Blog: Unrest presents a serious challenge
Leonie Barrie | 3 February 2014
Ongoing political unrest in Thailand has not yet impacted the country's garment industry - but the unstable environment presents a serious challenge moving forward, just-style has been told.
While large-scale manufacturers are fulfilling existing export orders without a notable drop-off, there is concern over declining orders moving forward as buyers from importing countries are staying away from Thailand.
And in Cambodia, hundreds of garment workers have been on strike at the Vattanac II Industrial Park demanding the reinstatement of two union officials. The unrest is the latest in a month of fierce demonstrations and an escalating crackdown on protesting workers - and forms a backdrop to the second United Nations Universal Periodical Review (UPR) of the country's human rights record.
Despite a raft of measures introduced last year to protect workers in Bangladesh after a series of factory deaths, human rights "tumbled backwards" and "fell far short of international standards," labour activists have said.
A second piece of research follows up on promises made in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy nine months ago. It points to slow progress in carrying out plans to compensate victims and conduct follow-up factory inspections.
Successful garment exporters are increasingly taking a more academic approach to sourcing product. Instead of moving to the latest cheap labour country, their strategy is to reduce overhead by increasing worker productivity, training, and capital investment in cutting edge machinery.
Meanwhile, fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has not ruled out the possibility of expanding its sourcing capacity to Africa as it moves into new major markets in fiscal 2014. The plans were outlined as the retailer revealed an 11% rise in fourth-quarter earnings.
US-based performance apparel, footwear and accessories brand Under Armour has also reiterated its focus on international expansion and says its long-term aim is for global markets to account for more than half of sales.
Syrian refugee children as young as ten years old have been found working in garment factories in Turkey making clothes for brands including Marks & Spencer and Asos, a television documentary claims....
Fashion retailer H&M and UK based glove and leather manufacturer Pittards both say they are monitoring the situation in Ethiopia closely after the country's government declared a state of emergency af...
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 ...
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