just-style authors and correspondents
Articles by Kitty So
As reforms to China's cotton liberalisation policy start to kick in, world cotton prices are expected to better reflect market demand. However, experts are concerned that if prices continue to drop, governments in other countries might be encouraged to intervene and offer a guaranteed price to growers, causing renewed uncertainty.
Apparel and textile companies seeking to make their supply chains more sustainable have increasing options to adopt 'greener' innovations - from developments in organic cotton to software monitoring tools and organisations helping to establish eco-friendly policies.
As the global apparel sector searches for more eco-friendly fibres and fabrics, innovative developments are increasingly focusing on more sustainable and often unusual alternative feedstocks.
Fung Capital is investing in US-based Centric Software, a provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software to the apparel industry, helping the US company's expansion into Asia.
Experts have warned that clothing companies from developed countries who implement international ethical standards when investing in Myanmar/Burma will probably be competing with Asian companies who ignore such guidance.
Governments from European countries have used a session at the OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct to call on garment companies who sourced from the Rana Plaza factory complex in Bangladesh to fund compensation to victims of the building's collapse one year ago.
Apparel and textile companies must consider a variety of complex factors when looking to switch suppliers, especially to a new manufacturer. But software specifically geared towards the sector can help companies track these changes, anticipate issues, and integrate new suppliers within the supply chain.
As brands and retailers set higher production standards and create ever more complex supply chains, they need to consider all the risks when switching suppliers.
Despite brands' desire to monitor more operations, the fragmented organisation of standards around the world remains a key challenge.
With the need to check the safety of supply chains a growing concern, software providers are updating their products to help apparel and textile companies monitor their manufacturing and distribution partners.
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