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.
Cutting-edge companies are hitting back at design and low quality stock manufactured by a faceless and perpetual assembly-line. In its place...
Sourcing cotton more sustainably is increasingly moving up the agenda of global apparel brands and retailers as the environmental and social...
The accepted wisdom is that the Bangladesh garment industry’s state of decline is the result of the Tazreen Fire and the Rana Plaza building...
Last May, India overwhelmingly elected Narenrda Modi as Prime Minster. While apparel factory owners thought he was “business friendly,” few...
Slow store traffic and declining sales have become a common theme for US teen apparel retailers, resulting in brands closing stores and changing strategies in a bid to lure back customers. But is this enough to carve out a recovery?
International fashion brands and retailers are being urged to help build a more resilient cotton supply chain in China if they want to secure supplies of the raw material for the future. But can they really make a difference, and why should they care?
Skills or new technology: which gives better leverage to a manufacturing country? This question has been posed to global garment industry expert David Birnbaum, who has agreed to share his advice and opinions by answering questions from just-style readers on topics of special interest.
An increasing amount of hype in recent years has focused on the business of reshoring, including two separate reports in the last week alone. Yet, while industry observers are keen to highlight the opportunities offered by a return of apparel manufacturing to the UK, it seems reshoring is far from a done deal.
Investment in mobile and omnichannel retail is the number one business priority for the year ahead, according to a recent survey of UK retail chief executives. But creating a dynamic supply chain that can profitably support the extensive product fulfilment options offered to customers is going to be a major challenge.
Global garment industry expert David Birnbaum has agreed to share his advice and opinions by answering questions from just-style readers on topics of special interest. Our first query asks about operating small and medium-sized factories in an industry dominated by multinational giants.
There is growing pressure from activists and governments to make Western laws apply to alleged non-compliance in developing country garment factories. But be careful what you wish for, advises Mike Flanagan, who points out that the most likely outcome is that countries will be blacklisted with no effort to improve standards.
A new fashion consumer with new values and new connectivity is redefining fashion - and the industry is responding with new business models structured around customer demand. Here new fashion consumer Emma Birnbaum writes about the new fashion consumer.
Despite the hype, it's amazing how insignificant the internet is on the garment trade, writes Mike Flanagan. While every clothing brand and retailer uses the web for moving, receiving and monitoring information, relatively few clothes are sold this way.
With most holiday merchandise brought into the US early as retailers rushed to beat a possible shutdown of West Coast ports, it is perhaps not surprising that apparel imports fell in November. But with shipments plunging from eight of the top-ten suppliers, Vietnam alone was the stand-out performer during the month.
In recent articles David Birnbaum has discussed the changing role of the buying office, how to quantify performance, and the issue of transfer pricing. The next challenge, he says, is the need for detailed audits to ensure that buying offices set their commissions fairly.
Governments and tax authorities are finally getting smarter when it comes to the issue of transfer pricing – the prices charged between related businesses, such as buying offices and their parent companies - as David Birnbaum explains.
Twenty years ago major garment importers and retailers began to move away from independent agents to set up wholly-owned buying offices where every middleman performed the same work. Fast forward to 2014, and the range of services has soared in both number and complexity. The challenge, now, is to quantify the level of performance - and commission, writes David Birnbaum.
Abercrombie & Fitch's stock rose 6.7% yesterday (9 December) on the news its long-serving and often controversial CEO Mike Jeffries had stepped down. The move follows several quarters of lacklustre sales for the group and opens up something of a challenging role for his replacement.
Low-income workers are likely to dominate the global garment-making workforce for a long time yet, Mike Flanagan believes, despite recent forecasts that the number of low-cost countries is dwindling.
Early holiday promotions, the continued growth of online shopping, and an improving economy appear to be changing the way US consumers approach what has traditionally been the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
Struggling UK mother, baby and children's goods retailer Mothercare could finally be turning a corner after returning to profit in the first half of the year. But while the message is one of reassurance, more work inevitably lies ahead.
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.
US businesses are urging the government to intervene in the ongoing dispute at US west coast ports, amid worsening delays on shipments of holiday merchandise and fears a total shutdown may be imminent.
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."
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