Blog: Leonie BarrieWhat a difference a week makes

Leonie Barrie | 19 May 2014

What a difference a week makes. We led the last just-style newsletter with news of surging imports from Vietnam into the US in March, coupled with an update on the rush of Chinese textile investment into the country ahead of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty.

But just days later, escalating anti-Chinese protests by thousands of workers in Vietnam resulted in the suspension of production at a number of garment and footwear plants in Binh Duong province near Ho Chi Minh City.

For buyers and foreign investors who have been piling into Vietnam's textile, clothing and footwear industries, the large-scale and increasingly violent protests - which also caught up factories owned by Taiwanese and South Korean firms - may prove to be a wake-up call.

A 15% year-on-year growth in the value of exports of Indian apparel in the year ending March has been helped by diversification into new markets and stricter compliance by factories. Ahead of the national elections that finished in India last week, we looked at some of the challenges in maintaining this momentum.

For Mauritian textile and apparel manufacturers, the biggest issue looming on the horizon is the expiry of the AGOA trade preference programme in little over a year. But many have told just-style they remain optimistic the deal will be renewed.

And a progress report to mark the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh reveals that production has been suspended in 12 factories supplying a group of brands and retailers in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia following concerns over building safety.

Meanwhile, faced with an increasingly complex mix of challenges across its business, from rising costs to the rapid pace of innovation, sporting goods giant Nike believes the solution could lie in a range of initiatives it calls a "manufacturing revolution" - aimed at redefining how its products are made and what they are made from.

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