Blog: Leonie BarrieWest Coast ports strike skews data

Leonie Barrie | 11 May 2015

Apparel imports into the US surged in March, as retailers ramped up their imports of spring/summer merchandise and cargo volumes at West Coast ports started to clear. The top three supplier countries booked double-digit increases, with China leading the way.

Meanwhile, separate data for April showed that a shift in the timing of Easter and an economic soft patch in the first quarter contributed to comparable store sales declines at many US apparel retailers.

Outdoor wear behemoth The North Face is re-evaluating and rethinking everything it does based on what's right for the worker, the environment, and the consumer. Adam Mott, director of sustainability, tells just-style the company is just "scratching the surface” on sustainability.

From one industry giant to another, Hong Kong based Crystal Group has its sights set on Vietnam as a growing sourcing destination - with expansion projects under way to triple T-shirt production and increase sweater production seven-fold over the next four years.

Cutting-edge technologies for improved manufacturing efficiencies and consistent quality were among the most exciting developments at last week’s Texprocess trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. And fittingly, the four winners of the third Texprocess Innovation Award 2015 offered new solutions to make production faster, flexible and more efficient – with or without an operator.

More insight into the changes that have taken place in Bangladesh in the two years following the Rana Plaza disaster suggests a huge gap remains between two business philosophies: those with realistic profit expectations, and those who are obsessed with controlling costs. And recent events have highlighted just how wide this gulf is.

In other news, Myanmar has set a target for garment export earnings of US$2bn for the 2015/16 fiscal year; excess cotton stocks held outside China are likely to keep international cotton prices down in 2015/16; and Wrangler launches moisture-wicking denim jeans.

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