Blog: Leonie BarrieTailoring mass manufacturing to the individual

Leonie Barrie | 19 March 2018

As the fashion industry shifts towards proper omnichannel it requires an on-demand supply chain that combines customisation with the ability to restock shops more efficiently and respond to trends more quickly. Unmade is a fashion technology business that provides a digital solution to create customisation at an industrial scale.

Nearly five years on, and the words "Rana Plaza" can still invoke powerful outrage about the precarious conditions that garment workers in the developing world endure every day. But while preventing another Rana Plaza is a vital endeavour, a new book argues it is also important to consider the everyday ways in which garment workers' health and safety is under attack.

Adidas, meanwhile, is facing a complaint from labour rights groups for breaching OECD guidelines over the dismissal of workers from a former Indonesian shoe supplier – as the sporting goods giant continues to reject the accusations.

And the European Union (EU) has fired a warning shot over Cambodia's bows over concerns about declining democratic and human rights, and the rule of law in this key clothing exporter. The move means Cambodia's privileged access to European clothing markets could also be reined in.

US specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc is encouraging all 800 of its tier 1 supplier factories to pay garment workers using digital methods by 2020, with the aim of helping improve supply chain transparency and efficiency.

US sporting goods giant Nike has launched a search for new ideas to help it create better products but with less waste. Participants can either develop a new solution to advance the physical footwear recycling process or design new products using Nike Grind materials.

While some of the winners of the latest EUR1m (US$1.24m) Global Change Award from the H&M Foundation include custom-made clothes produced from decomposable mushroom roots, sustainable bio-textiles made from leftovers from food crop harvests, and a dissolvable thread.

At French bioplastics firm Carbios a breakthrough development is claimed with a new enzymatic technology process that enables polyester fabrics to be turned back into virgin state raw materials.

And a new organic certification programme, spearheaded by US outdoor clothing giant Patagonia, aims to improve fairness for farmers and workers, as well as address animal welfare and ecological land management.

Meanwhile in other news, President Trump's new tariffs on steel and aluminium could have an impact on US container ports; Reebok has launched the first running shoe built with its Fast Flexweave upper technology; Target has begun a two-week denim-exchange programme; and US apparel giant VF Corp is to acquire the Altra footwear brand.

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Bangladesh safety gaps still remain

As the apparel industry prepares to mark the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory building tragedy, a new report estimates it could cost US$1.2bn to complete remediation across Bangladesh's rea...

BLOG

Concern mounts over Trump's trade policies

Since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, his administration has been busy fulfilling major campaign promises on trade policy – much to the concern of US fashion brands and apparel ret...

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Jeans makers eye innovation to regain market share

just-style’s latest weekly roundup begins with a look at how jeans makers are innovating and adapting to evolving consumer needs and the impact of athleisure with new fabric innovation and more sustai...

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Trump's tariffs threaten textile trade

With tariff discussions looming over the White House, just-style’s news and analysis last week was not surprisingly dominated by talk of a possible trade war....

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