Blog: Leonie BarrieResponsible development a key requirement

Leonie Barrie | 9 September 2014

US retail giant Gap Inc has made no secret of the fact that it faced - and continues to face - a number of compliance issues linked to its decision to start sourcing garments from Myanmar/Burma.

And the extent of these challenges has now been revealed after the San Francisco-based firm released details of the "rigorous due diligence process" it underwent before sourcing began, and the ongoing legal, labour and human rights issues it is now actively monitoring.

The findings make sobering reading for other Western brands and retailers thinking of doing business in the country.

More than a year after H&M revealed it was looking to source garments from Ethiopia, the Swedish fashion apparel retailer has joined forces with state investment firm Swedfund to help support responsible development in the country's textile and clothing industry.

And as part of ongoing efforts to improve working conditions in Bangladesh's garment sector, VF Corp has agreed to provide a corporate guarantee for up to US$10m in remediation loans provided to its suppliers by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

But work to implement fire and building safety improvements in the country's garment industry is being hampered by ongoing friction between the Accord and Alliance. The Alliance has most recently hit back at the Accord after it rejected some of the Alliance-backed inspections of buildings shared by members of the two groups.

Garment supplier Echo Sourcing has been building its business in Bangladesh since 2005 and is confident of continued growth in a country. The company has also told just-style it is keen to broaden its horizons and is eyeing potential new markets such as Ethiopia.

The latest figures, meanwhile, suggest cotton production is set to exceed consumption in 2014/15 for the fifth successive season, leading to rising stocks outside China and falling prices.

And although global wool production for the 2014/2015 year is forecast to be at its lowest level for 70 years, its prospects for future growth are positive thanks to new technical developments and end uses, according to a new report from just-style.

Against an improving economic backdrop and a highly promotional retail environment, back-to-school shopping helped to push up comparable store sales for most US apparel chains in August.

Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co is aiming to remove the logos from its garments on sale in North America by next spring as it focuses instead on more on-trend merchandise to help it compete with fast fashion players.

And while well-established in many other industries, 3D technology is still relatively new to the fashion sector. But as just-style's latest management briefing shows, the tools are already starting to transform apparel firms - from design and development to 3D printing and technologies to help consumers try and buy better-fitting clothes.

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?