The most-read stories on just-style this week include a look at the winning US apparel import countries, an interview with John Cheh, vice chairman and CEO of Esquel Group, on why automation is core to competitiveness, and a roundup of the latest launches and developments at this year's ITMA exhibition.

US apparel import countries – the winners
US garment imports have not only reached record levels but, based on recent data, growth is accelerating. David Birnbaum has used this as an opportunity to take a snapshot of the global garment industry: the current position of exporting countries and more importantly the direction in which they are moving. This article, the first of three, looks at the success stories.

Esquel CEO says automation core to competitiveness
While doomsayers have been waxing lyrically for the past two years about how the Chinese clothing industry could have a shaky future, John Cheh, vice chairman and CEO of Esquel Group, the Hong Kong-based vertically integrated cotton to shirt maker, is resolute in his optimism. 

Sustainable fibres, finishes, printing and processes at ITMA
Some of the most exciting developments on show at this month's ITMA international textile and garment machinery exhibition had a sustainability edge, from using fewer resources to reducing waste and speeding up processes. Here, we take a look at a few of the innovations launched.

US apparel import countries – the losers
US garment imports have not only reached record levels but, based on recent data, growth is accelerating. David Birnbaum has used this as an opportunity to take a snapshot of the global garment industry: the current position of exporting countries and more importantly the direction in which they are moving. This article, the third of three, looks at the losers.

North Face develops its "most breathable" jacket
Outdoor wear behemoth The North Face has developed what it says is its "most breathable" waterproof jacket that permanently repels water.