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The best views and opinions in apparel and textile industry publishing, all in one place, from apparel and textile's monthly columnists and in-house experts.

Brexit blow to global apparel industry confidence

It is likely to be at least two years before the global apparel industry fully understands the implications of last month's vote by the UK t...

Sir Philip Green blamed for the collapse of BHS

"What kind of man is it who can count his fortune in billions but does not know what decent behaviour is?" The words of Rt Hon Frank Field M...

Why fast fashion isn't a case of one size fits all

The fast fashion model, in all its guises, is ensuring some retailers thrive in spite of challenging market conditions. Here, Bob McKee, ind...

Brexit Trade Focus – How a CANZ-UK FTA stacks up

As the UK government prepares the ground for new post-Brexit free trade deals, Mike Flanagan will, over the coming months, be evaluating the...

US forced labour ban requires apparel supply chain scrutiny 7 Jul 2016

Guest author

Renewed interest in a US law banning the entry of imported goods made with forced or indentured labour requires manufacturers, US importers, brands and retailers to scrutinise their supply chains, writes Brenda A Jacobs of Sidley Austin LLP, a Washington DC based international trade lawyer and licensed customs broker.

Why Victoria's Secret is ditching swimwear for gymwear 1 Jul 2016

Bernadette Kissane

Victoria's Secret is preparing to take its fitness performance to the next level after deciding to ditch beachwear and focus on sportswear instead. Bernadette Kissane, senior analyst for apparel and footwear at Euromonitor International, looks at why it is departing a category it dominated. 

Brexit and the apparel industry – what lies ahead? 28 Jun 2016

Mike Flanagan

The apparel industry must accept Brexit is going to happen – and start planning now in order to try to minimise the damage, writes Mike Flanagan, in his latest assessment of the UK's vote to turn its back on the European Union (EU).

Britain votes for Brexit – what happens next? 24 Jun 2016

Leonie Barrie

Britain’s vote in favour of leaving the European Union (EU) after more than four decades marks the start of a very long process to unravel itself from the network of institutions and bureaucracy in Brussels. 

How apparel retailers should react to Britain’s Brexit 24 Jun 2016

Mike Flanagan

The UK yesterday (23 June) voted in favour of ‘Brexit,’ a decision that means the country will leave the European Union (EU) – well, soon. Mike Flanagan believes British apparel brands and retailers stand to gain a lot from post-Brexit trade negotiations, but only if they sharpen up their acts.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics – the sustainability version 22 Jun 2016

David Birnbaum

Garment making is to a large degree a model for sustainability, says David Birnbaum, adding that those working towards greater sustainability have an obligation to be transparent and accurate. What is not needed is input from those who lack the experience and knowledge to help.

Trump’s China tariff makes for a self-serving sound-bite 17 Jun 2016

Robert P Antoshak

Taking a closer look at threats by Donald Trump to slap steep tariffs on US imports from China, Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, believes they would batter Chinese exporters but not take them out of the market entirely. In fact, he concludes, all the Republican presidential front-runner’s plans would do is accelerate the move out of China that is already underway.

How data and transparency can encourage better buying 8 Jun 2016

Guest author

A new Better Buying initiative is being planned to eliminate the barriers to code of conduct compliance caused by apparel buyers' purchasing practices. Here the scheme's co-founder Dr Marsha Dickson explains why data and transparency will  inform buyers about the challenges they are placing on suppliers – and enable them to track improvements over time.

The Flanarant – Why no other countries will step into China’s shoes 7 Jun 2016

Mike Flanagan

There's no doubt China faces a number of challenges, ranging from slowing economic growth to growing retail competition and – in March at least – a massive drop in year-on-year exports to the US. Continuing to expect the Chinese to rise to the challenge, Mike Flanagan takes a closer look at why nowhere else is ready to exploit the opportunities.

Vietnam – Are we too late to the party? 31 May 2016

Guest author

Will the EU FTA and TPP trade agreements truly make Vietnam the replacement solution to the higher labour cost challenges in China? Gary Barraco, director of global product marketing for Amber Road, suggests that when it comes to sourcing in Vietnam, whoever gets on the floor first, wins – and that the time to act is now.

What's the difference between compliance and safety? 26 May 2016

Emma Birnbaum and David Birnbaum

Swedish fashion retailer H&M is one of the leaders of the move to change compliance, and is at the forefront of sustainability. However, at the same time H&M appears to show no interest in the safety of workers making its products, write Emma Birnbaum and David Birnbaum. What is the difference between compliance and worker safety? they ask.

The Flanarant – Is China really going through a slump? 19 May 2016

Mike Flanagan

Slowing economic growth and growing competition are hitting the profits of Chinese retailers, while the country's clothing exports to the US dropped 39% year-on-year in March. Mike Flanagan takes a closer look at what this might mean for the apparel industry.

Can supplier ratings reform apparel purchasing practices? 18 May 2016

Leonie Barrie

A new initiative has been launched to try to improve the purchasing practices of apparel retailers and brands by asking suppliers to rate their performance – with the results listed and shared publicly.

The decline and fall of the supply chain manager 11 May 2016

David Birnbaum

The role of the middleman has become far greater and more important than ever before, with responsibility beginning before the onset of the supply chain and continuing long after its end – as David Birnbaum explains.

How software contributes to cleaner supply chains 6 May 2016

Guest author

Implementing new technology and software solutions is the key to improving quality, compliance and oversight throughout the supply network. Peter Needle, CEO and co-founder of supply chain visibility software company Segura, explains.

How mobile technology can improve cotton sustainability 20 Apr 2016

Guest author

A key fibre in the global textile and apparel industry, cotton production is under threat from factors such as climate change, competition from new crops, and the migration of workers to more lucrative jobs. But a new social network has found that implementing SMS technology at the farmer level helps improve farming practices as well as engaging young people in agriculture – as Amy Barthorpe, head of business development at WeFarm, explains.

TPP and the garment industry – are there any winners? 15 Apr 2016

David Birnbaum

David Birnbaum is trying very hard to understand how the garment provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) will affect US stakeholders. I can understand just who will fall into the loser column, he writes. The problem is finding anyone to place in the winner column.

How to sustain cotton's competitive advantage 12 Apr 2016

Robert P Antoshak

Cotton has an image problem. It’s out of fashion with mills, brands, designers and consumers, and a global glut of polyester – cotton's major competing fibre – is encouraging low prices. So how does cotton compete in such a market? Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, believes sustainability is cotton's competitive advantage.

Is UK apparel onshoring finally gaining momentum? 6 Apr 2016

Mike Flanagan

Despite years of denial, British garment-making showed serious signs of a revival in the second half of 2015. Mike Flanagan takes a closer look, and asks: Is the long-anticipated UK onshoring boom finally coming into sight?

Something’s not right about ‘see now, buy now’ 1 Apr 2016

Guest author

Brands need to respond to consumer needs for instant gratification with a strategy for speed – where speed and efficiency in the product development cycle are crucial, warns Alvanon president Ed Gribbin.

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