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May 4, 2022

Top stories on Just Style in April…

The top stories on Just Style in April were dominated by forced labour claims, and the impact the Ukraine war is having on cotton prices.

By Laura Husband

Here are the top stories on Just Style in April:

Vietnam allegedly “laundering” Xinjiang cotton
US Customs & Border Protection is being urged to pay closer attention to cotton-based goods being imported from Vietnam after campaign groups alleged the country is importing Xinjiang cotton to help China bypass sanctions imposed as part of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Gap Inc to close Banana Republic sites in Europe
US speciality apparel retailer Gap Inc has confirmed to Just Style it will wind down its Banana Republic sites in Europe by the end of May.

Covid two years on: Expert analysis of top 10 global apparel companies
GlobalData analysts examine the data to give Just Style an exclusive overview of how the top ten global apparel companies have fared during the Covid pandemic.

World Bank warns 40% rise in cotton prices as Ukraine war bites
The World Bank warns the Ukraine war is set to cause the “largest commodity shock” since the 1970s with cotton prices expected to be nearly 40% higher in 2022.

Esquel Group cuts Sri Lanka production on US order lull
Hong Kong-based fashion giant the Esquel Group confirms with Just Style it has cut production in Sri Lanka due to “the loss of many US customers”.

Action urged on enforcing import ban of Uyghur forced labour goods
A new report is urging the swift passage and enactment of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act to ensure goods, which are said to be tainted by the forced labour of oppressed minorities in China, are not imported into the US.

Alpine Group to open ‘factory of the future’ in Egypt
Alpine Group, a manufacturer for brands including Under Armour, American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch has announced the launch of its “factory of the future” due to open in the fourth quarter of 2022 in Egypt.

Bangladesh Denim Expo to return next month
The Bangladesh Denim Expo will return to Dhaka next month after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indonesia leads US apparel imports charge in February
The United States increased its apparel imports by more than a quarter in February, compared to the same month a year prior when the industry was labouring under the weight of the Covid pandemic.

Covid two-years on: The future of US apparel imports
The likes of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia’s apparel exports to the US have now surpassed pre-Covid levels as buyers look to diversify their sourcing portfolios. But will they continue to pick up pace? Just Style explores.

Evrnu unveils recyclable material made from 100% textile waste
Textile innovations company Evrnu has developed what it calls the world’s first high-performance, recyclable lyocell material made entirely from cotton textile waste.

OPINION: Social audits, modern slavery — Covid shows apparel industry did not learn from Rana Plaza disaster
The University of Aberdeen’s Business School Professor Muhammad Azizul Islam, who has conducted research on apparel workers in Bangladesh, finds the similarities between the way garment workers were treated during the pandemic and the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. The Professor and his colleagues explain retailers’ social audits have not improved workers’ economic or human rights, yet retail revenues continue to grow.

Covid two-years on: Recovery rates of US apparel sourcing hotspots
Two years on from the initial devastating impact of Covid, Just Style explores the rate of recovery of the top ten apparel suppliers to the US. All but three appear to have not only steadied the ship but surpassed pre-Covid volume levels – with Bangladesh and Pakistan leading the charge.

ESSENTIAL SOURCING GUIDE: Vietnam’s apparel sector
Just Style takes an in-depth look at the pros and cons of Vietnam’s apparel sector. It is described as an apparel sourcing success story but will need to build backward linkages while mitigating deep-rooted cost and labour challenges to maintain its strong position.

Asos outlines four new sustainability goals for 2030
Online fashion retailer Asos has updated its Fashion with Integrity 2030 strategy to include four new sustainability and people-based goals.

Cone Denim first to launch US-grown hemp in BastCore collaboration
US-based Cone Denim has unveiled a new US-grown hemp denim collection in collaboration with hemp processing innovator, BastCore.

New Cambodia apparel sector strategy aims to make exports more competitive
Cambodia’s government has launched a long-awaited five-year development plan to shape the future of the country’s apparel and footwear sector by boosting productivity and reducing tariffs on businesses, but industry commentators say its proposed reforms are still at an early stage.

US closed-loop apparel recycling could have $50bn positive impact
A McKinsey & Co report suggests a fully closed loop apparel recycling system across the US could achieve a total holistic impact (based on economic, environmental, and social benefits) of US$50bn to $70bn.

US apparel industry supports call for transparent China tariffs review
The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has joined a letter urging the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai for a fully transparent review of the Section 301 tariffs on products from China.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Natural Fiber Welding to expand circularity offering with new $85m funding
Ahead of sustainable materials start-up Natural Fiber Welding, Inc (NFW) closing its new US$85m Series B funding to create new moulded composite materials and expand into the footwear sector, its founder tells Just Style why scalability is key to achieving true circularity.

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