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.

Why should brands care about China cotton?

Why should brands care about China cotton?

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?

New fibre and fabric innovations for outdoor wear

New fibre and fabric innovations for outdoor wear

New eco-friendly fibre and fabric concepts that not only offer more sustainable choices for sportswear and outdoor apparel, but in many cases give improved functionality too, were on show at this month’s ISPO Münich trade fair. The natural performance of wool, plant-based laminates, ultra lightweight insulation and advanced temperature regulation were among the highlights.

Is the tide turning on UK reshoring?

Is the tide turning on UK reshoring?

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.

New supply chain options key amid US port problems

New supply chain options key amid US port problems

As the threat of a US West Coast port shutdown looms, analysts already estimate the ongoing disruption could add an eye-watering US$36.9bn to costs over the next 24 months. As the congestion continues to cause headwinds for apparel businesses, retailers are being told they must investigate new supply chain options, including more near- and on-shoring.

Is legal action the key to compliance?

Is legal action the key to compliance?

There is growing pressure from activists and governments to make Western laws apply to alleged non-compliance in developing country garment factories. But the most likely outcome is that countries will be blacklisted with no effort to improve standards.

US apparel retailers

US apparel retailers' January 2015 sales roundup

US apparel retailers got off to a good start in January, with the majority posting comparable store sales gains, helped by post holiday clearance sales and stronger comparisons with last year, when severe weather hampered results.

Bangladesh bounces back in US apparel import rise

Bangladesh bounces back in US apparel import rise

Despite continued disruption at US West Coast ports, apparel imports into the country bounced back in December, with Bangladesh seeing its first rise since January last year. Four of the top-ten supplier countries saw strong double-digit growth, including Bangladesh, with China and Vietnam remaining top of the table.

Transparency mixed in Uzbek cotton supply chain

Transparency mixed in Uzbek cotton supply chain

Transparency among apparel brands and retailers appears to be mixed when it comes to sourcing cotton from Uzbekistan. New research has revealed that while a number of companies have made improvements to address the issue of forced labour within the sector, many are reluctant to disclose the policies they are implementing or detail information about their suppliers.

Performance apparel set for continued growth

Performance apparel set for continued growth

As new outdoor performance apparel brands enter the market in record numbers, retailers are introducing new innovations and technologies to stand out from the crowd and win over consumers.

New American Apparel CEO sounds confident note

New American Apparel CEO sounds confident note

Ten days into her new role as American Apparel CEO, industry veteran Paula Schneider sounded a confident note as she told investors and analysts this week that she is ready to build on the solid foundations of the business.

Myanmar garment sector experiencing rapid growth

Myanmar garment sector experiencing rapid growth

Myanmar's garment sector is in the midst of significant growth and exciting changes - and a brand new and exclusive report produced by the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) offers essential reading for retailers, brands and importers looking to source from the country.

Outlook 2015: Apparel industry issues in the year ahead

Outlook 2015: Apparel industry issues in the year ahead

For our annual briefing on apparel industry issues to watch in the year ahead, just-style has again asked leading executives for their feedback on the challenges and opportunities likely to emerge in 2015. Expect a continuing focus on compliance and factory safety, ongoing challenges in omni-channel and the need for new supply chain solutions - and much more besides.

US apparel imports fall from eight of top-ten suppliers

US apparel imports fall from eight of top-ten suppliers

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.

US apparel retailers

US apparel retailers' December 2014 sales roundup

Deep discounts, lower fuel prices and an improved employment market all helped to drive better-than-expected comparable store sales gains for apparel retailers in the crucial month of December.

Federal mediator intervenes in US port dispute

Federal mediator intervenes in US port dispute

Two industry groups have welcomed federal mediation intervention to try to help resolve the ongoing labour dispute at 29 West Coast ports ahead of the import peak for spring season clothing and shoes.

just-style

just-style's top tens of 2014

Instead of our regular roundup of the most-read stories on just-style during the week, we thought a fitting end to the year would be to take a look at the top news stories, analysis pieces, comment articles and interviews on just-style in 2014.

Bangladesh: Raising the bar on apparel exports

Bangladesh: Raising the bar on apparel exports

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.

Bangladesh falls further as US apparel imports grow

Bangladesh falls further as US apparel imports grow

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.

Challenge awaits Abercrombie & Fitch CEO replacement

Challenge awaits Abercrombie & Fitch CEO replacement

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.

Is Black Friday losing its lustre?

Is Black Friday losing its lustre?

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.

US trade snapshot shows apparel and footwear shifts

US trade snapshot shows apparel and footwear shifts

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.

Slow fashion: a fast-growing opportunity?

Slow fashion: a fast-growing opportunity?

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.

New scenarios driving sustainability in textiles

New scenarios driving sustainability in textiles

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.

Uzbekistan forces more adults into 2014 cotton harvest

Uzbekistan forces more adults into 2014 cotton harvest

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.

Fibres and fabrics: Issues facing supply and demand

Fibres and fabrics: Issues facing supply and demand

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.

Marks & Spencer says women

Marks & Spencer says women's wear target market "bang on"

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%.

Cambodia raises minimum wage for garment workers

Cambodia raises minimum wage for garment workers

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.

Kohl

Kohl's cranks up efforts to reverse sluggish sales

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.

Fashion

Fashion's new frontiers: what's next?

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.

Tesco woes continue after profit overstatement

Tesco woes continue after profit overstatement

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.

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