Blog: Leonie BarrieSlowing economic growth weighs on 2020 sentiment

Leonie Barrie | 3 December 2019

As we move into the final month of the year, it’s not surprising that anxiety and concern appears to be the prevailing mood across the fashion sector for 2020. A new report offers the ten trends set to shape the industry during the course of the year.

Separate research also points to slowing global economic growth, a strengthening dollar, and tariffs on Chinese imports weighing on US apparel and footwear over the next 12 to 18 months.

For the past 40 years Hong Kong has been the centre of the global garment industry. Yet today, Hong Kong is in a state of chaos as protesters wage a battle for its future. Here, David Birnbaum shares his thoughts on what's happening and why.

Central America's textile and apparel exports are also on course to miss growth targets this year as Trump's impeachment concerns and rising political instability in Latin America cripple orders and freeze investments.

For African garment and textile manufacturers, meanwhile, the focus is on trying to create more synergy to better integrate the supply chain within the continent. But North African producers still dominate and are expanding capacity, particularly in Egypt, say participants at a major regional industry meeting.

African manufacturers are also trying to integrate sustainability into their textile and fashion supply chains as retailers demand compliance with increasingly high standards

Sri Lanka needs to better accredit its clothing sector workers' skills through government-certified institutions to help manufacturers increase exports, the head of the country's clothing industry body says.

And improving the transportation infrastructure in Bangladesh is crucial if the country is to grow its garment and textile sector, a new report has found.

Following extensive due diligence, US apparel giant Ralph Lauren Corporation has resumed sourcing from Bangladesh, six years after it pulled out of the country in the wake of the Rana Plaza factory building collapse.

And the Netherlands has introduced a due diligence law that prevents the delivery of goods made with child labour, and requires companies selling goods or services to Dutch end users to determine whether child labour exists in their supply chains.

While the fifth and latest version of Vietnam's labour code for the first time lets workers form or join a representative union of their own choosing – and has been praised by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for being better in line with universal fundamental labour rights.

In other news, Peacocks has emerged as the preferred bidder for the Bonmarché business; the US secondhand apparel market is predicted to be worth US$51bn by 2023; and outdoor brand Isbjörn of Sweden is to trial children's wear rentals.

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