Among the most-read comment articles on just-style in 2013 were a look at the clothing sector in Burma, prospects for an African clothing industry, and the best ways to raise safety standards in Bangladesh garment factories. 

  • What does the new Bangladesh safety accord entail?
    Yesterday (13 May) was a big day for the Bangladesh garment industry, with retailers finally signing an agreement to improve fire safety in the country's ready-made garment industry after two years of being caught in a stalemate. But what exactly does the new accord entail? 
  • Comment: Bangladesh factory inspection plans set to fail?
    Major EU and North American brand importers and retailers have separately announced plans to inspect their supplier factories in Bangladesh and to offer funds and assistance with remedial action where required. But unless they inspect the entire industry, their efforts will fall short.
  • Comment: Understanding China's success
    China ranks number one as the world's largest garment exporter with a 38% global market share. Bangladesh ranks number two with a 5% market share. We all acknowledge that China dominates the global garment export market. But how did it get here, and what are the upcoming challenges? 
  • Comment: Prospects for an African clothing industry?
    The sub-Saharan Africa clothing industry faces a number of challenges, including the fact it is only partly African-owned and much of it is rather tenuously located on the continent. But could a focus on grouping countries together as an integrated regional value chain be the answer to a more competitive future?
  • The Flanarant: How's sourcing going to be in 2013?
    Sourcing is influenced by a lot more than wages and fabric prices. Infrastructure, social tension, energy costs, currency rates, power availability and a buyer's ability to control the uncontrollable all make sourcing as unpredictable as ever in 2013. 
  • The Flanarant: Solutions to prevent another Bangladesh tragedy
    Actions need to speak louder than words when it comes to tackling working conditions in the Bangladesh garment industry. And in the wake of the collapse last week of the Rana Plaza building near Dhaka, Mike Flanagan has what he describes as "a modest proposal" for identifying and delisting all unsound factories.  
  • Comment: What's the best way to raise standards in Bangladesh?
    Three strategies have emerged among clothing brands and retailers trying to decide what steps to take to raise standards in factories in Bangladesh. But the approach in which customers provide funds to upgrade factory structures is the worst option of all. 
  • Cambodia factory monitoring "needs urgent reform"
    The long-running Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) monitoring programme is in urgent need of reform, according to a new report, which suggests the country's reputation as a standard-bearer for apparel workers' rights is "wearing thin". 
  • The Flanarant: Trade deals - the devil is in the details
    The explosion in proposed trade agreements will probably stimulate major changes over the next decade in how apparel buyers organise their supply chains. But they never deliver what - or when - their lobbyists say they will.