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The best views and opinions in apparel and textile industry publishing, all in one place, from apparel and textile's monthly columnists and in-house experts.

What Arket reveals about H&M's new direction

H&M’s new Arket concept is quite unlike anything previously seen from the retailer. Rather than adopt a faster sourcing strategy, the compan...

How millennials (actually, everyone) want to shop

Brick and mortar companies cannot compete online. If they try, they will lose, and they will lose hard, writes Emma Birnbaum. Here she takes...

Trade Tracker – Pragmatism breaks out all round

Despite earlier threats of chaos, something resembling sanity seems to have hit most of the world's major trading nations during May....

What's behind Britain’s apparel export boom?

When it comes to apparel-making in Britain, there's one thing we all think we know: there isn't very much of it. But Britain's official trad...


Apparel retail in the age of austerity 18 May 2017

Robert P Antoshak

What's wrong with retail these days? asks Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc. Like some slow-motion car wreck, global apparel retail stumbles into the middle of 2017 with little to cheer.


'Who Made My Clothes?' will redefine fashion supply chains 15 May 2017

Guest author

24 April marked the anniversary of the horrific collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In the years since, the incident has sparked a worldwide movement called Fashion Revolution, whose mission is to unite people and organisations to work together towards radically changing the way clothes are sourced, produced and consumed.


The Flanarant – An assembly-worker free apparel industry? 10 May 2017

Mike Flanagan

For the past 20 years, Western buyers have been getting lower prices by switching production to countries with exceptionally low wages. But do recent announcements from Amazon and Adidas mean automated manufacturing is going to grow? asks Mike Flanagan.


Why collaboration is key to a successful fashion supply chain 27 Apr 2017

Guest author

Collaboration between retailers, brands and their suppliers is a mission critical element in developing a slicker and more cost-effective supply chain. But in today’s complex fashion environment, putting it into practice is still a considerable challenge – as Siobhan Gehin, managing director, Kurt Salmon part of Accenture Strategy, explains.


The Flanarant – Post-Brexit customs chaos could choke apparel trade 31 Mar 2017

Mike Flanagan

As the two-year process for Britain leaving the European Union (EU) officially got underway this week, a critical but little-discussed problem for apparel importers – especially in fast fashion – is not just the prospect of tariffs in a new customs regime, but disruption to the free flow of goods. This is the one Brexit problem the apparel industry must focus on, stresses Mike Flanagan.


Why US sporting goods retailers are struggling 30 Mar 2017

Ayako Homma

Despite strong growth in US sportswear sales, sporting goods retailers are struggling as consumers change their purchasing habits, sportswear brands focus more on direct channels, and new players enter the market. Ayako Homma, senior research analyst for apparel and footwear at Euromonitor International, takes a closer look.


3D CAD comes of age 28 Mar 2017

Michael Jaenecke and Niki Tait

Although there are many continuous developments in technology, every so often a giant leap occurs with the potential to bring huge benefits to apparel retailers, brands and manufacturers. 3D CAD is undoubtedly the next major advance for the sewn products industry in a world where speed to market, cost reductions and the elimination of waste are paramount.


Where next for the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark? 22 Mar 2017

Michelle Russell

First feedback on last week's launch of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark has welcomed the move – but warns against drawing conclusions too quickly and highlights a number of critical issues such as the quality and credibility of information, governance and price pressures.


Four steps to reduce product defects 17 Mar 2017

Guest author

In the modern apparel industry, change is rapid. Consumer behaviours and perceptions are shifting. Cost pressures are intensifying. And while poor quality has long resulted in widespread markdowns and chargebacks, now it may result in permanently lost clients.


Finding value in reverse logistics in fashion retail 16 Mar 2017

Guest author

Driving the cost out of your returns process and rethinking whatever programme you have in place is a must in today's highly competitive retail landscape, and can mean the difference between winning and losing.


Trade Tracker – Trump and Brexit generate more heat than light 13 Mar 2017

Mike Flanagan

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 of "Brexit means Brexit" left no-one better informed. Mike Flanagan takes a closer look.


Five ways to reduce bribery in quality control 8 Mar 2017

Guest author

In recent decades, global supply chains have advanced in many ways. Technology, efficiency, and responsiveness have improved. Investments in quality control and compliance have increased. But two things have remained: corruption and bribery. Here Jose Suarez suggests five ways to reduce bribery in quality control – and strengthen your brand in the process.


Trade Tracker – Trump’s first three weeks and Brexit timelines 16 Feb 2017

Mike Flanagan

New twists and turns are taking place on the trade front almost daily, largely driven by the UK’s Brexit vote to leave the EU and the Trump administration’s new policies. In this new monthly column Mike Flanagan unravels the latest developments and their likely impact on the global apparel supply chain – along with advice on how buyers and suppliers should respond.


Does a hard Brexit mean hard times for UK fashion? 13 Feb 2017

Guest author

Brexit means Brexit and, following the Prime Minister's speech in late January where she set out what this will entail, Brexit appears to mean 'hard' Brexit. But what does it mean for the UK's fashion and textile industry, which accounts for tens of billions of pounds in GDP and hundreds of thousands of direct jobs? Greg Smith, head of trading at foreign exchange specialists Global Reach Partners, takes a closer look.


The Flanarant – New political plans add long-term buying uncertainty 2 Feb 2017

Mike Flanagan

Seemingly endless trade-related government announcements in the US and UK throughout January were full of ideas for greater national control. But none offered a single detail that sourcing firms could use – making business planning a nightmare for buyers and potentially disrupting supply chains, says Mike Flanagan.


Using technology to deliver style with substance 24 Jan 2017

Guest author

Jason Rushforth, vice president and general manager of the Customer Experience Suite at Infor, looks at how technology can empower fashion retailers to deliver a genuinely personalised, omnichannel experience.


The Flanarant – Is China about to burst its apparel trade bubble? 10 Jan 2017

Mike Flanagan

For the past six years China's clothing producers have retained their dominance of world apparel manufacturing despite widespread forecasts of imminent collapse. At its peak share in 2009, China accounted for 42.3% of America's apparel imports; in the first nine months of 2016 this was almost unchanged at 41.2%. However, Mike Flanagan believes China's apparel exports now face a serious threat – from the Chinese government.


The return of the MFA – a harbinger of the future? 4 Jan 2017

Robert P Antoshak

For those old enough to remember, three letters invoked fear and loathing across the global textile industry: M-F-A. And Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, is concerned those letters are more than simply an abbreviation for the long defunct Multi-Fibre Arrangement – but may be a harbinger of the future.


Article 50 and its impact on European supply chains 4 Jan 2017

Guest author

Amidst all the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, the government’s deadline of 31 March to begin two years of exit talks is one of the few, more tangible dates that businesses can factor in. Here Guy Courtin, vice president of industry & solution strategy for retail and fashion at GT Nexus, looks at its likely impact on supply chain networks across Europe.


How Adidas is picking up the pace in the US 22 Dec 2016

Bernadette Kissane

Sportswear giant Adidas is gaining traction in the US – the largest sportswear market in the world. Bernadette Kissane, senior research analyst for apparel and footwear at Euromonitor International, looks at how the company can maintain momentum and further expand its presence in this core country.


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