Apparel industry hot issues
just-style's highly-regarded staff of columnists have been selected to deliver the very best in apparel and textile industry opinion across a broad spectrum of disciplines from emerging markets and the environment to forecasts and finance.
With agreements for two acquisitions totalling around $1bn in the space of just 21 days, Hanesbrands is positioning itself as the largest basic apparel company in the world. And the power of its company-owned supply chain is seen as the catalyst for substantial savings.
Just days before the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, just-style looks at the changes that have been made to improve worker and building safety within the country's ready-made garment industry. While progress has undoubtedly been made, questions remain about the speed of remediation if all parties involved are to leave their legacy of safer factories in 2018.
just-style’s annual management briefing canvasses the views of software experts on the challenges facing the global apparel supply chain in the year ahead – and the ways technology can help tackle some of these issues. We also ask where firms should be focusing their investments now if they want to remain competitive into the future, and take a look at what else is likely to be topping the apparel industry's technology agenda.
With advantages that include the best cotton in the world, thousands of textile and garment factories, low labour costs and duty-free access to key markets in the US, European Union (EU), the Middle-East and Africa, Egypt should have formidable potential. But at the same time it's facing a mountain of problems, including low labour productivity, lack of investments in ginning, spinning and weaving, difficult access to finance, and poor infrastructure.
This year's Prime Source Forum conference in Hong Kong addressed solutions to dealing with tightened trade policies, currency fluctuation, political and social instability, and increasing requests for more stringent sustainable practices.
The British vote on 23 June whether to stay in the EU or not. By early March, opinion polls showed voters split about 50/50, with about a third still unsure. So far, neither side has been straightforward about the effects of leaving (known as a "Brexit") or staying. Here's how Mike Flanagan sees Brexit supporters' arguments affecting Britain's apparel industry.
Unseasonably mild winters are cooling off sales of traditional warm-weather clothing – prompting insulation innovators to adapt accordingly. Suppliers of traditional down insulation are working on variations that adapt to changing outdoor conditions and activity levels, while new materials and "smart" thermal technologies may eventually circumvent the need for insulation entirely.
There is a limit to long-term margin improvement for Marks & Spencer's general merchandise division, and earnings will be difficult to achieve unless the UK retail group transforms its selling space, one analyst suggests. This should include a review of its store portfolio, and a close look at the relevance of M&S's many sub-brands.
Recently released details of the European Union's trade agreement with Vietnam show how the deal could boost garment sourcing by EU brands in this key emerging south-east Asian player.
Colombian textile and apparel firms are striving to boost their fast-fashion and value-added capabilities as a soaring dollar fuels US demand while heightening competition.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, involving 12 nations and covering 40% of the world economy, has finally been signed by ministers in New Zealand.
Hot on the heels of its best quarterly growth of the year, US sportswear giant Under Armour has defended questions over the competitive positioning of the group's footwear and women's wear categories, and the potential maturity of its domestic business.
The third annual World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) forum saw speakers from the sport and fashion industry discuss topics from circular manufacturing, and lean production, to labour issues in apparel and sporting goods supply chains.
For our annual briefing on apparel industry issues to watch in the year ahead, just-style has again asked leading executives for their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities likely to emerge in 2016. Expect a continuing focus on compliance and factory safety, the need for more agile supply chains to meet the ongoing demands of omnichannel, a focus on total or end-to-end costs – and much more besides.
The global clothing industry should engage with the new Paris climate change deal, say experts, who warn that a warming planet imperils not only the raw materials the industry needs but also poses an existential threat to the sector's prevailing business model.
From retailing to manufacturing, sourcing and sustainability, winners and losers were not hard to find in the apparel industry in 2015. just-style's review of the year tracks those for whom the year will be memorable and those who may rather forget.
Expecting a hike of up to $1.8bn in the cost of sourcing its products over the next five years, German sportswear giant Adidas Group is realigning its supply platforms – including an "aggressive ramp-down" in China – and tackling the complexity and efficiency of its manufacturing processes in a bid to meet the challenge.
US garment imports have not only reached record levels but, based on recent data, growth is accelerating. David Birnbaum has used this as an opportunity to take a snapshot of the global garment industry: the current position of exporting countries and more importantly the direction in which they are moving.
Some of the most exciting developments on show at this month's ITMA international textile and garment machinery exhibition had a sustainability edge, from using fewer resources to reducing waste and speeding up processes. Here, we take a look at a few of the innovations launched.
just-style rounds up the latest coverage from this year's IAF convention in Istanbul, which includes an interview with Faruque Hassan, newly-appointed SVP of the BGMEA; Hugo Boss eyes further investment in Turkey; and a look at global cotton production.
Fast fashion brands face numerous challenges, from ensuring they make decisions that get orders right the first time, to navigating complex logistical issues, and having the flexibility to make swift decisions and changes. All are covered in this month’s management briefing.
Last week’s introduction of WL Gore & Associates’ new technologies for performance outerwear follows a long tradition of innovation based on the company’s manipulation of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), a polymer that is hydrophobic as well as slick. Debra Cobb finds our more during a tour of the Gore Capability Center.
There has been a big buzz around Ethiopia as a potential source of apparel for at least the last five years – yet disappointingly small exports of just US$112m in 2014. But that could finally be set to change.
Having set out plans to double annual revenues to US$7.5bn by 2018, US sportswear giant Under Armour is adding more detail on the building blocks that will help to achieve its big-picture ambitions – including a shake-up of the way it makes its products.
With its up-to-the-minute fashions at rock-bottom prices, Primark sells more clothes than any other retailer in the UK. As the chain makes its first foray into the US, analysts are not surprisingly taking a close look at its potential, and asking which of its rivals is most at risk from this apparel retail disruptor.
US apparel fastener and trim supplier Talon International says it is trialling new stretch and recovery technology for the athletic and growing athleisure markets, in addition to a complete “game-changer” for the zipper market.
Apparel imports into the US continued on their upward trajectory in August, with seven of the top ten supplier countries booking year-on-year growth. Cambodia led the pack, posting a solid double-digit gain, with strong increases also recorded by China, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
After more than five years of negotiations, leaders of 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the US, Japan and Vietnam, have finally concluded negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – paving the way for what will be the world's largest free trade agreement.
The unexpected departure of Old Navy president Stefan Larsson to become CEO of Ralph Lauren has prompted analysts to ask whether parent Gap Inc can maintain its momentum as it tries to turnaround its Banana Republic and Gap brands.
Deflationary pressures, the rise of Amazon and the expansion of off-price and fast fashion chains all have the potential to disrupt traditional US apparel retailers - but it is the athletic players that are “well positioned” to come out on top, analysts suggest.
- Why have US FTA imports fallen to a record low?
- Hanesbrands sourcing to cut Pacific Brands costs
- Why China makers are moving out or moving online
- Multiple country choices require complex decisions
- The potential and pitfalls of local sourcing
- Li & Fung divests Asia distribution business
- US looks to boost trade with Sri Lanka
- US Q1 in brief: Wolverine Worldwide, Weyco
- Vietnam textile sector calls for strategy update
- Aeropostale to close 154 stores amid bankruptucy