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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.

UK fashion manufacturers must consolidate or die

In Britain we have too many small clothing and footwear manufacturers making too little money. It is time for the sector to take a leaf from...

Business Transformation – Move beyond the buzzword

'Business Transformation' is a current buzzword not thought through carefully by many who use the term. If this is to be more than just inte...

Monthly trade programme roundup – November 2019

The latest monthly round-up of updates to key free trade agreements and trade preference programmes involving the EU, US and Japan covers de...

What does the future hold for Hong Kong?

For the past 40 years Hong Kong has been the centre of the global garment industry. Yet today, Hong Kong is in a state of chaos as protester...


From Field to Shelf – Sustainability is fast fashion’s Achilles heel 22 Nov 2019

Robert P Antoshak

Fast Fashion may be a successful way of operating in today's hyper-competitive market, but it has a glaring weakness: sustainability. Moreover, two aspects of sustainability – environmental impact and worker well-being – are often buried under greenwashed marketing and feel-good statistics. And according to Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, that's where the seeds of fast fashion's demise have taken root.


How to cut costs in a fashion business – Who decides and where? 13 Nov 2019

Malcolm Newbery

No one enjoys implementing cost cuts. They are an admission that the business has got out of control. But many of us have had to do it at some time or another, writes Malcolm Newbery, who explains some of the methods and tools used to decide – and then take – unpleasant actions.


Sustainability in fashion supply chains – the road ahead 1 Nov 2019

Roit Kathiala

Sustainability in fashion is a complex issue for consumers to understand and the industry to fix. The problem is compounded by a vague marketing approach adopted by some brands, while the real solution lies in a multi-pronged approach from consumers, industry and the government, says Roit Kathiala, who looks at how best to balance consumer sentiment and supply chain realities.


How blockchain can reshape the fashion supply chain 30 Oct 2019

Guest author

The fashion industry managed to rake in well over a trillion dollars in 2018 – but its supply chain continues to faces challenges ranging from excess waste to ethical issues and counterfeiting. However, blockchain might have the power to solve or, at the very least, alleviate these concerns.


Fashion @ Speed of thought – The digital supply chain 22 Oct 2019

Roit Kathiala

The fashion industry has never been kind to the undisciplined, the slow-moving or the slow evolving. Customers change their preferences seemingly as fast as they can scroll through their Instagram feeds. Once-hot brick-and-mortar clothing retailers, of which there is a long list, are worth just a fraction of what they once were. So where does this leave the fashion supply chain of the future? Roit Kathiala takes a look.


From Field to Shelf – So, is near-shoring a thing? 21 Oct 2019

Robert P Antoshak

Hot on the heels of a new survey into sustainable sourcing, Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc offers his take on some of the key findings – and suggests a knock-on effect will see more companies take another look at sourcing closer to the consumer.


Steps to successful sourcing in Vietnam 14 Oct 2019

Guest author

Trade and political tensions between China and the US have moved many companies to consider sourcing in other areas in Southeast Asia, and especially Vietnam. While challenges abound, it is possible to build good relationships with factories, as Alexander Twibill, director of marketing for HQTS Group, explains.


Eco-friendly fashion – Where are we still falling short? 11 Oct 2019

Guest author

Despite current efforts to create more eco-friendly fashion, the industry needs a more deliberate approach to integrating sustainability across the entire value chain. Here Feng Xin, VP of downstream business & corporate development at viscose major Sateri, sets out three key areas that should be addressed.


Profitability benchmarking for fashion management 8 Oct 2019

Malcolm Newbery

This is the first of a series of three in-depth articles focusing on how a fashion company can convince external stakeholders (investors or banks) and indeed itself (directors, management and staff) that the targets set out in budgets and range plans are both fair and achievable.


Boohoo bucks trend of UK retail lull - What the analysts say 27 Sep 2019

Hannah Abdulla

Online retailer Boohoo has posted a 43% jump in first-half sales to GBP564.9m (US$702.1m) at a time when many UK retailers are battling slow-to-no sales growth. It marks the first time in the group's history that revenues have exceeded GBP1bn over a 12-month period. And with the recent acquisitions of women's pureplay retailer MissPap and British high street brands Karen Millen and Coast, its success shows no sign of waning anytime soon.


Low labour rate countries squeezed hardest on price? 25 Sep 2019

David Birnbaum

There is a common belief that low-labour-rate countries are forever being victimised by their customers, who force the factories to accept unacceptably low FOB (free on board) prices. This has never made sense, less so now than ever before, writes David Birnbaum.


From Field to Shelf – What price fast-fashion and the future of clothes? 17 Sep 2019

Robert P Antoshak

The harsh realities of the global business of textiles and apparel are set out in a new book 'Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes.' Aimed at the general public, explains industry consultant Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, the message for industry insiders is clear: clean up your act.


Will the new Fashion Pact shift the needle on sustainability? 5 Sep 2019

Leonie Barrie

The vast number of sustainability-focused initiatives already running across the global apparel and textile sectors has a new addition: the Fashion Pact. But does it go far enough to really make a difference in reducing the industry’s environmental impact – or just add more complexity and confusion to the issue?


The Trump trade war moves from reality to fantasy 2 Sep 2019

David Birnbaum

President Trump's goal to force brands and retailers to move their orders out of China, at no cost to the US consumer, is the final triumph of fantasy over reality, writes David Birnbaum. Where are we going to move production? Will there be an added cost? And if so, who will pay?


The Grinch to American retailers – no more love! 1 Sep 2019

Guest author

A new round of US tariffs kicks in today (1 September) that will result in a direct tax on 92% of all apparel products and 53% of all footwear items imported from China. Here Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), explains the industry's concern at the likely impact of this tariff manoeuvring, both now and into the future.


Trump's Christmas gift to China hosiery makers 22 Aug 2019

David Birnbaum

Some say President Trump's decision to delay the introduction of certain new tariffs until December is a gift to American consumers. David Birnbaum believes it is President Trump's Christmas gift to China's hosiery makers.


From Field to Shelf – US cotton pays the price for Trump's trade war 20 Aug 2019

Robert P Antoshak

There have always been daunting challenges for the US cotton industry – only now the stakes are higher thanks to US trade policy. And even if there's a truce in the US-China trade war, permanent damage may have already been done, according to industry consultant Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc.


How garment factories can become retailers – Part 2 15 Aug 2019

Emma Birnbaum

The first of a two-part series looking at 'Why garment factories should move into retail' discussed some of the fears and concerns facing manufacturers and suppliers. Now, in the second instalment, Emma Birnbaum proposes two retail models that could help augment and redefine their operations. 


Why garment factories should move into retail – Part 1 12 Aug 2019

Emma Birnbaum

Sourcing and manufacturing are no longer enough to fuel apparel company and industry growth. In the first of a two-part series, Emma Birnbaum sets her stall on why factories should become retailers.


Why the fashion industry must get ahead of its massive pollution problem 8 Aug 2019

Guest author

Levi Strauss has taken the lead on climate commitment – but where does the rest of the fashion industry stand today? asks Todd Paglia, executive director at Stand.earth.


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