Blog: Disruptors on the horizon...
Leonie Barrie | 6 October 2014
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.
Fung was speaking at this year's World Retail Congress in Paris, where disruption was the central theme. Steven Sadove, chairman of the National Retail Federation and former Saks CEO, explained this covers everything from the innovation of new businesses to the latest generation of millennial shoppers.
Progress was also reported last week on a number of potential trade deals, including talks between the European Union and Vietnam, which have just concluded their ninth round.
Groups representing apparel brands and retailers in both the US and EU also set out what they see as the key priorities for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
But the completion of negotiations for a EU - Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has given rise to comments and concerns from apparel associations on both sides of the Atlantic.
The impact of changes to China's cotton policy continues to reverberate, but experts speaking to just-style disagree on whether the policy could pose risks for textile and clothing manufacturers.
An inter-governmental group has also lowered its forecast for world cotton prices based on surplus cotton production and changes in China's cotton policy. But even though global cotton prices are sitting at a five-year low, any unit cost gains for apparel firms are unlikely to show up until the second half of next year - and more likely than not will be offset by rising labour and compliance costs.
There has also been a surge in sustainability announcements, focusing on new tools to help fashion brands and retailers track progress in all areas of sustainability across their businesses, products and supply chains.
The Mode Tracker from Made-By helps companies uncover key social and environmental issues and communicate their follow-up actions. A toolkit from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is designed to help retailers and manufacturers drive sustainable change. And Oeko-Tex has developed a new consumer-facing textile label.
Clothing has also been named as one of seven product categories that will be investigated over the next three years in California, with the aim of identifying potential priority products for which safer alternatives must be found.
First results from a year-long study into the health and productivity of garment workers in Cambodia has found that more than two-fifths of those surveyed currently suffer from anaemia. But ongoing minimum wage talks remain stagnant after a meeting last week "failed to arrive at any consensus".
Adriano Goldschmied, Diesel's co-founder, is working to promote a new stretch fabric he hopes will turn around the fortunes of the $50bn denim industry. ‘Active denim' is already wooing orders from large players, he told just-style on the fringes of the International Apparel Federation's 30th annual convention in Medellin, Colombia.
A European industrial partnership has been formed aimed at developing production systems for the manufacture of 100% recycled, recyclable, and PFC-free functional fabrics....
Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....
As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...
Supply chain management and ERP software provider NGC Software has released a vendor compliance version of its Andromeda cloud platform to help fashion retailers and brands ensure CSR compliance by st...
Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...
HanesBrands, one of the world's largest underwear and activewear apparel manufacturers, has been awarded its eighth consecutive award from the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star pr...
The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Industry groups reaffirm commitment to Bangladesh
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- Where does VF supply chain sit in growth strategy?
- Adidas to digitalise Speedfactory concept
- Nike filed patent for "reinforced denim"
- Gap unveils five-year sustainable fibres pledge
- M&S extends sourcing deal with Lindsey brothers
- Adidas and Reebok top transparency index
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report