just-style authors and correspondents
Articles by David Birnbaum
Twenty years ago major garment importers and retailers began to move away from independent agents to set up wholly-owned buying offices where every middleman performed the same work. Fast forward to 2014, and the range of services has soared in both number and complexity. The challenge, now, is to quantify the level of performance - and commission, writes David Birnbaum.
Innovation is all about change - sometimes planned, often unplanned. But there are lessons to be learned too, and as garment companies move to set up in-house innovation centres they would do well to take heed, writes David Birnbaum.
Governments have a vital role to play in supporting the modern industrial economy, but in many garment-exporting countries this positive support is both lacking and counter-productive. Based on his work in the Dominican Republic, David Birnbaum suggests government giveaways make change even more difficult.
Data from major garment exporting countries to the EU and US shows who's winning and losing so far in 2014. David Birnbaum looks at the trends.
Bangladesh's share of the US apparel market has been in decline since February this year. But a closer look at the figures shows that while it is holding up in basic men's wear, women's wear fashion is on a downward trajectory.
Just six months ago the major brand importers and giant transnational factories were rushing to build state-of-the-art operations in Bangladesh, despite the Rana Plaza and Tazreen mishaps. Where are they now? asks David Birnbaum.
Despite the many claims to the contrary, it would appear that China's share of the US garment export market has failed to decline - while at the same time, Bangladesh's garment export market share has failed to rise.
The latest word is "segmentation": a trend whereby China is losing its position as a low-cost garment exporter and other countries have stepped up to claim their part of the manufacturing pie. The problem, says David Birnbaum, is that the concept is somewhat at odds with the data.
This is the third article in a series describing an ongoing project being carried out in India's apparel export sector. Here, David Birnbaum looks at some more reasons why India's garment-export industry is trapped in an environment of stagnation.
This is the second article in a series describing an ongoing project being carried out in India's apparel export sector. Here, David Birnbaum looks at the structural obstacles and systemic barriers contributing to the decline of India's garment industry.
- 2014: Year in review - Sourcing winners and losers
- COMMENT: The decline of the buying office
- 2014: Year in review - Brand winners and losers
- 2014: Year in review - Retail winners and losers
- Bangladesh: Raising the bar on apparel exports?
- Report urges overhaul of Cambodia factory safety
- Bangladesh knitting worker killed by faulty lift
- North Face debuts locally-grown "backyard" hoodie
- Bangladesh factory improvements “will take years”
- Apparel manufacturing leads US reshoring trend