Blog: Leonie BarrieNew legislation will impact garment firms

Leonie Barrie | 5 August 2015

As part of UK government efforts to lead the global fight against slavery, new legislation will require retailers to publish an annual statement outlining the steps they have taken to ensure slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in their businesses or supply chains. The new measure in the Modern Slavery Bill is a world first. It will apply from October and impact companies with a turnover of GBP36m (US$56m) or more.

To tackle the challenge of transparency in complex global apparel supply chains, a new tool has been developed based on the Bitcoin blockchain platform. The technology enables digital asset transfers across the internet, and can create a unique digital record that verifies, tracks and traces each step of the production process.

A number of issues linked to rules of origin in the ongoing Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks between the EU and US have been raised by trade association Euratex, which describes them as "the key issue for EU textile and clothing sector."

The falling euro is taking a big bite out of Turkish ready-to-wear clothing export revenues. But there could also be a silver lining, as buyers may move some of their business away from east Asia.

But Mexico's textiles and apparel industry expects revenues to grow 4% to roughly MXN26bn (US$1.6bn) in 2015, helped by a bounce-back in US exports and buoyant domestic demand, industry observers say.

And US apparel giant VF Corp has confirmed its interest in Africa as a sourcing destination as it continues to create a "balanced portfolio" of countries where it can make its products.

Eliminating risk is the main driver for supply chain sustainability both now and into 2016, according to new research – with industry collaboration one of the best ways of achieving this goal.

For the past three years, industrial action has been on the rise in Asian garment exporting countries – with regulations relating to workers and working conditions usually imposed by Western importers.

G-Star RAW thrives on innovative design, new wash and dye techniques, and sustainability - having woven these into its products and processes for the last 26 years. And for global brand manager Remco de Nijs, the edgy label's DNA continues to push the boundaries of denim.

Mass personalisation is finally becoming a reality, a new survey suggests, with one in three consumers wanting personalised products or services - and clothing one of the top categories for adding a personal touch.

Meanwhile, sporting goods company Asics is restructuring its global operations – including the creation of a global lifestyle division – and hiring new managers to "accelerate business growth."

A temporary ban on all cotton imports from Egypt has been lifted following pressure from the country’s clothing manufacturers.

And world exports of denim fabric with a cotton content of less than 85% trebled in the five years to 2014 to reach a record high of US$1.7bn.

In other news, two new dye-sublimation printers are available for high-quality printed textiles used in clothing and sportswear; Coats has launched a metallised thread antenna for use with a new RFID tag; and Südwolle has developed a new environmentally sustainable technology for treating wool fibres.

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