Blog: Beth WrightIndonesia pushes Industry 4.0 onto clothing sector

Beth Wright | 1 April 2019

Industry 4.0 technologies have been hailed as the key to creating truly smart factories in Indonesia's apparel sector, with the country rolling out an ambitious plan to digitalise the industry as part of its bid to make the world's top five textile and apparel producers by 2030. Making Indonesia 4.0 encourages the county's growing apparel sector to adopt new technologies such as virtual reality, 3D design, automation and using the Internet of Things.

And Industry 4.0 will be a major area of focus at the upcoming Texprocess trade fair in Germany next month which promises the largest range of technology on display in its history as organisers eye a new exhibitor record.

For digital-native brands moving into brick-and-mortar territory, another industry challenge is getting colour right while simultaneously managing costs. We take a look at some of the considerations retailers and brands need to make in order to balance customer colour experiences in-store, at-home and online.

Meanwhile, existing legislation on modern slavery isfailing to prevent forced labour and human trafficking in global supply chains – with many companies not complying with reporting requirements and others not disclosing specific or detailed enough information, a new survey has revealed.

A new tool that could combat this, however, is a free, open source, global map of garment factories  worldwide that has officially launched to help brands and retailers better understand their supply chains and collaborate on in-factory improvements.

Nearly a month of political turmoil has failed to paralyse Haiti's apparel sector, with the country's exports set to rise 8% this year despite the shuttering of several factories in the capital Port Au Prince area in recent months amid protests and riots aimed at unseating embattled President Jovenel Moises.

In the US, department store retailer Target Corp has announced a new set of goals to reduce its carbon footprint – including a new reduction goal for its entire supply chain.

While animal rights group PETA has snapped up shares in online fashion retailer Boohoo and jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co as part of a bid to influence the companies' sourcing decisions. 

Elsewhere, Debenhams has completed its GBP200m (US$263m) refinancing in a move chairman Terry Duddy claims "secures the future of the Debenhams business."

In other news, M&S has confirmed the departure of both its head of buying for womenswear, and its head of merchandising for lingerie; Lululemon almost doubled its full-year profit; and the mini Garment-To-Garment production line developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) has won an award in one of the world's leading design competitions.

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