Blog: Leonie BarrieHemp apparel – hype or opportunity?

Leonie Barrie | 4 February 2019

With products derived from hemp making their presence felt in a range of industries, from food and drinks to medicines, we've looked at potential applications in clothing – and issues for the supply chain. What's an opportunity for its use in apparel, and what's just hype? asks Roian Atwood, director of sustainability for Wrangler and Lee jeans, writing exclusively for just-style.

More than a year into its new global sustainability and responsibility strategy, apparel giant VF Corp is helping to drive efforts to lead large scale commercialisation of circular business models. As Anna Maria Rugarli, senior director of sustainability and responsibility for EMEA at VF International, explains, there are opportunities ahead to make circularity work.

Anecdotal evidence suggests 'Made in the USA' clothing is growing in popularity – but there's little insight into who's selling it, what products are available, and the pricing strategy. This detailed analysis crunches some numbers on the US retail market to find out more.

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been touted by Beijing as a 'win-win' for all involved in the sprawling infrastructure project that connects the Far East with Europe – but experts warn Turkey's textile and garment sector needs to play smart in weighing up the risks and opportunities.

And Myanmar is counting on investors from Taiwan to support the country with capacity building and technical assistance – including in textile and garment production – even as its beneficial trade access to the European Union (EU) is under review.

The average import tariff rate for clothing products worldwide stood at 17.0% in 2018 – almost twice as high as the rate for all manufactured goods combined. Here we look at why the costs and complexities of global tariff barriers pose major challenges for apparel sourcing.

The UK Environmental Audit Committee has ruled that British fashion brands and retailers are "failing to promote environmental sustainability and protect their workers," following a probe into the sector at the end of last year.

And three factories in Mexico producing goods for denim giant Levi Strauss & Co are to become the first locations to use a new blockchain-based worker well-being system, which is being hailed as a "crucial first step" in a transparent evaluation of working conditions.

Meanwhile, in other news, global sourcing giant Li & Fung has promoted Joseph Phi to lead its supply chain solutions operating groups; China’s Shandong Ruyi Investment Holding has bought the apparel fibre business of Lycra owner Invista; a Chinese investment firm is building Egypt's "biggest" textile city; and German women's wear retailer Gerry Weber International has begun preliminary insolvency proceedings.

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