Blog: Leonie BarrieCrystal Group looks at long-term growth

Leonie Barrie | 30 September 2014

In an exclusive interview published on just-style last week, Andrew Lo, CEO of Hong Kong based manufacturing giant Crystal Group, talks about the challenges of building the business for long-term growth, and ensuring that the company has a strong local supply chain in place to deliver on its goals.

He also discusses the company's investment with Pacific Textiles Holdings to set up a new fabric mill in Vietnam. Add in Crystal Group's new garment manufacturing facilities, and the site is expected to be the largest vertical textile and garment operation in the country.

The Chinese government, meanwhile, has released plans to slash its cotton import quotas in 2015 to the mandatory WTO-approved import quota of 894,000 tonnes. The move is aimed at boosting demand for domestic cotton and helping cut the country's huge stockpiles of the fibre.

And interns working in China's huge apparel and textiles industry have been found to suffer working conditions which amount to "forced labour" under international law.

Eight major fashion brands, including one of Cambodia's biggest customers H&M, have indicated their support for talks to raise wages for Cambodian garment workers - in line with efforts to improve supplier productivity. But trade unions and manufacturers remain divided on what the new minimum wage should be.

Long touted as "the next big thing", wearable technology has until now been held back by concerns ranging from cost to style, comfort and privacy issues - and of course the limitations of the devices themselves. But the sector may finally be reaching the tipping point that moves it into the mainstream.

Innovation is one of the keys to success for sporting goods giant Nike, which has just delivered a "flawless" performance in the first quarter of its new fiscal year, with strong double-digit jumps in both profit and revenues. And what's more, the company is looking to raise the bar even higher in the future.

Sportswear firm Adidas is also planning to reconnect with US consumers, with a new creative studio set to open in New York City next year - and three "world class" designers hired from Nike to drive the brand's direction.

But at UK based retail giant Tesco a probe is underway after the company revealed its first-half profit was overstated by GBP250m (U$408.1m). Four senior executives have also been suspended.

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