Blog: Sustainability moves gather momentum
Leonie Barrie | 29 October 2012
In the first of several sustainability initiatives revealed last week, UK clothing retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has pledged to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its entire textile and clothing supply chain by 2020, in a move that also paves the way for the development of new ways to produce its products.
The retailer has spent the past three months hammering out a new set of chemical commitments in conjunction with environmental pressure group Greenpeace, whose 'Detox' campaign last year prompted a number of leading apparel brands to invest in a toxic-free future. As part of its plans, M&S will phase out all Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) by 1 July 2016.
And US retail giant Wal-Mart has extended its sustainability goals with plans to buy 70% of the products it sells in its US Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores from suppliers who use its Sustainability Index to share the sustainability of their products. From 2013, Wal-Mart said it would use the index to influence the design of its US private brand products.
Also gaining momentum last week were efforts to create a private fund or insurance product that would provide support to garment workers affected by factory closures and non-payment of wages and benefits. The Global Forum for Sustainable Supply Chains convened a multi-stakeholder meeting driven by Adidas.
Meanwhile China's clothing and textile industry - already undermined by rising costs and competitors snapping at its heels - could be especially vulnerable to fallout from a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute brought by Mexico. The case claims Chinese government subsidies and tax-breaks for its textile and clothing sector break WTO agreements - and if a disputes settlement panel is set up to make a ruling, Beijing will be under pressure to end them.
Talk by apparel retailers, brands and importers on both sides of the Atlantic about increasing the amount of product they source closer to home is the topic of a new report released by just-style. But is such a move realistic and is it likely to prove more than a passing trend? The research 'Is there a future for garment near-shoring?' looks at the key drivers, benefits and challenges of moving apparel manufacturing closer to markets in the US and western Europe.
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...
The ongoing challenge of tackling transparency and traceability across global supply chains cropped up again last week, with the launch of a new initiative to try to eliminate forced labour from cotto...
As a barometer of the latest trends in the US apparel sourcing landscape, the recent Sourcing at MAGIC trade show pointed to a shift from regional to global sourcing, a move towards fewer but more cap...
Mike Flanagan, CEO at industry consultancy Clothesource, spent the first six months of 2016 campaigning to stay in the EU. Not once, he says, did he hear his opponents - or anyone in Britain's new, Br...
- Better factory conditions boost the bottom line
- Is there more to Primark's woes than the weather?
- Under Armour on track with new UAS sportswear line
- Myanmar garment exports surged 20% in 2015
- Why synthetic fibres are a safe bet for the future
- Vietnam garment exports slow as orders stall
- Nike digital direction pushes speed and innovation
- H&M living wage commitments criticised in Cambodia
- Vietnam's Vinatex opens $5.7m garment factory
- Natural plant dyed eco-friendly cellulosic yarns