Blog: Michelle RussellProgress still lags on a living wage

Michelle Russell | 7 April 2014

The biggest news from just-style last week was the rollout of our new-look site. It has been redesigned to make it easier to find the key content that you need, whether you're reading it on a desktop computer or on a portable device such as a cell phone or tablet.

The site update also emphasises our focus on putting information into context through analysis and interviews to help you make business decisions quickly and accurately. And if you're not already a subscriber, we have a special new offer giving you 30 days' full access for just £1/$1/€1. Click on the home page to take a look.

As far as industry issues are concerned, a new report last week criticised retailers for not yet committing to pay a 'living wage' to supply chain workers. A survey of Europe's 50 leading fashion and sportswear brands suggested that while some work has been done, much more progress is still needed.

But two of the world's largest fashion companies, H&M and Inditex, have also set out new sourcing commitments to ensure the rayon and viscose fabrics used in their clothes is not derived from ancient and endangered forests. Research has suggested that threatened forests are routinely making their way into many trademarked fabrics.

On the issue of factory safety, just-style has spoken with Andy York, ethical trading manager for retailer N Brown, one of the founding signatories of the Bangladesh Accord. He believes it is now more important now than ever before to have an ethical supply chain, and explains how the company remains committed to Bangladesh.

Also last week, online fashion retailer Asos published a drop in first-half earnings, but revealed plans to "flex" its supply chain in order to access a further GBP1bn (US$1.66bn) in international sales. The retail group has been busy ramping up investment in its operations, building capacity to access global market opportunities.

And the latest just-style management briefing looks at software trends in the garment industry - rounding up executive views on the biggest challenges facing the global supply chain, how software can help, where apparel firms should be focusing their investments, and what is likely to be topping the industry's software agenda this year.

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