Blog: Leonie BarrieChina hammered on all fronts in US apparel trade

Leonie Barrie | 24 August 2020

Mid-way through 2020 and the impact of the global coronavirus on US apparel supplier countries is starting to become clear. Among the changes, sourcing powerhouse China has seen its unit prices tumble 17%.

Latest statistics also show duties collected on textile and apparel products imported into the US in the third quarter of fiscal 2020 more than halved.

Shifts in global sourcing have been further accelerated by deteriorating US-China trade relations – with the East Asian country losing global export market share.

Covid-19 is also a wake-up call to improve protections for India's apparel sector workers, including the informal home-based women labourers who remain an invisible part of the supply chain. What will happen when the dust settles?

While a new report suggests there were 61 fires in the fashion industry supply chain in July, with India the worst country to be affected.

The global fashion industry must rely less on coal and other fossil fuels in the supply chain, according to a new report that is urging the sector to take action to address climate change as a critical part of its Covid-19 recovery strategy.

And with sustainability concerns among consumers expected to be on the rise, a new report suggests rental and resale are two circular investment opportunities that can help pave the way for a more resilient and environmentally-friendly future

Meanwhile, plans appear to be making progress for a new agreement that would re-open Uzbekistan's cotton sector to the international market while protecting labour rights.

And the first in a two-part series on the future of fashion supply chains takes a look at the changing face of fashion retailing – and why digitising supply chains can unlock large efficiencies, improve transparency and reduce costs to help companies survive and thrive.

Setting out progress on its environmental and social and governance initiatives last year, apparel maker Gildan Activewear says its vertically-integrated manufacturing model gives it the flexibility to adapt to market challenges.

And as total UK retail sales returned to pre-pandemic levels in July, clothing sales were still down by 25.7%, even though the sector saw double-digit month-on-month growth.

Retail giant Marks & Spencer is making another 7,000 people redundant as it once again attempts to transform the business. Analysts believe the retailer now has a tough road ahead to catch up with its rivals.

In other news, Long Tall Sally has a new owner; Stage Stores is to wind down its business after failing to find a buyer; and a new training programme has been developed for the next generation of Vietnam textile industry workers.


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