Blog: Hannah AbdullaTrade tensions and tariffs add to industry woes

Hannah Abdulla | 2 September 2020

Trade tensions and tariffs are among the top concerns facing US companies operating in China this year, with the Covid-19 pandemic unsurprisingly also making a prominent appearance, all breeding uncertainty into the business environment.

China's textile and apparel exports were up 3.2% in the first half of the year, thanks to a sharp increase in demand for anti-epidemic textiles such as masks.

In global trade, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) has welcomed the EU's decision to modernise the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean (PEM) Convention but calls for an ambitious information campaign to ensure companies fully benefit.

And the United States and the United Kingdom are moving forward on talks on a bilateral trade agreement that would come into force after the UK officially leaves the European Union. But what might a US-UK FTA mean for the apparel industry?

On the sustainability front, the fashion industry is on a trajectory that will miss the 1.5 degree pathway to mitigate climate change by 50%, according to a new study.

H&M, Primark and Burberry are among a global coalition of brands to have signed an open letter urging the fashion and textile industry to ensure sustainability and environmental well-being are central to the sector's post-Covid recovery.

Fashion Positive has released what it claims are the first Circular Materials Guidelines that aim to help align the apparel, footwear, and textile industry on what circular fibres are and how design can make them ready for a circular economy for the fashion industry.

Meanwhile, the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has declined to participate in Boohoo's independent inquiry into supply chain practices, saying it is not the best way forward to fully investigate the matters.

And a new law is being considered in California that would make retailers accountable for garment worker pay.

On the deals front, Delta Galil has inked a deal to buy intimates online retailer Bare Necessities in a move the Israeli apparel major says will enhance its digital presence.

While Hong Kong-listed fashion supply chain manager Lever Style Corporation is adding technical apparel capabilities with its second acquisition in the space of a month.

And Frasers Group, the owner of Sports Direct and House of Fraser, is to place its subsidiary Bob's Stores under strategic review after Nike cut ties with the US retail chain.

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