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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.

3 ways to drive innovation in sustainable fashion

Across the fashion industry, there is clear appetite for improved sustainability and positive change. Today, many hope to see the creation o...

Understanding sustainability in an unstable world

Macroeconomic and social trends, as well as politics, loom ominously large these days – in many ways glowering at our industry at a time of...

Solving tomorrow’s apparel industry problems today

Almost the entire US garment retail sector is in trouble, yet companies such as Amazon are moving ahead. Brick-and-mortar stores cannot comp...

July trade talk more show than substance

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...

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.

A new model for reshoring in the UK garment industry 7 Jul 2017

Emma Birnbaum and David Birnbaum

For reshoring to succeed, factories in countries like the UK must provide customers with something they need but cannot get at any price elsewhere. A full service factory capable of producing 50-1000 pieces of a style, delivering first orders in 7 days and reorders in 5 days meets that requirement. 

Trade Tracker – A month’s a long time in trade politics 4 Jul 2017

Mike Flanagan

What a difference a month makes to trade politics. In his latest roundup, Mike Flanagan notes that events in June suggest the role of the EU now seems secure, details of the UK's exit from the EU are more confused than ever – and the approach of Trump's team on steel imports risks creating a crisis.

What Arket reveals about H&M's new direction 21 Jun 2017

Bernadette Kissane

H&M’s new Arket concept is quite unlike anything previously seen from the retailer. Rather than adopt a faster sourcing strategy, the company has opted to introduce a new brand to cater to shifts in consumer behaviour and progress towards a more sustainable business model. Bernadette Kissane, senior analyst for apparel and footwear at Euromonitor International, takes a closer look.

How millennials (and actually, everyone) want to shop 6 Jun 2017

Emma Birnbaum

Brick and mortar companies cannot compete online. If they try, they will lose, and they will lose hard, writes Emma Birnbaum. Here she takes a closer look at why brick and mortar is not dead, but is just being mishandled.

Trade Tracker – Pragmatism breaks out all round...sort of 31 May 2017

Mike Flanagan

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

The Flanarant – What's behind Britain’s apparent apparel export boom? 22 May 2017

Mike Flanagan

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 trade statistics seem to tell a very different story, writes Mike Flanagan.

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.

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