Blog: Myanmar moves on labour law reforms
Leonie Barrie | 29 June 2015
Myanmar is set to become a more attractive garment sourcing and investment destination after plans were agreed on labour law reforms in the country – with Gap and H&M coming out in support of the proposals. Details of the timetable and approach – which have been in the pipeline since last autumn – were shared with just-style by an official at the International Labour Organization (ILO).
And long-delayed details on a proposed minimum wage for garment factory workers in Myanmar should also be released by the end of this month, just-style has been told.
Continuing its efforts towards the payment of living wages in the garment supply chain, the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has now turned its attention to the issue of competition law. And its advice? According to a new guide, brands and retailers can work collectively on raising wages in factories as long as they take some key precautions.
Both the Alliance and Accord have long expressed their concerns at the Bangladesh government’s lack of engagement in the process of making garment factories safer and empowering workers. But recent comments from the country's finance minister appear to be pushing their frustrations to the fore.
German fashion house Hugo Boss says it is "in direct, close contact" with Peruvian textile and garment supplier Topy Top over allegations of worker rights violations and "union busting".
And around 300 workers continue to strike at a Lever Style factory in Shenzhen, which is a supplier to Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain.
In any discussion on social responsibility, the garment-exporting countries of South and Southeast Asia have a serious credibility problem, writes David Birnbaum. Yet credibility is the single most important factor in determining the success or failure of any sustainable development strategy.
While Mike Flanagan questions whether mass-market clothing can be made legally - or ethically - in the UK or the US if it’s competing with low-wage production.
Clothing and textiles is one of the priority areas being targeted by the UK-based Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in a new five-year plan to encourage businesses to reduce waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in a more efficient way.
New technologies ranging from waterless dyeing to 3D printing and supply chain mapping tools have the potential to help fashion and footwear firms make smarter sustainable choices, executives were told a recent event in London.
"We're best when we're leading and pioneering," is Michael Kobori's take on denim giant Levi Strauss & Co's responsibility in ensuring it has an ethical supply chain. But it is competition, believes the company’s VP of sustainability, more so than collaboration, that really raises the bar when it comes to sustainability.
In other news, sourcing giant Li & Fung has formed a joint venture with Chinese retailers Bailian Group and Wangfujing Department Store to develop their own private label clothing brands. The move also paves the way for the Hong Kong-based company to extend its global supply chain to a retail network serving China’s growing middle class.
And fashion retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz will likely suffer gross margin pressure in the near-term, analysts believe, as the negative impact from the strong US dollar is compounded by increased purchasing costs and rising wages.
After several long and challenging months, key pieces of US trade legislation cleared their final hurdles last week. Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which enables the president to fast-track free trade agreements, is seen as key to finalising the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While other measures include renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and extension of the Haiti HELP/HOPE programme.
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 land...
This week our focus turns to first thoughts from a panel of industry experts consulted by just-style on the challenges and opportunities likely to face the apparel supply chain in 2017, with prospects...
Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year....
Apparel sourcing is a complex process built on a mix of location, logistics, lead-time, price, compliance, risk and reliability. And it's in a constant state of flux as retailers, brands and manufactu...
- Apparel factory auditing is in the firing line
- How US border adjustment tax could affect apparel
- Trump and the apparel industry – Infographic
- "Buy American, Hire American" to guide Trump trade
- Ten retail trends to watch for in 2017
- Trump signs order to withdraw from TPP
- UK clothing factory workers paid half minimum wage
- Brands need to tackle Turkey factory refugee abuse
- Patagonia launching circular economy platform
- Auditing "in need of reinvention" says new project
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Anti-odour clothing: fresh fashion for an active lifestyle
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022