Latest apparel and textile comment
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.
Twenty years ago major garment importers and retailers began to move away from independent agents to set up wholly-owned buying offices wher...
Abercrombie & Fitch's stock rose 6.7% yesterday (9 December) on the news its long-serving and often controversial CEO Mike Jeffries had step...
Low-income workers are likely to dominate the global garment-making workforce for a long time yet, Mike Flanagan believes, despite recent fo...
Struggling UK mother, baby and children's goods retailer Mothercare could finally be turning a corner after returning to profit in the first...
In the past six years apparel buyers have moved from avoiding commitment on toxic discharge to likely toxic-free production by the end of the decade. And China has moved from opposing legislation on hazardous chemicals to introducing a legally-enforced programme for eliminating them. Has the industry finally hit a tipping point? asks Mike Flanagan.
The over-riding message from a review last week to look at ongoing efforts to improve worker rights and factory safety in Bangladesh's ready-made garment and knitwear industry seems to be that "a lot of work still remains to be done."
Innovation is all about change - sometimes planned, often unplanned. But there are lessons to be learned too, and as garment companies move to set up in-house innovation centres they would do well to take heed, writes David Birnbaum.
A decade-long enthusiasm for cutting trade barriers has come to an end, with sceptical electorates now seeing more downsides than upsides. But trade lobbyists continue to chase new barrier cuts, or defend concessions that have already reached the end of the road.
With global cotton prices sitting at a five-year low, apparel firms should be benefitting from lower unit costs. That's the theory at least. The reality, however, is that any gains are unlikely to show up until the second half of next year - and more likely than not will be offset by rising labour and compliance costs.
Just a week after Asos issued its third profit warning this year, reports at the weekend suggested a potential revolt from some of the brands it sells over its aggressive discounting - exacerbating issues already weighing on the online retailer.
The “win-win” viewpoint - in which all participants are seen to benefit in one way or another - infects huge swathes of modern thinking and often crops up in debates about the garment industry. In this month’s Flanarant, Mike Flanagan proposes three principles that a win-win needs if it is to succeed.
Any talk of Gap Inc's portfolio invariably focuses on its Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands. But new number crunching suggests the company's Athleta women's athletic wear line is also gaining momentum.
Governments have a vital role to play in supporting the modern industrial economy, but in many garment-exporting countries this positive support is both lacking and counter-productive. Based on his work in the Dominican Republic, David Birnbaum suggests government giveaways make change even more difficult.
The trouble with public announcements about ambitious garment industry plans is that it's not always clear anymore whether they are cynical headline-fodder - or not. While many are, Mike Flanagan describes India's new Vision for the sector as the "least-believable ambitious garment plans ever."
Data from major garment exporting countries to the EU and US shows who's winning and losing so far in 2014. David Birnbaum looks at the trends.
China's leader Xi Jinping last year adopted The China Dream as the theme of his presidency, combining "economic prosperity" with "national rejuvenation". But Mike Flanagan suggests the second part of this vision is starting to look troubling - as recent events have shown - with potential to impact the apparel industry.
A survey designed to gauge the current state of play when it comes to social compliance certification schemes for the apparel and footwear sector suggests some buyers appear to be increasingly sceptical about what is on offer.
The international apparel supply chain faces a complex array of risks and variables, and buyers are putting a high priority on minimum disruption. Indeed, there's a stark link between the three top-ten supplier countries whose imports to the US have fallen this year so far.
Will "strong man" politicians kick-start the sluggish garment industries in India and Pakistan? asks Mike Flanagan. Evidence so far, he suggests, shows progress ranges from positive to unconvincing.
Bangladesh's share of the US apparel market has been in decline since February this year. But a closer look at the figures shows that while it is holding up in basic men's wear, women's wear fashion is on a downward trajectory.
In the second part of this two-part series, Kalypso's Traci Stapleton and Greg Adkins look at ways to maximise the value of a product lifecycle management (PLM) investment.
Do the biggest companies also have the best supply chains - or should it be instead that the best supply chains help grow the most successful companies? It's quite a question, but there's no doubt that there's a connection between the two, especially when it comes to Zara-owner Inditex, H&M and Nike.
PLM solutions are often implemented without a strategy in place - creating process and system misalignment. In part one of this two-part series, Kalypso's Traci Stapleton and Greg Adkins outline the most common symptoms of a misaligned system.
The recent strike by workers at a Chinese plant operated by Taiwanese footwear manufacturer Yue Yuen was as much to do with the status of migrant workers as the firm's sharp practice, believes Mike Flanagan. And it certainly doesn't mark the start of a Guangdong Spring uprising.
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