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.

Trade agreements: Where next for textiles and clothing?

Trade agreements: Where next for textiles and clothing?

This month's management briefing looks at trade agreements with some of the most significant implications for the clothing and textile industry - including the elusive but tantalising Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the renewed African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). We also look at the impact of deals already in place with the US and EU and their trading partners.

Yuan devaluation offers mixed fortunes for garment firms

Yuan devaluation offers mixed fortunes for garment firms

Apparel industry executives are playing down the potential impact of the decision by China's central bank to reduce the value the yuan to its lowest rate against the US dollar in almost three years.

Asian union development: is there another way?

Asian union development: is there another way?

The efforts of multinational brands, retailers and importers to impose minimum wages and better working conditions in their supplier factories, while good in the short run, will result in greater problems in the long run, says David Birnbaum. Instead, he proposes that customers who want to raise worker standards in their supplier factories must find a third way forward.

TPP may unravel unless it is agreed by Christmas

TPP may unravel unless it is agreed by Christmas

Defying high hopes, last month's Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks in Hawaii failed to result in a deal, leaving US textile and apparel companies in the lurch when it comes to everything from sourcing outlooks to export scenarios. And industry executives now warn that the TPP may unravel unless it is agreed by Christmas.

What will Britain’s Modern Slavery Act achieve?

What will Britain’s Modern Slavery Act achieve?

Britain’s Modern Slavery Act (MSA), which began coming into force on 31 July, sets new disclosure standards on an extraordinary number of garment businesses. But its legal niceties won’t really determine the law’s impact.

Sourcing Africa: Collaboration key to success in East Africa

Sourcing Africa: Collaboration key to success in East Africa

Interest in East Africa as a potential apparel sourcing destination has been on the rise, yet the results of a new survey suggest the road ahead won't be an easy one.

Latest TPP talks fail to clinch a deal

Latest TPP talks fail to clinch a deal

After the latest round of TPP talks failed to clinch a deal last week, the race is now on to secure an agreement before the US presidential elections halt progress.

Software solutions: Trends and Developments

Software solutions: Trends and Developments

From PLM and ERP, to digital design and protptyping, the latest software developments are opening up new opportunities for apparel brands and retailers, as well as a more streamlined shopping experience for their customers. We round up the most exciting trends in this month’s management briefing.

VF Corp confirms interest in Africa sourcing

VF Corp confirms interest in Africa sourcing

US apparel giant VF Corp has confirmed its interest in Africa as a sourcing destination as it continues to create a "balanced portfolio" of countries where it can manufacture its products.

Will Amazon take over the US apparel market?

Will Amazon take over the US apparel market?

A prediction this week that internet giant Amazon could take the top spot for US apparel retailing by 2017 is a gross exaggeration, according to Mike Flanagan. But it does raise intriguing questions about Amazon’s possible impact on the clothing market.

When will Bangladesh take compliance seriously?

When will Bangladesh take compliance seriously?

Are Bangladesh’s garment factory owners about to destroy their extraordinary apparel success story? Neither the BGMEA nor the Bangladesh government appear to show any real interest in developing a compliant garment industry.

Wage plans leave Myanmar garment industry in limbo

Wage plans leave Myanmar garment industry in limbo

Myanmar’s garment industry is in hiatus due to uncertainty over the proposed minimum wage announced by the government at the end of last month.

China bounces back as May US apparel imports grow

China bounces back as May US apparel imports grow

Apparel imports into the US continued on their upward trajectory in May, with China bouncing back from its second decline this year, Vietnam surging and Bangladesh increasing further. But while eight of the top-ten supplier counties saw growth, those further down the list suffered.

Sustainability: Supply chain initiatives push ahead

Sustainability: Supply chain initiatives push ahead

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.

Marks & Spencer focuses on compliance, transparency and ethics

Marks & Spencer focuses on compliance, transparency and ethics

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.

US trade agenda back on track

US trade agenda back on track

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).

Gap and H&M back Myanmar path to labour reform

Gap and H&M back Myanmar path to labour reform

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.

Product 3.0 underpins Gap brand turnaround plans

Product 3.0 underpins Gap brand turnaround plans

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.

AGOA renewal offers great opportunities for Africa

AGOA renewal offers great opportunities for Africa

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.

Apparel sourcing shifts: The current state of play

Apparel sourcing shifts: The current state of play

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.

Texprocess 2015: Making technology work in fashion

Texprocess 2015: Making technology work in fashion

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.

Bangladesh Accord: Factory safety progressing slowly

Bangladesh Accord: Factory safety progressing slowly

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.

When will Gap get back on track?

When will Gap get back on track?

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."

Tanzania adds to Africa’s apparel sourcing mix

Tanzania adds to Africa’s apparel sourcing mix

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 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.

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