Blog: Sustainability - not just about the environment
Petah Marian | 14 October 2011
I had the pleasure of travelling up to Belper in Derbyshire yesterday (14 October) to see Courtaulds become the first UK clothing manufacturer to receive M&S eco-factory status.
Some M&S executives and a few journalists, including myself, were taken on a tour of the site, which M&S' technical manager Ian Morris told just-style was the "most automated clothing factory in the world", expressing excitement that such technology was "here in Derbyshire".
And, excitement was really the order of the day, with the tour ending with a fashion show featuring the factory's hosiery and much of it modelled by the company's staff. With most staff on hand to watch the show and celebrate, the day was the culmination of a year's worth of work on the audit with M&S and five years of work internally on becoming more efficient.
The celebrations also masked a deeper note, since if it wasn't for this focus on sustainability, the factory would almost certainly struggle to compete with cheaper offshore rivals.
In 2006, the company was in trouble, as Sara Lee effectively gave away the business to Hong Kong company PD Enterprise. Courtaulds then embarked on a programme to make itself more competitive - one aspect of which was halving its energy use, cutting its energy bill to GBP2m a year from what would be GBP4m now if it hadn't made the changes.
For the 400 workers on the Belper site, sustainability is not just about looking after the environment, it has also kept them in a job.
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...
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...
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...
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
- Trade Tracker – Trump's first weeks, Brexit agenda
- Key trade issues facing US textiles and apparel
- Does a hard Brexit mean hard times for UK fashion?
- Bangladesh "high threat" for terrorist activity
- VF Corp sees Q4 and FY earnings tumble
- Sales at US clothing retailers jumped in January
- Ralph Lauren new execs to support Way Forward Plan
- US Q4 in brief – VF Corp, Kate Spade, Rocky Brands
- 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
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar