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.
The Bangladesh ready-made garment industry has set out an ambitious goal to double its exports to $50bn over the next seven years as it works to rebuild its reputation in the wake of recent tragedies.
As retailers made one last push to stock up on holiday merchandise amid fears of possible disruption due to the ongoing dockworkers dispute at major West Coast container ports, US apparel imports continued to grow in October. Vietnam was undoubtedly the biggest beneficiary, while Bangladesh tumbled for the eighth month in a row.
US teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries this week stepped down after more than two decades at the helm. Although analysts believe a change of leadership could be positive for the group, there is no denying the new CEO faces a steep mountain to climb.
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.
With imports supplying most US consumer demand for textiles and apparel, and footwear, it is perhaps not surprising the US trade deficit in both sectors rose last year. just-style takes a look at both sectors.
Decidedly at odds with fast fashion, the slow fashion movement offers an alternative to mass-produced clothing and is steadily gaining momentum. But while some believe more work is required if the message is to really take off, others see it as an ideal opportunity for middle market players.
Driving meaningful change towards sustainability in textiles within organisations, within the industry, and with consumers topped the agenda at last week's Textile Exchange Conference.
The Uzbekistan government has continued to use "systematic, mass forced labour" in this year's cotton harvest, campaigners say, claiming more adults had to work against their will to make up for a reduction in the number of children in the fields.
Using more sustainable alternatives to traditional fibres is key to helping clothing brands reduce their environmental footprint - and is set to be the default option in future. This month’s management briefing explores new eco-friendly feedstocks, tools to help sustainability decisions, and the continuing uncertainty over cotton prices.
UK retail group Marks & Spencer this week said women's wear was the bright spot in its clothing division in the first half as unseasonal weather weighed on the unit's overall performance. Speaking at its earnings conference, CEO Marc Bolland said he was confident women's wear was now moving in the right direction, with sales up 1.3%.
Apparel brands have been urged to remain committed to Cambodia after a 28% rise in the minimum monthly wage was agreed for textile, garment and footwear workers - with salaries to increase from the beginning of next year.
US department store retailer Kohl's Corporation last week held its first investor day for seven years, setting out detailed plans for future growth. Building on an agenda announced earlier this year, analysts say the new initiatives are necessary and overdue.
Insight on embracing change from Google UK, as well as tackling the "massive problem" of online returns, the emergence of 3D printing as a worrying new front for counterfeiters, managing sourcing risk, and mobile phone monitoring were all discussed at a recent industry conference.
Troubled UK retail behemoth Tesco has posted a 92% decline in first-half profits, weighed down by its higher-than-expected accounting error. While many analysts believe Tesco can now draw a line under its darkest days, views are mixed on how fast a turnaround, if any, is likely for the business.
An initial risk inspection on a Cambodia clothing factory which collapsed earlier this week injuring eight people suggests structural issues may have been to blame.
Glen Murphy, the CEO of US retail giant Gap Inc, this week announced his intention to step down on 1 February after seven years in the role. He will be succeeded by the head of Gap's digital division, Art Peck.
As its name suggests, the lifeblood of the fast fashion industry is, largely, speed to market. In this month’s management briefing, just-style looks at changing global sourcing trends, the role of air freight in fast fashion, how supply chains based on speed can avoid errors, and the way technology is helping companies share information more efficiently.
The great and the good of the retail industry converged on Paris for three days for the annual World Retail Congress. New technologies, the rise of omni-channel, innovation and new business models were all on the agenda, and the 'disruptive consumer' was a key talking point.
China, the world's top cotton consumer, has announced a significant reduction to its 2015 cotton import quota to boost demand for domestically-produced fibre. But experts disagree on whether the policy could pose risks for textile and clothing manufacturers.
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.
UK retail behemoth Tesco this week revealed a GBP250m (U$408.1m) profit overstatement in its first-half accounts. A day later and Tesco announced the early arrival of new CFO Alan Stewart. The news is sure to alarm investors and means the retailer still has a long way to go to recovery.
Ahead of Scotland's crucial referendum vote, retailers have weighed into the debate about the long-term implications if the nation decides to become an independent country, and the impact it will have on their businesses. Katie Smith takes a closer look.
After booking a "stellar" first-half performance, UK fashion giant Next Plc has detailed the progress it has made in upgrading the quality and design of its product ranges, new and improved sources of supply and the introduction of premium priced merchandise.
US retailers ramped up stocks for the start of the back-to-school season in July, pushing apparel imports for the month up by 13.4%, according to the latest data. But while China and Vietnam were the biggest beneficiaries of these gains, shipments from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Cambodia tumbled.
While well-established in many other industries, 3D technology is still relatively new to the fashion sector. But as just-style's latest management briefing shows, the tools are already starting to transform apparel firms – from design and development to 3D printing and technologies to help consumers try and buy better-fitting clothes.
US retail giant Gap Inc has made no secret of the fact that it faced - and continues to face - a number of compliance issues linked to its decision to start sourcing garments from Myanmar/Burma. And the extent of these challenges has now been revealed.
The second biggest shopping season of the year is drawing to a close, but it appears many people have yet to wrap up their back-to-school buying. With consumers continuing to remain cautious about their spending, promotions and bargains are set to drive sales for clothing and footwear retailers this year - with those offering on-trend product likely to fare best.
Li & Fung has outlined a number of new frontiers the global sourcing giant is looking to explore as it works through its three-year roadmap, which it hopes will capture new customers in new categories and countries, and increase the group's cross-selling activities.
Since Greenpeace published its Dirty Laundry report in 2011, revealing toxic chemicals in waste water discharges from two textile processing facilities in China, the environmental pressure group has been calling on apparel firms to remove these from their supply chains.
If Cambodia's US$5.5bn garment industry is not at a crossroads, it is approaching one, according to participants speaking to just-style at an industry trade show held in Phnom Penh.
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