Blog: Fire safety remains at the fore
Leonie Barrie | 10 December 2012
The fallout from the devastating fire at Bangladeshi garment maker Tazreen Fashion, where at least 111 people lost their lives at the end of last month, continued to dominate the headlines last week.
Discussion centred on whether sourcing garments from the country is worth the risk for brands and retailers. In his monthly Rant, Mike Flanagan notes that US buyers were baling out of Bangladesh before the fire began, and will now be especially wary after the criticism aimed at Walmart for sourcing there.
And the US Ambassador to Bangladesh warned apparel buyers and manufacturers that a return to "business as usual" after the factory fire "could seriously jeopardise the future of Bangladesh's ready-made garment industry." Unless lessons are learned - including changes to workplace conditions and labour rights - the 'Made in Bangladesh' label will be seriously tainted, he said.
But in an ironic twist, a Chinese delegation is also visiting the country to explore new sourcing opportunities. Efforts to encourage Chinese investment in Bangladesh's textile and clothing sector, as well as boost bilateral trade between the two countries, took a step forward with an agreement signed between the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and two of Bangladesh's key apparel bodies.
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace is also maintaining pressure on international clothing brands by exposing what it describes as a "smokescreen" for pollution in China. The group's latest report describes how facilities are "exploiting" complex wastewater systems to conceal scrutiny of their manufacturing processes.
Meanwhile, US retailers and importers have welcomed the end to a strike that shut down most of the terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. But attention has shifted to the East and Gulf Coast ports, where federal mediators have been locked in prolonged discussions with labour and management for the past two months.
Sir Philip Green has sold a 25% stake in his Topshop and Topman brands to private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, a co-owner of US retailer J Crew. The deal values the brands at GBP2bn, pays off the company's debt, and paves the way for new international expansion.
And department store operator Debenhams plans to increase its use of British manufacturers in a move it claims will bolster domestic production and help revitalise the UK clothing industry. The retailer says the move is being driven by the need for speed to market.
Now that both the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and official trade statistics for 2015 have been released, we take another look at the likely impact of TPP's tariff phase-out sched...
Two terrorist attacks in Bangladesh over the past week have left the country's key garment industry in turmoil, with buyers rethinking travel plans and potential economic fallout for a sector reliant ...
Britain's historic vote in favour of leaving the European Union (EU) has left retailers and manufacturers mulling the consequences as the nation prepares for a long period of political and economic un...
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....
- Why fast fashion isn't a case of one size fits all
- Sir Philip Green blamed for the collapse of BHS
- Why Inditex is "clear winner" in fast fashion
- Brexit blow to global apparel industry confidence
- TPP tariff phase-out guides Vietnam sourcing plans
- VF Corp cuts guidance as Q2 profit plunges 70%
- Vietnam mulls wage freeze to boost competitiveness
- US Q2 in brief - Carter's, Wolverine Worldwide
- Teijin launches polyester hook-and-loop fastener
- Ethiopia opens flagship textile and apparel park
- Central America strategic sourcing review - a focus on Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Southeast Asia & Central America strategic sourcing reviews package deal
- World Textile and Apparel Trade and Production Trends: the EU - June 2016
- Primark Stores Limited: Retailing - Company Profile & SWOT Analysis