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Mike Flanagan

Mike FlanaganBiography

Mike Flanagan is CEO of Clothesource Limited, which provides apparel buyers and sellers throughout the world with the hard data they need to understand their competitiveness. Clothesource, with the world's largest collection of intelligence on clothing price comparisons, supplier capabilities and national resources, provides both buyers and sellers with advice and training on improving sourcing and selling skills.
Mike began his career in the advertising industry in the UK and Italy, before moving into retailing. Before setting up Clothesource, he held a number of senior international buying, marketing and operations posts in the retail divisions of groups such as Associated British Foods, British Petroleum and US Shoe.

Columns by Mike Flanagan

The FlanarantThe Flanarant

A forthright take on the follies the world’s apparel buying community has to deal with, from Mike Flanagan, CEO of Clothesource – and his suggestions for putting them right.

Articles by Mike Flanagan

China's manufacturers don't need a Five-Year Plan to tell them how to produce more efficientlyWhy China’s 5-year plan won't change garment-making 24 November 2015

China is using a catchy English-language TV ad to promote its 13th Five-Year Plan for the five years to 2020. But does the Plan really tell us how garment-making in China will be affected? asks Mike Flanagan.

The US Administration may delay a formal Congressional debate until after the 2016 electionsThe Flanarant - Will the TPP pass into law? 12 November 2015

The Flanarant - Will the TPP pass into law? Last week, on 5 November, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) published the detailed text of the agreement that its 12 potential members had reached exactly a month earlier. Publication coincided with a number of events illustrating just how unpredictable the deal’s approval by those countries’ legislatures is likely to be. They raise a number of questions:

A Brexit would move almost all of Britain’s trade relations back to ground zeroWhat a ‘Brexit’ might mean for world apparel trade 29 October 2015

A promised referendum on Britain’s continuing membership of the EU – and the possibility of a Brexit in two years’ time – would have massive implications for world apparel trade, according to Mike Flanagan.

The TPP has required each country to make concessionsThe Flanarant: TPP – now the real fight starts 6 October 2015

On 5 October, the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) announced that their trade ministers had agreed a deal. But Mike Flanagan still doubts it will come into action this decade.

China is likely to continue to boost domestic factory investment, but perhaps not those overseasComment: Where will China’s credit axe fall? 25 September 2015

Security bills that expand the role of Japan's military overseas could result in China ramping up investments to protect its supply routes and domestic growth. But Mike Flanagan suggests this is also likely to have ramifications for the funding of garment projects overseas.

By abandoning EU trade talks, India is the only South Asian country subject to European import dutyTHE FLANARANT: Chaos in the world’s trade agreements 2 September 2015

The world garment trade was transformed in August, writes Mike Flanagan, with the biggest casualty likely to be India’s plans to increase textile and clothing exports by 20% a year and create an extra 35m jobs by 2024.

Compared with other currencies, the yuan-dollar relationship has been stable for 20 yearsChina devaluation: what’s the big deal? 24 August 2015

Why the fuss about China’s yuan devaluation earlier this month? While pretty trivial by the standards of the past 50 years, it has managed to raise all sorts of hackles, writes Mike Flanagan.

Most initiatives by responsible buyers are in response to public pressureTHE FLANARANT: What will Britain’s Modern Slavery Act achieve? 10 August 2015

Britain’s Modern Slavery Act (MSA), which began coming into force on 31 July, sets new disclosure standards on an extraordinary number of garment businesses. But its legal niceties won’t really determine the law’s impact, believes Mike Flanagan, noting that public opinion matters more.

Amazon’s sales are thought to have grown by around 25% a yearWill Amazon take over the US apparel market? 23 July 2015

A prediction this week that internet giant Amazon could take the top spot for US apparel retailing by 2017 is a gross exaggeration, according to Mike Flanagan. But it does raise intriguing questions about Amazon’s possible impact on the clothing market.

A general unease about Bangladeshi production standards remains following the collapse of the Rana Plaza buildingTHE FLANARANT: When will Bangladesh take compliance seriously? 17 July 2015

Are Bangladesh’s garment factory owners about to destroy their extraordinary apparel success story? On the face of it, the question sounds absurd, writes Mike Flanagan. But neither the BGMEA nor the Bangladesh government have shown any real interest in developing a compliant garment industry.

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