A new addition to IFAI Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La., was the Manufacturing for Good booth. Workers at the live manufacturing booth made 70 bright red duffel bags from start to finish. The bags were donated to Raintree Children & Family Services, a nonprofit organization that has assisted at-risk children and youth in the greater New Orleans area since 1926.
The Manufacturing for Good booth was IFAI’s first experience in creating a portable factory on the show floor. Expo attendees were given a live look at equipment demonstrations, sewing demonstrations and how the manufacturing process works from start to finish.
A true collaboration
“It was a rare collaboration of manufacturers from across the nation that came together to essentially create a business for three days,” says Magda Ronningen, IFAI national program manager for the Makers Division. “Everyone was helpful and willing to donate their time and technical support.”
The pop-up factory highlighted machines from nine manufacturers as duffel bags were created in an assembly-line fashion. Throughout the process, people from across the industry dropped by to offer support and put their skills and talents to good use. IFAI board immediate past chairman Katie Bradford, MFC, IFM, and owner of Custom Marine Canvas, stopped by to help with sewing. IFAI board director Roy Chism, president of The Chism Co. Inc., donated his time to help invert the duffel bags.
Whitney Armentor, Raintree development coordinator, visited the booth on the final day of Expo and expressed great appreciation. She explained that many of the young people who are served by Raintree carry their few belongings in plastic bags. The large red tote bags will give young people a convenient and stylish way to keep their belongings organized. Each bag included a luggage tag for a personalized touch.
IFAI board director Scott Massey, president of Awning Cleaning Industries/APCO Products, will recycle the demo booth excess scrap materials and find uses for the extra manufacturing materials. IFAI employees also made donations to Raintree. The donations included art supplies, rain gear and toiletries that will be shared with Raintree’s young clients.
The efforts of many
The Manufacturing for Good booth was made possible through the efforts of numerous companies. Equipment and supplies were donated by Autometrix, Fil-Tec, Forsstrom, Juki Smart Solutions, JTE Machine Systems, Miller Weldmaster, Snyder Manufacturing Inc., Vertilux, and YKK. Donors included Boat Bright Custom Canvas, Kretzer Scissors Inc., Porcupine Canvas Manufacturing Ltd. and Wyoming Canvas. The booth was hosted by IFAI’s Equipment and Makers Divisions, supported by the Industrial Fabrics Foundation and sponsored by the Marine Fabricators Association.
Sammi Jones is the assistant editor of Specialty Fabrics Review.