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Article 50 and its impact on European supply chains

4 January 2017 | Guest author

Amidst all the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, the government’s deadline of 31 March to begin two years of exit talks is one of the few, more tangible dates that businesses can factor in. Here Guy Courtin, vice president of industry & solution strategy for retail and fashion at GT Nexus, looks at its likely impact on supply chain networks across Europe.... read more

Fusing ethics and finance to boost the bottom line

18 November 2016 | Guest author

Ethical performance and supply chain finance are an unlikely partnership – but fusing the two can be a winning combination for the fashion and apparel industry.... read more

Is NGO scrutiny reducing supply chain transparency?

11 October 2016 | Guest author

NGOs play a vital role in regulating and holding brands and retailers to account, especially when it comes to the transparency of their supply chains – but are their radars locked onto the wrong targets?... read more

Fashion meets function with end-to-end solutions

29 September 2016 | Guest author

The fashion industry thrives on its ability to react to trends. In the age of Instagram fashionistas, each with millions of followers, never has it been more important for these reactions to be lightning fast. Among the tools to help fashion firms meet these demands are unified technology solutions that offer substance over style.... 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 does supply chain mapping really mean?

26 August 2016 | Guest author

The recent pledge by British prime minister Theresa May to invest a further GBP33m in fighting modern slavery, coupled with the importance of companies knowing what is happening in their supply chains, has led to an increased focus on supply chain mapping. But while there are many tools on the market offering such solutions, there is a lot of variation and confusion over what this actually means, according to Hannah Harris, product marketing manager at Historic Futures.... 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

How data and transparency can encourage better buying

8 June 2016 | Guest author

A new Better Buying initiative is being planned to eliminate the barriers to code of conduct compliance caused by apparel buyers' purchasing practices. Here the scheme's co-founder Dr Marsha Dickson explains why data and transparency will  inform buyers about the challenges they are placing on suppliers – and enable them to track improvements over time.... 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

Sustainability – the next use case for RFID?

17 May 2016 | Guest author

As well as the business benefits of adopting radio frequency identification (RFID), there's wide scope to apply it across various parts of the supply chain too. So it may come as no surprise then that sustainability is emerging as the next use case for the technology, explains Jacky Broomhead, market development manager for apparel at supply chain standards organisation GS1 UK.... 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

Something’s not right about ‘see now, buy now’

1 April 2016 | Guest author

Brands need to respond to consumer needs for instant gratification with a strategy for speed – where speed and efficiency in the product development cycle are crucial, warns Alvanon president Ed Gribbin.... 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

Trading company or factory direct – what's best?

30 March 2016 | Guest author

As margins continue to be squeezed, one question often asked by sourcing managers is whether or not to use a trading company. Surely, the argument goes, dealing direct with a factory is the best route to better prices and quality. Sourcing consultant Philip Worrall explains why this is not always the case.... read more

Reputational risks concealed in supply chains

23 February 2016 | Guest author

With an ever-increasing slice of a company's value linked to its reputation, most brands and retailers require a new set of disciplines and procedures to really understand what is going on in their global supply chains. Tim Wilson, co-founder and director of value chain mapping firm Historic Futures, explains.... 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

Comment – Three ways fit data can re-shape apparel purchases

3 December 2015 | Guest author

"Enhancing the customer journey…," "adopting a more personalised approach…," "the importance of data…," – when it comes to articulating how brands can improve their customer strategies, some phrases seem to be trotted out if not interchangeably, then generically. Best intentions abound, but specific strategies still appear thin on the ground. But "fit" offers apparel retailers and brands a clear, some would say natural, way forward. Stuart Simms, chief executive of fit preference specialist Fits.me explains.... read more

Comment – Five ways to tackle market and demand volatility

27 November 2015 | Guest author

Volatility and complexity are endemic in today's business environments, which makes planning extremely difficult. Along with streamlining process and supply chain steps to run as fast as the pace of change, Bob McKee, industry strategy director for fashion at Infor, sets out five further recommendations for dealing with market and demand volatility.... read more

Global news roundup

24 August 2015 | Guest author

The following is a round-up of apparel and footwear news from the world's local media. just-style has not checked these stories so cannot guarantee their accuracy.... read more

What is the ethical role of buyers in a supply chain?

12 August 2015 | Guest author

As is well-accepted in the business community, buyers are responsible for what they source and who they source from - especially if that product or service is used directly to create their own product or service. Joel Borgquist, president of supply chain ethics consultancy ETiK, takes a look at the ethical role of the buyer in the supply chain.... read more

COMMENT: Wearable tech – a passing fashion?

4 August 2015 | Guest author

Is wearable technology a ‘fad’ or a passing fashion – or is it something that is here to stay? And what are the challenges faced from both a commercial and a legal perspective? Sarah Pearce, a partner in the Technology Transactions Group at law firm Cooley LLP, looks at these issues and discusses their future impact.... read more

COMMENT: Temperature control key to successful seam sealing

22 July 2015 | Guest author

Fabrics, and the processes of joining them together, continue to evolve. One of the key factors that can deliver successful seam sealing and thermal bonding in textiles is the process of temperature control, as Ian Collins, product manager and strategic account manager at West Controls Solutions, explains. ... read more

COMMENT: What sells when - and how to source ahead

20 July 2015 | Guest author

What sells when, and how to source ahead to make the most of it, is one of the biggest challenges facing fashion brands and retailers. But modern technology has created a new information chain that gives a stronger indication of what to manufacture or stock, says Paul Watson, CEO at Volo.... read more

Petrochemicals and polyester – the next sustainability challenge?

16 July 2015 | Guest author

Fibre, textile and apparel companies are dealing with an intense and growing pressure to deliver greater transparency across the supply chain. But where does their knowledge begin and end? When it comes to sustainability in the polyester production process, the picture is increasingly complicated according to The PCI Consulting Group, which has spent the past four years researching the issue.... read more

COMMENT: Legacy systems leave fashion firms lagging

7 July 2015 | Guest author

Bob McKee, industry strategy director, fashion, at Infor looks at why legacy systems are holding back manufacturers in the fast-paced fashion industry.... read more

TECHNOLOGY: Advanced RFID spurs move to integrated apparel tags

11 June 2015 | Guest author

Fully integrated RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, which combine RFID inlays with all critical printed data and graphics into a single ticket, are sparking a surge of interest from apparel retailers, brand owners, manufacturers and their global suppliers, according to George Hoffman, CEO at FineLine Technologies.... read more

TECHNOLOGY: Three tipping points for RFID in fashion

30 April 2015 | Guest author

In recent years, a growing number of retail RFID use cases have clearly demonstrated the benefits of being able to track inventory at the item level, leading to better shelf replenishment and fewer out of stocks. Su Doyle, responsible for industry solutions at US product identification manufacturer CheckPoint Systems, looks at the three driving factors for RFID adoption in the apparel industry.... read more

Sourcing shifts: Assessing the risks when switching suppliers

4 June 2014 | Guest author

As brands and retailers set higher production standards and create ever more complex supply chains, they need to consider all the risks when switching suppliers.... read more