Blog: Leonie BarrieFashion industry takes a more sustainable path

Leonie Barrie | 6 May 2014

A more sustainable fashion industry requires complete transparency and control over every aspect of production, according to the third biennial Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

More than 1,100 participants - including just-style - gathered to hear the latest thoughts on consumer behaviour, recycling and CO2 emissions, all aimed at guiding the fashion industry down a more sustainable path. 

Helena Helmersson, head of sustainability for fashion retailer H&M, was not only one of the event's keynote speakers, but also spoke with just-style about the group's latest achievements. These include transparency, closed loop clothing, collaboration, and the group's African sourcing plans.

Efforts by clothing brands and retailers to ramp up their focus on supplier factory safety over the past 18 months are also the subject of just-style's latest management briefing. We look at the challenges facing companies across Asia, how auditing software can help boost supply chain safety, and the fragmentation of global standards.

Retailers and brands are increasingly engineering their operations to make the most of changing trends affecting everything from sourcing to sales. But the model that works for one company is unlikely to work for another.

With expiration of the AGOA trade preference programme looming in little over a year, a new US Government report finds it has had minimal impact - except in apparel and footwear.

And first signs of the impact of changes introduced last month to the Chinese government's cotton policy are being seen in higher domestic sales and falling prices- but could also lead to a drop in cotton production and imports.

Stung by unseasonably cold weather that blanketed many parts of the US just as they were rolling out their spring merchandise, retailers have not only been hampered by sluggish sales but are also battling high levels of inventory, analysts warn. Their concerns are elevated as retailers prepare to release their first quarter results.

And latest attempts to build on the turnaround at teen clothier Aeropostale include the closure of 125 stores and 100 further job losses - although analysts believe the measures might not go far enough.

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