Blog: Apparel sourcing landscape continues to shift
Leonie Barrie | 10 June 2015
The apparel sourcing landscape, with its increasingly 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? just-style takes a look in this month’s management briefing.
Hot on the heels of another record financial year and being named one of world's most ethical firms for the fourth time in a row, William E. (Chip) Connor, chairman and CEO of sourcing specialist William E. Connor & Associates Ltd., remains characteristically modest about the company's achievements. But drill down, and he tells just-style the realignment of retail and being "dialled in" to sourcing sensitivities are key pointers for the future.
While most of the top-ten garment supplier countries to the US continued to book gains in April - with double-digit increases seen by Vietnam and Bangladesh - China reported its second decline of the year.
And efforts to win more US sourcing business from Asian countries including Vietnam have seen Guatemala's apparel industry boost its value-added product portfolio and improve response times in the past five years.
In Vietnam, meanwhile, inspections are being carried out at hundreds of small and medium-sized garment and textile factories in a bid to improve safety and working conditions in the sector.
But two weeks of strikes by thousands of Cambodian garment workers at the M&V Manufacturing factory in Phnom Penh are likely to have repercussions across the sector as a whole.
The challenges of introducing new technology into clothing industry supply chains was the subject of a panel discussion at last month’s Texprocess trade fair. And communication, collaboration and change-management are all seen as key to ensuring a successful implementation.
UK retailer Marks & Spencer is planning to improve transparency in its clothing supply chain, as one of a number of measures outlined in its 2015 Plan A sustainability report.
And US apparel giant PVH Corp is eyeing dramatic improvements in its women's jeans business, as first-quarter earnings more than tripled to US$114.1m.
Overall, first quarter revenue forecasts for US apparel retailers fared far worse than earnings expectations – as revealed in just-style’s roundup of the results. But while May proved to be a mixed month for US retailers, most clothing chains were able to book comparable store sales growth.
And in other news, a US$40m lawsuit has been filed against Zara USA over alleged discrimination; Ralph Lauren is among 16 fashion brands being urged to take more responsibility in sourcing the raw material used in their viscose fibres; and Levi Strauss is joining forces with Google to design smart jeans.
Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...
The Bangladesh government has responded to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers pulled out of this week's Dhaka Apparel Summit in protest....
With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...
Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...
Apparel maker Gildan Activewear has booked a rise in both earnings and revenue in its fourth-quarter, thanks to growing sales in its printwear and branded apparel businesses....
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
- China leads US apparel sources with falling prices
- Hard hit Turkish industry is not knocked out
- "Power of the many" drives change at Otto Group
- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- US Q4 in brief – Foot Locker, Nordstrom, Carter's
- Bangladesh crackdown has cost garment sector $100m
- Inditex and H&M boycott Dhaka Apparel Summit
- Adidas and Burberry recognised for sustainability
- Macy's will "do the right thing", says Lundgren
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022