Top stories this week included an article on the steps required to become an M&S eco-factory, the shifting focus of Chinese manufacturers towards their domestic market, and concerns about that country's economic relationship with the US. 

SOURCING: 14 steps to becoming an M&S eco-factory
Marks and Spencer opened its first eco-factories in Sri Lanka in 2008 in partnership with two of the country's biggest garment producers, Brandix and MAS Holdings. The most recent recipient of the accolade was Courtaulds, whose hosiery plant in Derbyshire became the first UK facility to attain the status less than a fortnight ago. But what exactly does M&S look at as part of its audit, and what does it take for factories to reach eco factory status with M&S? 14 steps are outlined.

Chinese makers focus on markets closer to home
China's perpetually rising costs and currency have, of late, been undermining the country's export industry. But they have also encouraged Chinese clothing retail entrepreneurs to focus on their domestic market - most notably its demographic of Internet-savvy, younger generation consumers.

US apparel and textile groups air China concerns
China must let the value of its currency rise, open its market to US apparel and footwear brands, tackle piracy and intellectual property theft, and lower barriers to retail distribution if firms are to compete on a level playing field, say representatives from the US retail, apparel, footwear and textile industries.

EU: New rules on fibre content and textile labelling
New European Union rules on textile labelling are set to come into force next year which combine three existing laws into one unified piece of legislation.

VF sees cotton costs playing out "as planned"
It says much about the buoyancy of VF Corporation's third quarter results that even the potential negatives - increased product costs, for instance - can be turned into positives.