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.
Sustainability in the textiles and apparel industry continues to evolve. In this month’s management briefing, just-style looks at collaborative platforms, compliance in China, improvements at low-cost Asian suppliers, and efforts by Bangladesh to up the ante on sustainable production.
As M&S looks to further improve compliance in the development of international labour practices and management systems, the UK retailer this week prepared the launch of a supply chain human rights policy. The UK retail group also published the first results of its Global Community Programme.
President Obama’s trade agenda took a major step forward yesterday (24 June) after the US Senate passed fast-track legislation seen as key to finalising a pending agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Myanmar is set to become a more attractive garment sourcing and investment destination after plans were agreed on labour law reforms in the country – with Gap and H&M coming out in support of the proposals.
A new approach to product development – dubbed ‘Product 3.0’ – underpinned by a responsive and seamless supply chain, is at the heart of plans to turnaround the Gap brand.
Should the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) be renewed for ten years as expected, there would be unprecedented opportunities for the sub-Saharan Africa textile and apparel sector.
The apparel sourcing landscape, with its ever more complex supply chains and added pressure for faster speed and careful control of costs, continues to shift. But is garment production really moving out of China? What are the pitfalls when switching suppliers? How has the trend towards dual sourcing accelerated? And is reshoring to the UK and US really happening? We take a look in this month’s management briefing.
Tools for improved colour communication, 3D design and prototyping, and the integration of key business functions were unveiled at the recent Texprocess trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. And faster time-to-market, better quality, lower cost and increased productivity are among the benefits.
Two years after the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was set up, the group says it could still take at least another 18 months before corrective action plans are completed for all factories.
While new Gap Inc CEO Art Peck has a laser focus on fixing the Gap brand’s woes, finding the right formula is proving elusive. Indeed, a turnaround is not now expected until mid-2016, with the spring season seen as a "no excuses moment."
Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda are all ramping up their efforts to put Africa on the apparel sourcing map with a range of policies designed to encourage mills, manufacturers and buyers to invest. But another country vying for a slice of the action is Tanzania, with ambitions to offer the best overall package in Africa.
Apparel and footwear brands and retailer should be benefiting from tumbling commodity prices, especially for oil and cotton - but many are missing out on significant savings by failing to truly understand their value chains.
Garment maker Crystal Group sees Vietnam as its "new star", with expansion projects under way that the company hopes will increase sweater production seven-fold over the next four years, and T-shirt production three-fold.
Africa has the potential to rival Asia as a future apparel sourcing hub. East Africa, in particular is attracting investment, as well as business from major international fashion brands and retailers. But AGOA extension and an EU trade deal with the East African Community are seen as key – as is learning from Asia’s successes and failures.
A focus on the development of locally-owned factories is an impediment to the development of the garment industry in Myanmar, David Birnbaum believes. Instead, he suggests the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) must take a leading role in moving the industry forward.
In recent years, a growing number of retail RFID use cases have clearly demonstrated the benefits of being able to track inventory at the item level, leading to better shelf replenishment and fewer out of stocks. Su Doyle, responsible for industry solutions at US product identification manufacturer CheckPoint Systems, looks at the three driving factors for RFID adoption in the apparel industry.
Digitally printed jeans described as the ultimate sustainable product, more sophisticated weaves, and vegan fabrics are just a few of the innovations being launched at this year's Denim Days event in Amsterdam. The sustainability issue in producing jeans and innovative new technologies were also hot topics.
Two years ago today (24 April), one of the world’s worst industrial disasters took place when the Rana Plaza factory complex in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,134 garment workers and injuring 2,378 more. The tragedy was undoubtedly a catalyst for change in the way the apparel industry looks at its responsibility towards the entire supply chain, but new concerns and frustrations are now coming to the fore.
A bipartisan package of bills could pave the way for "fast track" negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But there are still a lot of barriers before a TPP agreement emerges – and it more than likely won’t be the deal US apparel importers have been hoping for
Sporting goods giant Adidas is evolving its factory monitoring system away from auditing to track supply chain compliance and is instead working to develop self-governance programmes for its suppliers. Part of the process has been to improve communication with workers at its supplier factories - including the launch of an SMS hotline, which will reach 250,000 workers by the end of the year.
Strikes and protests are rare in Vietnam, but recent demonstrations by thousands of footwear factory workers underscore some of the challenges facing one of the industry’s main manufacturing hubs.
In this annual management briefing, just-style canvasses the views of software experts on the challenges facing the global apparel supply chain in 2015 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.
Adidas Group has said speed to market will be a key competitive advantage for the German sporting goods giant over the next five years, as it looks to accelerate profit and sales growth. With this, the company is piloting automated production units closer to its core consumers to reduce lead times.
Pakistan's ambition to double its clothing and textile exports over five years, and its accession to the EU's GSP+ trade scheme last year, suggest it should be an exciting prospect for apparel sourcing. However, in the last year two companies have pulled production out of the country, citing risk, delays and instability. This might not yet point to a wider trend, but their concerns highlight issues worth watching.
Smart fabrics and wearable technology go hand in hand. And with strong growth forecast over the coming years, it's no wonder fashion and software companies are developing new products to tap into the market. Katie Smith reports.
Sourcing cotton more sustainably is increasingly moving up the agenda of global apparel brands and retailers as the environmental and social impacts become ever clearer. However, while many are already working to address these issues, it seems there is much more still to be done.
There’s no ‘quick fix’ to solving problems with size and fit - but getting it right can save time, money and build customer loyalty, according to executives at a recent conference on the issue.
Labour rights abuses are still rife in Cambodia’s garment factories, thanks to an inadequate and corrupt inspection system and widespread subcontracting by suppliers, a new report says.
The recent move by the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) to establish a voluntary Code of Conduct for its members is seen as a sign of its commitment to becoming a responsible sourcing destination. The next question is what more needs to be done in order for the Code to be implemented and become effective?
Gap CEO Art Peck has only been in the job for a matter of weeks, but his early “to do” list is already assuming somewhat alarming proportions.
- M&S project benefits garment worker health
- M&S to launch supply chain human rights policy
- VF pushes ahead on chemicals management
- Leveraging the business benefits of 3D design
- Bangladesh woos buyers with sustainable production
- Myanmar makers mull shut-downs over wage plans
- American Apparel to close stores and cut jobs
- Cotton tracing "biggest challenge" for M&S
- Chinese shoe factory collapse kills 12
- Lee ReThink taps into sustainable supply chain