URI hosting daylong conference about the future of the textile and clothing industry in the United States and worldwide

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KINGSTON, R.I. – Aug. 27, 2014 – Is clothing manufacturing returning to the United States? What’s the “global journey” of a cotton T-shirt before it reaches a retail store?


Those questions and more will be answered during a daylong conference at the University of Rhode Island hosted by the Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design.


The “URI Cotton Summit: the 21st Century Global Apparel Value Chain and Implications for U.S. Cotton in the World Marketplace” Sept. 22 in the Memorial Union Ballroom on the Kingston campus is free and open to the public.


Sheng Lu, a professor in the textiles department, came up with the idea for the conference to raise public awareness about the importance of the cotton, textile and apparel industry in the 21st century global economy.


“It is very exciting that so many well-known experts in the textile and apparel field will gather at URI for the Cotton Summit,” Lu says. “The event will be a wonderful learning opportunity for our students, encouraging them to think globally, have a big picture vision in mind and care about what is going on in the real world.”


Among the topics for discussion are: What’s the best U.S. trade policy to promote the export of American cotton, textile and apparel products? Is textile and apparel manufacturing coming back to the United States? Why is “Made in China” gradually replaced by “Made for China,” and what does the change mean for American fashion companies?


Among the speakers are:


Maria D’Andrea, supervisory international trade specialist of the Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce.


Robert Antoshak, managing director, Olah Inc.


Jon Devine, senior economist, Cotton Incorporated.


Kitty Dickerson, consultant and professor emerita, University of Missouri.


Erin Ennis, vice president, U.S.-China Business Council.


Stacey Frederick, research scientist, Center on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness, Duke University.


Nate Herman, vice president, American Apparel and Footwear Association.


Julia Hughes, president, U.S. Fashion Industry Association.


Augustine Tantillo, president and chief executive officer, National Council of Textile Organizations.


David Trumbull, principal, Agathon Associates


This event is free, thanks to the support of the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated. Due to limited seating, advance registration is required .


For more information, contact Lu at shenglu@mail.uri.edu.