Smartex Announces 2024 Modern Textile Factory Committee with focus on “Building the Supply Chain Data Highway”


In 2023, Smartex published the first-ever Modern Textile Factory (MTF) Report, pulling together insights from a group of experienced industry stakeholders ranging from factory owners & operators, material & process innovators, former brand executives, & policy experts.

The report covered how the four key industry trends of price, speed, quality & compliance were driving a necessary seachange in factory operations – making the modernization of operations crucial to maintaining competitiveness. Highlighting five pivotal pillars for factory enhancement, the report underscored the critical importance of resource efficiency, real-time data utilization, data-driven decision-making, stakeholder integration, & fostering high-quality jobs in safe work environments.

For 2024, Smartex is doubling down on its focus on factory operations by deep diving into the crucial & much needed creation of a robust data highway that connects all tiers of the supply chain. Recognizing that data is the cornerstone of informed decision-making, this year’s focus aims to understand existing data needs & communication processes, & discuss how this can be radically & pragmatically improved across the textile supply chain.

Smartex is proud to introduce our 2024 MTF Committee to discuss this topic:

Factory Perspectives

  • Mikael Weinholtz – Executive Director Business Strategy, Seduno Group
  • Kapil Kumar – CEO & Founder, Sagar Textile Mills
  • Manoj Dimri – CEO, GoodEarth Apparels
  • Kevin Xia – General Manager & Owner, Shilead
  • Deniz Ata – Director of Business Development, Pameks Giyim
  • Arfan Zaman – Assistant General Manager, Mascom Composite Limited

Brand Perspectives

  • Louise Claughton – Former Vice President, PVH Corp
  • Mark Green – Advisory Board Member, PDS

Innovator & Legislation Perspectives

  • Patricia Ahufinger – CEO, Nodes Studio
  • Lutz Walter – Managing Director, Textile ETP
  • Gilberto Loureiro – CEO & Co-Founder,

Full bios on each member can be found below.

The 2024 MTF Committee will meet four times this year to discuss this key topic moderated by Smartex’s Innovation Director, Max Easton. In December, Smartex will release the second edition MTF Report pulling together the key insights from the Committee’s discussions.

As concluded in 2023, if factories want to thrive in a market that demands the same competitive prices as well as increased speed, quality & compliance, they need to accelerate their modernization now. Many challenges exist – but an inevitable change is afoot. By the end of this year, the MTF Committee hopes to be able to shed some light on its direction so we can keep building the Modern Textile Factories we all need.

Mikael Weinholtz
Hailing from Sweden, Mikael Weinholtz has amassed over 15 years of experience in textile production across Asia & Africa. With a diverse background working for multinational brands & suppliers in countries like India, China, Ethiopia, Cambodia, & Vietnam, Mikael currently lends his expertise to business strategy at Seduno Group, a leading global vertical garment manufacturer.

Kapil Kumar Agarwal
With 45 years of multi-Industry exposure in leadership roles in top Indian & Multinational companies, including 23 years in Textile sector, Kapil is presently CEO of Sagar Manufacturers PVT Limited, a leading Textile company with an impressive footprint in Indian & Global markets.

Manoj Dimri
Manoj Dimri champions a leadership philosophy centered on fostering innovation, collaboration, & continuous improvement. With a successful track record of managing operations across Bangladesh, India, & the United Kingdom, Manoj excels in navigating the complexities of the global marketplace.

Kevin Xia
Founder of Shilead in 1992, Kevin Xia propelled the company into new markets by 1996. Shilead is renowned for providing heavy knit yarn tailored to the flat knitting segment.

Deniz Ata
A perpetually curious textile engineer with extensive experience in various facets of the fashion industry. Deniz has traversed roles in prominent brands, sourcing agencies, & factories. Currently, Deniz spearheads business development efforts at Pameks Giyim, a leading garment manufacturing company based in Istanbul, Türkiye.

Arfan Uz Zaman
Arfan is a passionate & results-driven professional with extensive expertise in garments & textile merchandising. With 19 years of hands-on experience in the industry, he has honed his skills in managing end-to-end merchandising operations, fostering supplier relationships, & optimizing production processes along with customer centricity.

Louise Claughton
With over two decades of expertise in global apparel supply chain management, Louise Claughton has been instrumental in driving transformative initiatives at renowned companies such as PVH Corporation, Next Sourcing plc, & Victoria’s Secret. Passionate about sustainability & innovation, Louise champions projects in material sourcing, product development, & operational efficiency, aiming to drive positive change in the fashion industry.

Mark Green
With 23 years’ experience, Mark focuses on the PDS North American expansion. He was responsible for Sourcing Hubs & Operations in Central America, from 2008 – 2012 with Walmart; & then until 2023 with PVH. He has led teams in Egypt since 2008 & was responsible for leading the PVH expansion into East Africa.

Patricia Ahufinger
Patricia Ahufinger is a seasoned supply chain management professional with a proven track record of driving operational transformation & growth within the fashion & technology sectors. As the CEO of Nodes Studio & with previous roles at Pangaia, Spring, & Burberry, Patricia specializes in orchestrating global supply chain strategies & integrating technological innovations, all while maintaining a deep commitment to sustainability & operational efficiency.

Lutz Walter
Lutz Walter is the Founder & Managing Director of Textile ETP, Europe’s largest network of textile researchers & innovators. Formerly serving as the Director of Innovation & Skills at EURATEX, Lutz is a prominent figure in advancing the European Textile & Clothing Industry Confederation.

Gilberto Loureiro
Gilberto is the CEO & Co-Founder of Smartex, a pioneering company specializing in artificial intelligence for the textile industry. Armed with a Master’s in Physics Engineering, Gilberto brings a wealth of experience from textile factory operations, consulting, & research. His mission is to revolutionize global factory production by fostering innovation, minimizing waste, & enhancing transparency.

About Smartex
Smartex is a leading and award-winning hardware-based software company at the forefront of developing advanced solutions and essential tools for modern textile factories. Our AI-driven solutions — Smartex CORE, Smartex FACT, and Smartex LOOP — enable manufacturers to elevate quality control, optimize operations, enhance sustainability, and streamline supply chains, positioning them competitively in today’s landscape.

Bhargav Pathak
Bhargav Pathak
With a passion for the textile, apparel, and fashion industry, I embarked on a journey fueled by education from NIFT Gandhinagar and affiliation with NDBI at NID Ahmedabad. Since 2006, I've contributed to various corporate ventures, specializing in B2B, B2C, SaaS, and AI products within the textile domain. In July 2023, I launched, a knowledge hub offering the latest news, articles, and soon-to-come features like interviews and a trade fair calendar. Grateful for the growing community, we've recently introduced a Business Directory for enhanced visibility. Join us on LinkedIn and stay connected with the ever-evolving textile landscape!

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