Blog: Public opinion matters more than Modern Slavery Act
Michelle Russell | 17 August 2015
Britain’s Modern Slavery Act, which began coming into force at the end of July, sets new disclosure standards on an extraordinary number of garment businesses. But its legal niceties won’t really determine the law’s impact, says one industry observer, who believes public opinion matters more.
As is well-accepted in the business community, buyers are responsible for what they source and who they source from - especially if that product or service is used directly to create their own product or service. But what, exactly, is the ethical role of the buyer in the supply chain?
When it comes to sustainability in the apparel supply chain, it is easy to underestimate its complexity. While there are no simple solutions, industry experts believe improvements can come about through social change, collaboration and innovation.
Elsewhere, China's decision last week to push its currency lower has fuelled concerns the world's second largest economy is heading for a slowdown. It also led to suggestions by one consultancy that it could "significantly" influence China's textile and apparel exports.
And in Myanmar, new skills programmes and increased foreign investment in footwear manufacturing appear set to generate growth in a sector that, to date, has lagged behind the country’s garment industry.
For the US apparel retail market, July proved to be a difficult month, with several companies reporting sales hurt by tax holiday shifts in some southern states. As a result, retailers heading into the key back-to-school selling season have lost some momentum.
In other news, an event is being planned in Bangladesh later this year to set out a roadmap to help the country reach US$50bn in apparel exports by 2021; an Indonesian footwear supplier to Nike has opened a $60m facility in West Java; and Infor has agreed a $675m deal to acquire cloud-based global commerce platform GT Nexus.
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...
Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...
With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...
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