Blog: Leonie BarrieFirms urged to stay committed to Cambodia

Leonie Barrie | 17 November 2014

Apparel brands have been urged to stay committed to Cambodia after a 28% rise in the minimum monthly wage was agreed for textile, garment and footwear workers. From the beginning of next year, salaries will increase from US$100 to US$128. But trade unions say the new amount is far below their expectations, while manufacturers argue the figure is too high to be financially viable.

US apparel imports surged in September as retailers continued to stock up on holiday merchandise amid fears of possible disruption to shipments due to the ongoing dockworkers dispute at major West Coast container ports. Four of the top-ten supplier countries - China, Vietnam, Indonesia and India - saw strong double-digit gains, but Bangladesh sank for the seventh month in a row.

Meanwhile, in Myanmar, the US is teaming up with Japan and Denmark to try to improve labour rights and conditions - with the aim of making the country a more attractive sourcing and investment destination.

And a project launched last year with help from the European Union (EU) to increase skills and capacity in Myanmar's garment industry has recently seen local firms receive advice on boosting productivity.

Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz has instructed its suppliers to ensure they do not use cotton from the Omo Valley region of Ethiopia, where there is an increased risk of land-grabbing - but admits it but cannot provide an absolute guarantee.

And a call for "greater collaboration for a fair and sustainable apparel industry" has been issued by the C&A Foundation - a private body affiliated with the global clothing retailer C&A - as it embarks on a new global strategy focusing on sustainable cotton and improved working conditions.

UK retailer Marks & Spencer is on a mission to become the world's most sustainable retailer through its ambitious Plan A environmental and ethical programme. The person in charge of implementing this globally is Adam Elman, head of Plan A delivery, who tells just-style about the initiative's challenging targets and the need for wider industry collaboration.

In the past six years apparel buyers have moved from avoiding commitment on toxic discharge to likely toxic-free production by the end of the decade. And China has moved from opposing legislation on hazardous chemicals to introducing a legally-enforced programme for eliminating them. Has the industry finally hit a tipping point? asks Mike Flanagan.

New research suggests environmentally friendly LED lighting also boosts productivity and increases profits in garment factories. By creating less heat than traditional lights, they help keep factory floors cooler, boosting worker productivity and reducing absenteeism.

And jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co is axing 500 jobs as part of a $143m deal to outsource some of its global business services including information technology, finance, human resources, customer service and consumer relations. The changes mark the latest phase of its global productivity initiative.

NEWS

Yesim Textile pilots new joint auditing model

Yesim Textile, one of Turkey's leading vertically-integrated manufacturers of knit products for US and European retailers, has been piloting a new joint auditing model where brands supervise their sup...

BLOG

Hong Kong sustainability scoop

We led on just-style last week with a world exclusive scoop on a number of new projects being unveiled in Hong Kong next month – including the first mill being set up in the territory in more than hal...

BLOG

Spotlight on Central America sourcing

A worsening political and social crisis in Nicaragua is having a spillover effect in Central America, where the spectre of rising violence in Guatemala and El Salvador is threatening to undermine appa...

NEWS

Customer experience drives supply chain innovation

Customer experience is driving the next wave of supply chain innovation, according to a new report, but market leaders are also giving short shrift to emerging technologies like blockchain and drones....

BLOG

Trump trade war may hit garment prices

With US president Donald Trump now threatening to impose tariffs on all US$500bn of goods imported from China, the upcoming trade war will undoubtedly hit garments. But replacing China means replacing...

NEWS

JD.com optimistic on FY despite wider Q2 loss

Despite widening its net losses, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has offered an optimistic outlook thanks to higher sales in the second quarter....

BLOG

New re:source online strategic planning tool launched

Today marks an exciting milestone in just-style’s nearly 20-year history, with the official launch of our new re:source online strategic planning tool....

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?