Up Close is Sourcing Journal’s regular check-in with industry executives to get their take on topics ranging from personal style to their company’s latest moves. In this Q&A, Jeffrey Hsu, global head – hangers at retail solution supplier Mainetti, discusses what CPG firms get right about supply chains and why companies need to balance costs with values.
Name: Jeffrey Hsu
Title: global head – hangers
Which other industry has the best handle on the supply chain? What can apparel learn?
Consumer product companies like Unilever and Johnson & Johnson are good examples of successful supply chain leaders, as they demand full end-to-end traceability using up-to-date technology to inform decision making. There is still some opacity in the apparel sourcing supply chain, with a general resistance toward transparency.
How would you describe yourself as a consumer?
I’m an informed consumer who is willing to do the necessary research before making purchase decisions. I do favor brands and retailers that stand for something.
As a consumer, what does it take to win your loyalty?
It takes a pleasant and meaningful consumer experience that results in me receiving what I need, when and where I need it. I am a firm believer in the service recovery paradox.
What’s your typical uniform?
I have a relaxed personality, but I believe in maintaining a stylish, casual approach to how I dress.
Which fashion era is your favorite?
I relate to the 1950s-1960s. I think people truly cared about their appearance and how they carried themselves, especially in the business world.
Who’s your style icon?
I appreciate the effortless style of Jay-Z and George Clooney.
What’s the best decision your company has made in the last year?
We continued to invest in technology, innovation and sustainability during a challenging time. We have opened a state-of-the-art recycling and reuse facility in North Carolina, improving our sustainable footprint.
How would you describe your corporate culture?
Throughout our history, we have valued courage, competence, integrity, commitment and collaboration. Our culture continues to evolve, as we are truly global and we are influenced by our stakeholders, who are encouraged to contribute in an open forum.
What can companies learn from Covid-19?
Successful companies that have survived—and even thrived—during Covid, have collaborated openly and effectively with their partners throughout the supply chain. In times of crisis, a company’s true colors show.
What should be the apparel industry’s top priority now?
The apparel industry is notoriously cost-conscious. There needs to be a greater emphasis on balancing costs with values-based decisions about ethical compliance and sustainability.
What keeps you up at night?
At the heart of our business is our people. Ensuring the wellbeing and livelihood of our 6,000 employees and their families is what keeps me up at night.
What makes you most optimistic?
It is assuring to know that in times of uncertainty, our team has pulled together. We have stayed strong as a team, and are confident that we have the right people in place for us to be successful.
Tell us about your company’s latest product introduction:
Mainetti has demonstrated our commitment to the circular economy by opening our latest state-of-the-art Reuse and Recycle Facility in North Carolina. We launched a new product range called Mainetti Care, providing health and safety solutions to businesses and communities. Mainetti has also emphasized partnering with cutting-edge companies like UBQ Materials Ltd., helping us achieve new standards for product innovation and sustainability in the fashion industry.