Blog: Likely shifts in the sourcing landscape in 2017
Leonie Barrie | 16 January 2017
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing landscape.
They also discussed what apparel firms should be doing now if they want to remain competitive into the future. Diversified supply chains, new technologies in both sourcing and product development, and a focus on speed, productivity and innovation are among the strategies that will help to separate the winners from the losers.
And the final part of our Outlook 2017 report focused on other issues the apparel sector should be keeping a close eye on in the year ahead. Not surprisingly, the future of trade policy and free trade agreements were top of the list, along with finding opportunities to achieve growth, health and safety, and preparing for the unexpected.
For the past six years China's clothing producers have retained their dominance of world apparel manufacturing despite widespread forecasts of imminent collapse. However, Mike Flanagan believes China's apparel exports now face a serious threat – from the Chinese government.
Indeed, China – the largest supplier of apparel to the US – recorded a small increase in shipments year-on-year in November, but a decline on the month earlier. Overall, the results reflect general import trends during the month.
Apparel sourcing problems should be addressed with speed, clarity and honesty in order to achieve the best possible resolution, according to a new report. 'When Things Go Wrong' states that successful problem resolution requires the quick and clear delivery of bad news, a realistic action plan, and the assessment of future risk.
Bangladesh's garment manufacturers continue to insist to just-style that business goes on as usual despite a US security warning of Islamic State (IS) terrorists targeting clothing buyers in the country's most secure zones.
And the European Commission has proposed that the European Union (EU) removes duties on 66% of tariff lines imported from Sri Lanka, including textiles and clothing, to restore its GSP+ beneficiary status.
Also in Sri Lanka, apparel and fabric manufacturing conglomerate MAS Holdings is preparing to begin operations at its second industrial park, located in Giriulla in the northwest of the country.
And retailer Marks & Spencer has finally booked like-for-like sales growth in clothing, thanks to a focus on value and quality rather than "reactionary and desperate" discounting. Not surprisingly, analysts have praised the UK retailer's first positive clothing performance in two years.
Meanwhile in other news, The Limited has shuttered all of its stores across the US; Unifi is expanding the distribution of its Repreve recycled fibre into Vietnam; Gap Inc is piloting an app to help customers virtually ‘try on’ clothing via a smartphone; and a new mini garment RFID tag is virtually invisible when sewn into clothing.
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. ...
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...
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...
- Why collaboration is key to fashion supply chains
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- Industry groups reaffirm commitment to Bangladesh
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- Adidas to digitalise Speedfactory concept
- Nike filed patent for "reinforced denim"
- M&S extends sourcing deal with Lindsey brothers
- Gap unveils five-year sustainable fibres pledge
- US Q1 in brief – Columbia Sportswear, Amazon
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar