Blog: Shaking up the supply chain
Leonie Barrie | 22 June 2015
Ongoing efforts to reverse a slump in sales at its namesake brand are to see US clothing retailer Gap Inc shutter 175 of its namesake stores in the US and axe 250 head office jobs.
Amid the changes, a new approach to product development – dubbed ‘Product 3.0’ – underpinned by a responsive and seamless supply chain, has emerged at the heart of plans to speed decision-making and improve consistency at the struggling brand.
When it comes to sourcing, US apparel firms are expressing a stronger interest in buying more from countries such as Vietnam, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia over the next two years, a new study has found. And most are concerned about rising costs as their greatest challenge in 2015.
But apparel brands, retailers and manufacturers with supply chains and operations in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand and India are also operating in countries rated as ‘extreme risk’ in a new global corruption ranking.
The need for transparency and traceability in the clothing supply chain is a common lament, but achieving it is often seen as an insurmountable challenge. A recent sourcing conference attempted to outline the issues in accessing supplier data and the best ways of communicating it along the supply chain.
And European sustainable fashion consultancy Made-By is planning to roll out its new Mode Tracker tool this autumn, to help fashion brands and retailers track progress in all areas of sustainability across their businesses, products and supply chains. The plan is one of a number of milestones outlined in the group’s latest annual report.
Outdoor wear specialist Patagonia has implemented a new set of standards for migrant workers across its supply chain, which it hopes will eradicate human trafficking and forced labour in the countries it sources from.
But Wal-Mart has been accused of failing to take responsibility for serious labour violations and abuse of workers in its garment supply chain in Asia.
Efforts to move forward on key pieces of US trade legislation have intensified, with the week ending with a change in tactics from US lawmakers that has led to renewed hope that a fast-track trade procedure may be approved earlier than anticipated.
Should the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) be renewed for ten years as expected, there would be unprecedented opportunities for the sub-Saharan Africa textile and apparel sector, according to an expert speaker at this year’s Source Africa textile, apparel and footwear trade event.
While momentum on the German-led Partnership for Sustainable Textiles to bring about "social, ecological and economic improvements all along the textile supply chain" seems to be turning the initiative into a supersized version of the Accord.
And a robust and rising dollar is giving US consumers more buying power, especially for products made overseas - but the impact is weighing on US brands and retailers with large overseas operations.
And in other news, Greenpeace has challenged outdoor brands and retailers to eliminate PFCs from their products; Cambodia will next month begin discussions on garment worker wages for 2016; and around 900 workers at a Fast Retailing supplier in China have taken part in a nine-day strike.
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...
The Bangladesh government has responded to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers pulled out of this week's Dhaka Apparel Summit in protest....
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...
Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...
Apparel maker Gildan Activewear has booked a rise in both earnings and revenue in its fourth-quarter, thanks to growing sales in its printwear and branded apparel businesses....
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...
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- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
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- JC Penney to close 140 stores amid lower sales
- Inditex and H&M boycott Dhaka Apparel Summit
- Macy's will "do the right thing", says Lundgren
- Bangladesh government steps in on labour crackdown
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022