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David Birnbaum

Articles by David Birnbaum

Lies, damned lies, and statistics – the sustainability version 22 June 2016

Garment making is to a large degree a model for sustainability, says David Birnbaum, adding that those working towards greater sustainability have an obligation to be transparent and accurate. What is not needed is input from those who lack the experience and knowledge to help.


Customers, middlemen and factory suppliers are becoming increasingly more alignedThe decline and fall of the supply chain manager 11 May 2016

The role of the middleman has become far greater and more important than ever before, with responsibility beginning before the onset of the supply chain and continuing long after its end – as David Birnbaum explains.


The yarn-forward provisions of TPP have led to a surge in spinning, weaving and knitting investmentTPP and the garment industry – are there any winners? 15 April 2016

David Birnbaum is trying very hard to understand how the garment provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) will affect US stakeholders. I can understand just who will fall into the loser column, he writes. The problem is finding anyone to place in the winner column.


The internet is the defining element of the future – but what role do the supplier factories have to play?The rise of the millennial industry requires radical change 11 January 2016

As he refocuses his business on the next generation, consultant David Birnbaum explains why he believes the global garment industry is breaking apart – and how competing in the internet age requires retailers and brands, the big internet players, the 'itsy-bitsy' internet industry, and the supplier factories to take an honest look at the problem and try to create realistic solutions.


Vietnam is one of the US apparel import countries – the winners 2 December 2015

US garment imports have not only reached record levels but, based on recent data, growth is accelerating. David Birnbaum has used this as an opportunity to take a snapshot of the global garment industry: the current position of exporting countries and more importantly the direction in which they are moving. This article, the first of three, looks at the success stories.


Recent figures might well show the end of the end of ChinaUS apparel import countries – stuck in the middle 2 December 2015

US garment imports have not only reached record levels but, based on recent data, growth is accelerating. David Birnbaum has used this as an opportunity to take a snapshot of the global garment industry: the current position of exporting countries and more importantly the direction in which they are moving. This article, the second of three, looks at the less successful.


Mexico's market share continues its very long-term declineUS apparel import countries – the losers 2 December 2015

US garment imports have not only reached record levels but, based on recent data, growth is accelerating. David Birnbaum has used this as an opportunity to take a snapshot of the global garment industry: the current position of exporting countries and more importantly the direction in which they are moving. This article, the third of three, looks at the losers.


Vietnam will be the big winner from the TPP trade pactComment: TPP winners and losers 13 October 2015

Now that it appears the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may actually come to pass, which apparel and textile producing countries are most likely to benefit and which will not? David Birnbaum agrees that Vietnam will be the big winner — but believes the greatest loser will almost certainly be the US textile manufacturers.


Comment: How to build momentum in mass-customisation 16 September 2015

While technology is often an important tool for innovation, new technology in itself does not necessarily result in innovation, writes David Birnbaum. But he believes the technology is available to finally help solve the mass-customisation problem.


The only means for workers to improve their working conditions is to join together as a groupAsian union development: is there another way? 21 August 2015

The efforts of multinational brands, retailers and importers to impose minimum wages and better working conditions in their supplier factories, while good in the short run, will result in greater problems in the long run, says David Birnbaum. Instead, he proposes that customers who want to raise worker standards in their supplier factories must find a third way forward.


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