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Michelle Russell | 21 September 2015

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Meanwhile, last week on just-style:

In the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation, the US has tabled a market access offer that seeks to protect the most “import sensitive” textile and apparel (T&A) products - also known as the “X-basket”. Details of what this will include are still being kept secret, but Dr Sheng Lu, assistant professor at the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware,believes it most likely refers to cotton and man-made fibre apparel and fabrics.

Meanwhile, growth in world apparel and textile production in the second quarter depicts a mixed picture, reflecting wider challenges in the global economy, new data has shown. An update by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) forecasts a rise of 3.5% in total world manufacturing for 2015, but warns that regional conflicts, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, and financial instability in Europe, may adversely affect growth.

In Bangladesh, the group of North American brands and retailers working to improve safety in the country's ready-made garment factories continued to make progress in their second year of operation. But, it seems challenges remain in remediation and financing, and more work is needed if the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety is to leave a legacy of safer factories in 2018.

Yet, while there has been considerable focus on the remediation work being carried out in Bangladesh, a new report by the Garment Worker Center uncovered "alarming" health and safety violations occurring in the Los Angeles garment industry. These include physical violence and sexual harassment, in an industry employing around 45,000.

Elsewhere, while technology is often an important tool for innovation, new technology in itself does not necessarily result in innovation, according to industry expert David Birnbaum. He believes, however, that the technology is available to finally help solve the mass-customisation problem.

And in other news, Turkey's Söktas is joining forces with Kattan Group to make finished shirts for the US market; Nine West is reducing its Asia sourcing team; and Adidas, Kering, Burberry, H&M and Gildan have all been ranked among the best-in-class sustainability performers in the world; while in human resources, Patagonia has appointed a head of environmental activism, and both the CEO and CFO of Clarks have stepped down with "immediate effect".

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