Top stories on just-style in the month of July included the US government's move to up the ante in its trade war with China, a look at Abercrombie & Fitch's new "learning labs," the ten worst countries in the world for worker rights, plans by Decathlon to significantly reduce its polyester impact, and why knowing who makes up your supply chain is a vital first step in tackling sustainability.

1. Abercrombie gets closer to consumers with "learning labs"
US apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) has revealed the locations of its two college campus locations, which it aims to use as "learning labs", providing insight into operating small spaces with an omnichannel platform.

2. 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, Egypt, Guatemala, the Philippines and Turkey among the ten worst countries in the world for worker rights.

3. Textiles subject to new US tariffs on Chinese imports
A group representing US apparel and footwear brands and importers has hit out at the US government's move to up the ante in its trade war with China by slapping tariffs on an additional US$200bn worth of Chinese imports, including textiles and accessories.

4. Decathlon to significantly reduce its polyester impact
Global sporting goods retailer Decathlon has pledged to significantly reduce its polyester impact, with all textile products sold in France due to be made from 100% more sustainable polyester by the end of 2021.

5. Knowing your supply chain is the first step to sustainability
With most of the environmental impact of an apparel brand or retailer's business embedded in its supply chain, knowing and understanding exactly who's on the list is a vital first step to tackling sustainability.

6. President Trump, farmers and the anti-gravity tariff machine
On Tuesday the Trump administration sought to buy votes and silence farmers by offering them $12 billion to stop complaining about lost business due to tariffs. But while those in our industry who focus on global supply chains can easily empathise with the farmers...the difference is that the US government won't bail us out, writes Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA).

7. What should suppliers do when retailers go bust?
Difficult trading conditions on the high street, increased online competition, rising costs and low consumer confidence are pushing retail bankruptcies to record-highs. Yet while the store closures and redundancies are widely reported, the fallout is also reverberating further along the supply chain.

8. DBL embraces digital focus to turbocharge its business – Interview
The digital integration of Bangladesh's booming textiles and garment sector is gaining pace, with 'Industry 4.0' becoming a watchword for increased competitiveness. One company taking such technological development very seriously is Dhaka-based DBL Group, which has targeted digital efficiencies to turbocharge its business growth – as managing director MA Jabbar explains.

9. 12 of the world's most innovative fashion companies
Six apparel retailers have made it onto Fast Company's annual ranking of the world's Most Innovative Companies (MIC) for 2018, while another six clothing specialists are seen as pioneers in the 'Style' category.

10. Why apparel firms must plan for "responsible automation"
As digitisation, connectivity, robotics and artificial intelligence start to make inroads into apparel production, now is the time for the industry to move towards  "responsible automation" – where workers are trained and supported so they have the skills for the future.