Blog: Leonie BarrieDecathlon's decade-long eco-labelling project

Leonie Barrie | 12 December 2018

Global sporting goods giant Decathlon is nearing the finishing line on a decade-long project that will see all textile and footwear items labelled with their environmental impact by the end of next year. The data is also enabling more eco-friendly design – and will be made freely available to other companies. The retailer has spoken exclusively to just-style about the initiative.

Reducing waste, recycling and product disposal were among issues to come under the microscope in the latest parliamentary evidence session, where representatives from Marks & Spencer, Burberry and Primark were questioned by British lawmakers about efforts to deal with excess stock and unwanted garments.

Making the sums add up on ultra-cheap fast fashion was another of the lines of questioning – with retailers asked how they can justify selling dresses and T-shirts for just a couple of pounds.

But apparel brands and retailers sourcing from UK factories could benefit from a new tool aimed at helping councils pinpoint where modern slavery is taking place in the country and accurately direct spending toward resolving the problem.

All of the top ten individual supplier countries to the US recorded growth in imports in September, with those from Vietnam at their highest for the last 12 months – suggesting sourcing may be shifting from China to Vietnam over tariff fears.

And a new study suggests Greater China will overtake the US as the world's largest fashion market in 2019, amid a year of "urgent awakening" for the industry as global growth slows. The research offers ten trends set to shape the industry during the course of the year.

Next year will also see the launch of a project by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to promote decent work in Asian garment supply chains.

Indeed, Cambodia's garment and footwear industry has seen an improvement in labour standards, according to the latest assessment from the ILO, with violations falling and compliance on the rise.

The US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) replacing the 25-year old NAFTA free trade pact has officially been signed off following almost two years of deliberations – but some industry bodies have warned terminating the original before the new version comes into play will wreak havoc.

Since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, his administration has been busy fulfilling major campaign promises on trade policy – much to the concern of US fashion brands and apparel retailers. To keep abreast of developments, we’ve updated our timeline of all the key milestones.

And our latest monthly round-up of updates to key free trade agreements and trade preference programmes covered in the re:source by just-style strategic planning tool looks at developments in November.

While in other news, Nike Inc has become a strategic partner to the Global Fashion Agenda; Bestseller has launched a new sustainability strategy; and VF Corp is to rename its jeanswear business Kontoor Brands.

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