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Fibres & fabrics

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Eco-friendly fashion – Where are we still falling short?

11 October 2019 | Guest author

Despite current efforts to create more eco-friendly fashion, the industry needs a more deliberate approach to integrating sustainability across the entire value chain. Here Feng Xin, VP of downstream business & corporate development at viscose major Sateri, sets out three key areas that should be addressed.... read more


Why the fashion industry must get ahead of its massive pollution problem

8 August 2019 | Guest author

Levi Strauss has taken the lead on climate commitment – but where does the rest of the fashion industry stand today? asks Todd Paglia, executive director at Stand.earth.... read more


Why it's time to share your views on trade

24 June 2019 | Guest author

Ahead of her testimony against the proposed Section 301 tariffs on all imports from China – which would include all clothing and footwear – Julia Hughes, president of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), explains why the negative impact of tariffs on China will not just hurt brands and retailers, but also their global supply chains. And, she says, it's not too late to speak out.... read more


Activating brand purpose – and putting it to work at Wrangler

23 April 2019 | Guest author

Over the last few years, there's been a lot of compelling information demonstrating the importance of a brand or organisation's purpose. Just like mission, vision, and values before it, purpose is gaining in critical mass as an organisational architecture trend. Here, Roian Atwood, director of sustainability for Wrangler and Lee jeans, discusses the methodologies involved in discovering brand purpose – and how it was put into practice at Wrangler.... read more


Supply chain transparency for sustainable fashion

4 April 2019 | Guest author

Consumers are becoming increasingly vigilant about the clothing they wear each day, seeking out more sustainable options, as well as information on supply chains, production processes and product afterlife. Which is why there's an ongoing need for consumer education, as well as collaboration among all stakeholders to redefine the standard of transparency practices across the industry value chain, says Dr Florian Heubrandner, vice president of global business management textiles, at Lenzing AG. ... read more


Impact 4.0: Textiles and the digital revolution

28 March 2019 | Guest author

With the largest range of technology on display in its history, the upcoming Texprocess trade fair has a new exhibitor record within its sights. And once again it also has its finger firmly on the pulse of the sector – with the impact of Industry 4.0 on the manufacture and processing of apparel and technical textiles one of the show’s major areas of focus. Ronny Eckert reports.... read more


How to balance colour quality, brand loyalty and cost

27 March 2019 | Guest author

Getting colour right while simultaneously managing costs can be an unexpected challenge for digital-native brands moving into brick-and-mortar territory. Here are some of the considerations retailers and brands need to make in order to balance customer colour experiences in-store, at-home and online.... read more


What the new US Farm Bill means for hemp apparel

30 January 2019 | Guest author

Hemp is back – removed from the US Schedule 1 controlled substances list and available for broad cultivation. But what's an opportunity for its use in apparel, and what's just hype? Writing exclusively on just-style, Roian Atwood, director of sustainability for Wrangler and Lee jeans, takes a closer look.... read more


Under the microscope – How forensic science provides proof of provenance

21 November 2018 | Guest author

Ethics have never been more important to consumers. From sustainability to fair trade and welfare standards, savvy brands know it is vital to ensure that ethical production, not just price, is hardwired into their supply chains. But in an age where products often cross multiple borders and pass through several sets of hands before reaching the shelves, how can producers, manufacturers, suppliers and retailers ensure they can back up their claims on the label?... read more


Combatting endemic challenges to overhaul factory safety

10 October 2018 | Guest author

The Bangladesh experience represents a model for what factory safety reform might look like in other low-resource contexts. But now is a critical time to ensure there is no backsliding that could threaten the incredible progress made so far, writes Kathleen Almand, vice president of research, data and analytics at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).... read more


President Trump, farmers and the anti-gravity tariff machine

26 July 2018 | Guest author

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).... read more


Making your fashion brand more ethical and sustainable

20 June 2018 | Guest author

Today's consumers are increasingly concerned their purchases should be inflicting the least possible harm on the environment and societies around the globe. As a consequence, there is more pressure than ever on retailers and brands to reassure responsible consumers their products are made using raw materials from reliable sources. ... read more


How to unlock the value of time in your supply chain

14 June 2018 | Guest author

A metric has been developed to help textile and apparel supply chains evaluate the value of time in product development, merchandising and sourcing decisions. The model is aimed at brands and retailers searching for ways to increase full-price sell-through or grow profit, as Vaughn Jordan, deputy director at Cotton Council International, explains.... read more


The 24 April ritual – Rana Plaza’s unfinished legacy

24 April 2018 | Guest author

Every year on 24 April, I browse through a poignant online memorial for garment workers who died in 2013 in the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. The website is a collection of national IDs, passport-size and other photos—a man posing with a phone, a woman against a backdrop of flowers, and appointment letters of workers. It's a strong reminder of the human cost of negligence in the garment sector.... read more


Gaps remain in India's move towards sustainability

12 February 2018 | Guest author

India's textile and garment industry is making strides in ensuring ethical compliance and environmental standards in its factories. Yet gaps still exist, and filling these will be key if it is to reach its full potential, cement long-term relationships with brands, and compete more effectively in Asia.... read more


Why it's time for retail to focus on transparency

1 February 2018 | Guest author

The responsible sourcing tactics popular in food and drug industries are permeating into other areas of retail, including fashion and apparel, leading to a more granular form of traceability throughout the supply chain.... read more


Why cotton is key to sustainability

7 December 2017 | Guest author

Attitudes to, and awareness of, ethical trading are evolving fast – with 53% of the UK population choosing to avoid buying products or services over concerns about ethical reputation. As a result, the value of all ethical spending in the UK grew to GBP38bn (US$51.19bn) in 2015.... read more


Millennials and Gen Z shaking up the cotton industry

6 November 2017 | Guest author

Changing interests and preferences among younger consumers are placing new demands on the cotton industry. As Millennials and Gen Z become avid consumers, cotton manufacturers will need to heed the demands of this large and influential group of consumers in order to stay successful.... read more


Start preparing for the rise of the conscious consumer

23 October 2017 | Guest author

Consumers are starting to demand more responsibility and transparency from retailers and brands about how and where their products are made. But instead of pointing fingers, perhaps it's time that stakeholders stopped passing the blame and started working together towards improving production processes.... read more


Five key costs linked to poor product quality

25 July 2017 | Guest author

For consumer-driven, competitive apparel and footwear companies, product quality is critical. When managed well, it can improve your brand image, strengthen your consumer relationships, and reduce your operational and financial costs.... read more


Why US innovation is vital to global value chains

21 July 2017 | Guest author

A report on just-style last week described as a "missed opportunity" the distribution of a Vietnam-made backpack at the launch of a new multi-million dollar initiative intended to develop US-made high-tech fabrics. But for Stephen Lamar, executive vice president at the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the item’s value is overwhelmingly US – and reflects the way supply chains are likely to evolve in the future.... read more


22 dos and dont's – When apparel sourcing goes wrong

11 January 2017 | Guest author

Apparel sourcing problems should be addressed with speed, clarity and honesty in order to achieve the best possible resolution, according to a new report.... read more


Why traceability plays a key role in social compliance

1 September 2016 | Guest author

With traceability playing a key role in addressing the rising importance of social compliance, it might be time to review your traceability strategies and confirm you're armed with comprehensive product information across your supply network, says Thomas Ng, managing director, supply chain solutions, Amber Road.... read more


How overcapacity in China could reshape fibre markets

30 August 2016 | Guest author

In advance of the World Fibres Conference in Hong Kong later this year, Will Chapman, PCI Wood Mackenzie's head of fibres, assesses how excess polyester capacity in China could reshape global fibres trade to 2017.... read more


What's 3D printing doing for apparel and footwear?

17 August 2016 | Guest author

3D printing has already transformed the manufacturing process in many industries, but an assessment of the technology by analysts at Bernstein Research seems to suggest much more progress still needs to be made before it has the potential to impact apparel.... read more


Labelling – The importance of the fine print

17 August 2016 | Guest author

There are few things worse in the apparel business than developing and manufacturing a great product that can't find its way to the retail floor because it’s stuck in customs with a labelling issue. Here J Anthony Hardenburgh, VP, global content, Amber Road, unravels some of the rules and regulations of what needs to be said – and how.... read more


Why fast fashion isn't a case of one size fits all

22 July 2016 | Guest author

The fast fashion model, in all its guises, is ensuring some retailers thrive in spite of challenging market conditions. Here, Bob McKee, industry strategy director, Infor Fashion, takes a closer look at some of the secrets of its success.... read more


US forced labour ban requires apparel supply chain scrutiny

7 July 2016 | Guest author

Renewed interest in a US law banning the entry of imported goods made with forced or indentured labour requires manufacturers, US importers, brands and retailers to scrutinise their supply chains, writes Brenda A Jacobs of Sidley Austin LLP, a Washington DC based international trade lawyer and licensed customs broker.... read more


Vietnam – Are we too late to the party?

31 May 2016 | Guest author

Will the EU FTA and TPP trade agreements truly make Vietnam the replacement solution to the higher labour cost challenges in China? Gary Barraco, director of global product marketing for Amber Road, suggests that when it comes to sourcing in Vietnam, whoever gets on the floor first, wins – and that the time to act is now.... read more


How software contributes to cleaner supply chains

6 May 2016 | Guest author

Implementing new technology and software solutions is the key to improving quality, compliance and oversight throughout the supply network. Peter Needle, CEO and co-founder of supply chain visibility software company Segura, explains.... read more


How mobile technology can improve cotton sustainability

20 April 2016 | Guest author

A key fibre in the global textile and apparel industry, cotton production is under threat from factors such as climate change, competition from new crops, and the migration of workers to more lucrative jobs. But a new social network has found that implementing SMS technology at the farmer level helps improve farming practices as well as engaging young people in agriculture – as Amy Barthorpe, head of business development at WeFarm, explains.... read more


Assessing Africa as an alternative apparel source

31 March 2016 | Guest author

Africa has undeniable advantages that make it attractive as a potential destination for large volume, low cost, commodity garments, according to Chris Wynne-Potts, CEO at African Merchandising Services.... read more


Bright outlook for Haiti's apparel industry in 2016

17 February 2016 | Guest author

The prospects look bright for Haiti's apparel industry in 2016 after a number of important milestones were reached last year, says Mark D'Sa, senior advisor for industrial development in Haiti at the US Department of State.... read more


Act vs Action – Legislation not enough to combat modern slavery

18 December 2015 | Guest author

Leslie Johnston, executive director of the C&A Foundation and a board director at GoodWeave believes the UK's Modern Slavery Act – which obligates large companies to report and declare their steps to address slavery – can only do so much. She is instead calling on businesses to take a broader approach to abolish slavery within supply chains and engage consumers to create change.... read more


Will green growth bolster Bangladesh garment exports?

8 December 2015 | Guest author

At the Dhaka Apparel Summit last year, Bangladesh set the goal of doubling apparel exports to US$50bn by the country's 50th anniversary in 2021. How will this target be achieved? Maher Anjum, sustainable sourcing and supply chain consultant, and Dr Lynne Hammond, fashion business consultant, believe the industry's investment in more sustainable factory environments has an important part to play.... read more


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