Blog: Speed needed on safety renovations
Leonie Barrie | 9 February 2016
Just days after international representatives expressed concerns that many "priority areas" still need to be tackled to improve safety in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment sector, a fire broke out at a factory deemed to be on track with remedial action.
The Matrix Sweaters factory in Gazipur supplies retailers including H&M and JC Penney. The fact the fire broke out early in the morning meant no lives were lost – but it underscores the need to speed up progress on safety renovation once the initial inspection has taken place.
H&M was also among fashion retailers who have admitted to finding Syrian refugee children working at their supplier factories in Turkey. The discovery has prompted calls for other brands to take a closer look at their supply chains to ensure minors are not being exploited.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, involving 12 nations and covering 40% of the world economy, was finally signed last week in New Zealand. The move takes the trade pact another step towards becoming a reality.
TPP member Vietnam continues to attract huge interest as an apparel supply base – along with Southeast Asia neighbours Cambodia and Myanmar. And a new report from just-style aims to make it easier for retailers, brands and importers to evaluate the key advantages and challenges of sourcing and manufacturing in each country.
Vietnam is also poised to overtake China as the largest importer of cotton in the current year, with the ongoing drop in polyester prices given as one reason for the fall in cotton consumption there.
And other data released during the week suggests the downturn in manufacturing activity in China has extended into 2016, with operating conditions continuing to deteriorate in January for the eleventh month in a row.
Hurt by adverse weather conditions, a continued shift by consumers to invest in high-value items such as cars, and a general slump after the holiday period, it's no surprise US apparel retailers suffered in January, with the majority reporting comparable store sales declines.
And hot on the heels of its best quarterly growth of the year, US sportswear giant Under Armour has defended questions over the competitive positioning of the group's footwear and women's wear categories, and the potential maturity of its domestic business.
Meanwhile, price competition between fast fashion retailers Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) and Primark has now reached an equilibrium in the UK, according to an analyst evaluation, with Primark's prices consistently around 60% lower than that of its rival.
And in other news, US apparel giant PVH Corp is to take full control of its Tommy Hilfiger China joint venture; a special advisor to Ethiopia's Prime Minster will provide a keynote address at this year's Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong; while separate figures suggest Ethiopia’s apparel export performance is lagging behind plan.
Increasing competition for garment sourcing contracts is seeing China not only being challenged by other countries in Asia, but by sub-Saharan African and even Russian suppliers too. And it is pushing...
The monthly minimum wage for workers in Cambodia's textile, garment and footwear sector is set to rise to $153 from January next year, following a vote on the issue last week. The increase marks a ris...
The results of two highly-anticipated initiatives in the sportswear sphere were revealed last week: the launch of Under Armour’s new UAS lifestyle brand and the first pair of running shoes created at ...
The recent bankruptcy of South Korea's Hanjin Shipping, the world's seventh-largest container shipper, at the end of August, has left billions of dollars worth of merchandise in limbo, leaving the fal...
- Will new Vietnam wage hinder competitiveness?
- Digitisation to drive new apparel-making models
- Under Armour Lighthouse will disrupt production
- Fashion fit for the future – strategies for speed
- How TAL Apparel is staying ahead of the game
- MAS Holdings shares commitment to sustainability
- Gap to shutter all UK Banana Republic stores
- M&S "unappealing" clothing a barrier to growth
- Modern Slavery Act boosts supply chain engagement
- Bangladesh tops China as lead cotton importer
- Africa-Med strategic sourcing review – comparing East Africa, North Africa and Turkey
- REPORT BUNDLE: Africa-Med, Southeast Asia and Central America strategic sourcing pack
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Apparel (GLOBAL) - Industry Report
- Global Sports and Fitness Wear Market 2016-2020