Blog: Tackling transparency and traceability
Leonie Barrie | 5 September 2016
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 cotton and yarn production.
'YESS: Yarn Ethically & Sustainably Sourced' verifies that yarn spinners are only using cotton produced with ethical practices, and is being endorsed by apparel brands and retailers including Adidas, BJ's Wholesale Club, Woolworths Holdings and Hudson Bay Company.
A separate viewpoint suggests that with traceability playing a key role in addressing the rising importance of social compliance, now is the time for companies to review their traceability strategies and confirm they're armed with comprehensive product information across the supply network.
Even though US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Bangladesh to tackle ongoing security issues, apparel industry executives have told just-style it remains business usual in the country, despite recent terrorist attacks and wider fears of along-term impact on the sector.
Retailers are also bracing for massive disruption as they head into their busiest season after South Korea's Hanjin Shipping Co – the world's seventh-largest container shipper – filed for bankruptcy protection last week.
And faced with excess polyester capacity in China, global fibres trade is set to be reshaped over the next few years. We look at the likely impact on investment decisions and polyester strategy for both buyers and producers worldwide
Following in the footsteps of neighbouring Honduras, El Salvador's textiles and apparel industry will also set out a 15-year growth strategy later this year in a bid to lift its fortunes. Plans include developing new high-performance sportswear niches to win new full-package customers.
Peru's struggling textiles and apparel industry could lose thousands of jobs if the government fails to stem a flood of sub- or undervalued Asian imports, an industry association says.
And Jordanian clothing exporters are unhappy the EU has insisted they employ Syrian refugees in order to benefit from special market access.
However, the first comprehensive survey of Myanmar's labour force – including child labour – has been welcomed as a tool to help inform policy and planning strategies.
Apparel giant PVH Corp is rolling out what it says is a more comprehensive corporate responsibility strategy to address social and environmental issues by placing more emphasis on improving worker and manufacturing standards.
And the non-profit H&M Foundation is looking for the next tranche of sustainable innovations to reinvent the fashion industry as part of its second EUR1m (US$1.1m) Global Change Award.
However, while more favourable hot and dry weather and an uptick in consumer confidence resulted in a bounce-back in overall US same-store sales in August, apparel retailers saw their monthly sales dented by an increase in spending on technology and travel.
One way to overcome stalling clothing sales is to ensure product buying cycles are more flexible, frequent and responsive to consumer needs, and that merchandising is less vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather.
Meanwhile, in other news Gerber Technology has been sold to private equity firm American Industrial Partners (AIP); Gap Inc is assessing the damage after a massive blaze at its Fishkill distribution centre; and working hours and wages are the biggest compliance challenges facing footwear factories in China and Vietnam.
Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....
As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...
Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...
Five European textile recycling companies are partnering on production systems that will turn textile fibres from used clothing into new functional fabrics. ...
The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- Why collaboration is key to fashion supply chains
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Industry groups reaffirm commitment to Bangladesh
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- Adidas to digitalise Speedfactory concept
- Nike filed patent for "reinforced denim"
- M&S extends sourcing deal with Lindsey brothers
- Gap unveils five-year sustainable fibres pledge
- Adidas and Reebok top transparency index
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective