Blog: Leonie BarrieHappy New Year – and a first look at 2017

Leonie Barrie | 3 January 2017

Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year.

We closed 2016 with a look back at the top news, analysis, comment and interviews published on just-style over the past 12 months – and also took a first look ahead at what 2017 might have in store for apparel sourcing and the supply chain.

Among the findings of our annual State of Sourcing survey is the likelihood of continued pressure from rising costs, faster deliveries, smaller quantities and more styles in 2017. The snapshot suggests many apparel executives are budgeting for this, while others see renegotiating with current suppliers as a key cost-cutting tactic. And almost three-quarters say they are planning to reallocate some of their sourcing in 2017.

The survey also points to more pessimistic expectations for consumer confidence in all key markets in the year ahead, with respondents bracing for another year of exchange rate volatility and rising raw material and labour costs.

The survey also drills down into strategic plans for the future, including likely shifts in global apparel manufacturing and technology investments.

Another potential hurdle could be an until-now obscure US tax proposal that threatens all American apparel importers – and their suppliers. Under a destination-based system, imports would be taxed, while exports would not.

The US Department of State has also outlined a raft of new initiatives aimed at promoting responsible business conduct by American companies operating abroad, covering issues from labour rights and supply chain transparency to anti-corruption.

But India's garment exports are expected to meet the government's target of US$30bn in the next three years, the country's apparel export body says, thanks to growth initiatives, innovation and improved product quality.

Separately, Nike is looking to speed up its supply chain process and deliver products to market more quickly through the scaling up of a new 'Express Lane' manufacturing initiative.

And German sporting goods giant Adidas is gaining traction in the US – the largest sportswear market in the world.

Meanwhile in other news, clothing giant Kellwood Company has been acquired by an unnamed Hong Kong investor; C&A Foundation is leading an initiative to map Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry; and the Canadian government has proposed stronger regulations to protect children from exposure to lead and cadmium.

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