Of the thousands of stories published on just-style during the last year, we’ve filtered out the top news items of 2019. Trade, M&A, strategic sourcing, recycling, 3D technology, and worker welfare were just some of the issues that made the headlines.
1: The world’s 10 worst countries for workers
An annual survey of violations of human and trade union rights ranks key apparel-producing nations including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Guatemala, the Philippines and Turkey among the ten worst countries in the world for worker rights.
2: Free global map of garment factories launches
A free, open source, global map of garment factories worldwide has officially launched in a move to help brands and retailers better understand their supply chains and collaborate on in-factory improvements.
3: Levi Strauss to pilot blockchain for factory worker welfare
Three factories in Mexico producing goods for denim giant Levi Strauss & Co are to become the first locations to use a new blockchain-based worker well-being system, which is being hailed as a “crucial first step” in a transparent evaluation of working conditions.
4: Brands mull Myanmar sourcing after military links exposed
A number of fashion brands are reviewing their stance on sourcing from Myanmar after a report from the United Nations earlier this month urged brands to cut ties with suppliers linked to the country’s military.
5: Hermès to expand leather production capacity
French luxury retailer Hermès is to strengthen its in-house leather production capabilities with the construction of a new workshop in Normandy.
6: American Eagle Outfitters launches denim recycling programme
US apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) has partnered with Cotton Incorporated to encourage shoppers to recycle denim with a new campaign that will run for the remainder of the month.
7: Gap Inc making progress on supply chain sustainability
Apparel giant Gap Inc has expanded its mill sustainability programme to reach deeper into its supply chain, and worked with its suppliers to digitise wage payments for more of its garment workers.
8: Debenhams in new sourcing partnership with Li & Fung
Debenhams is to develop a new strategic sourcing partnership with global sourcing giant Li & Fung in a move CEO Sergio Bucher says will be a “key part” of the struggling UK department store retailer’s turnaround plan.
9: Timberland apparel reaches 100% responsibly sourced cotton
Outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland continues to progress towards its 2020 sustainability goals, with all of the cotton used by its global apparel production team in the second quarter responsibly-sourced.
10: EU decision looms on Cambodia trade benefits withdrawal
The European Commission has given the Cambodian government a one-month deadline to respond to its findings on the alleged human rights situation in the country before it decides whether it is pulling its duty-free trade benefit.
11: Södra plans large-scale recycling of poly-cotton blends
Sweden’s largest forest owner association Södra has developed a new method of separating the cotton and polyester in poly-cotton blends, in a move that could pave the way for recycling fibres from blended fabrics on a large scale.
12: Drought set to weigh on Australian wool production
The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) has warned that continuing drought conditions across large parts of Australia are expected to cause a 12.7% drop in shorn wool production for 2018/19.
13: Ethiopia industrial park progress continues apace
Two more industrial parks have been inaugurated in Ethiopia as the government continues its vision to transform the country into a world-leading apparel and textile hub.
14: Blockchain supply chain traceability startup gets US$4m boost
A startup that has created a digital platform leveraging technologies such as blockchain to improve supply chain transparency has received US$4m in seed funding from strategic impact investors.
15: Stella McCartney calls for more action on sustainability
British fashion designer and environmental activist Stella McCartney has written an open letter to the fashion industry calling on it to be more conscious, to take action and to question the current state of affairs.
16: Trump hikes tariffs due to hit China clothing and footwear
The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has received instructions from President Trump to hike tariffs on about US$550bn worth of Chinese imports – including all clothing and footwear – by a further 5%.
17: US consumers embracing new retail technologies
US consumers are embracing the use of retail technology to improve their shopping experience, including smart dressing rooms, augmented reality, and virtual fit.
18: ILO launches decent work programme in Ethiopia
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched a programme to promote decent work and inclusive industrialisation in Ethiopia – with an initial focus on the garment and textile industries.
19: Hong Kong textile waste recycling mill scales up
An innovative new mill in Hong Kong that upcycles textile waste into yarns that can be reused to make garments has now been scaled up and is being trialled by a number of leading brands.
20: Revised Vietnam labour code allows independent unions
The fifth and latest version of Vietnam’s labour code for the first time lets workers form or join a representative organisation of their own choosing – and has been praised for being better in line with universal fundamental labour rights.