The most-read stories on just-style this week include a look at apparel sector challenges and opportunities in 2016, along with insight into what's likely to happen with apparel sourcing in the year ahead. We also ask 'Are you ready for the new Garment Industry 2.0?', and look at whether productivity gains will be enough to offset ASEAN wage hikes this year.

Outlook 2016 – Apparel industry challenges and opportunities
Suppressed consumer spending on clothing, shoppers seeking on-demand customised products, pressure on pricing, and production cost inflation all add up to an uncertain year ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain, according to first feedback from a panel of executives consulted by just-style.  

Are you ready for the new Garment Industry 2.0?
The impact of the internet is giving rise to the individual – as opposed to the mass-market – consumer, with new needs, ethics and expectations. And not surprisingly, the 'New Global Garment Industry' is already being created by, employing and selling to this individual, explains Emma Birnbaum, who adds that companies are being defined by their innovations.

Outlook 2016 – What's happening with apparel sourcing?
How is the sourcing landscape likely to shift in 2016, and what strategies can help apparel firms and their suppliers to stay ahead? While dramatic sourcing shifts are unlikely and China continues to dominate, optimism hinges on potential opportunities from trade deals such as AGOA and TPP. Improving productivity and collaboration across the entire demand chain are also seen as key. 

Will productivity gains offset ASEAN wage hikes in 2016?
Faced with minimum wage hikes in 2016, many Southeast Asian garment manufacturers are planning to try lifting productivity via ambitious training programmes.

Can American Apparel re­build and retain cool factor?
Seeing in the New Year might not have been the only reason American Apparel felt like popping the champagne last week after it won a plea for an extension to its period for filing a reorganisation plan. But while now on a cautious road to recovery, the bankrupt US teen fashion retailer may have stopped short of celebrating as it considers the questions that need answering if it is ever to be taken seriously again as a competitor in its space.