Blog: Closed loop challenges
Leonie Barrie | 18 February 2013
Sportswear firm Puma last week became the latest company to launch a "closed-loop" collection of footwear, apparel and accessories, all of which are either entirely biodegradable or recyclable. The InCycle line has earned the brand its first 'Cradle to Cradle' certification.
The concept of closed loop - the process of recycling a garment so that it can be used again by returning it to fibre form and spinning this back into fabric - is gaining momentum with retailers and brands. But putting it into practice still presents a lot of challenges, industry experts tell just-style.
For all the talk about declining Chinese competitiveness and the likely growth in near-sourcing, official figures show China continued to dominate US apparel and textile imports last year. China's share of the total rose to 47.4% - giving the country a lead of more than seven times the volume of imports from its closest rival India.
But conventional supply chain definitions that divide apparel into "imported" or "made in the US" are usually outdated and inaccurate, according to a new report. The research, "Analyzing the Value Chain for Apparel Designed in the United States and Manufactured Overseas", found that US input adds more than 70% in value terms for 20 garments studied.
Meanwhile, textile and clothing industry groups on both sides of the Atlantic have welcomed news that the EU and US are to begin talks on the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will aim to go beyond the classic format of removing tariffs and opening markets, a joint statement said.
A lack of speed in the apparel supply chain is being blamed for weaker merchandise margins, with significant structural changes needed to create a more consistent, faster and efficient sourcing model....
An overhaul of its supply chain is at the heart of restructuring plans revealed last week by Ralph Lauren's newly-appointed CEO Stefan Larsson, including a new test pipeline, shorter lead times, reduc...
The new boss at British high street giant Marks & Spencer last week set out his plans to turn around the retailer's key clothing division by lowering prices and improving style, fit and quality – afte...
Apparel retailers are continuing to be buffeted by poor sales – and none more so than US specialty retail giant Gap Inc, which last week set out plans for a turnaround after reporting a soft first qua...
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