Among the most-read comment articles on just-style in 2015 were a look at the new fashion consumer; the winners and losers of the TPP trade deal; why should brands care about China cotton; and the changing role of the buying office.

Welcome to the new fashion consumer
A new fashion consumer with new values and new connectivity is redefining fashion - and the industry is responding with new business models structured around customer demand. Here new fashion consumer Emma Birnbaum writes about the new fashion consumer.

TPP winners and losers
Now that it appears the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may actually come to pass, which apparel and textile producing countries are most likely to benefit and which will not? David Birnbaum agrees that Vietnam will be the big winner — but believes the greatest loser will almost certainly be the US textile manufacturers.

Myanmar - right time, right place, new challenges
As apparel retailers and brands continue to seek alternatives to their traditional suppliers, David Birnbaum contends that Myanmar is the last remaining place in Asia that can support a major garment industry. But if it is to reach its true potential, manufacturers and customers must work together to overcome some serious problems.

US apparel import countries – the winners
US garment imports have not only reached record levels but, based on recent data, growth is accelerating. David Birnbaum has used this as an opportunity to take a snapshot of the global garment industry: the current position of exporting countries and more importantly the direction in which they are moving. This article, the first of three, looks at the success stories.

Why should brands care about China cotton?
International fashion brands and retailers are being urged to help build a more resilient cotton supply chain in China if they want to secure supplies of the raw material for the future. But can they really make a difference, and why should they care?

Defending the new model buying office
In recent articles David Birnbaum has discussed the changing role of the buying office, how to quantify performance, and the issue of transfer pricing. The next challenge, he says, is the need for detailed audits to ensure that buying offices set their commissions fairly.

What clothing could the TPP X-basket contain?
In the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation, the United States has tabled a market access offer that seeks to protect the most "import sensitive" textile and apparel (T&A) products - also known as the "X-basket". But what is this likely to include? Dr Sheng Lu, assistant professor at the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware, takes a guess.

Will Amazon take over the US apparel market?
A prediction that internet giant Amazon could take the top spot for US apparel retailing by 2017 is a gross exaggeration, according to Mike Flanagan. But it does raise intriguing questions about Amazon's possible impact on the clothing market.

Chaos in the world's trade agreements
The world garment trade was transformed in August, writes Mike Flanagan, with the biggest casualty likely to be India's plans to increase textile and clothing exports by 20% a year and create an extra 35m jobs by 2024.

Will the TPP pass into law?
On 5 November, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) published the detailed text of the agreement that its 12 potential members had reached exactly a month earlier. Publication coincided with a number of events, all of which illustrate how unpredictable the approval of the deal is likely to be by those countries' legislatures. Mike Flanagan takes a look at the questions they raise. 

What will Britain's Modern Slavery Act achieve?
Britain's Modern Slavery Act (MSA), which began coming into force on 31 July, sets new disclosure standards on an extraordinary number of garment businesses. But its legal niceties won't really determine the law's impact, says Mike Flanagan, who believes public opinion matters more.

Why China's 5-year plan won't change garment-making
China is using a catchy English-language TV ad to promote its 13th Five-Year Plan for the five years to 2020. But does the Plan really tell us how garment-making in China will be affected? asks Mike Flanagan.

Birnbaum bites back: Open costings - yes or no?
"Open book costing: for or against? As a supplier will it help to give buyers a breakdown of costs, or will buyers just use this as a means of driving cost down?" This question has been posed to garment industry expert David Birnbaum by a reader of just-style. His advice follows.

Cutting-edge companies focus on consumer needs
Cutting-edge companies are hitting back at design and low quality stock manufactured by a faceless and perpetual assembly-line. In its place, the vanguard of the new industry is developing original and revolutionary business models.

TPP – now the real fight starts
On 5 October, the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) announced that their trade ministers had agreed a deal. But Mike Flanagan still doubts it will come into action this decade.

China devaluation: what's the big deal?
Why the fuss about China's yuan devaluation earlier this month? While pretty trivial by the standards of the past 50 years, it has managed to raise all sorts of hackles, writes Mike Flanagan.

'Fixing Fashion' one stitch at a time
A spate of books written over the past few years explores various aspects of the global garment business. But for Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, the newly-published "Fixing Fashion" should be required reading.

What's really changed in Bangladesh?
There's a huge gap in Bangladesh between two business philosophies: those with realistic profit expectations, and those who are obsessed with controlling costs. And recent events have highlighted just how wide this gulf is, according to Mike Flanagan.

Optimising supply chain with ship-from-store
Investment in mobile and omnichannel retail is the number one business priority for the year ahead, according to a recent survey of UK retail chief executives. But creating a dynamic supply chain that can profitably support the extensive product fulfilment options offered to customers is going to be a major challenge.

Advanced RFID spurs move to integrated apparel tags
Fully integrated RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, which combine RFID inlays with all critical printed data and graphics into a single ticket, are sparking a surge of interest from apparel retailers, brand owners, manufacturers and their global suppliers, according toGeorge Hoffman, CEO at FineLine Technologies.