Blog: Michelle RussellCambodia garment industry approaching crossroads

Michelle Russell | 27 August 2014

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.

Another such challenge is wages, with many trade unions and garment factory owners remaining at odds over plans to increase the current monthly minimum wage of $100. As a result, a fresh wave of trade union action has hit Cambodia's garment industry over the last month, with as many as "25 separate strike actions having taken place within matter of 22 days in August alone", a union told just-style last week.

Wage issues of a different kind are also causing problems in China, where the recent spate of minimum wage rises in the country's cities are expected to put pressure on an industry already struggling to maintain profits amidst rising costs.

Elsewhere, new research suggests that while the inclusion of Vietnam in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a major thorn in the side of the US textile industry, there may be more to fear from Japan. The study found that, as one of the world's leading textile exporters, Japan's entry into the TPP "substantially reduces the opportunity for the US textile industry to expand exports in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Vietnam".

The issue of toxic chemicals in waste water discharges from textile processing facilities continues to be a major challenge for the industry, with environmental pressure group Greenpeace calling on apparel firms to clean up their supply chains. just-style has taken a closer look at the problem and the need for industry collaboration.

One company currently scrutinising its supply chain is US apparel giant Gap Inc. The company has been working on building a more responsive supply chain, seamless inventory, international expansion, and omni-channel capabilities. Last week, the retailer revealed plans to enter India, and highlighted the progress made to date on its supply chain fabric platforming as it shifts its relationships from vendor-based to mill-based.

BLOG

A new re:source from just-style

Some of just-style’s more eagle-eyed readers might have noticed a small change to the menu bar on the homepage: the addition of the word re:source. Yes it might be a small change – but it marks the co...

BLOG

Trump's trade ramifications continue to unravel

Over the past week just-style has continued to try to unravel the potential ramifications of Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States....

BLOG

What's in store following Trump's election?

One event dominated the international airwaves last week, and on just-style too we took a closer look at the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States....

BLOG

Political shadow over apparel supply chain

As the Brexit roller-coaster continues to twist and turn, and the US presidential election campaign nears its unpredictable and possibly protectionist end, there's no doubt these events – and the perc...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?