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Mike Flanagan

Mike FlanaganBiography

Mike Flanagan is CEO of Clothesource Limited, which provides apparel buyers and sellers throughout the world with the hard data they need to understand their competitiveness. Clothesource, with the world's largest collection of intelligence on clothing price comparisons, supplier capabilities and national resources, provides both buyers and sellers with advice and training on improving sourcing and selling skills.
Mike began his career in the advertising industry in the UK and Italy, before moving into retailing. Before setting up Clothesource, he held a number of senior international buying, marketing and operations posts in the retail divisions of groups such as Associated British Foods, British Petroleum and US Shoe.

Articles by Mike Flanagan

Are commentators overreacting to coronavirus? 30 January 2020

The world economy in general, and the apparel industry in particular, depend on hugely complex, globalised, supply chains. Here Mike Flanagan, CEO of apparel industry consultancy Clothesource, considers some of the consequences of the new 'Wuhan novel coronavirus'.

Little is likely to change in Britain's long-term relationship with the European Union, believes Mike FlanaganThe Flanarant – Why Brexit in name only looks increasingly likely 1 August 2018

After the publication of the UK government's Brexit White Paper earlier this month, Mike Flanagan, CEO at consultancy Clothesource, is more convinced than ever that Britain is going to stay in a Single Market with the European Union – and that Brexit will exist as a name only.

If US brands bought more from Bangladesh they would also be providing benefits for American shoppers, workers and politiciansHow buying from Bangladesh can help boost wages 27 April 2018

In spite of the country's advances since 2013, Bangladesh's minimum wage is still just $64 a month. Mike Flanagan asks why, and suggests that buying more from Bangladesh would be in the interests of US brands and retailers.

Bangladesh has progressed from Let’s salute Bangladesh’s progress since Rana Plaza 24 April 2018

Five years ago, the Rana Plaza catastrophe made Bangladesh notorious – and turned our industry into a pariah. Today, our reaction to the catastrophe has helped Bangladesh become a beacon for how poor countries can pull themselves out of poverty and, in the process, transform human rights and gender equality. All through clothing exports to the West. You will probably never again help achieve anything so extraordinary.

The transition agreement means little change for retailers and importersThe Flanarant – Brexit threat fades, along with interest 23 March 2018

This week, the UK and EU agreed a provisional Brexit transition deal on their relationship from March 2019. So what's going to change next year? More or less nothing, writes Mike Flanagan, adding that the end result is likely to mean little more than 'Brexit existing as name only' – or Beano.

Britain’s December Brexit decision means the feared changes in trade rules are unlikely to happen in the forseeable futureTrade Tracker – Farewell Brexit, what's the next big thing? 13 December 2017

Last week, the UK announced that Britain would – for at least the foreseeable future – remain within the EU-dominated European Single Market and Customs Union. The move marks an end to the past year's populist trade scares, but means retailers must now focus on really understanding what’s driving their customers, according to Mike Flanagan.

CollaGin contains “age-defying botanicals” and drinkable pure collagenThe Flanarant – What CollaGin taught me about the fashion industry 6 December 2017

A recent change of direction has seen Mike Flanagan swap some of his clothing consultancy time to run a local deli. But the move has also opened his eyes to the reasons why apparel, an industry that's supposed to be all about fun and dynamism, is in a rut.

The arguments for the UK leaving the EU are a lot shakier than they were in 2016Trade Tracker – Is Brexit ever going to happen? 3 October 2017

We're now just about half way between the day in June 2016 when Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU), and the day in March 2019 that the government plans to be its last as an EU member. But as Mike Flanagan explains, no-one has the foggiest idea what the basic rules for Britain's apparel trade with the rest of Europe are going to be. Or with anywhere else.

While NAFTA negotiations are due to start mid-August, it is not known how long US Congress will then take to approve what is agreedTrade Tracker – July trade talk more show than substance 1 August 2017

Despite claims of major trade changes throughout July by governments in the EU, Japan, the US and the UK, there is little that is likely to affect apparel importers or exporters for years, according to Mike Flanagan.

The Accord and the Alliance have achieved a lot in tackling factory safety in BangladeshThe Flanarant – Factory safety isn't the biggest risk to Bangladesh workers 13 July 2017

The death of 13 people following a boiler explosion earlier this month at the Multifabs factory in Bangladesh's Gazipur district makes many of us wonder why the country's garment making sector still seems so tragically unsafe, writes Mike Flanagan. While spectacular advances have been in garment factory safety over the past four years, they have not been matched by improvements in other threats to Bangladeshi workers' lives.

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