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.

Apparel buyers miss out on commodity cost savings

Apparel buyers miss out on commodity cost savings

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.

Crystal Group eyes “mega-capacity” in Vietnam

Crystal Group eyes “mega-capacity” in Vietnam

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.

Sourcing in Africa: Challenges and opportunities

Sourcing in Africa: Challenges and opportunities

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.

Capacity building key to Myanmar momentum

Capacity building key to Myanmar momentum

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.

Three tipping points for RFID in fashion

Three tipping points for RFID in fashion

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.

Denim Days talks innovation, technology and sustainability

Denim Days talks innovation, technology and sustainability

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.

Rana Plaza: Two years on

Rana Plaza: Two years on

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.

How will TPP emerge from fast-track trade bill?

How will TPP emerge from fast-track trade bill?

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

Adidas worker hotline bridges communication gap

Adidas worker hotline bridges communication gap

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.

Pou Yuen strike underscores Vietnam challenges

Pou Yuen strike underscores Vietnam challenges

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.

Apparel software trends: The outlook for 2015

Apparel software trends: The outlook for 2015

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.

Speed to market key to Adidas 2020 growth plan

Speed to market key to Adidas 2020 growth plan

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.

Production problems weigh on Pakistan

Production problems weigh on Pakistan

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.

What next for smart fabrics and garments?

What next for smart fabrics and garments?

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.

Tackling the challenges of sourcing cotton sustainably

Tackling the challenges of sourcing cotton sustainably

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.

The Fit Factor: The business benefits of consistent fit

The Fit Factor: The business benefits of consistent fit

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.

Clothing brands failing Cambodia factory inspections

Clothing brands failing Cambodia factory inspections

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.

Myanmar Code of Conduct a first step in compliance

Myanmar Code of Conduct a first step in compliance

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?

New Gap CEO set to tackle “aesthetic issue”

New Gap CEO set to tackle “aesthetic issue”

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.

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.

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