By: Leonie Barrie

just-style editor Leonie Barrie shares her thoughts on some of the top stories in the news.

Viewpoint: US apparel industry data sheds light on sector shifts 3 Jan 2014

An annual update of US apparel industry trends might use data that is more than a year old, but it offers an interesting snapshot of the state of play in the US textile and apparel trade, from domestic production trends to import costs.

Viewpoint: Chinese cotton auction unlikely to dent stockpile 28 Nov 2013

Having spent the past two years building up massive cotton stockpiles that now account for an estimated half of the world's supply, the Chinese government is selling off some of its reserves.

Viewpoint: Collaboration key to tackling supply chain issues 17 Oct 2013

Efforts to increase supply chain transparency should include closer collaboration and partnerships with suppliers, an industry event has heard.

Viewpoint: Rupee fall a mixed bag for Indian garment industry 11 Sep 2013

The falling value of the Indian rupee is proving to be something of a mixed bag for the country's clothing industry.

Viewpoint: China changes drive global sourcing search 15 Aug 2013

In its constant search for cheaper and cheaper production bases around the world, there are few places the apparel and textile industry has left untouched. But still the search goes on. From Africa to the Americas, Burma to Bangladesh, there seems to be a never-ending debate as to the next sourcing hotspot.

Viewpoint: Can trade benefits be taken for granted? 9 Jul 2013

The US decision last month to suspend trade benefits for Bangladesh was a symbolic gesture intended to emphasise its frustrations over factory safety in the country's garment sector. But could the European Union's repeated threats to cut access to its own GSP system prove more of a wake-up call?

Viewpoint: Making clothes should never mean life or death 2 May 2013

Is Bangladesh is a place where workers are safe to make clothes sold by Western retailers and brands - and is the lure of low costs a risk worth taking? Last week's collapse of the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory complex has brought these concerns to the fore all over again.

Viewpoint: JC Penney turns around its turnaround plan 9 Apr 2013

Ron Johnson, the man hired just 18 months ago to transform US retailer JC Penney, has been unceremoniously ousted after his radical revamp plans failed to gain traction.

Viewpoint: Is Lululemon growing too fast? 22 Mar 2013

Since 2009, active wear brand Lululemon Athletica has seen profits soar, regularly increasing its guidance after better than expected performances. But, is the recall of its black Luon pants a sign that the brand is growing too quickly?

Viewpoint: China continues to lead US apparel and textile imports 13 Feb 2013

For all the talk about declining Chinese competitiveness and the likely growth in near-sourcing, official figures show China continued to dominate US apparel and textile imports last year.

Viewpoint: Lessons must be learned from Bangladesh inferno 1 Dec 2012

Since when did garment making become a matter of life and death? And why, despite the huge amounts of time, effort and resources that have gone into corporate social responsibility, factory inspections and audits, do poorly paid workers continue to toil in dangerous conditions supplying clothing to Western brands and retailers?

Viewpoint: Bangladesh factory fire highlights need for change 26 Nov 2012

It is almost two years to the day since 29 people perished in a fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh - and it would appear that little has been done in the intervening period to tackle the industry's safety issues.

Viewpoint: Fiscal cliff could curb US clothing sales 4 Oct 2012

The heads of two US trade groups representing apparel and footwear retailers, brands and importers have warned of a slowdown in consumer spending unless lawmakers can reach an agreement to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" which is looming at the end of the year.

Viewpoint: Indian retail reform may still stall 19 Sep 2012

Moves last week by the Indian government to open the country's multi-brand retail sector to foreign investment have been hailed as everything from a "historic decision" to a "big bang" reform. But observers also warn it is still far from certain that they will go ahead.

Viewpoint: M&S adrift despite a decade of turnaround talk 12 Jul 2012

Like a vast, slow-moving and rather unwieldy tanker, battered and lashed by stormy seas, the UK's largest clothing retailer Marks & Spencer has done much over the past decade to try to steady its business.

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