Top stories on just-style in May continued to be dominated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global apparel industry and its supply chain. During the month we took a look at how the flood of excess inventory will likely lead to widespread administrations for companies in the UK, Europe and the US, and how the crisis could result in fewer, smaller collections from more sustainable supply chains. HanesBrands said PPE could become a permanent part of its portfolio, while Kohl's moved to tighten up its apparel offering, and Boohoo raised US$241.4m through a share placing designed to help it fund future acquisitions.

1. Covid-19 inventory glut adds to garment industry grief
With spring/summer now a write-off for most fashion retailers, the resulting flood of excess inventory – and the subsequent discounting and margin erosion – will likely lead to widespread administrations for companies in the UK, Europe and the US.

2. Fast fashion faces shake-up in post-Covid-19 world 
The Covid-19 pandemic will not just threaten business failure for many clothing brands and manufacturers, it may herald the end of the current high production, fast fashion model and result in fewer, smaller collections from more sustainable supply chains.

3. M&S plans near-sourcing after 75% clothing sales hit 
Marks & Spencer is to accelerate a number of changes within the business after taking a 75% sales hit on clothing sales during the coronavirus lockdown – with plans to bring in third-party clothing brands, and introduce a faster, 'near-sourcing' supply chain.

4. Australia's wool industry battles the Covid-19 storm 
Wool producers in Australia are stockpiling wool and avoiding auction sales as they battle a downturn in prices and demand. 

5. HanesBrands sees US$300m sales opportunity in PPE 
T-shirt and activewear maker HanesBrands is ramping up the production of masks and protective garments in response to the global coronavirus pandemic – and says the business could become a permanent part of its portfolio. 

6. Esquel pivots production to build private brand mask sales 
The Covid-19 pandemic has proved a mixed blessing for Hong Kong-based garment supplier Esquel. While export earnings have plummeted, the company has pivoted by adding non-medical use face masks to its product line, which it will sell under the company's own label Determinant.

7. Social compliance auditing during and after Covid-19 
Potential risks in the post-coronavirus environment are likely to make social compliance audits more important than ever, according to Randy Rankin, global client development director in the Consumer Products Testing Assurance Services practice at Eurofins.

8. Kohl's quits eight brands in bid to tighten apparel offering 
US department store chain Kohl's is exiting eight "down-trending" womenswear brands as it moves to tighten up its apparel offering, following a 43.5% sales plunge and booking a loss in its most recent quarterly financial update.

9. Boohoo secures GBP197.7m as it eyes future acquisitions 
Online fashion retailer Boohoo has raised GBP197.7m (US$241.4m) in less than 24 hours through a share placing designed to help it fund future acquisitions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

10. US fashion industry wish-list to tackle corona crisis
Three associations representing the US fashion, apparel, footwear, and travel goods industries have set out recommendations for future tariff relief and stimulus aid to help retailers and importers emerge from the coronavirus crisis.

11. Canada's clothing market – Top selling and sourcing trends 
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – the regional free trade pact that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – is due to enter into force on 1 July 2020. Here Mikayla DuBreuil and Dr Sheng Lu from the University of Delaware take a deep-dive analysis into the Canadian apparel market and its sourcing patterns. 

12. Covid-19 set to reshuffle fashion's sustainability focus 
The coronavirus pandemic is seen as triggering a set-back for labour rights in apparel supply chains, with workers left vulnerable as brands and retailers cancelled orders. But it could also lead to re-thinking on the sustainability front, industry executives say. 

13. US clothing retail sales plummet in April 
US retail sales dropped almost twice as much during April as they did in March as the nation's economy saw its first full month when most businesses were closed because of Covid-19, with clothing retailers particularly hard hit.

14. Unions seek support for 80,000 Central America garment workers 
Nearly 50,000 in El Salvador, 26,000 in Honduras and 6,000 in Nicaragua: that's how many workers Central American garment factories are laying off with no paycheck, trade union officials say. They are stepping up calls for governments and fashion brands to help compensate and provide a livelihood for impoverished sewers until the pandemic recedes. 

15. Bangladesh seeks EU help to curb garment order cancellations 
The Bangladesh government has taken the unusual step of asking the European Parliament to use its influence to try to persuade European clothing brands to be more sensitive about the impact of cancelling orders with Bangladesh-based suppliers during the Covid-19 crisis.

16. Risk of Turkmenistan tainted cotton in Turkish textiles 
Clothing brands that source from Turkey are being urged to pay closer attention to where the cotton used within their products has come from after research has suggested mills are heavily reliant on cotton from Turkmenistan, which is often produced using forced labour.

17. VF Corp aligns with post-pandemic health and wellness shift
Apparel powerhouse VF Corp believes it is well-positioned to emerge as a winner from the coronavirus crisis – with an increased consumer focus on the outdoors, health and wellbeing set to boost its activity-based lifestyle brands.

18. Clarks to cut 900 jobs under new strategy
UK footwear firm Clarks has outlined a new strategy that will see the brand make 900 job cuts globally, and introduce digital enhancements as well as a focus on sustainability and product innovation.

19. Manufacturers must future-proof as fashion gets faster
If there's one thing the coronavirus pandemic has exposed, it's that successful retailers and brands are the ones who are nimble, agile and flexible to meet customers' rapidly changing needs. Here, Roit Kathiala sets out steps for manufacturers to realign with this fast-shifting fashion business if they want to stay relevant in the coming decades. 

20. Sustainability not an option for denim post-pandemic
Education and collaboration are key to driving greater sustainability in the global denim industry, particularly as the sector looks to return to normalcy following the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.