole supply chain and fine tune it to be competitive. Quality is important and education as well, not problems when not maximizing consumer experience.

Educating partners, technical qualities, and sustainability

How if one saves pennies it can sacrifice dollars when the customer is not happy. Educating partners to know how a supply chain can be put together to meet price points and manufacturing goals. And speed vs. price point vs. communication vs. transportation. Breathability requires cellular features, the difference in naturally occurring vs. synthetics fibers, how everyone wants to jump to design stage without considering technical qualities of fibers, from structure to shape, and implications on performance, absorption, and having lost that knowhow. While value is the game changer, what sustainability means to Buhler, the worst sustainable product is one that doesn’t last, and didn’t accomplish much at a consumer level.   Fiber properties must be there or a fabric will be inferior. If a fiber is weak it must be blended with a stronger fiber for example.

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023 – Mercedes Gonzalez of Global Purchasing Companies – Moments of Opportunity

Strategy and brand development for retail and emerging designers…

Mercedes Gonzalez, Director of Global Purchasing Companies (a fashion strategy and brand development agency, planning and implementing strategies for retailers and emerging designers – (bio)) joins Samanta Cortes, Stephanie Benedetto, and Rob Sanchez on location at TexWorld USA in New York.

Becoming a negotiator, matching American retail sensibilities, and buyers vs. accountants

Gonzalez reveals her work as a buyer, with a forte in international business, moments of opportunity, how selling old ladies polyester dresses is not glamorous, and why that led her to being a buyer in pursuit of glamour and ending up working with knit tops up to $10. How Gonzalez developed a reputation as a good negotiator, how speaking Spanish led to advancement, her current 19 years-old company, the impact of matching international stores with the sensibilities of American stores, discoveries of a mall developer in Siberia, how advising emerging designers helped raise sales but in 2009 when online sales started were soaring, the importance of timing for opportunity, why Gonzalez has been called the dream crusher (vs. nightmare avoider), and how buyers are not buyers but instead accountants.

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022 – Tim Hallett of Kornit Digital – Reinventing Supply Chain

Digital textile printing solutions with Kornit…

Tim Hallett, Director of Marketing, North America, Kornit Digital (digital textile printing solutions) joins Samanta Cortes, Stephanie Benedetto, and Rob Sanchez on location at TexWorld USA in New York.

Humidification, wet-on-wet, and a point-and-click world

Hallett discussed Kornit’s digital printers, and how they manufacture their own ink, being a full solution to clients and their clients. One thing that is different is a humidification process. Inks all water based, doesn’t require pretreating before printing. Patented wet-on-wet process, trying to modify the supply chain, which is currently significantly extended. Just take a picture and upload it, put in system, and it is on a shirt in minutes. Ripping software will be dependent on customer workflow. Light commercial to mass customization, and a roll-to roll-solution which can go straight to a cutting machine, satisfying today’s point and click world.

The value proposition, impacting supply chain, and connecting with community

Synthetics are different, with dyes at lower temperatures. Kornit is manufacturing and selling printers and inks, eco-friendly ink system, with value proposition as a time-saver, energy saver, labor saver, significantly impacts supply chain, can take design and test it immediately, and satisfy smaller runs. Moved from design then sell to designing what you’ve already sold. Degree of colorfast on leather, and Kornit’s significant R and D. Taking dye out, replacing color, the hand feel after the process and discharge which takes out the dye from the area you want colored. Connecting with the community at TexWorld, educating clients based on technology Kornit is offering, and helping the client make money.

The Chicago Cubs, size matters, and telling the right story

Customization will be spread across a variety of industries, with examples the like when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series the shirts were not pre-made, companies can react to something more cost effectively, with the ability to react in “real time”. How long it takes for an image to lay right depends in part on size of an image, plus a look at how small, how large printer can handle. Remodeling, how Hallett’s military experience impacts doing things 100%, educating people in the business world, and learning how to tell a story at the right time to the right people to fight for something.