Li & Fung and Softwear Automation Announce Partnership

Li & Fung Limited, a world’s leading supply chain solutions partner for consumer brands and retailers, has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Softwear Automation, Inc., a U.S. company that develops revolutionary sewing technologies for manufacturing automation in the home goods, footwear and apparel industries.

The partnership leverages Li & Fung’s global supplier network and Softwear’s autonomous sewing worklines with the aim of creating a fully digital manufacturing supply chain for apparel and textile products. The partnership will initially focus on the supply chain of T-shirts, with potential to expand to other product categories in the future.

Softwear’s revolutionary digital T-shirt Sewbot Workline is fully autonomous and requires a single operator, producing one complete T-shirt every 22 seconds – twice as fast as manual sewing. Digitizing the production portion of the supply chain presents a game-changing opportunity for manufacturers and suppliers. Technology solutions like automation will enable manufacturers to deliver better productivity and efficiency and create new, higher-value employment opportunities for their employees, such as engineers and technicians.

In March, Li & Fung provided an update on the progress of its Three-Year Plan (2017-2019) and initiatives around speed, innovation and digitalization, highlighting that the company’s goal of creating the Supply Chain of the Future had a strong start in 2017, and it is on track to deliver its financial and strategic goals.

Spencer Fung, CEO of the Li & Fung Group, says, “We have already made substantial progress in our digital journey to create the Supply Chain of the Future, and this partnership with Softwear Automation is another building block in our end-to-end digital supply chain. Through this collaboration, we want to partner with an initial set of manufacturers to create our first fully digital apparel supply chain, and use those learnings to scale the technology and create customized solutions for our supplier network around the world. The benefits will not only reach our suppliers but all our stakeholders along the supply chain.”

“We have a shared vision with Li & Fung that the analog will become digital,” said Palaniswamy Rajan, Chairman & CEO of Softwear Automation. “Consumers’ demand to get things faster, quicker and more unique than ever before is only increasing. Together with Li & Fung, our revolutionary Sewbots will enable the speed needed for on demand, made-to-measure manufacturing, at scale.”