Top stories on just-style this week were dominated by just-style's Outlook 2019 insights, with readers keen to see what 2019 has in store for the apparel industry. Also popular was news that Bangladesh's government has vowed to revisit the minimum wages for some ready-made garment workers, European business associations have urged the European Council to approve the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and The North Face revealed a breakthrough in breathable waterproof fabric.

Outlook 2019 – Apparel industry challenges and opportunities
It won't come as any surprise that uncertainty, complexity and volatility in the global economy, US-China trade and Brexit, along with rapidly changing consumption patterns, are pushing the global apparel industry and its supply chain into unchartered territory in the year ahead. But according to feedback from a panel of executives consulted by just-style, disruptions also present huge opportunities for retailers and brands to rethink their business models and explore new ways of working – especially when it comes to using new technologies and data.

Bangladesh proposes new wages for garment workers
The Bangladesh government is to revisit the minimum wages for some ready-made garment workers following eight days of widespread unrest – with workers warned they must return to work or risk losing pay.

Outlook 2019 – Apparel sourcing trends and strategies
How is the sourcing landscape likely to shift in 2019, and what strategies can help apparel firms and their suppliers to stay ahead? As new barriers, trade tensions, and the need for speed continue to weigh on the apparel business, fashion companies need to develop contingency plans. Shifting some sourcing away from China, supplier consolidation, new investments closer to home, and the shrewd used of data and advanced analytics are some of the tactics executives recommend.

Businesses urge swift approval of EU-Vietnam trade deal
A group of European business associations have again joined forces to urge the European Council to approve the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), a deal they say will boost economic growth and promote job creation both in the EU and Vietnam.

The North Face in breathable waterproof fabric breakthrough
Outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear brand The North Face has unveiled what it claims is the world's most advanced breathable and waterproof outwear technology that has the potential to be applied to any garments.