Speaking with style
Exclusive interviews with some of the apparel and footwear industry’s leading movers and shakers. Companies already featured include Marks & Spencer, H&M, Timberland, Adidas, New Look and Li & Fung.
“You cannot solve the sustainability agenda overnight,” explains Frank Henke, global director of social and environmental affairs at German sporting goods giant Adidas Group. Indeed, as he tells just-style, the company has faced a moving target since it launched its first sustainability programmes some 15 to 20 years ago – and that target is today moving faster than ever.
The global apparel industry is expected to grow 3.5% to over $500bn this year, matching a similar gain in 2014 and consolidating a three-year recovery, according to the International Apparel Federation's (IAF) new president Rahul Mehta.
UK supermarket brand George at Asda is on a journey to a more sustainable supply chain through its Responsible Retail programme. Lynne Tooms, senior director of quality and sourcing, explains why retailers need to understand more about where their products come from and the challenges faced by suppliers.
Levi Strauss & Co is returning to its roots. The denim stalwart, which has been battling sluggish traffic trends, international challenges and a revolution in activewear, is looking to re-establish leadership in its sector. A touch of nostalgia, plenty of innovation, adjustments in sourcing strategy, and global expansion are all part of the plan. just-style talks with Seth Ellison, the group's president for Europe.
UK retailer Marks & Spencer is on something of a mission: To become the world's most sustainable retailer through its ambitious Plan A environmental and ethical programme. The person in charge of implementing this globally is Adam Elman, head of Plan A delivery, who discusses the initiative's challenging targets and the need for wider industry collaboration.
Spanish fashion retailer Mango might have its roots firmly in Europe, but is on a growth trajectory globally, making its presence felt in most major countries. just-style spoke with managing director Enric Casi and Jose Gomez, VP of international business development, about what the future holds and the challenges of operating in today's changing retail environment.
Adriano Goldschmied, Diesel's co-founder, is working to promote a new stretch fabric he hopes will turn around the fortunes of the $50bn denim industry.
Building the business for long-term growth, but also ensuring that the company has a strong local supply chain in place to deliver on its goals, are among the challenges faced by Andrew Lo, CEO of Hong Kong based Crystal Group, as he continues to build the capacity and competitiveness of one of Asia's largest garment manufacturers.
Garment supplier Echo Sourcing has been building its business in Bangladesh since 2005 and is confident of continued growth in a country that has been rocked by a number of safety issues. The company, however, is keen to broaden its horizons and is eyeing potential new markets such as Ethiopia. Mark Bannister, head of sustainability and projects, talks to just-style.
Hot on the heels of expanding its Dockers brand license agreement with Levi Strauss & Co for the third time in four months, Hampshire Group CEO Paul Buxbaum is optimistic the company turnaround is starting to take hold. Here he talks to just-style about new opportunities and on-going efforts to leverage the firm's supply chain.
With a global vendor base of around 6,000 factories working with leading retailers and brands, sourcing specialist William E. Connor & Associates Ltd. has an enviable view into worldwide sourcing shifts. In the second instalment of a two-part interview with just-style, company chairman and CEO William E. (Chip) Connor discusses opportunities, challenges and concerns.
Transparency and integrity are two words that crop up repeatedly in conversation with William E. (Chip) Connor, chairman and CEO of Hong Kong based global sourcing specialist William E. Connor & Associates Ltd. Indeed, these have been cornerstones of the business since it was founded 65 years ago, and continue to underpin every aspect of an operation set up to act as its clients' alter-ego.
The momentum for 'Made in the UK' products might be growing in popularity - both with retailers and consumers - but a lack of skilled labour and an ageing workforce are weighing on its progress. One company working to reverse this is women's wear and nightwear fashion brand, David Nieper. Managing director Christopher Nieper tells Katie Smith why.
The arrival of new chief executive Peter Ruis at UK fashion retailer Jigsaw has seen the group shift to a more fashion-led focus. Eight months into the role, he talks to just-style about the group's sourcing ambitions, its focus on innovation, and Jigsaw's international expansion plans.
The latest sustainability report released earlier this month by Swedish apparel retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz highlights the group's achievements over the last year. Helena Helmersson, head of sustainability for H&M, spoke with just-style about the company's major milestones, including closed loop clothing, collaboration, and the group's African sourcing plans.
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- Myanmar's Garment Sector - Opportunities & Challenges in 2015
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- Management briefing: Outlook 2015: Apparel industry issues in the year ahead
- Outdoor performance apparel: peaks, valleys, and green fields
- Global market review of swimwear - forecasts to 2019