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January 31, 2020

Top stories on just-style in January…

Top stories on just-style in January included a look at the potential impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China on global fashion retailers and their supply chains, a roundup of some of the biggest challenges set to face apparel businesses in the year ahead, and an interview with The Lycra Company sustainability director Jean Hegedus.

By Beth Wright

Top stories on just-style in January included a look at the potential impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China on global fashion retailers and their supply chains, a roundup of some of the biggest challenges set to face apparel businesses in the year ahead, and an interview with The Lycra Company sustainability director Jean Hegedus.

1. Ten breakthrough apparel innovations at CES 2020
just-style has rounded up ten innovations in the apparel and footwear sectors that will be presented at CES 2020 in Las Vegas this week.

2. Industry 4.0 weaves into the clothing supply chain
Experts have told just-style of the urgent need for the clothing sector to embrace Industry 4.0 to boost productivity and harness creativity by providing a single, connected platform for all supply chain processes. 

3. Outlook 2020 – Apparel industry challenges and opportunities
Disruption and uncertainty remain the biggest challenges facing apparel brands and retailers and their global supply chains heading into the new decade. Unpredictable and fast-moving changes to tariffs and trade, pressure to make smarter and faster decisions, and demands for new levels of sustainability will all weigh on fashion businesses in 2020, according to feedback from a panel of executives consulted by just-style.

4. Outlook 2020 – What next for apparel sourcing?
The search for the ideal sourcing destination is set to continue as Western fashion brands and retailers seek to reduce their exposure to China in 2020. At the same time they’re having to navigate a more complicated matrix, which includes factors ranging from cost, speed to market, production capacity and flexibility to compliance risk. Along with these challenges come opportunities to rethink business models and explore new ways of working – especially when it comes to digitalisation and data, executives say.

5. China sourcing – Fall of the dragon and rise of the rest
As the tariff war rages between US and China, the key question facing many apparel companies sourcing from China is: Where to go next? The problem is real, but shifting supply chains is easier said than done, writes Roit Kathiala.

6. Is coronavirus a threat to the clothing industry?
Concerns are rising over the coronavirus outbreak in China – but what is its potential impact on global fashion retailers and their supply chains? 

7. Uzbekistan clothing sector eyes major hike in exports
The Uzbekistan clothing and footwear industries are eyeing a major increase in exports as its government pushes ahead with programme to liberalise what was until three years ago a largely unreformed post-Soviet state. 

8. How 3D design tools drive leaner and cleaner production
Making the switch from a traditional fashion design process to 3D design and prototyping tools could save the industry billions of dollars in development samples, not to mention improved collaboration, productivity, and profits across the supply chain. An added bonus is reduced pressure on overflowing landfills. 

9. NRF 2020 – Retail technology launches and developments
Retail’s ‘Big Show’, the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & Expo, which took place in New York this week, is an annual opportunity for retailers to tap into the latest technologies for improving everything from customer analysis to inventory management. Here we highlight some of the latest launches and developments.

10. Five changes to expect at Nike as Donahoe takes charge
It’s all change at the top for sportswear giant Nike Inc as John Donahoe yesterday (13 January) took over the reins as the company’s fourth CEO in its 55-year history. But with a background in technology rather than retail and sportswear, what changes are likely under his leadership?

11. US apparel imports plummet yet again in November
The volume of US apparel imports fell for the fourth consecutive month in November, with a 20% drop in shipments from largest supplier China. The figures suggest early stockpiling in the run-up to the holiday period as retailers moved to bring in merchandise ahead of new tariffs imposed in September and another tranche that had been due to take effect in mid-December.

12. Chinese investors pursue deeper textile ties with Pakistan
Pakistan’s clothing and textile sector hopes that 2020 will be a big year for Chinese investment as companies look to move production to outsourcing centres with lower labour costs, a skilled workforce, and government incentives through reduced taxes and duties.

13. The Lycra Company stretches its sustainability agenda
Performance fibre specialist The Lycra Company is ramping up its Planet Agenda sustainability platform, developing more solutions for the circular economy and taking a broader look at the issues from design to consumer – as sustainability director Jean Hegedus explains.

14. Sustainable “useless word” without data to back up claims
Denim trade show Kingpins has lambasted the cotton industry for too many claims of sustainability and no clear agreement on what the word means, which it says has left consumers and denim fabric buyers confused. 

15. US-China ‘Phase One’ deal paves way for apparel tariff cuts
The United States and China have signed the long-anticipated ‘Phase One’ trade agreement between the two countries, in a move that paves the way for punitive tariffs imposed on most US apparel imports from China to be cut in half.

16. Cambodia faces economic slowdown if trade benefits lost, IMF warns
Cambodia’s economic growth is expected to slow in 2020 if the European Union (EU) withdraws the Everything but Arm (EBA) trade scheme, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said, warning of a permanent decline in garment sector output and employment.

17. Gap scraps plans for Old Navy spin-off
US specialty apparel retailer Gap Inc has scrapped plans to spin off its Old Navy chain as a standalone company, and announced the departure of the Gap brand’s president and CEO Neil Fiske.

18.  From Field to Shelf – The environmental cost of online shopping
E-commerce has been a boon for the fashion retail industry. But it also comes with a cost: the overnight deliveries and corresponding returns add dramatically to the carbon footprint of our industry, whether we like to admit it or not, says Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc.

19. VF Corp weighs up future for its workwear brands
US apparel giant VF Corp is to look at strategic alternatives for the occupational portion of its work segment as part of ongoing efforts to focus on its higher-growth, consumer-focused brands.

20. Senate passage of USMCA a “win” for apparel and textiles
Groups representing US apparel and footwear brands and retailers have welcomed the Senate’s passage of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), in a move that means the next step is for the bill to go back to President Trump to be signed into law.

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