AAFA Announces New Mission

At its mid-March board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C., The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) approved a new mission statement and strategic plan to guide the association's priorities, operations and accomplishments into the future.

"Our new strategic plan and mission statement provides for an ambitious approach to achieving AAFA's primary goal of creating opportunities and overcoming challenges for the U.S. apparel and footwear industry, like reducing barriers to trade, protecting intellectual property and protecting the Berry Amendment for domestic manufacturers," said AAFA president and CEO Kevin M. Burke.

The AAFA's new chairman, Philip Williamson, who is chairman, president and CEO of Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Co., added: "As an industry leader, I count on AAFA to mitigate political risks and regulatory challenges for my company. The industry faces more challenges today that threaten our success. This strategic plan offers a clear plan of attack for AAFA in promoting the apparel and footwear industry."

In 2011, AAFA began the challenge of better positioning the organization in support of the evolving needs of its members. AAFA launched the "We Wear(r)" brand identity in an attempt to change the conversation in Washington about an industry that thrives and creates jobs because of imports. Key points were the fact that the U.S. apparel and footwear industry represents four million workers and contributes $350 billion in annual U.S. retail sales.
At its core, the revised mission statement provides solid direction in guiding AAFA forward in assisting the membership base as it identifies workable solutions to the political, legislative, and regulatory issues that are now present in nearly every business decision.

It reads: "AAFA stands at the forefront as a leader of positive change for the apparel and footwear industry. With integrity and purpose, AAFA delivers a unified voice on key legislative and regulatory issues. AAFA enables a collaborative forum to promote best practices and innovation. AAFA's comprehensive work ensures the continued success and growth of the apparel and footwear industry, its suppliers, and its customers."
AAFA will achieve this mission by:
  • Building consensus and offering actionable solutions for global trade, social responsibility, sustainability, product safety, intellectual property and government procurement issues to promote a globally competitive industry.
  • Leading the way in professional development, networking, and continuing industry education through a rigorous and comprehensive training curriculum enabling the industry to stay ahead of tomorrow's challenges.
  • Providing members with valuable intelligence to make smart business decisions that enhance profitability and mitigate risk.
  • Communicating the goals and needs of the industry to deepen the public's understanding and knowledge about the industry.
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