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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.

Time for a single cotton sustainability standard?

There's an undeniable desire on the part of brands around the world to clean up their supply chains, and there's no lack of interest in usin...

Adidas poised to thrive in a competitive landscape

Despite a number of difficult years, Adidas is back on track. The company's strong performance has been helped by the health of the global s...

Prepare for the rise of the conscious consumer

Consumers are starting to demand more responsibility and transparency from retailers and brands about how and where their products are made....

A coming trade war – America first to America last

There is an increasing possibility that we are moving inexorably towards a global trade war, writes David Birnbaum. Should there be a trade...

Amazon private label push to shake up sportswear? 17 Oct 2017

Leonie Barrie

Reports that Amazon is teaming up with some of the world’s biggest athletic apparel suppliers ahead of a move into sportswear have sent stocks tumbling and raised concerns over new supply and pricing pressures in the sector.

Don’t become another parable of retail’s failed past 10 Oct 2017

Guest author

Retail's history is littered with stories about disruptive change and retailers that couldn't keep up. It's time to take a deeper look at why, and to reflect on the common practices that are holding us back from truly meaningful change.

Strategies to survive in a declining apparel market 5 Oct 2017

David Birnbaum

Surviving in a declining market is the biggest challenge for the discount/mass-market retailers and suppliers of commodity products such as basic T-shirts, hoodies or cotton men's shirts. David Birnbaum believes it is time to stop negotiating and bring in the engineers.

Trade Tracker – Is Brexit ever going to happen? 3 Oct 2017

Mike Flanagan

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.

Why’s it not been launched yet? An interview with the man behind our new sourcing product, re:source 2 Oct 2017


There is nothing better than the feeling of elation when a project you have lived and breathed for years finally comes to fruition. But we would agree we have fallen guilty of getting excited all too quickly about the launch of re:source, our new apparel sourcing planning suite. As we get closer to the public launch of the first tool to be released from re:source, it seems only fair to shed some light on our reasons for putting off its go-live date – including project fails we encountered along the way.

The impact of Trump’s trade policy on apparel businesses 26 Sep 2017

Dr Sheng Lu

There’s no doubt the Trump administration has been very active on the trade front – but what exactly is its trade policy, what is it hoping to achieve, and what are the implications for the textile and apparel industry? Dr Sheng Lu, assistant professor at the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware, takes a look.

Breaking out of the cheap commodity garment trap 31 Aug 2017

David Birnbaum

From basic commodities to high value added fashion, why do some industries develop while others remain forever mired in cheap garments? David Birnbaum takes a closer look.

Three ways to minimise quality errors and chargebacks 30 Aug 2017

Guest author

Communication is critical to aligning expectations on major and minor defects and producing consistently high-quality garments – and there are three key ways brands can minimise quality discrepancies, errors and chargebacks.

Off-price clothing – an accessible marketplace? 25 Aug 2017

Guest author

The off-price clothing and footwear industry offers an important channel through which brands can liquidate their excess inventory. But why is it far less developed in the EU than it is in the US? And how can the EU off-price industry be developed into a stand-alone entity? 

Three ways to accelerate innovation in sustainable fashion 9 Aug 2017

Guest author

Across the fashion industry, there is clear appetite for improved sustainability and positive change. Today, many hope to see the creation of a circular economy, through which old clothes and materials are recycled, recovered or regenerated instead of being thrown away. Industry leaders also want to see a reduction in the environmental impact caused by the manufacturing process.

Understanding sustainability in an unstable world 4 Aug 2017

Robert P Antoshak

Macroeconomic and social trends, as well as politics, loom ominously large these days – in many ways glowering at our industry at a time of vulnerability. But by embracing sustainability, the sector has taken steps to structure its future, writes Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc.

Solving tomorrow’s apparel industry problems today – Comment 2 Aug 2017

David Birnbaum

Almost the entire US garment retail sector is in trouble, yet companies such as Amazon are moving ahead. Brick-and-mortar stores cannot compete with Amazon. Instead, in order to succeed they must out-Amazon, Amazon, writes David Birnbaum.

Trade Tracker – July trade talk more show than substance 1 Aug 2017

Mike Flanagan

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 Border Adjustment Tax – good intentions, bad policy 26 Jul 2017

Robert P Antoshak

As has been widely reported, some US politicians have endorsed a plan to alter domestic tax laws in such a way that imported products would be subject to a new tax, while exempting exported products from the tax. The plan is called the Border Adjustment Tax (or BAT). It is bad policy. Why? Let's take a look.

Five key costs linked to poor product quality 25 Jul 2017

Guest author

For consumer-driven, competitive apparel and footwear companies, product quality is critical. When managed well, it can improve your brand image, strengthen your consumer relationships, and reduce your operational and financial costs.

Why US innovation is vital to global value chains 21 Jul 2017

Guest author

A report on just-style last week described as a "missed opportunity" the distribution of a Vietnam-made backpack at the launch of a new multi-million dollar initiative intended to develop US-made high-tech fabrics. But for Stephen Lamar, executive vice president at the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the item’s value is overwhelmingly US – and reflects the way supply chains are likely to evolve in the future.

5 ways to stay agile in an on-demand economy 18 Jul 2017

Guest author

Thanks to the digital revolution, consumers today are in control. With endless options for where to shop, when to shop, what to buy, what price to pay, and how to receive it, customer loyalty erodes each time expectations are not properly met. This article asks if on-demand manufacturing is a game changer – and sets out five ways to stay agile in an on-demand economy.

A tale of three countries – Vietnam, India, Bangladesh 14 Jul 2017

David Birnbaum

Things are no longer going well for Bangladesh when it comes to US garment imports, writes David Birnbaum, as he takes a closer look at why the country has been left behind as its competitors have moved forward. 

Made-in-Vietnam backpack undercuts AFFOA's homespun message 14 Jul 2017

Robert P Antoshak

With all of the change in today's textile industry, many ask what the future will hold for fabric design and innovation. Will today's fabrics increasingly incorporate technology to allow new qualities such as temperature regulation, colour variation, and communications? A key US technology initiative thinks so, as Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, found on a recent visit.

The Flanarant – Factory safety isn't the biggest risk to Bangladesh workers 13 Jul 2017

Mike Flanagan

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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