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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.

Trade Tracker – Trump's first weeks, Brexit agenda

New twists and turns are taking place on the trade front almost daily, largely driven by the UK’s Brexit vote to leave the EU and the Trump...

Does a hard Brexit mean hard times for UK fashion?

Brexit means Brexit and, following the Prime Minister's speech in late January where she set out what this will entail, Brexit appears to me...

New political plans add to buying uncertainty

Seemingly endless trade-related government announcements in the US and UK throughout January were full of ideas for greater national control...

Using technology to deliver style with substance

Jason Rushforth, vice president and general manager of the Customer Experience Suite at Infor, looks at how technology can empower fashion r...

The Flanarant – Is China about to burst its apparel trade bubble? 10 Jan 2017

Mike Flanagan

For the past six years China's clothing producers have retained their dominance of world apparel manufacturing despite widespread forecasts of imminent collapse. At its peak share in 2009, China accounted for 42.3% of America's apparel imports; in the first nine months of 2016 this was almost unchanged at 41.2%. However, Mike Flanagan believes China's apparel exports now face a serious threat – from the Chinese government.

The return of the MFA – a harbinger of the future? 4 Jan 2017

Robert P Antoshak

For those old enough to remember, three letters invoked fear and loathing across the global textile industry: M-F-A. And Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, is concerned those letters are more than simply an abbreviation for the long defunct Multi-Fibre Arrangement – but may be a harbinger of the future.

Article 50 and its impact on European supply chains 4 Jan 2017

Guest author

Amidst all the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, the government’s deadline of 31 March to begin two years of exit talks is one of the few, more tangible dates that businesses can factor in. Here Guy Courtin, vice president of industry & solution strategy for retail and fashion at GT Nexus, looks at its likely impact on supply chain networks across Europe.

How Adidas is picking up the pace in the US 22 Dec 2016

Bernadette Kissane

Sportswear giant Adidas is gaining traction in the US – the largest sportswear market in the world. Bernadette Kissane, senior research analyst for apparel and footwear at Euromonitor International, looks at how the company can maintain momentum and further expand its presence in this core country.

A new US tax proposal threatens apparel importers 20 Dec 2016

Mike Flanagan

It's a safe bet that few readers of just-style will have paid much attention to the idea of 'destination-based' profit taxes. They need to start doing so – right now – says Mike Flanagan, since the so-far obscure US tax proposal threatens all American apparel importers – and their suppliers.

New re:source to help unravel sourcing decisions 15 Dec 2016

Leonie Barrie

Apparel sourcing is a complex process built on a mix of location, logistics, lead-time, price, compliance, risk and reliability. And it's in a constant state of flux as retailers, brands and manufacturers try to find the right balance across all these factors. But now a new tool is in the pipeline to help ease and speed decision-making.

The Flanarant – Why Trump has blown the case for Brexit out of the water 8 Dec 2016

Mike Flanagan

US president-elect Trump's stated policies on international trade worry a lot of people. But the explanations given by his new business-friendly team worry Mike Flanagan a lot more. Here he explains why Trumponomics is not only bad for US apparel – but a blow for Brexiteers too.

How would end of NAFTA affect US apparel industry? 23 Nov 2016

Dr Sheng Lu

President-elect Donald Trump has made no secret of his dislike of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Mexico and Canada. But far from bringing back ‘Made in USA’ manufacturing, withdrawing from the pact would hurt US textile exports and do little to curb apparel imports, according to an analysis by Dr Sheng Lu, assistant professor at the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware.

Fusing ethics and finance to boost the bottom line 18 Nov 2016

Guest author

Ethical performance and supply chain finance are an unlikely partnership – but fusing the two can be a winning combination for the fashion and apparel industry.

Trump trade policy – Who knows what he'll do? 15 Nov 2016

Robert P Antoshak

Norma Rae has had her revenge: the working class in America just elected Donald Trump as the country's 45th president, writes Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc. For his supporters, Trump's soundbites resonate, but how will they be enacted? he asks. That's far less clear.

What might a Trump presidency mean for apparel? 9 Nov 2016

Leonie Barrie

Global markets have been thrown into disarray today (9 November) after Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States, in a shock result that confounded opinion polls pointing to a narrow win for Hillary Clinton.

The Flanarant – Why Trump will be true to his trade threats 9 Nov 2016

Mike Flanagan

US president-elect Donald Trump used the campaign train to set out his stance on trade issues. Instead of dismissing this as bluff and bluster, Mike Flanagan believes he will stay true to his word to impose restrictions or higher tariffs on imports – leading to massive long-term uncertainty.

Has peak internet hit Britain’s clothing sales? 1 Nov 2016

Mike Flanagan

Between June and September 2016, the internet's share of UK clothing sales fell consistently – something Mike Flanagan doesn't think has ever happened in the history of selling clothes, anywhere, ever before.

The Flanarant – Ethiopia violence undermines 'visionary' sourcing strategies 12 Oct 2016

Mike Flanagan

The apparent benefits of Ethiopia make the country a serious risk – both politically and commercially – for apparel and textile investors, Mike Flanagan believes. And the partial destruction by rioters of the Saygin Dima mill illustrates all too well the short-term superficiality of too many 'visionary' sourcing strategies.

Where next for apparel retailers in a saturated market? 11 Oct 2016

Robert P Antoshak

The US retail industry has hit a saturation point – what Robert Antoshak refers to as "peak apparel" – where the amount of clothing that can be sold and consumed has reached capacity. So what's the bottom-line for retailers? he asks.

Is NGO scrutiny reducing supply chain transparency? 11 Oct 2016

Guest author

NGOs play a vital role in regulating and holding brands and retailers to account, especially when it comes to the transparency of their supply chains – but are their radars locked onto the wrong targets?

Fashion meets function with end-to-end solutions 29 Sep 2016

Guest author

The fashion industry thrives on its ability to react to trends. In the age of Instagram fashionistas, each with millions of followers, never has it been more important for these reactions to be lightning fast. Among the tools to help fashion firms meet these demands are unified technology solutions that offer substance over style.

Is there more to Primark's woes than the weather? 27 Sep 2016

Bernadette Kissane

A warm winter and a cold spring have been blamed for a fall in sales at value fashion retailer Primark. But its lack of e-commerce also leaves it without the flexibility to highlight more transitional ranges and weather appropriate collections online, according to Bernadette Kissane, senior analyst for apparel and footwear at Euromonitor International.

Why traceability plays a key role in social compliance 1 Sep 2016

Guest author

With traceability playing a key role in addressing the rising importance of social compliance, it might be time to review your traceability strategies and confirm you're armed with comprehensive product information across your supply network, says Thomas Ng, managing director, supply chain solutions, Amber Road.

How overcapacity in China could reshape fibre markets 30 Aug 2016

Guest author

In advance of the World Fibres Conference in Hong Kong later this year, Will Chapman, PCI Wood Mackenzie's head of fibres, assesses how excess polyester capacity in China could reshape global fibres trade to 2017.

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