With Omicron, the latest Covid variant, sweeping across the world, Just Style asks apparel sourcing experts to share their expertise on what it could mean for apparel supply chains and the wider apparel industry.
UK clothing store sales volumes in November were above pre-Coronavirus levels for the first time – 3.2% above their level in February 2020.
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In shipping and logistics, persistence pays. After two years of increasing congestion and unprecedented increases in freight rates, the chairman of the Global Shippers Forum and Apparel Logistics Committee at the Joint Apparel Association Forum Sri Lanka, Sean Van Dort, argues there are finally signs the situation is improving.
More than 20,000 garment workers Lao PDR affected by the Covid-19 pandemic have benefited from emergency income support worth about US$1.8m.
Brexit, Covid-19 and an ageing population will continue to challenge the growth of the clothing sector in the UK over the next year, with the tightening of purse strings across the population and focus shifting away from non-essential spend, a new report from GlobalData has revealed.
Cambodia raising its minimum wage for garment workers up to US$194 per month has raised concerns within the industry as Covid-19 delivered a turbulent year for this key outsourcing hub.
A successful Sri Lanka Covid-19 apparel-sector worker vaccination programme – where over 90% of its employees have been jabbed with a single dose and 70% double-jabbed since June to date – has helped drive its clothing export sales.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has applauded President Biden’s promise to double US donation of Covid-19 vaccines and calls for support of hard-hit Vietnam and Bangladesh.
UK value retailer Primark says the ‘pingdemic’ affected its UK sales in the fourth quarter as more people were required to self-isolate but says it has managed to maintain its market share despite the store disruption.
The industry body representing apparel exporters in Sri Lanka has defended the government and factory owners after they were accused of failing to protect workers from contracting Covid-19.
The US economic recovery is under threat as supply chains, including apparel and textile ones, continue to suffer “unprecedented disruptions”, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA).
After completing the technical testing required, central America’s largest apparel factory is about to open in Honduras, producing sportswear for major brands such as NIKE or Under Armour, an executive informed Just Style.
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry association has outlined a five-point framework aimed at coordinating the sector’s response to challenges stemming from the pandemic and to help drive its long-term growth.
Vietnam’s garment and footwear sector is expected to miss full-year turnover targets by around US$6bn as the country grapples with rising Covid infections and vaccine constraints which have forced factory shutdowns.
German sportswear firm Puma has expressed concern over securing product supply as Covid-19 cases rise in its key sourcing markets, despite upping its full-year outlook on higher second-quarter sales.
US sporting goods giant Nike Inc could encounter supply chain issues following Covid-19 outbreaks in some factories operated by two of its footwear suppliers in Vietnam.
A new research paper has revealed what the future of the post-Covid-19 apparel industry could look like and its impact for workers, employers and governments in the Asia and Pacific region.
Bangladesh apparel factories will need to close from 23 July as part of a two-week complete lockdown to reduce the rising numbers of Covid-19.
The UK Government has announced plans to end Covid-19 restrictions in England, including social distancing rules and wearing masks from 19 July.
7 steps UK directors should be taking or considering to navigate the Covid storms.
Sri Lankan garment manufacturers have launched a plea for brands and retailers to operate fairly as the country grapples with a third coronavirus wave and a vaccine delay it says is impacting the supply of orders.
The Global Call to Action for a Human-Centred Recovery was adopted at last week’s International Labour Conference (ILC). Outlining a comprehensive agenda, it commits countries to ensuring their economic and social recovery from the crisis is “fully inclusive, sustainable and resilient.”
The circular economy is an emerging trend in the apparel industry – and will be used to help promote a sustainable future.
The ability of India’s clothing industry to serve overseas buyers has been devastated by the country’s ongoing second Covid-19 wave, with a collapse in domestic orders, workers fleeing urban areas and disrupted upstream supplies slashing industry capacity.
The suspension of orders by clothing brands and retailers because of Covid-19 has not just been a problem for apparel manufacturers – there has been a less well-documented knock-on effect in the upstream apparel supply chain.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for more regionalised, tech-driven manufacturing that is closer to consumers. For less-developed nations, this spells disaster.
The Indian clothing and textile manufacturing sector is facing renewed disruption as the country is hit by a brutal second wave of Covid-19.
The Covid-19 pandemic has presented the apparel industry with an opportunity to pause, reflect and rethink its future. Winners in this new post-Covid world will be those that reset with sustainability in mind – shifting to more circular business models that move away from the traditional ‘take-make-waste’ system and allow for more transparency along the supply chain with greater cohesion between brands and suppliers.
Frasers Group, the owner of retailers including House of Fraser, Sports Direct and Flannels, expects the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to hit the company twice as hard as initially expected amid concerns of a potential third wave and more temporary store closures.
While many studies have explored how the Covid-19 pandemic is shifting the sourcing strategies of Western fashion brands and retailers, its impact on apparel exporting countries is mostly unknown – until now. Here is a detailed look at trade trends in the world’s three largest apparel exporters – China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.
Almost two-thirds of brands and retailers in the US and UK believe the Covid-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on their company’s proactive investment in sustainability, new research shows.
Delta Galil saw online sales surge by more than 130% for the full year but it was not enough to offset the Israeli apparel major swinging to a loss for the period.
German luxury fashion brand Hugo Boss has said it will continue to push the casualisation of its business model, across all brands, genders, and occasions, as it reports the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to weigh on its business in the final quarter of 2020, particularly in Europe.
23 February – Lao garment workers to receive emergency support
Up to 17,000 garment workers in Lao PDR affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are to receive two months’ emergency income support worth LAK900,000 (US$100).
18 February – Calls to add US port workers to vaccine priority list
Essential US port workers should be given priority during the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine to protect vital supply chains, according to a group representing apparel and footwear importers and retailers.
10 February – EU helping Better Work to respond to the Covid crisis
The European Union (EU) and Better Work this week announced progress of their joint efforts to improve garment industry working conditions in countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam.
29 January – Garment manufacturers remain hardest hit by Covid-19
Garment manufacturing continues to be the industry most severely affected by fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, with new research suggesting 86% of businesses have seen a drop in orders.
28 January – More than 350k jobs have been lost in Bangladesh RMG sector
More than 350,000 workers in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment sector have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, new figures suggest, with many workers laid off without proper compensation.
Hit hard by Covid-19 and short of government help, Romania’s clothing manufacturers are pessimistic about their prospects.
A newly released Mauritius government plan designed to help the country’s manufacturing industry recover from the Covid-19 pandemic has proposed that the clothing and textile sector invests in the latest technology and uses it to leverage local design talent. This expenditure will be supported by a new government-backed modernisation fund.
4 January – Philippines garment exporters urge review of roadmap targets
The Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) is urging the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to review the targets under the roadmap for the country’s garments industry to take into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
21 December – Latest lockdown raises concerns for survival of UK retailers
Clothing retailers in parts of the UK have been dealt a devastating blow in the run-up to Christmas as the government announced new Tier-4 restrictions that will see non-essential retail closed, a move which experts estimate will cost them GBP2bn (U$2.66bn) in sales per week.
The Asian garment sector is at a critical juncture, having been left reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. While industry experts expect the region to continue to dominate global garment production in the future, they say the crisis will shape manufacturing in Asia for years to come.
The Mauritius clothing and textile sector has been assessing its use of technology to reduce costs and boost efficiency as it mulls how to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic in good shape to compete globally.
10 December – Garment workers going hungry amid Covid-19 pandemic
Garment workers across the supply chains of major brands and retailers are reporting growing hunger and food insecurity as a result of falling income and job losses amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report has found.
2 December – Covid crisis upticks child labour risk in India and Nepal
Informal workers in India and Nepal’s apparel supply chains have suffered extreme hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report, which calls for new standards to ensure rights for the most marginalised and promote improved sustainability.
A new status report from the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) suggests that despite encouraging progress and continuous introduction of new initiatives, the fashion industry is still far from being sustainable and circular. It notes the global Covid-19 pandemic as a key reason for impeding signatories to the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment from reaching all set targets.
24 November – How to build resilience into supply chains following Covid
Just under two-thirds of participants to a recent survey said their supply chain strategy will need to change significantly in order to adapt to the “new normal” following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has added to warnings that women, who make up the majority of the garment sector workforce, are being disproportionately affected by fallout from the coronavirus crisis.
Sri Lanka’s plans to kickstart the post Covid-19 recovery of its critically important clothing sector have been sidelined by a deadly second wave of infections.
12 November – Aldi Nord, Sud and Lidl vow not to squeeze on price to protect supply chain workers
Aldi Nord, Aldi Sud and Lidl have each implemented a new policy not to ask factories for price reductions/discounts relative to comparable items with last season, in an attempt to ensure workers in its supply chain are protected from the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A second planned UK lockdown which begins tomorrow (5 November) could cost non-essential retail GBP6.8bn (US$8.8bn) according to new research.
3 November – Covid crisis report highlights supplier challenges
More than half of Bangladesh garment suppliers surveyed in a recent report had the majority of their orders cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic, while 35% of fashion companies showed no evidence of making regular payments to their suppliers.
2 November – China manufacturing activity soars to 10-year high
Manufacturing activity in China surged to a near-decade high in October as the country continued to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic – but overseas demand softened amid a resurgence of the coronavirus across a number of export markets.
27 October – Covid highlights importance of supply chain relationship
Trust is everything, especially in the fashion industry, and the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how important relationships are between a brand and a supplier, the owner of clothing manufacturer Denim Expert has said.
Fashion brands and retailers are continuing to undermine their garment suppliers by driving down prices and imposing onerous payment schedules on new orders, new research suggests.
Fatima Alaouia-Zohra, director-general of Morocco’s textile and clothing industry association AMITH, tells just-style how the Covid-19 crisis has galvanised the sector into setting a new course for the future.
21 October – Asia-Pacific garment industry hit hard by Covid-19 fallout
The Covid-19 crisis has hit the garment sector in the Asia-Pacific region hard, with plummeting retail sales in key export markets affecting workers and enterprises throughout supply chains, new research from the International Labour Organization (ILO) shows.
15 October – Buyers failed to pay for US$16bn in spring apparel orders
An analysis of trade data on apparel imports into the US and EU appears to show that buyers cancelled orders worth at least US$16.2bn between April and June this year.
Set up two years ago to give a boost to Central America’s apparel production, the Utexa synthetic yarn plant in Honduras most recently played a pivotal role in US PPE supply chains. Navigating the Covid-19 pandemic has been a rollercoaster ride, general director Eric Joo tells just-style – and one that proves the importance of collaboration.
12 October – Garment workers in Leicester lose GBP27m in wages
Exploited garment workers in Leicester have been “robbed” of more than GBP27m (US$35m) in lost earnings over the last three months, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The alumni of 2020 are headed into an exciting time in the fashion industry. Though the world is facing unprecedented times, it is still spinning and consumers are still buying, writes Liza Deyrmenjian, founder of the The Cut Fashion Design Academy.
It’s easy to blame the coronavirus or recession for some of the problems facing the garment export industry. But what if the issues are more deep-rooted? The real challenge is to separate out the noise and draw up practical strategies based on accurate information, garment industry specialist David Birnbaum explained on a recent webinar. Using Bangladesh and India as examples, he suggested solutions to help realise their potential.
6 October – Covid and EU duty-free loss a double blow for Cambodia
The Covid-19 pandemic could not have come at a worse time for Cambodia’s garment sector, since it coincides with the partial withdrawal of the country’s duty-free access to the European Union (EU) market.
29 September – Digital wage payments must be scaled post-pandemic
A new report is calling on businesses and governments to scale up digital wage payments for low-paid workers after the Covid pandemic exposed the need for critical support to reach vulnerable populations.
The latest data released by Malaysia’s Department of Statistics shows the textile, apparel, leather and footwear sectors are still struggling to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
23 September – Pilot to probe hidden Bangladesh RMG supply chains
GoodWeave International, a non-profit working to end child, forced and bonded labour in global supply chains, has launched a new project to provide marginalised apparel workers in Bangladesh with immediate Covid-19 relief and conduct research on the impact of the pandemic.
22 September – “Lopsided contracts” expose garment industry frailties
A new policy paper that explores the power imbalances between brands and suppliers, and their contractual manifestation as a result of Covid-19, calls for more effective global governance of supply chains and stronger public and private accountability mechanisms.
The Portuguese textile and clothing industry has proved to be an example of resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic due to its clusters, flexibility, investment in research and development (R&D) and good ethics.
Leading viscose fibre producer Sateri has kept its foot firmly on the gas in recent months, with milestones that include starting production of lyocell fibres in China and launching a new commercial scale viscose fibre made from recycled textile waste – all in the midst of a global pandemic. President Allen Zhang shares how Covid-19 has affected the business and explains why the crisis has underlined the importance of a resilient and agile supply chain.
Shopping habits in the US and Europe shifted dramatically because of disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, driving rapid adoption and growth in ‘buy online, pick up in store’ services. And new research reveals that going forward, this combination of online and physical sales channels will form a highly competitive single retail market.
16 September – UK government urged to take action to fix fast fashion
The UK government is being urged to help build a more sustainable fashion industry after the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the “fault-lines” in the industry.
Anecdotal evidence suggests consumer demand for mass-market jeans has plummeted during the Covid pandemic. In contrast, demand for knitwear – including cotton T-shirts, knitted shirts and sweatpants – has increased as comfort becomes king. Robert Antoshak, managing director of Olah Inc, crunches the numbers to find out more.
The Turkish clothing manufacturing sector says it has struck an accord with major brand buyers to complete and pay for previous orders.
Gwynne Master, managing director and global head of trade for Lloyds Bank Commercial Bank, explains how firms can make the most of international trade opportunities as part of their Covid recovery strategy.
The South African clothing and textile sector is looking for action from the country’s government under a clothing, textiles, footwear and leather industry master plan unveiled in July to help it recover from Covid-19.
Pakistan’s clothing and textile sector is seeking government support to help the industry emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, which it says has inflicted punishing harm on manufacturers.
8 September – Germany backs ILO garment worker support scheme
The German government has partnered with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to launch a programme aimed at protecting garment sector workers affected by Covid-19.
Though sustainability and ethics fell under the radar at the start of the Covid-19 crisis as many retailers struggled to survive, more enlightened players realised it was an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in an area that would soon return to the top of consumers’ agendas. Those leading the way will be able to reach a new, more sustainability-conscious audience, as well as helping to set standards for the sector.
Indian apparel exporters continue to face severe labour shortages, limiting the orders they can accept and undermining the quality of their work – even though the country’s five months-long Covid-19 related lockdown has largely been lifted.
Bangladesh’s apparel exporters are contemplating diversifying their past tight focus on western markets to include buyers in Southeast Asia as they emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.
Vietnam clothing industry insiders say they are optimistic that the country’s apparel supply chain will emerge strengthened from the Covid-19 crisis in 2021.
27 August – Call for sustainability to be central to post-Covid recovery
H&M, Primark and Burberry are among a global coalition of brands to have signed an open letter urging the fashion and textile industry to ensure sustainability and environmental well-being are central to the sector’s post-Covid recovery.
The global fashion industry must rely less on coal and other fossil fuels in the supply chain, according to a new report that is urging the sector to take action to address climate change as a critical part of its Covid-19 recovery strategy.
With sustainability concerns among consumers projected to heighten post-Covid, a new report has outlined two circular investment opportunities – including rental and resale – that can help pave the way for a more resilient and environmentally beneficial fashion industry of the future.
14 August – UK government aid to support fashion supply chains
The UK Government has launched a new programme to help retailers including Marks & Spencer, Primark, Monsoon and VF Corporation to strengthen their global supply chains by supporting workers in developing countries during the coronavirus pandemic.
A shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, triggered by the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has prompted US domestic textile companies to mobilise their production facilities and supply chains to fill the void. Here’s the story of Vidalia Mills – by industry consultant Robert Antoshak, who helped oversee the project.
10 August – Garment workers underpaid by up to US$5.8bn during pandemic
A new report has claimed garment and footwear factory workers globally could have been underpaid by as much as US$5.79bn for the months of March, April and May.
US textiles and apparel sales could shrink by more than 50% this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, top executives say, but fabric makers are set to fare better than retailers amid a booming personal protective equipment (PPE) shift.
5 August – Major brands linked to “union-busting” factories
A number of factories producing garments for several major apparel brands have been accused of exploiting the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to sack workers affiliated to unions.
The economic and personal impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic, and the protectionist trade policy agenda in the US are the biggest concerns facing today’s US fashion industry executives. Unsurprisingly, they are contributing to a more conservative outlook for the future.
The new fashion retail landscape emerging in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic is already leading to dramatic and permanent changes in the way brands and fashion retailers plan and work. Here, Malcolm Newbery shares his views on some of the practical steps that surviving businesses should consider as online becomes the dominant way of doing business.
31 July – Apparel suppliers face new cost pressures as orders resume
High pressure tactics used by apparel and footwear brands and retailers during cost negotiations are not only impacting suppliers’ profitability but also threaten their social and environmental sustainability too, a new survey has found.
31 July – Primark to pay for all outstanding finished goods and fabric
Primark is to pay its suppliers in full for all outstanding finished goods and to utilise or pay for any finished fabric liabilities incurred before it closed all its stores in mid-March amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Research is ramping up around the world to develop new technologies that tap into growing demand for antimicrobial, virus and bacteria killing fibres and fabrics generated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
29 July – Nike shelves plans for Arizona facility on Covid woes
US sporting goods giant Nike Inc has backtracked on plans to invest in its Goodyear, Arizona, footwear-making facility.
The global apparel and textile industry supply chain is in need of a complete reset if it is to survive beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, and this could mean changing to a demand driven calendar, embracing ‘smartification’, and distributing margin differently, industry experts have said.
Rather than redrawing global sourcing maps, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated and deepened a number of pre-existing trends – including a diversification of supplier portfolios – new research suggests.
17 July – Brazil’s Santista developing Covid-free denim treatment
Brazilian textile major Santista Textil is set to launch a new fabric treatment that protects workwear, denim and other apparel from SARS-CoV-2, the strain that causes the novel coronavirus – and sees it as a potential game-changer for its business.
16 July – UK fashion industry to be hit “twice as hard” in Covid-19 recession
The UK government has been called upon to roll out support measures for the fashion industry with experts suggesting the sector could be hit “twice as hard” by the Covid-19 recession compared to others.
10 July – H&M Foundation to support female garment workers in Bangladesh
H&M Foundation is to donate SEK12m (US$1.3m) to help young women and their families in and around Dhaka with emergency relief from the Covid-19 pandemic as part of a long-term project to support female garment workers in Bangladesh.
9 July – BGMEA Covid-19 field hospital to treat garment workers
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has opened a 50-bed Covid-19 field hospital in Chattogram to provide free medical treatment to garment workers infected with coronavirus.
As disheartened members of this supply chain, and as optimistic consumers, we commit to being part of the 20% – the minority demanding and developing, launching, and implementing new and sustainable innovations and standards up and down the supply chain. By Robert Antoshak, managing director of Olah Inc, and April Kappler, consultant to the cotton and textile supply chain.
8 July – Bangladesh highlights Covid’s “devastating” impact on RMG sector
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, has said the Covid-19 pandemic has had a “devastating impact” on the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector and expressed concern over the growing level of job losses on the economy.
Technology is at the heart of the apparel and textile industry’s emergence from post-Covid lockdown, with digitalisation now key to helping brands navigate the fragile system the pandemic has exposed.
6 July – China apparel exporters hit hard by Covid-19 demand shocks
China’s apparel and footwear exporters have been hit the hardest by coronavirus-led demand shocks, a new report has found, with the two sectors having shown no signs of recovery.
6 July – Covid-19 adds to pressure to move supply out of China
Around 33% of supply chain leaders have moved sourcing and manufacturing out of China, or plan to do so in the next two to three years, a new survey has found.
US apparel imports fell by more than a fifth month-on-month in May as the global garment industry continued to crumble under the destructive weight of Covid-19. However, there was a resurgence in shipments from Central America and Mexico as retailers appear to have turned to those suppliers closest to home as stores started to reopen.
3 July – China manufacturing activity rises to six-month high
Manufacturing activity in China surged to a six-month high in June as the country continued to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic – but overseas demand remained subdued due to ongoing uncertainty in export markets.
Sustainability, innovation and digitalisation are all seen as key to helping the Indian textile and clothing industry build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic. The South Asian manufacturing hub could also benefit from its indigenous environmentally friendly processes and models of textile production, executives believe.
2 July – Covid safety hub launched for Bangladesh RMG sector
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has partnered with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BKMEA) to launch a virtual training package aimed at preparing and maintaining safer working conditions for garment workers in the South Asian country both during and post-pandemic.
Retail planners need an agile approach to see them through a pandemic, with artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques among the tools to help make the best decisions at every stage from initial response to recovery.
29 June – El Salvador eyes 25,000 apparel job losses as exports falter
El Salvador lost 20,000 apparel industry jobs this year and could lose another 5,000 as production plummets 35% due to Covid-19.
26 June – Mounting calls for US fashion trade insurance support
Momentum is gathering on calls for “an emergency, temporary federal commercial trade credit insurance backstop,” with 22 trade organisations now urging the US government to take action ahead of the upcoming holiday season.
Morocco’s clothing manufacturing sector has pivoted to making personal protective equipment to cope with the flood of cancelled orders that marked the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic – and in doing so is developing textile backward linkages that could strengthen the industry for the future.
Tunisia’s garment industry is exploring a post-Covid near-shoring strategy as part of a recovery plan to rethink the country’s positioning as a sourcing centre.
Kenya’s clothing manufacturing industry has been punched hard by Covid-19’s devastation of its main export market, the United States.
18 June – Covid-19 has taken its toll on Sri Lanka clothing sector
Covid-19 has taken its toll on Sri Lanka’s textile and clothing sector, with exports forecast to plummet 30% in fiscal 2021.
Indonesia’s clothing industry is another sourcing hub that has been struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic, with overseas buyers cancelling orders and the domestic market in the doldrums.
15 June – Almost one-fifth of under-45s upped lockdown clothing spend
Almost a fifth of under-45s have increased clothing spend to treat themselves during Covid-19 lockdown, a new survey shows.
15 June – Global economy to hit deepest recession since WWII
Europe’s economy is expected to shrink by over 9% this year, and the US by over 6%, new data shows, as shutdown measures related to the coronavirus pandemic plunge the global economy into contraction.
12 June – Covid-19 pandemic could push millions into child labour
The Covid-19 crisis could lead to the first rise in child labour for 20 years, according to a new brief from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.
12 June – US trade deficit in goods jumps nearly 17% in April
The US trade deficit in goods and services jumped 16.8% in April from a month earlier as the Covid-19 pandemic meant many businesses were operating on a limited capacity or none at all.
11 June – Better Factories Cambodia launches Covid-19 worker helpline
Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) has launched a Covid-19 worker safety hotline aimed at giving workers more information about the disease and how to prevent it.
11 June – Looming credit crisis threatens US apparel supply chains
Concerns that a commercial credit crisis is seizing up retail supply chains have prompted a group representing hundreds of US apparel and footwear brands and importers to call on the government for help.
10 June – Three more Debenhams stores will remain closed after lockdown
Department store group Debenhams has confirmed a further three stores will not repoen after lockdown restrictions are lifted in the UK next week after it failed to agree terms with landlord Intu.
10 June – Clothes top the list for UK consumers returning to shops
Just over half of UK consumers are ready to visit non-essential stores once lockdown restrictions are lifted – with clothing top of their shopping lists, and 16-24s the most eager to return to shops – a new survey suggests.
As an industry we keep repeating ourselves: making the same mistakes over and over again. Twenty-five years ago, the pain was felt in America. Today it’s suffered in Bangladesh. We must acknowledge that it’s time for a change. The old model has overstayed its welcome and outlived its usefulness. It should be scrapped for something better. By Robert Antoshak, managing director of Olah Inc.
9 June – New guidance issued on garment factory safety during Covid-19
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has partnered with the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) to publish new guidance material for members on how to implement occupational health and safety measures to protect garment workers during Covid-19.
9 June – Pandemic’s impact on US retail imports easing
The impact of Covid-19 at major US retail container ports appears to be easing slightly, with projected imports remaining below last year’s levels but not as much as previously forecast.
As the global garment industry continued to collapse under the weight of the Covid-19 pandemic throughout April, US apparel imports tumbled by more than a quarter on the previous month – with Central American suppliers Honduras and El Salvador recording the sharpest declines in shipments at more than 90% each.
Trust, people and partnerships – key tenets underpinning fashion supplier and sourcing powerhouse PDS Group – have been tested to the limit during the coronavirus pandemic. But they’ve also stood the business in good stead, helping to not only weather the storm but reposition it to emerge even stronger from the crisis, as founder and vice chairman Pallak Seth explains.
8 June – UK lockdown continues to weaken online clothing sales
The UK’s second month under lockdown saw online retail sales swell to a 12-year high in May but clothing sales continued to feel the pressure of weak demand, with both womens and menswear hit.
8 June – BGMEA sets up coronavirus testing labs
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has set up a testing lab for workers to be tested for coronavirus in Chandra.
Egypt’s garment and textile manufacturing sector has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, even though factories have largely remained open.
5 June – Tonello technologies tap new need for garment disinfecting
Finishing machinery maker Tonello has launched a range of technologies that can sanitise and disinfect garments and accessories, both during production and in the retail store.
When a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic hits a supply chain as complex as that of clothing, financing problems can gum up commercial relationships – meaning governments, regional and international organisations all need to step in.
4 June – China to overtake US as largest apparel market
China is expected to overtake the US as the largest apparel market by 2023, according to industry experts.
Reports of a Covid-19 outbreak in a Guatemalan garment factory last week have sent shockwaves across the region, fuelling calls for tougher action to ensure garment workers are provided with sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).
4 June – Mauritius’ textile sector must embrace advanced technology
Mauritius’ textile and apparel manufacturing industry must embrace advanced technology if it is to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic successfully and move towards Industry 4.0, the country’s government has said.
4 June – Global online fashion sales up but spend down amid Covid-19
Fashion retailers globally are driving nearly 40% more orders online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but consumers are cutting back on the amount they are spending, new data shows.
3 June – Exploring new sourcing options a priority for outdoor clothing firms
Exploring new sourcing options outside of China will be a priority for outdoor clothing companies as they look to work through the challenges of the pandemic and the US-China trade war, the industry’s trade body has said.
3 June – EU again urged not to end Cambodia trade benefit
Groups representing Cambodia’s apparel and footwear manufacturers have issued a fresh appeal to the European Union (EU) to postpone the planned withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade benefits as the country reels under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apparel suppliers are being urged to take the lead in setting up a group to shape new payment and terms practices for the industry as it emerges from the coronavirus crisis.
2 June – Brands urged to guarantee garment worker payments
Labour rights groups are calling for clothing brands and retailers to guarantee that all workers in their supply chains will receive wage and benefit payments during the Covid-19 crisis.
2 June – Reshoring possible as US firms look to shorter, faster supply chains post-pandemic
US clothing brands and suppliers are likely exploring ways to make their supply chains faster and more nimble as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which could involve many looking to shift parts of their production to the US, Central America, and Mexico, the CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has said.
2 June – EU’s Myanmar garment support fund pays first billion
Myanmar’s garment workers have received the first MMK1.04bn (US$753,512) in payments through the EU funded Myan Ku ‘Quick Assistance Fund’.
1 June – Garment sector suffers biggest economic hit amid Covid-19
The garment industry has suffered the biggest economic hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report, with supply chain disruption the top challenge.
1 June – Markdowns not part of the plan as Primark to reopen in UK
Primark-owner Associated British Foods (ABF) says the value fashion retailer has begun placing “substantial” orders for autumn/winter stock and will seek to avoid markdowns on excess inventory as it prepares to reopen stores in England on 15 June.
1 June – China factory output surges in May but exports subdued
Chinese manufacturing output in May expanded at the fastest rate since January 2011 – but demand remained subdued as the spread of the coronavirus continued in export markets.
While the majority of UK consumers plan to prioritise spending time with friends and family when lockdown restrictions are lifted, 16.0% aim to spend time shopping for non-food items – with over two-thirds looking forward to purchasing clothing items as they start to anticipate more social activities and buy into new season trends.
29 May – Brands urged to make supply-chain relief payment
A one-off payment from fashion brands and retailers could be a way of mitigating the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis on supply chain workers.
29 May – Survey finds 40% of fashion brands have not paid suppliers
A new survey of 35 fashion brands and retailers has found that despite mounting public pressure, 40% have made no public commitment to pay in full for completed orders.
29 May – New Inventory Quarantine tool to automate returns
As the apparel retail industry prepares to open its doors again, new technology has been released to aid retailers with inventory quarantine.
28 May – Reopening will be no mean feat for UK retailers
While clothing stores in the UK will be allowed to reopen from the middle of next month, one analyst says shops will not “spring back to life” on 15 June and notes there will be a number of teething problems as retailers begin to reopen their doors.
27 May – More brands named for failing on order commitments
An online tracker launched last month to monitor the response of leading apparel and footwear brands and retailers to their suppliers and workers during the coronavirus crisis, has been updated to show some are still refusing to make no commitment to pay in full for orders completed and in production.
27 May – China apparel market could see US$60bn contraction in 2020
The Chinese apparel market could contract by US$60bn in 2020, according to a new study.
26 May – Lost Stock venture sells cancelled Bangladesh clothing orders
A new initiative is offering consumers the chance to purchase clothing from cancelled apparel orders from Bangladesh in a move aimed at helping support the industry and its workers through the coronavirus pandemic.
26 May – UK fashion retailers get green light to open from 15 June
Clothing stores in the UK will be allowed to reopen from 15 June in newly announced plans from the government.
If there’s one thing the coronavirus pandemic has exposed, it’s that successful retailers and brands are the ones who are nimble, agile and flexible to meet customers’ rapidly changing needs. Here, Roit Kathiala sets out steps for manufacturers to realign with this fast-shifting fashion business if they want to stay relevant in the coming decades.
As many businesses globally are being given the green light by governments to reopen their doors following the coronavirus pandemic, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has created a checklist to ensure the safe return of workers.
21 May – Guatemala’s Startex pauses production on $10m in unpaid orders
Sportswear and knitwear manufacturer Startex is to close for up to two months as US clients owe it $10m in unpaid orders and new restrictions to contain surging Covid-19 cases hamper workers’ ability to reach its 1,400-strong site in Guatemala City.
21 May – Call for global fashion industry to “slow down” and reset
The British Fashion Council (BFC) and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have joined hands in a call to the global fashion industry to “slow down” and rethink the way in which it operates amid Covid-19.
Apparel powerhouse VF Corp believes it is well-positioned to emerge as a winner from the coronavirus crisis – with an increased consumer focus on the outdoors, health and wellbeing set to boost its activity-based lifestyle brands.
20 May – H&M, Inditex in UN push to governments for climate change action
More than 150 companies including the likes of H&M, Burberry, Inditex, and zipper manufacturer YKK Corp, have backed a UN statement urging governments to align their Covid-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science.
The coronavirus pandemic is seen as triggering a set-back for labour rights in apparel supply chains, with workers left vulnerable as brands and retailers cancelled orders. But it could also lead to re-thinking on the sustainability front, industry executives say.
19 May – Bangladesh Bank increases export fund to $30m
Bangladesh garment factories will now have access to more funding after the country’s main bank increased the loan threshold for its export fund to US$30m.
19 May – Sustainability key to resilient post-Covid fashion industry
Fashion executives are being urged to place sustainability at the core of their business models to help rebuild resilient and sustainable businesses post-Covid-19.
18 May – Bangladesh seeks EU help to curb garment order cancellations
The Bangladesh government has taken the unusual step of asking the European Parliament to use its influence to try to persuade European clothing brands to be more sensitive about the impact of cancelling orders with Bangladesh-based suppliers during the Covid-19 crisis.
18 May – Brands commit to paying for orders under new Myanmar support scheme
H&M, Inditex and Next are among the global brands that have backed an initiative to protect garment workers and factories in Myanmar from the economic impact linked to the coronavirus outbreak.
15 May – Esquel pivots production to build private brand mask sales
The Covid-19 pandemic has proved a mixed blessing for Hong Kong-based garment supplier Esquel. While export earnings have plummeted, the company has pivoted by adding non-medical use face masks to its product line, which it will sell under the company’s own label Determinant.
15 May – Cotton, textile sectors call for collaborative action amid Covid-19
Five associations representing the cotton and textile industry have joined hands on a call for fair and equitable trade practices across global supply chains amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Nearly 50,000 in El Salvador, 26,000 in Honduras and 6,000 in Nicaragua: that’s how many workers Central American garment factories are laying off with no paycheck, trade union officials say. They are stepping up calls for governments and fashion brands to help compensate and provide a livelihood for impoverished sewers until the pandemic recedes.
15 May – US clothing retail sales plummet in April
US retail sales dropped almost twice as much during April as they did in March as the nation’s economy saw its first full month when most businesses were closed because of Covid-19, with clothing retailers particularly hard hit.
The Covid-19 pandemic will not just threaten business failure for many clothing brands and manufacturers, it may herald the end of the current high production, fast fashion model and result in fewer, smaller collections from more sustainable supply chains.
13 May – Bangladesh workers to access well-being platform
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has partnered with Maya Digital Health to offer workers access to an anonymous platform through which they can ask questions relating to health and well-being.
Covid-19 will wipe off US$297bn from the global apparel market in 2020 – a 15.2% decline on 2019 – according to a new forecast from GlobalData.
If non-governmental organisations (NGOs) wish to remain relevant – and productive – they need to press their case now. Otherwise the fashion industry will go back to its old ways of doing business in a post-Covid world, says Robert Antoshak, managing director of Olah Inc.
12 May – India faces challenges restarting clothing production
An Indian clothing supplier to international brands has told just-style of the challenges it faces as it starts to emerge from the near complete lockdown that prevented work being completed on summer collections.?
12 May – UK firms with “vulnerable supply chains” could get support
The UK government has rolled out financial support for garment businesses with “vulnerable supply chains” in developing countries as part of its response to the coronavirus outbreak and its wider economic impact.
As garment factories in Bangladesh come under pressure to reopen, Dorothée Baumann-Pauly and Natasja Sheriff from the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights set out three ways fashion brands can offer practical assistance to suppliers to ensure the safety of the millions of workers who make the goods they sell.
11 May – Financial support and worker safety top industry concerns
A survey carried out by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to determine areas that the industry most needs support and guidance in the wake of Covid-19 has found the biggest areas of concern are financial support to prevent or alleviate facility layoffs and how to protect workers once factories reopen.
11 May – Annual US retail imports to see double-digit declines
Imports at major US retail container ports are expected to see double-digit year-over-year declines this spring and summer as the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue, despite the reopening of some stores.
11 May – US economic recovery will be slow, warns retail economist
With some retailers starting to open stores in the US, economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be gradual and will vary by location, an economist has warned.
The coronavirus outbreak has battered the global fashion industry, creating mass upheaval for both buyers and suppliers. But it is also giving companies a much-needed opportunity to look closely at their supply chain relationships and business models for the future.
7 May – HanesBrands sees US$300m sales opportunity in PPE
T-shirt and activewear maker HanesBrands is ramping up the production of masks and protective garments in response to the global coronavirus pandemic – and says the business could become a permanent part of its portfolio.
Potential risks in the post-coronavirus environment are likely to fundamentally make social compliance audits more important than ever, according to Randy Rankin, global client development director in the Consumer Products Testing Assurance Services practice at Eurofins.
With the global apparel industry starting to feel the effects of factory shutdowns and retail store closures in March due to the outbreak of coronavirus, US apparel imports saw a double-digit drop on the month prior, with its largest supplier China recording the steepest fall at 53%.
With spring/summer now a write-off for most fashion retailers, the resulting flood of excess inventory – and the subsequent discounting and margin erosion – will likely lead to widespread administrations for companies in the UK, Europe and the US.
6 May – Pakistan’s Punjab allows reopening of textile mills
Pakistan’s Punjab Government has allowed the reopening of textile mills across the region in a move that will help lift exports hit by the lockdown resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
5 May – Export collapse weighs on China factory activity in April
A sharp fall in export orders as the Covid-19 pandemic caused global demand to slump meant factory activity in China contracted in April.
5 May – Distressed US apparel retailers face surge in defaults
The US retail and apparel sector faces surging defaults over the next 12 months as companies succumb to pressures mounting from the lengthy shutdown and potentially slow recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, a new forecast suggests.
5 May – Turkey garment suppliers call on brands to “reinforce dialogue”
Turkey’s clothing manufacturers are calling on global brands and retailers to reinforce dialogue with their suppliers over orders to maintain a “healthy and sustainable” supply chain.
5 May – BGMEA carries out health and safety checks as factories reopen
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) says 96% of factories it audited for health and safety measures have been found to be “satisfactory”.
4 May – Australia’s wool industry battles the Covid-19 storm
Wool producers in Australia are stockpiling wool and avoiding auction sales as they battle a downturn in prices and demand.
4 May – EU’s Myanmar garment support fund makes first payments
The first payments have been made to some of Myanmar’s garment sector workers through the European Union’s EUR5m (US$5.5m) ‘Rapid Response’ support fund.
4 May – Year-end cotton prices seen falling to decade low
Global cotton consumption in 2019/20 is set to suffer a 12% decline as demand plummets due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with year-end prices seen falling to their lowest levels in more than a decade.
Three associations representing the US fashion, apparel, footwear, and travel goods industries have set out recommendations for future tariff relief and stimulus aid to help retailers and importers emerge from the coronavirus crisis.
1 May – Egypt makers take a hit on cancellations and capacity
Garment factories in Egypt have indicated that order cancellations linked to the global Covid-19 crisis are reaching millions of dollars, and that many manufacturers have been forced to reduce their production capacity as a result.
1 May – Tunisia unions back salary pact for private workers
Private sector clothing and footwear workers in Tunisia are among those who will continue to be paid during Covid-19-related closures thanks to an agreement between the government and unions.
30 April – Trust and purpose will be key purchase drivers post-Covid
A new report has warned companies that fail to demonstrate transparency and sustainable practices in their business operations will struggle to gain consumer trust in a post-Covid world.
30 April – Sweden tells Bangladesh it will not cancel orders
Sweden has assured Bangladesh it will not be cancelling garment orders from the country. According to the Embassy of Sweden to Bangladesh’s website, Swedish imports of all goods from Bangladesh stood at SEK3.2bn (US$326.3m) in 2017 compared with SEK2.7bn in 2014. In the textiles and RMG sectors, it says “there are significant opportunities for growth in our trade relations.”
29 April – Baptist World Aid sets six Covid Fashion Commitments
Baptist World Aid Australia (BWAA) is calling on fashion companies to commit to six commitments designed to support workers in global supply chains.
29 April – 800 Bangladesh garment factories resume operations
Around 800 garment factories in Bangladesh have resumed operations, just weeks after the country’s apparel industry body advised facilities to remain closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
29 April – Bangladesh factory sees US$10m worth of orders cancelled
A Bangladesh factory has said it alone has had US$10m worth of orders cancelled since the coronavirus outbreak.
UK retailer Next Plc issued a bleak trading update this morning (29 April) demonstrating how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted its business so far. Product full-price sales for the period from 26 January to 25 April fell 41% and it is now anticipating a steep fall of up to 40% in full-year full-price sales, while cancelling stock it no longer needs and moving other inventory into future seasons.
28 April – Pandemic risks garment workers in Eastern Europe
Garment workers in Serbia, Ukraine, Croatia and Bulgaria are said to be earning less than a living wage producing clothes for German fashion brands – with many having to carry on despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
28 April – Safeguarding measures crucial for returning workers
Safeguarding measures need to be put into place for employees returning to work after the lockdown, the International Labour Organization (ILO) says, as it urges governments to take action to minimise risk.
Labour rights are set to worsen in Asia’s garment sector as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the region – with knock-on implications for fashion companies trying to maintain supply chains from these locations.
27 April – Brands have “wrecked” Turkey garment making sector
The president of Turkish Clothing Manufacturers’ Association TGSD (Türkiye Giyim Sanayicileri Dernegi) has complained about the treatment his members have experienced at the hands of international brands and retailers during the Covid-19 crisis.
27 April – Fabric mills limit collection size for online meetings
Fabric developers will need to reposition their collections to have fewer materials in order to keep buyers engaged, as the coronavirus outbreak has forced them to showcase collections differently.
27 April – US cotton farmers to benefit from $19bn aid package
he Trump Administration has set out details of a $19bn aid package to support American farmers and ranchers – including cotton farmers – hurt by the ongoing Covid-19 emergency.
27 April – BGMEA advises garment factories to remain closed
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Export Association (BGMEA) has advised factories in the country to continue to remain closed during the Covid-19 pandemic until it instructs them otherwise.
24 April – UK clothing sales “obliterated” in March
The volume of UK retail sales slumped to new record lows in March, official data showed today, with sales at clothing and footwear stores down a whopping 34.8% on the previous month.
24 April – Covid-19 threatens labour achievements since Rana Plaza
Seven years on from Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza factory collapse, a worker rights group warns the current Covid-19 pandemic is undermining ongoing struggles in social protection, living wages, freedom to organise and factory safety.
23 April – Industry groups urge action on supply chain liquidity squeeze
Textile, apparel, footwear and travel goods trade associations from around the globe are adding to calls for governments to address the liquidity squeeze caused by Covid-19 across the supply chain.
23 April – Brands join ILO push for emergency funding for suppliers
Apparel brands and retailers – including adidas, C&A, H&M Group, Inditex, M&S and Primark – have joined employer organisations, unions and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to push for emergency funding to support garment factories and workers through the Covid-19 pandemic.
23 April – Asda honours “vast majority” of George clothing orders
The Walmart-owned Asda supermarket chain says it will continue to honour commitments to suppliers of its George clothing range, even though it is reducing payments for finished products.
On the 50th anniversary of World Earth Day, Ken Burton, executive director of the new US Cotton Trust Protocol, explains why it is so important that sustainability activity is not left behind as companies are impacted by coronavirus.
22 April – Bangladesh pressures factories over unpaid wages
The Bangladesh government has warned it will take action against garment factories that do not pay their staff during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.
Online fast fashion retailer Boohoo has reported a double-digit hike in full-year sales and earnings, with group revenue surging 44% to GBP1.2bn. With its key brands likely to benefit from their value propositions once nationwide lockdown restrictions are lifted and consumers are able to start going out again, the retailer is well-positioned to weather the retail storm caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A coalition of industry bodies representing around 2,000 garment brands and retailers is calling for urgent action to protect garment workers during the Covid-19 crisis by safeguarding worker income and health and future-proofing supply chains.
21 April – Korean textile firms criticise Kohl’s order cancellations
Representatives from the Korean textile and apparel industry are calling on US department store retailer Kohl’s to reconsider its recent decision to unilaterally cancel orders – which it says puts at risk the livelihoods of nearly 200,000 workers around the world.
21 April – India stands to lose $3bn in apparel shipments
India’s apparel industry stands to lose shipments worth more than US$3bn due to order cancellations and delays during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey of garment exporters across the country.
With Covid-19 putting a stop to all non-essential travel, global supply chains are being put to the test as brands and retailers have to rethink how they work, how they communicate with their manufacturers on placing orders and product design, and with business associates globally. Technology is now taking a front seat and software companies are stepping in to help bridge the gap.
Value fashion retailer Primark has reported revenue of GBP3.7bn (US$4.5bn) for the first half, representing a 3.9% uptick in constant currency and a 2.2% rise at actual exchange rates. But the Covid-19 outbreak is set to drastically impact its performance for the rest of the financial year – and is likely to give Primark reason to rethink its bricks-and-mortar only strategy for the future.
20 April – Primark extends supplier support by GBP370m
Value fashion retailer Primark has extended support to its suppliers by committing to pay for GBP370m (US$461m) worth of additional orders, over and above the GBP1.5bn of stock already in stores, depots and in transit.
20 April – Euratex urges recovery strategy for textile & apparel industry
The European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) has urged the European Commission to outline a series of measures as part of a recovery plan for the sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The current global Covid-19 crisis has placed severe strain upon the apparel industry supply chain, with garment manufacturers and related ancillary industries feeling the financial effects of the global collapse in clothing retail. The crisis has also thrown into sharp focus the inadequacies of the existing system of supplier payment terms.
17 April – Online tracker lists apparel brands’ response to Covid-19
A new tracker aims to name and shame apparel and footwear brands and retailers who have made no commitment to pay their suppliers for orders that are in production or already completed during the coronavirus pandemic – as well as flagging those who are upholding their obligations.
17 April – Cambodia unions urge brands to contribute to worker wages
Garment unions in Cambodia are proposing brands and manufacturers contribute 40% of the minimum wage for workers in factories that have suspended operations due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
A further three-week extension of the Covid-19 lockdown across the UK is expected to push down UK fashion spend by a further GBP1.4bn (US$1.75bn), according to GlobalData.
16 April – Sales at US clothing retailers free-fall in March
US retail sales saw their biggest monthly drop on record during March – with clothing stores seeing the largest decline as consumers prioritised spending on essential goods such as groceries and health products during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Concern is mounting at the use of force majeure clauses in contracts to enable apparel brands and retailers to stop shipments and avoid paying for the goods they ordered.
16 April – Uzbek government urges lift of cotton boycott to boost exports
Uzbekistan is urging a coalition of human rights groups to end its boycott of cotton and textiles sourced from the country to allow it to grow its exports and recover amid the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
16 April – Haiti textile production to restart despite virus fears
Haiti plans to reopen its key textile industry next week, Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe has declared, as the initial term of the country’s state of emergency comes to an end.
16 April – Pandemic could slash global apparel brand value by 20%
The global apparel sector is likely to be one of the most heavily impacted by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, new figures show, with brand value likely to tumble by around 20%.
Peru’s textile and apparel industry is scrambling to save hundreds of thousands of jobs as the coronavirus lockdown, newly extended until 26 April, wreaks havoc in the industry.
15 April – Brands urge EU to delay withdrawal of Cambodia trade benefits
Europe’s major clothing retailers and brands have called upon the EU Commission to consider delaying the withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade benefits received by Cambodia, as they feel the impact of the coronavirus outbreak throughout their clothing supply chains.
With fashion supply chains around the world fracturing in the face of travel bans, factory shutdowns and remote working, tools such as 3D virtual design, fit and prototyping software are helping businesses to stay on track.
15 April – Turkey makers advised to halt production until end April
A textile industry trade body in Turkey is advising its members to halt production until the end of April in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Pondering the future of the apparel industry, Robert Antoshak, managing director of Olah Inc, notes: We can take one path which points us toward a more promising future, or we can choose a second path that simply repeats the mistakes of the past.
UK clothing and homeware retailer Next Plc has begun selling online again today (14 April) – albeit in a limited way – after putting safety measures in place to ensure its warehouse workers are safe.
The apparel and footwear industry must respond to the coronavirus crisis by doubling-down on efforts to create more stable, sustainable and humane supply chains for the future, writes Doug Cahn.
9 April – India buyer appeal calls for “commerce with compassion”
India’s Textile Minister and the country’s apparel export body have become the latest to appeal to global apparel buyers to “do commerce with compassion” and not cancel orders.
9 April – EU launches Myanmar support fund for garment sector
The European Commission has launched a ‘Rapid Response’ support fund for Myanmar’s textile and garment sector in light of the Covid-19 crisis, with the aim of assisting around 70,000 workers.
9 April – Asia supplier nations in joint plea to fashion buyers
Nine representatives from six major garment sourcing nations have issued a joint call to global brands and retailers to consider the potential impacts on workers and small business enterprises in their supply chains when making purchasing decisions.
9 April – World merchandise trade may fall by up to 32% in 2020
World merchandise trade could fall by up to 32% this year, new figures show, as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupts economic activity, with estimates of a recovery uncertain.
While there are there are no playbooks to guide the apparel industry through the coronavirus crisis and beyond, Edwin Keh, CEO of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), believes two things are clear: the entire supply chain must work as an ecosystem to survive intact, and it should use the crisis as an opportunity to reset for the future.
February is historically the slowest month when it comes to US apparel imports due to annual shutdowns in China for Lunar New Year celebrations. This year is much the same, with overall shipments down double-digits, but factory shutdowns lasted longer, continuing into March due to the outbreak of coronavirus where the epicentre was the Hubei province in China.
9 April – Survey reveals 31% of early April orders cancelled
The global textile industry has seen current orders drop by 31% between the end of March and early April according to a survey by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF).
The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will provide the global fashion industry with an opportunity to “reset and reshape”, a new report says, with digital acceleration, discounting, consolidation and innovation all expected to feature.
8 April – What’s the future for fashion retail after coronavirus?
In just a few short weeks our industry has been turned upside down by the global spread of coronavirus. The question now is what will fashion retail be like when the pandemic is over? Here, Malcolm Newbery shares his thoughts on life after Covid-19.
8 April – BGMEA backs government factory holiday guidelines
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has backed the government’s general holiday for factories, except for those producing personal protective equipment, in a bid to help slow the Covid-19 outbreak.
8 April – Buyers warned axed orders are “devastating” for textile workers
A UK body that campaigns for fairness in trade is urging retailers not to cancel orders or require factories to delay payment terms, decisions it says, will have “devastating consequences for textile workers”.
8 April – US retail imports expected to hit five-year low in March
Estimates show that imports at major US retail container ports dropped to their lowest level in five years in March, and are projected to remain significantly below normal levels through early summer as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
7 April – Cambodia garment makers call on buyers to honour contracts
A trade body representing garment manufacturers in Cambodia has appealed to buyers asking them to commit to orders already fulfilled.
7 April – PVH Corp redeploying and repurposing inventories
Apparel giant PVH Corp, owner of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, is trying to offset the fallout from store closures across North America and Europe by reducing and redeploying its inventory commitments.
7 April – Mekong governments urged to protect migrant workers
Mekong Migration Network (MMN) is calling on the governments in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), including Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, to provide a social safety net for migrant workers, including those employed in factories, as the coronavirus outbreak continues.
7 April – ETI issues guidance for brands over supplier payments
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is calling on its members to ensure workers in its supply chain receive payment for completed work during the Covid-19 pandemic and is urging dialogue over ongoing orders as it releases guidelines for brands.
UK-based clothing manufacturers are taking steps to shore up their businesses as orders slump amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic – including repurposing production, working from home where possible, and embracing digital technologies. But they are also optimistic the crisis might also lead to lasting change.
New Look has suspended payments to its suppliers indefinitely as it works to navigate the Covid-19 crisis. New Look confirmed the decision in a statement sent to just-style. It also said it would not be placing new orders until further notice.
Sustainability was the buzzword of 2019 – but could be another of the casualties of the global outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).
3 April – Primark to pay wages at factories of cancelled orders
UK value fashion retailer Primark has set up a fund to cover the wages component of orders that it cancelled in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amidst the chaos of order cancellations and payment delays experienced by clothing manufacturers around the world due to the coronavirus crisis, the good news is that some brands and retailers are continuing to offer support to their suppliers.
3 April – Levi Strauss commits support to supply chain workers
Denim giant Levi Strauss & Co (LS&Co) is moving to help support workers in its apparel supply chains as part of a US$3m commitment to Covid-19 relief efforts.
The Better Work initiative is ramping up its response to the global Covid-19 pandemic by offering advice and assistance to governments, garment factories and workers in the countries where it operates – including Vietnam, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nicaragua and Jordan.
3 April – World Bank fast-tracks $1.9bn coronavirus funds
The World Bank Group has fast-tracked $1.9bn in emergency funds to help 25 developing countries respond to the Covid-19 pandemic – including key garment producers Ethiopia, Kenya, Cambodia, Haiti, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Morocco.
The fast spread of the coronavirus around the globe has created an unprecedented situation for the world economy. But how might Covid-19 affect apparel sourcing and trade? Dr Sheng Lu, associate professor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware, has analysed the worst case scenarios.
A new resource has been launched to help garment brands and their supply chains navigate the Covid-19 crisis – with advice on its impact on factory workers and guidance on specific production countries.
US footwear brands are seeing a slump in consumer demand as the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak continues.
1 April – US planning three-month duty deferral for some apparel?
US apparel and footwear retailers and importers are cautiously optimistic at reports the Trump Administration is planning to stop collecting duties on imports for at least three months to help ease the economic fallout of the coronavirus.
1 April – China exports hit as coronavirus spreads across the globe
A textile trade body in China has said the number of firms cancelling export orders is growing by the day, leading to increasing pressure on upstream firms’ supply chains.
1 April – Europe’s textile & apparel sector facing 50% drop in sales
The European textile and clothing manufacturing industry is expecting a drop of more than 50% in sales and production this year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, with the majority already laying off workers and suffering financial constraints, new figures show.
Are we witnessing the end of globalisation? The simple answer is no. But there is a more nuanced response: globalisation will survive, but it will be different from what we’ve known, believes Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc.
1 April – International Apparel Federation urges supply chain solidarity
The International Apparel Federation (IAF) is adding to calls for solidarity and collaboration by the apparel supply chain and its stakeholders – including governments and consumers – to reduce the damage to suppliers in the face of the coronavirus crisis.
Tunisia’s textile and garment sector is warning of major commercial and humanitarian damage because of production stoppages and order cancellations resulting from the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
31 March – Inditex pays virus-hit factory workers in Spain – for now
Spanish fashion giant Inditex, which owns the Zara fashion chain, is to pay its Spanish workers their full salaries until 15 April, just-style has been told – including those in its domestic factories.
31 March – H&M agrees payment to suppliers for cancelled orders
Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has said it will pay and take delivery of goods already manufactured by its suppliers, as well as those in production.
31 March – Purchasing practices need reform in light of Covid-19 impact
The fashion industry needs to re-think how it does business, in light of the impact of Covid-19, and purchasing practices must be reformed for social and environmental sustainability, a new academic paper has suggested.
31 March – Vietnam textile sector anticipates $467m hit from coronavirus
The Vietnamese textile and garment sector could see a VND11trn (US$467m) hit from the fallout of coronavirus, one of the country’s main textile groups has said.
30 March – HSBC rolls out support measures for Bangla factories hit by Covid-19
The Bangladesh arm of HSBC bank has said it will roll out measures to provide “immediate assistance” to the suffering textile and garments sector that has been hit by Covid-19 and the related economic impact.
30 March – WTO forecasts “sharp” decline in global trade
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is predicting a “very sharp” decline in global trade, with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic expected to have an “enormous impact” on the economy and on jobs.
27 March – Full pay for South Africa clothing workers during virus lockdown
80,000 clothing and textile workers in South Africa are set to receive full pay for the next six weeks as part of a landmark package agreed as the country goes into lockdown to try to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Bangladesh has ordered thousands of clothing factories to continue production throughout a 10-day countrywide lockdown in force since Thursday (26 March) aimed at slowing the spread of new coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Mexican and Central American garment factories are shutting down as regional governments respond to the coronavirus outbreak and US demand slumps as retailers face widespread shutdowns to contain the global health emergency.
26 March – How Asia supplier countries are responding to coronavirus
Garment workers in global supply chains are especially exposed to risks linked to the global Covid-19 crisis, but how are the governments in key production countries in Asia responding?
25 March – Bangladesh Accord suspends inspections amid pandemic
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh says it has suspended all factory inspection and educational activities in order to protect the health of its employees amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
25 March – Myanmar Covid-19 fund unlikely to cushion garment jobs
The government of Myanmar has unveiled an initial US$70m stimulus package to cushion the blow of the coronavirus outbreak on the country’s economy, but sources suggest it might not be enough to save “tens of thousands” of garment workers who are likely to find themselves out of a job in the near future.
25 March – Nike deploys Covid-19 “playbook” to US and Europe
Sportswear giant Nike Inc says it has a “playbook” to tackle the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including leveraging its diverse sourcing base and digital capabilities to manage the business with flexibility, and shifting inventory to serve consumer digital demand.
24 March – Gildan suspends production on Covid-19 fallout
Gildan Activewear is temporarily suspending production at all of its manufacturing facilities until mid-April amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
24 March – UK clothing and footwear sales to be hardest hit by Covid-19
Clothing and footwear is the UK retail sector likely to be worst hit by the coronavirus (Covid-19) this year, with spending expected to decline by one-fifth, according to preliminary forecasts.
23 March – Primark cancels all orders as UK stores close
UK value fashion retailer Primark has cancelled all orders with its suppliers and closed all of its stores – including the 189 it operates in the UK – as countries around the world go into lockdown to try to halt the spread of coronavirus.
23 March – US apparel supply chain switches to face mask production
A coalition of US apparel and textile firms has joined forces to build a supply chain to fast-track the manufacturing of medical face masks for hospitals, health care workers and citizens battling the spread of Covid-19.
23 March – Amazon blocks “non-essential” goods from warehouses
Clothing suppliers selling via online retailer Amazon will see their shipments temporarily blocked as the group makes room in its warehouses for the most-needed items during the coronavirus outbreak.
20 March – M&S cuts clothing orders by GBP100m as Covid-19 hits sales
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has warned trading over the next nine to 12 months in its clothing and homewares business is likely to be severely impacted by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and that it is “taking all possible steps” to defer supply ahead of what it expects to be a prolonged downturn in demand.
20 March – US textile groups say factories essential to tackle coronavirus
US textile and nonwoven associations are urging federal, state and local governments to deem these manufacturing facilities as “essential” to ensure workers are exempted from orders to stay at home during the Covid-19 crisis.
20 March – Retail doors closing globally to help curb coronavirus spread
A raft of apparel and footwear brands and retailers including VF Corp, Nike and Gap Inc, are temporarily closing stores and cutting opening hours as part of efforts to help limit the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
UK fashion and homeware retailer Next Plc has warned it could lose up to GBP1bn (US$1.15bn) in sales as the coronavirus impacts demand – but says it is armed with various measures that could help control costs and conserve cash.
19 March – Brands urged to shield global garment workers from Covid-19
Labour rights groups are urging clothing brands and retailers to take steps to minimise the impact of the coronavirus on garment workers’ health and livelihoods.
18 March – Inditex writes down inventory as virus impacts sales
Inditex, the owner of brands including Zara and Bershka, has recorded a EUR287m (US$316m) inventory charge on the back of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak which it says has hit its sales in the first two weeks of March.
18 March – Coronavirus adds to testing times for India apparel exporters
Subdued demand in key markets due to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus is weighing on Indian apparel and cotton exporters, with concerns over working capital and liquidity as orders are postponed.
How retail and fashion companies and their supply chains might fare coming out of the coronavirus crisis – and possible longer-term impacts on social trends and behaviour.
17 March – Rise in payment delays weighs on Bangladesh factories
Garment manufacturers in Bangladesh are seeing an influx of requests for payment delays from buyers as a result of the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak.
17 March – Vietnam makers fear production hit from raw material shortage
Concerns are rising among Vietnamese garment producers about whether they have enough raw materials to be able to continue production into the second quarter.
17 March – Supply chains face liquidity crunch as transactions tank
A slump in global trade transactions across the Tradeshift platform reveals the scale of disruption to supply chains globally as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak – and points to significant pressures on liquidity.
While clothing manufacturers in Italy have not been told to close outright in the country’s bid to fight the Covid-19 virus, many have been subject to major disruption during this health emergency.
16 March – Trade groups want China tariffs scrapped to offset virus impact
A number of US trade bodies – including those that represent the clothing and footwear industries – have joined forces in urging the US government to scrap tariffs on Chinese goods as part of its “emergency response” in fighting the negative impact to the US economy of the coronavirus impact.
16 March – Global unions call for worker protection measures in the Covid-19 era
The Council of Global Unions (CGU), which represents some 200m workers worldwide, has issued a joint statement calling on governments to act together and through multilateral institutions to shore up the economy and keep people in work at a time when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is warning the Covid-19 outbreak could result in an economic crash similar to the 2008 recession.
13 March – Workers in Cambodia and Myanmar hit hard
Workers in Cambodia and Myanmar are among the hardest hit by fall-out from the global coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, according to unions who are urging measures to protect workers.
13 March – Colombia eyes US export boost as virus shuffles supply chains
Colombia’s textiles and apparel industry is hoping its exports to the US will rise this year as brands rush to find sourcing alternatives away from China amid the fast-spreading coronavirus.
13 March – Gap expects coronavirus to hurt Q1 sales by $100m
Specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc expects to take a first-quarter sales hit of about US$100m due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak – and says it is working on contingency plans to tackle falling demand and supply chain disruption.
13 March – Bangladesh Denim Expo cancelled
The twelfth edition the Bangladesh Denim Expo, which had been due to take place next month, has been cancelled on the back of health and travel concerns linked to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
12 March – Make it British plans virtual event
The ‘Make it British Live!’ sourcing show has been postponed amid the health concerns and travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus, with organisers saying plans are now underway for a virtual event.
12 March – China manufacturing slump could hit global exports by $50bn
The slowdown of manufacturing in China due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak could result in a US$50bn drop in global exports, the UN’s trade and development agency says.
12 March – US textile sector welcomes coronavirus relief plans
The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has welcomed proposals from the Trump administration on an economic stimulus package to gird the economy against the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, but urged officials to reject any attempts by importers to remove China 301 tariffs on finished products as part of any relief package.
12 March – US manufacturers brace for financial hit
A number of US manufacturers are anticipating a financial hit from the coronavirus outbreak currently gripping the world. 78.3% of companies polled by the National Association of Manufacturers said they anticipate a financial impact as a result of the outbreak.
The media is currently awash with predictions that the Covid-19 outbreak marks the end of multinational sourcing. Clothing buyers certainly need to review how they source – but it’s resilience, not re-shoring, they should be seeking.
11 March – Coronavirus impacting Puma sales not supply chain
Puma says its global supply chain is in the clear with regard to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, adding it is not currently at risk apart from minor delays.
11 March – Adidas warns of $1bn sales hit in China
German sportswear giant Adidas is expecting sales to drop by up to EUR1bn (US$1.13bn) in Greater China in the first quarter, due to coronavirus, with a negative impact also now being felt in Japan and South Korea.
10 March – Cambodia prepares for arrival of raw materials
Cambodia’s garment factories are preparing for the arrival of raw materials from China, just a week after it was thought production in the Kingdom might slow due to shortages linked to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
10 March – Coronavirus to have “longer & larger” impact on US imports
The coronavirus outbreak is expected to have a larger and longer-lasting impact on imports at major US retail container ports than previously believed, as factory shutdowns and travel restrictions in China continue to affect production.
The growing coronavirus epidemic continues to cast a shadow on Central America’s garment export and deliveries, with Nicaragua now forecasting a full-year export decline and Guatemala also acknowledging its apparel shipments face delays.
9 March – Supply chains in China see huge disruptions
Supply chains in China have seen significant disruption over the last month as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the latest data from supply chain tech company Tradeshift.
9 March – Kingpins axes Amsterdam show
Denim trade show Kingpins has confirmed it will be cancelling its upcoming Amsterdam event on the back of health concerns and travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19).
UK clothing sales are set for further disruption over the coming months, with stock issues expected to appear, as China accounts for over one-fifth (21.4% in 2018, according to UN Comtrade trade data) of the country’s apparel imports.
6 March – Copenhagen Fashion Summit postponed
Copenhagen Fashion Summit has been pushed back to October following the growing public health concerns around the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
5 March – Sri Lanka sees orders slow as main export markets hit
Sri Lanka is dealing with a fall in apparel order volumes as the coronavirus outbreak causes uncertainty among retailers and consumers. The industry is already suffering, like many others, from a delay in raw materials supply from China, which is seeing many factories stand down operations.
5 March – Abercrombie & Fitch assesses supply chain impact
Abercrombie & Fitch says there is “significant uncertainty” across the industry resulting from coronavirus (Covid-19) as the US teen fashion retailer assesses the potential impact to its global supply chain.
4 March – UK retailers report supply chain disruption
New research has revealed a number of UK retailers are experiencing supply chain disruption as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, which began in China at the tail end of 2019.
4 March – Myanmar factory closes on raw material shortage
A garment factory in the Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar has closed due to a shortfall of raw materials from China, leaving over 1,000 employees out of work.
3 March – Vietnam turns to India for raw materials supply?
Vietnam is considering India as a supplier for raw materials to its garment and textile sector amid a shortage linked to the coronavirus outbreak that began in China at the tail end of last year.
3 March – Production to slow at 200 Cambodia factories
Cambodian officials have warned production will slow at 200 garment factories due to a lack of raw materials linked to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in China.
A survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) has found the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on its members has been “significant”, with travel disruptions and reduced staff productivity presenting the biggest challenges.
2 March – Turkey textile makers see orders spike
Turkish textile manufacturers are reportedly dealing with an influx of orders on the back of the Chinese coronavirus outbreak.
Central American garment suppliers are fretting over delays of up to a month in essential Chinese fabric supplies as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
28 February – UK buyers look closer to home
UK fashion and textiles manufacturers are reporting an increase in new business enquiries linked to the ongoing impact of coronavirus, a new survey suggests.
27 February – China garment factories slowly resume production
A shortage of workers and higher costs and shortfalls on the raw material side are among the top challenges facing China’s garment industry as the coronavirus disrupts their supply chains, according to a survey of almost 300 apparel companies.
25 February – Virus a challenge for Myanmar’s garment sector
The coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is presenting a challenge for Myanmar’s garment sector, an industry body for the country has said, as its garment factories tackle supply issues, logistical challenges, and the possibility of factory closures.
24 February – Coronavirus could risk supply shortages at Primark
The owner of value fashion retailer Primark has warned that prolonged delays to factory production in China as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak could lead to supply shortages on some lines later in its financial year.
24 February – Italy’s Filo trade show latest to cancel
Milan trade show Filo has become the latest to cancel as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, as the number of people infected with Covid-19 jumps to over 200 in Italy, where five people have died.
21 February – Question mark over Phase One trade deal
The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is slowing economic activity in China and raising concerns about potential US supply chain vulnerabilities in a range of sectors, including strategic raw materials, a new report warns – and also casts a question over the Phase One trade deal between the two countries.
20 February – Adidas China sales tumble 85%
Sportswear firm Adidas says its sales in Greater China have slumped 85% since Chinese New Year amid the coronavirus outbreak, with a significant number of stores closed and a reduction in footfall at its locations that do remain open.
China’s clothing and textile makers are struggling to get back on track amid the continuing novel coronavirus epidemic – telling just-style that quarantined workers, travel restrictions and material delays are disrupting production and causing ongoing uncertainty.
18 February – New uncertainties to cotton outlook
The potential impacts of the coronavirus represent a significant wildcard in the outlook for the world cotton market in the 2020 crop year, new data shows.
14 February – Ralph Lauren warns coronavirus could cut sales by $70m
Fashion company Ralph Lauren Corporation expects to take a hit of up to US$70m on its fourth-quarter sales due to the coronavirus outbreak – and has warned of supply chain disruptions in China on a “small portion” of the company’s orders globally.
13 February – PVH closes majority of China stores
Apparel giant PVH Corp has temporarily closed the majority of its Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger stores in China amid the coronavirus outbreak. In a statement, the company says the stores that remain open are operating for limited hours and are experiencing significantly lower than planned traffic and sales trends.
13 February – Denimsandjeans Japan shares rescheduled dates
Trade show Denimsandjeans has announced revised dates for the first edition of its Japan event after postponing the show over concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak, and its impact on the safety and travel plans of global buyers, visitors, and exhibitors.
Brands and retailers need to be aware of the financial strain on suppliers and the delays from manufacturing as a result of the coronavirus, a labour rights group has said, with communication key to mitigating the challenges the outbreak has presented.
12 February – Under Armour monitoring supply chain
Under Armour is assessing the potential impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its supply chain as the US sportswear brand expects a hit of up to US$60m on first-quarter sales in the APAC region – and says it is looking at a potential 2020 restructuring plan.
11 February – Kingpins cancels Hong Kong fair
Denim trade show Kingpins has cancelled its upcoming Hong Kong show on the back of health concerns and travel restrictions surrounding the coronavirus outbreak in China.
11 February – Cambodia factories may close as virus hits supplies
Four textile factories in Cambodia may be forced to stand down operations due to raw material supply interruptions from China related to the Coronavirus outbreak, according to the country’s Labour Ministry.
China based analysts are raising concerns that the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak will disrupt supplies of apparel to major international fashion brands.
11 February – US February retail imports seen falling
With the coronavirus causing longer Lunar New Year factory shut-downs in China, imports at major US retail container ports are expected to see a sharper-than-usual drop in February, a new forecast suggests.
7 February – 60% of VF Corp China stores closed
US apparel giant VF Corp says about 60% of its owned and partner stores in China have been temporarily closed due to efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus – but notes it is not yet possible to gauge the impact on its supply chain.
7 February – More textile trade fairs postponed
More textile trade fairs have been postponed over concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak, and its impact on the safety and travel plans of global buyers, visitors, and exhibitors.
6 February – Tapestry revises FY view
Accessories business Tapestry says its second-half results could be negatively impacted by up to US$250m in sales amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in China which has seen the group close the majority of its stores on the Mainland.
6 February – Coronavirus to cost Michael Kors owner US$100m in lost sales
Capri Holdings, owner of the Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo brands, has sounded a warning on its full-year results in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
5 February – Coronavirus to have “material impact” on Nike in Greater China
US sporting goods giant Nike expects the novel coronavirus outbreak to have a “material impact” on its operations in Greater China in the short term as the company has shuttered half of its stores in the region.
5 February – China clothing buyers turning to Turkey?
Turkish clothing factories can expect a jump in orders as Chinese production declines following the coronavirus outbreak, according to Turkey’s apparel trade body.
4 February – Cargo capacity and delays add to concerns
Concerns around the impact of China’s coronavirus outbreak on global supply chains suggests the continued production stoppage will create a backlog of shipments and cargo delays once restrictions lift.
In this China update for just-style, Rick Helfenbein looks at some of the concerns surrounding the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, and asks: “What does Wuhan mean for our industry?”
3 February – Coronavirus could impact China polyester production
China’s polyester, textile and apparel industries could be under pressure as a result of the new coronavirus outbreak and resulting economic disruption, new comments suggest.
3 February – Upcoming Shanghai textile fairs postponed
Apparel and textile trade fair organisers in China have postponed upcoming events as a precautionary measure around the novel coronavirus outbreak.
31 January – Levi Strauss closes half China stores over coronavirus
Denim giant Levi Strauss & Co expects the coronavirus outbreak in China to knock revenues in the first quarter of 2020 and has shuttered about half of its stores in the country amid the epidemic.
Concerns are beginning to rise over the coronavirus outbreak in China – but what is its potential impact on global fashion retailers and their supply chains?
The first mention of the coronavirus on just-style was in a comment article by Mike Flanagan, CEO of apparel industry consultancy Clothesource. The world economy in general, and the apparel industry in particular, depend on hugely complex, globalised, supply chains. He considers some of the consequences of the new ‘Wuhan novel coronavirus’.