Blog: Leonie BarrieRising costs drive sourcing search

Leonie Barrie | 20 August 2013

Apparel sourcing costs in the US are set to rise at a low single-digit rate in 2014, with key concerns including rising labour, compliance and energy costs, a new survey suggests.

Indeed, changes in China, where several decades of apparel price deflation have come to an end, continue to drive discussions about new sources for apparel production.

Pressure to improve the sustainability of China's textile sector in line with goals set by the new administration is another cause for concern, a conference hosted by leading apparel group Esquel was told last week.

But time and time again we've heard that no single country can replace China, the world's biggest clothing maker with a 38% share of the garment export market.

Even Bruce Rockowitz, president and CEO at Li & Fung, told analysts last week that: "China continues to be number one. A lot of people talk about the end of China, it's not true."

And David Birnbaum points out that garment sourcing involves much more than finding the place with the lowest labour rates. A benchmark study comparing garment exporting industries in Bangladesh and China illustrates why China wins every time in almost every category.

Pressures on sourcing are also on display in Turkey, where some 12,000 textile and clothing workers have gone on strike over wages. The strike covers around 30 major manufacturers where workers are seeking better pay and conditions.

Fashion retailer H&M is also looking to expand its supply chain to new countries that can support its growth. H&M, which sources around 80% of its products in Asia, says it may begin to source clothing from Ethiopia this autumn.

And the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) before its expiry in 2015 dominated the US-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Co-operation Forum. While helping boost trade over the past dozen years, governments on both sides of the Atlantic recognise it has also fallen short of its aims and aspirations.

BLOG

Industry welcoming move to renegotiate NAFTA

The US textile industry has welcomed President Donald Trump's decision to renegotiate NAFTA, saying it is in America's national interest to modernise the trade agreement....

NEWS

Deckers optimistic as Q4 loss narrows

US apparel and footwear group Deckers Brands - which last month said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a potential sale of the firm - narrowed its net loss in the fourth quarter, and ...

BLOG

Cutting edge technology defining apparel industry

Cutting-edge textile processing products including a new technology for dyeing yarns in a more sustainable manner and a digitalised sewing machine set up via a touchscreen or app, were among the most ...

BLOG

Ethiopia apparel and textile industry making massive gains

just-style's editor Leonie Barrie recently visited Ethiopia to see for herself the massive developments taking place to elevate this East African nation into a compelling new garment and textile sourc...

NEWS

Innerwear specialists Naked and Bendon to merge

Lingerie, sleepwear, and swimwear specialists Naked Brand Group and Bendon Limited are to merge, in a move that will create "a powerful portfolio of iconic brands."...

BLOG

Collaboration remains a challenge

Collaboration between retailers, brands and their suppliers is a mission critical element in developing a slicker and more cost-effective supply chain. But in an increasingly complex fashion environme...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?