Blog: Michelle RussellChina promotes its 13th Five-Year Plan

Michelle Russell | 30 November 2015

China is using a catchy English-language TV ad to promote its 13th Five-Year Plan for the five years to 2020. But Mike Flanagan questions whether the Plan really tells us how garment-making in China will be affected.

"If you wanna know what China's gonna do. Best pay attention to the Shi San Wu," the ad trills, using the brand name some Chinese ad-man has dreamt up for the Plan. Flanagan suggests a quick skim through the ad, which he says is written by someone with the same writing skills as whoever writes Li Keqiang's speeches. It'll cure insomnia too.

In Cambodia, a national campaign kicked off to push multinational brands to pay suppliers a minimum wage of US$177m. Backed by unions and the Clean Clothes Campaign, a wave of international action is planned, calling for a Global Action Day on 10 December - International Human Rights Day.

The various aspects of the global garment industry have been covered in a recently-published book by long-time sourcing executive, and just-style contributor, Michael Lavergne. In a review for just-style, Robert Antoshak says, 'Fixing Fashion: Rethinking the way we make, market and buy our clothes', is part industrial history, part personal memoir, and part call-to-action. An insider's look at the global garment business, the author writes: "The fashion supply chain is fractured, and the people who make our clothes have become faceless."

just-style has also been busy covering a number of industry events, including the International Apparel Federation (IAF) Convention in Istanbul. In the last of a series of insights from the conference, Kurt Cavano, chief strategy officer of GT Nexus, suggests that, as interest rates start to rise, companies may need to look at ways of freeing up working capital in the supply chain.

And, we've also rounded up of some of the most exciting developments on show at this month's ITMA international textile and garment machinery exhibition. The event, which had a sustainability edge, attracted a record 1,691 exhibitors from 46 countries, and featured exhibits across 19 sectors ranging from spinning, finishing, dyestuffs and chemicals, software, logistics and recycling, to garment making and textile processing, printing, fibres and yarn.

With sustainability in mind, the German-led Partnership for Sustainable Textiles initiative, which aims to bring about social, ecological and economic improvements along the apparel and textile supply chain, was last week introduced to Vietnam. At a gathering at the German Embassy, Deputy Ambassador Hans-Jörg Brunner said the aim was to provide information related to the pioneering work of the group so that interested Vietnamese firms can take part. The move is a step towards the group's wider plans announced earlier this year to develop "production facility pools" in major producer countries, especially Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Pakistan and Vietnam.

In other news, we take a look at five ways of tackling market and demand volatility; global apparel and footwear expenditure is expected to decline to its lowest level since 2011; Golden Lady develops a new polyamide-ether high strength hydrophilic man-made fibre; a new 3D tool launches that uses product development data to shake up shopping; and we offer insight on the Hungarian textile and garment industry.

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