Blog: Leonie BarrieIs Vietnam primed for TPP?

Leonie Barrie | 21 March 2016

It is no secret that Vietnam's textile and clothing sector is widely expected to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the recently-agreed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact. But some industry observers are questioning whether the Southeast Asian country is really ready to reap the benefits that will come its way once the deal goes live.

For US clothing giants VF Corp and Target Corp, reducing costs and boosting productivity at textile and apparel supplier factories in Vietnam has been the overall aim of a new initiative to help improve energy and water efficiency.

Meanwhile, international brands and manufacturers have been looking at ways to boost Egypt's overall potential as an apparel sourcing centre through improved labour efficiency, working conditions and personnel management.

And with Bangladesh aiming to double its apparel exports over the next five years, the importance of maintaining secure and quality cotton imports from its top supplier India has been underlined at an international conference in Dhaka.

Separately, a coalition of Dutch industry organisations and the Dutch government has pledged to tackle issues such as working conditions, wages and environmental pollution within the garment and textile supply chain in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Turkey.

UK brands and retailers are also being urged to recognise the presence of homeworkers in their footwear supply chains after new research found thousands of women in India stitch leather uppers in their homes, earning low wages and with no security or benefits.

Innovations are coming through thick and fast at US sporting goods giant Nike, with new launches including an auto-lacing shoe, technology that separates mud from cleats in football boots, and new Aeroswift technology that features recycled polyester and is designed to enhance performance.

And as the chatter about millennials gets louder and louder, we take a closer look at this emerging – and increasingly influential – generation. Across three articles based on a recent report on 'Millennials and the Changing Consumer Landscape,' we ask who they are, how they are changing in terms of spending, attitudes and influences, and how they view brands.

Meanwhile in other news, US department store retailer Kohl's has relaunched its US$1bn private label Sonoma Goods For Life; sourcing giant Li & Fung has warned of tough times to come after seeing its full-year profit fall; and struggling teen apparel retailer Aeropostale is exploring a possible sale or restructuring, and is involved in a supplier dispute which is disrupting the supply of some merchandise.

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