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Ethiopia may have more trump cards to play than any other sub-Sahara African country when it comes to developing a competitive cotton, textile and garment supply chain, but it still has a rough road ahead. Indeed, Ethiopia's growth as a garment exporter will be slower and more difficult than the government and local textile organisations predict.
Once a bellwether of US retailers' likely performance over the upcoming holiday, sales during the just-gone Black Friday/Thanksgiving weekend have dropped for the second year in a row.
Instead of relocating production in an attempt to sidestep the challenge of rising labour costs, China's textile and clothing manufacturers should work to create a more sustainable industry.
An online tool to help apparel brands, retailers and manufacturers work towards improved wages for garment workers in global supply chains has been updated in a move that marks another step towards the eventual provision of a living wage.
Apparel brands have been urged to stay committed to Cambodia after a 28% rise in the minimum monthly wage was agreed for textile, garment and footwear workers.
US firms including apparel retailers and importers are urging the government to intervene in the ongoing dispute at US west coast ports, amid worsening delays on shipments of holiday merchandise and fears a total shutdown may be imminent.
A number of retailers were last week forced to respond to allegations of "forced labour" among female textile workers in mills in southern India, with H&M blacklisting one of the five named.
Yet another fast fashion brand could be about to launch, with suggestions that the next move by Swedish furniture retailer Ikea might be into apparel.
A suspension system similar to that used in cars has been built into a new casual pocket sprung shoe.
Speculation emerged last week that a group of investors is planning to bid for Adidas Group's Reebok unit, and that a likely sale would enable the German sportswear giant to realign its strategy as a fitness and lifestyle brand.
Competition for pole position in the women's sportswear market is about to heat up after Nike this week revealed it has set its sights on growing its women's business by 40% over the next two years.
Experts on China's textile and apparel industry say that international brands must take increasing care to ensure their sourcing is environmentally and socially responsible, ahead of an anticipated tightening of government restrictions.
It seems former Men's Wearhouse CEO George Zimmer may be about to show his trump card following his fall-out with the apparel retailer, through the launch of a new company.
As UK retail giant Tesco continues to fight its way through the fallout from its recent accounting crisis, it seems a board member has begun compiling a list of candidates to succeed chairman Sir Richard Broadbent.
If evidence is needed as to the new direction likely to be pursued by US retail giant Gap Inc, look no further than the company's new leadership change. It was revealed last week that CEO Glenn Murphy is to step down in February, making way for Art Peck, the head of Gap's digital division.
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Not content with dominating the global exporting landscape, China is now switching its focus to growth in domestic consumption. And according to Li & Fung chairman William Fung, this is likely to lead to "a rather bumpy ride" for the apparel industry.
In an exclusive interview published on just-style last week, Andrew Lo, CEO of Hong Kong based manufacturing giant Crystal Group, talks about the challenges of building the business for long-term growth, and ensuring that the company has a strong local supply chain in place to deliver on its goals.
The annual World Retail Congress has returned to Paris this week for three days where the great and the good of the retail industry have converged to discuss the industry climate as we move out of a tough economic climate. New technologies, the rise of omni-channel, innovation and the supply chain of the future will all be discussed.
Two separate calls came last week urging the various safety initiatives in Bangladesh to work more closely to coordinate their efforts - and for more input from the Bangladeshi government if the work achieved so far is to continue its momentum.
The explosive growth of the Bangladeshi ready-made garment industry is more likely to be accompanied by accusations of sweatshop exploitation from labour rights activists than praise for the positive opportunities it brings the sector's largely-women workforce.
US retailers ramped up stocks for the start of the back-to-school season in July, pushing apparel imports for the month up by 13.4%, according to the latest data. But while China and Vietnam were the biggest beneficiaries of these gains, shipments from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Cambodia tumbled.
US retail giant Gap Inc has made no secret of the fact that it faced - and continues to face - a number of compliance issues linked to its decision to start sourcing garments from Myanmar/Burma.
To coincide with World Water Week, which kicked off in Stockholm yesterday, the need for better use of increasingly limited water resources has turned the spotlight on the global cotton industry - one of the largest and thirstiest crops produced.
Inditex-owned fast fashion chain Zara has gone and done it again.
If Cambodia's US$5.5bn garment industry is not yet at a crossroads, it is approaching one, according to participants at an industry trade show held in Phnom Penh. Many industry suppliers believe that while Cambodia remains a growing market for their textile and garment products, there are challenges ahead, from rising labour costs to increased competition from neighbouring countries.
Retail shares have been among the biggest fallers in the last two weeks as financial markets react to President Vladimir Putin's retaliation to the imposition of sanctions on Russia.
With the spotlight already shining brightly on African textile and apparel production and its future potential, it is perhaps not surprising that there's also an increasing focus on African fashion as well.
Half-way through the year and US apparel import data is taking shape to give a broader view of the sourcing patterns so far.
If evidence were needed as to how China's competitiveness is holding up, look no further than the latest US apparel import data.
- 2014: Year in review - Sourcing winners and losers
- COMMENT: The decline of the buying office
- 2014: Year in review - Brand winners and losers
- 2014: Year in review - Retail winners and losers
- Bangladesh: Raising the bar on apparel exports?
- Report urges overhaul of Cambodia factory safety
- Bangladesh knitting worker killed by faulty lift
- Bangladesh factory improvements “will take years”
- North Face debuts locally-grown "backyard" hoodie
- Tommy Hilfiger launches solar-powered jacket