Prime Source Forum 2016
This year's Prime Source Forum conference in Hong Kong addressed solutions to dealing with tightened trade policies, currency fluctuation, political and social instability, and increasing requests for more stringent sustainable practices.
Working more closely and smartly with data across the entire supply chain is crucial if brands and retailers are to improve everything from product innovation to keeping track of shipments, 'testing and trashing' new ideas, and tailoring their offerings to individual consumers.
A proliferation of technical standards, social compliance and environmental initiatives is putting immense pressure on apparel retailers and brands to work more collaboratively across their supply chains.
The new Paris climate change deal struck at the COP21 summit late last year should be yet another catalyst for the apparel industry and its supply chain to devise more environmentally-friendly solutions and to collaborate more effectively. But as speakers at this month's Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong admitted, the path to success in sustainability is never going to be an easy one.
The two initiatives with the potential to reshape the global sourcing landscape are also mired in uncertainty. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact is still a long way from ratification, while details remain patchy on China's One Belt One Road initiative. So what do apparel brands, retailers and manufacturers make of their possible impact?
Ethiopia's ambition to become a global apparel and textile powerhouse has been well-documented over the past decade, despite its slow steps towards this goal. But the scale of investment in the country appears to be accelerating, some of the largest US and European brands are placing orders, and the government seems committed to building a sourcing hub for the future.
It is no secret that Vietnam's textile and clothing sector is widely expected to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the recently-agreed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact. But some industry observers are questioning whether the Southeast Asian country is really ready to reap the benefits that will come its way once the deal goes live.
How best to deal with disruptions to the fashion supply chain will be one of the key topics discussed by industry experts at this year's Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong.
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