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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.

From Field to Shelf: When a truce is anything but

So, they're saying that the US and China have called a truce on trade. As has been widely reported, while in Argentina for the G20 summit, P...

How Trump's "Tariff Man" tweet roiled the markets

Fascinating – just a few words escaped from the President's twitter feed and global markets start falling. Given his love for the Christmas...

Here's one local industry that's gaining momentum

Local production is still in its infancy – as is re-shoring in general – but there's undeniable evidence that something is stirring in our i...

How forensic science provides proof of provenance

Ethics have never been more important to consumers. From sustainability to fair trade and welfare standards, savvy brands know it is vital t...


The failure of the US garment industry – Part III – Reshoring Y/N 16 Nov 2018

David Birnbaum

A 65-year strategy to force US consumers to buy made-in-US garments has been an all-time disaster, asserts David Birnbaum, with the result that the US garment industry is now in a state of failure. The technology to create smart factories means reshoring has the potential to revolutionise the industry. But the key question in this, the last in a three-part series, is: Will reshoring benefit the US garment industry?


The failure of the US garment industry – Part II – Captive Customer Syndrome 8 Nov 2018

David Birnbaum

In the second article in a three-part series examining the failure of the US garment industry, David Birnbaum shows how US government policy to force consumers to buy made-in-America apparel succeeded in almost destroying domestic manufacturing.


The failure of the US garment industry – Part I 1 Nov 2018

David Birnbaum

For the past 20 years, imports have accounted for between 97%-98% of all garments sold in the United States. But while everyone seems to agree that cheap labour from poor countries has all but destroyed the domestic US manufacturing industry, that assumption is not borne out by the data. In fact, the data shows that labour rates – high or low – have nothing to do with imports, garments or otherwise. Here, in the first of a three-part series, David Birnbaum takes a look at the failure of the US garment industry.


From Field to Shelf – The challenge for cotton amid a changing consumer 23 Oct 2018

Robert P Antoshak

Cotton is being battered on all fronts, from false information campaigns, to competition from synthetic alternatives, and a changing consumer. The challenge now facing the cotton industry is how to regain its footing, explains Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc. 


Counteracting rising costs with digital colour measurement 9 Oct 2018

Guest author

The price of dyes and chemicals is rising – bringing with it worry and uncertainty for the textile industry. One solution is to move to digital colour measurement technology – which can help counteract the cost.


From Field to Shelf — Tariffs and the cost to sustainability 28 Sep 2018

Robert P Antoshak

In a world of trade wars, disrupted supply chains, and rising raw material costs, can the apparel industry afford sustainability? Throw tariffs into the mix, and now things become problematic at best, believes Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc.


Trump to the American retail consumer – "You're Fired" 30 Aug 2018

Guest author

We are all trying hard to rationalise or explain what the Trump administration is trying to do, writes Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). Apparently, we are attempting to stop unfair trade practices – promoted by China – by taxing ourselves and taking money out of our own pockets. Makes sense, right?


Key apparel supply chain takeaways from Sourcing at MAGIC 28 Aug 2018

Dr Sheng Lu

The MAGIC trade show held earlier this month in Las Vegas provided Dr Sheng Lu, associate professor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware, with an ideal opportunity to talk with vendors from some leading apparel sourcing destinations about the latest sourcing trends and the overall business environment.


The unintended consequences of China clothing tariffs – Comment 13 Aug 2018

David Birnbaum

If President Donald Trump imposes punitive tariffs on Chinese imports into the United States, David Birnbaum believes the move would simply subsidise every other garment exporting country in the world, in the form of increased orders at higher prices.


From Field to Shelf – Will fast fashion be a trade war casualty? 6 Aug 2018

Robert P Antoshak

The worsening tariff war between the US and China reads like a bad Cold War thriller to Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc. Here he looks at the possible next chapters and their implications on apparel sourcing.


The Flanarant – Why Brexit in name only looks increasingly likely 1 Aug 2018

Mike Flanagan

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.


President Trump, farmers and the anti-gravity tariff machine 26 Jul 2018

Guest author

On Tuesday the Trump administration sought to buy votes and silence farmers by offering them $12 billion to stop complaining about lost business due to tariffs. But while those in our industry who focus on global supply chains can easily empathise with the farmers...the difference is that the US government won't bail us out, writes Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA).


No miracle at midnight on the coming garment tariffs – Comment 26 Jul 2018

David Birnbaum

China is the target in the upcoming trade war with the US, and Donald Trump's latest threat to impose tariffs on all US$500bn of imported goods from China will undoubtedly hit garments. But replacing China means replacing 37-42% of all US apparel imports – and its deflationary impact on FOB prices, writes David Birnbaum.


re:source – the future of apparel sourcing starts here 23 Jul 2018

Leonie Barrie

What has 26 million rows of data, more than 90+ trade agreements, in-depth profiles of the world’s top 25 garment producing countries, and 20 years of clothing trade data? Answer: the new re:source suite of apparel sourcing tools developed by the team here at just-style. And best of all? It’s now live.


From Field to Shelf – Hold the hysteria on Trump's tariffs 17 Jul 2018

Robert P Antoshak

Over the past few days, the media has covered the current round of tariff retaliations between the US and China as a boxing match, writes Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc. But it’s only round two and for now, at least, calm analysis is what’s needed.


What does the future hold for Made in China? 29 Jun 2018

Guest author

Trade wars between the US and China are ramping up – but China's role within the global apparel supply chain is already weakening and retailers are increasingly turning to other countries for their clothing needs. So what does the future hold for 'Made in China'?


Who pays for a higher wage for garment factory workers? 28 Jun 2018

Doug Miller & Klaus Hohenegger

Despite ongoing statutory minimum wage rises in a number of countries and their provinces, there continues to be a disconnect between buying departments and compliance teams when it comes to costing labour in price negotiations. So who should pay for a minimum wage increase? Two industry experts share their thoughts.


From Field to Shelf – US cotton just took one for the team 26 Jun 2018

Robert P Antoshak

The price of cotton fell more than 10 cents a pound last week, after getting caught in the crossfire of the the tit-for-tat trade war between the US and China. Writing in his new ‘From Field To Shelf’ column on just-style, Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, says Trump just trashed the American cotton industry, and asks: What happens now?


Making your fashion brand more ethical and sustainable 20 Jun 2018

Guest author

Today's consumers are increasingly concerned their purchases should be inflicting the least possible harm on the environment and societies around the globe. As a consequence, there is more pressure than ever on retailers and brands to reassure responsible consumers their products are made using raw materials from reliable sources. 


Faster fashion – How to shorten the apparel calendar 29 May 2018

Guest author

To get new styles into stores more quickly, fashion companies must improve internal collaboration, tap into consumer insights, and start to digitise the value chain, according to insight from McKinsey.


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