The United States and Brazil have closed a 12-year-old fight over US cotton subsidieswith the US paying 300 million dollars to the Brazilian Cotton Institute to settle the trade battle.Brazil has agreed to end its World Trade Organization case against the world’s largest cotton exporter and to not lodge any new actions as long as current US policies remain in place.
The US, meanwhile, must hold to the conditions under its current farm support policies, which Brazil, the world’s fourthlargest exporter, took aim at first in 2002 due to US subsidies ruled in violation of WTO rules.
That includes keeping limitations on how Washington’s export guarantees are provided to cotton exporters, so as not to give them unfair advantage in the global marketplace.
Thisagreement brings to a close a matter which put hundreds of millions of dollars in US exports at risk.
The WTO ruled in Brazil’s favor in 2005 and again in 2008 in the case, allowing the country to impose countermeasures against US trade.That had raised worries about US market access and intellectual property protection in Brazil, as well as the United States’ 28 percent share of the global cotton trade.
What led to the deal was an interim agreement in 2010 for Brazil not to take retaliatory action and then the passage of a new farm bill by the US Congress in February this year that tightened US cotton support programs and export guarantee programs.
Punjab province in Pakistan has beaten all previous records and produced 32.35 per cent more cotton than preceding years. However Sindh produced 1.60 per cent less cotton this year.
A total of 763 ginning factories are operational in these two provinces.
Cotton trading has remained firm amid strong physical price and higher cotton prices. Since the textile mills have increased the buying of cotton to meet the demand of the European market after attaining the status of GSP Plus, the rates are stable.
Ginneries received 1,384,533 bales during the fortnight of September 16 to October 1. Unsold stock is 663,966 bales which is more than last year when it reached 587,883 bales. Ginners were expecting better prices for their lint but prices have fallen way beyond their expectations.
The country has also been losing some 10 to 15 per cent of the value of its cotton due to poor quality. Improper picking, adulteration of cotton, missed grades and seed varieties and improper packing, storage and means of transportation are responsible for the poor quality of the fiber.
The option of increasing area under cultivation cannot be exercised because of the lack of irrigation water. The two major cotton growing provinces, Punjab and Sindh, are already at their maximum level.
The Belgian textile and fashion associations Creamoda and Fedustria together with European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) are organising the 3rd edition of Euratex Convention on November 18, 2014 at Husa President Park Hotel in Brussels. The annual event will bring together experts to exchange their views on the future of clothing and textiles in Europe.
The economic situation in Europe has indispensable influence on the private consumption of textile and fashion goods. The opening panel of the convention, devoted to the perspectives of economic development of Europe and the world, will examine the megatrends on consumer behavior. The prominent speakers will discuss new horizons open for the European textile and clothing industry through the innovation and modernisation. The afternoon session of the event will be dedicated to the overview of technology developments affecting the market of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The convention participants can also take a closer look at the EU policies and regulatory changes influencing this sector. The peculiarities of public procurement of personal protective equipment will be discussed during the conference that will continue the next day.
Every year Euratex Convention brings together representatives of industry, associations, government agencies, local ministries and academics. This is a unique platform for an open and progressive debate on the current challenges and future opportunities of the textile and fashion industry in Europe.
International cotton prices have continued falling in the first two months of the new season. Given the predicted 1.8 million tons of surplus cotton production and changes in China’s cotton policy, prices are unlikely to rise to the levels seen in the last two seasons.
With the fall in prices, world cotton consumption is forecast to rise nearly four per cent, with more of the consumption occurring in the latter half of the season.While cotton’s absolute volume of consumption is likely to grow, it will probably not gain back much of its market share as it takes time for the market to adjust.
World cotton production is forecast up one per cent. China’s overall production is projected at 6.4 million tons in 2014-2015. India expanded cotton area by five per cent as the delayed monsoon encouraged farmers to switch to cotton, and with yield closer to the three-year average, production is likely to reach 6.6 million tons, making India the world’s largest cotton producer by 2014-2015.
Harvested cotton area in the United States could reach 3.9 million hectares as plentiful rainfall reduces the abandonment rate this season.
Though some mills still hold additional quota for 2014, China’s imports are forecast to fall 36 per cent and world imports would decline 11 percent. Imports by the rest of the world, notably southeast Asia, are projected to increase two per cent.
Autumn 2014 edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics will be held at Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Shanghai, China, from October 20 to 23, 2014. Exhibition will see a newly designed Beyond Denim hall with increased capacity to meet the domestic demand. Accessories halls will witness a wide range of fashionable accessories and functional fabrics are another highlight of the fair.
Beyond Denim gets bigger & better
This year’s fair will boast 15 halls, with over 3,800 international and domestic exhibitors featured across more than 170,000 sq. mtr.of space.Following the success of last year’s denim zone, the newly designed and enlarged Beyond Denim hall will feature around 150 exhibitors from six countries and regions. This year’s denim area expands to an entire hall witnessing a 25 per cent increase in exhibition space compared to last year.
Wide range of fashionable accessories
In addition to denim products, accessories and functional fabrics are also a highlighted product category this year. Over 550 domestic and international accessories suppliers will feature in two halls (E6 – E7), with both garment and fashion accessories on display. Buyers can find a wide range of new accessories at the fair including a selection of zippers, buttons, lace & embroidery, linings / interlinings, threads, labels, hangtags, tape, appliqués / sequins / beads / rhinestones and fashion accessories. An Accessories Trend Forum will be located in hall E7 next to the overseas accessories zone displaying a variety of products reflecting the upcoming trends.
Esquel Enterprises is a well-established exhibitor from Hong Kong. Buttons, embroidered patches, hangers, labels, tape, polybags, eco-friendly trims and packaging are their featured products at the upcoming fair. They will offer a wide selection of eco- friendly trims. Their one-stop branding and packaging solutions provide buyers with flexible and effective solutions for the low-end,mid-range and high-end / luxury markets.
Functional fabrics in focus
Mirroring current trends in the textiles industry, functional fabrics and products are the other focus areas at the fair. The exhibitors taking part are looking to benefit from the increase in demand in China for functional fabrics and see the fair as the best way to do this. Various kinds of functional fabrics will be showcased, with properties such as thermo-regulation, moisture wicking, increased durability, elasticity, windproof and more. In the domestic market in particular, functional fabrics for sportswear, ladieswear and menswear are in high demand.
One of the exhibitors is Toyobo from Japan, which will highlight new types of CERAM (far infrared radiation) at the fair. CERAM has been sold in the Chinese market for decades and is well-known to many customers. Their showcased products contain new functions and focus on cleanliness and safety. Retailers and sports-related companies are the target buyers for this product.
Directions Trend Forum
Meanwhile, the Intertextile Directions Trend Forum will once again showcase the trends for autumn / winter 2015-16 in hall W1, and this year features special labelling for eco and functional fabrics and products to help buyers more easily identify these items.Running concurrently with this fair are two other events: Yarn Expo Autumn and PH Value, which are located within the same venue as Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics and take place over three days from October 20 to 22.
Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics is co-organised by MesseFrankfurt (HK); the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Textile Information Centre.
The 30th IAF World Fashion Convention that ended on a high note last week welcomed over 300 delegates from 20 countries in Medellin, Colombia, first time in South America. The discussions at the event focused on ‘Understanding the challenges of the fashion system’.
Day one takes up the denim cause
Each of the seven speakers who spoke on the first day, moderated by Eduardo Braun, gave his or her vision on the future of the industry. While Emiliano Duch, Lead Specialist, Trade & Competitiveness from the World Bank advised governments to modernize their support of the fashion industry, from investing in big industrial parks, which only fosters the lowest paying jobs, to the support of local brands and retail. Claudio Chiaromonte, Executive Vice President and Managing Director for The Walt Disney Company, Latin America showed the audience how big companies have perfected the art of delivering to consumers anytime, anyplace, through any format, by any payment. Horacio Broggi, Director of Desigual Latin showed some secrets of the success of the phenomenal growth of Desigual, from eight to 800 million euros (Rs 618 to Rs 6,180 crores) in 10-years-time.
The highlight of the day was Adriano Goldschmied, also called the godfather of jeans, who took the delegates on a journey of the development of the premium jeans segment by way of his own personal pictures. The pictures showed how the right people came together at the right time and created products that were inspired by their own lifestyles. Goldschmied went from the past to the future where technical innovation will bring jeans to a new level of comfort.
Mariette Hoitink, chairwoman of Amsterdam based House of Denim continued with the jeans case. She showed the delegates how city, big brands, local entrepreneurs and foreign investors work together to create a denim hub in Amsterdam. But it was clear that this example, combining denim specific schooling, research and networking can be replicated in other places as well.
Fernando Pimentel, the Director of the Brazilian Apparel Association Abit stressed the importance of intra Latin American trade.
And finally, Ed Gribbin President of Alvanon plead for a radical change in the industry which is facing below 40 per cent full price sell through on the retail end. Investments in 3D digital sampling, PLM are necessary as is a shift in focus to a more engineering oriented design of clothing, focusing not only on how it looks, but also on how it works.
Rahul Mehta succeeds as IAF President
In the general assembly of the International Apparel Federation, held during the World Fashion Convention, Rahul Mehta was elected as new IAF President for the coming two years. He succeeds Harry van Dalfsen who has been IAF’s leader in the past four years. Rahul Mehta is President of the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) representing this association in IAF since many years.
The general assembly also agreed with other changes in IAF’s management. Claudio Marenzi, President of the Italian Apparel and Textile Association Systema Moda Italia (SMI) was elected Vice-President of IAF. IAF’s Secretary-General Han Bekke will step down end of this year after holding this position since eight years. He was elected as new member of the IAF board in which he will take the position as treasurer from Hasan Arat who stepped down as member of the board. New Secretary-General of IAF from January 1, 2015 onwards will be Matthijs Crietee, who is currently Deputy Secretary-General.
In his opening speech, outgoing IAF President Harry van Dalfsen showed his optimism about the global fashion industry. Although it faces great challenges, he said, it is full of great examples of companies finding new ways to entice customers, add new value, expand markets and improve its hugely complex supply chain.
He sees as a positive sign of the times ahead and the growing power of local brands in emerging markets. According to him, strong local brands inspire international brands to adapt their global style to local circumstances and international brands force local brands to learn more quickly to compete. On the supply side, he stated that he believes, positive changes in the apparel industry will be driven more in the coming decade by investments in the manufacturing part of the industry. He opined that a new, more balanced relation between brands, retailers and manufacturers is needed to make joint decisions on investments, improving productivity, working conditions and reducing costs and environmental footprint.
Adriano Goldschmied, Diesel's co-founder, is promoting a new stretch fabric, which he thinks will turn around the fortunes of the 50 billion dollars (over Rs 30,700 crores) denim industry. Made from blending indigo, nylon and polyester, 'active denim' is already receiving good response from large players including G-Star and Diesel.
The fabric is suitable for today’s requirement of comfortable clothing such as leggings and yoga-wear since it performs like an activewear fabric, stretching as much as 80 per cent in a diagonal way. Goldschmied's company Goldsign is promoting among premium denim manufacturers before making it available to the mass-market brands. At the IAF Convention, he made a presentation on ‘Transforming the denim business’, in which he chronicled a series of milestones that helped him turn jeans into a staple of Hollywood celebrity wardrobes before gaining wider popularity and spawning top brands like Levi’s, G-Star and Diesel. Often called the 'Godfather of denim’, Goldschmied is credited for turning jeans as work-wear to fashionable garment.
<p> Experts at the convention opined that fabric manufacturers are creating new and more fashionable finishes, such leather and shiny finishes giving a new meaning to denim fashion. Several initiatives are being taken to revive the industry. For instance, the House of Denim is expanding its Jean School educational programme and also plans to launch other such schools around the world.
Pakistan will host the 75th plenary meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) in 2016. The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) is an association of governments having an interest in the production, export, import, and consumption of cotton. It is an organisation designed to promote cooperation in cotton affairs, particularly those of international scope and significance. It affords its members a continuous understanding of the world cotton situation and provides a forum for international consultation and discussion. The committee has consultative status with the UN and its specialised agencies and cooperates closely with other international organisations in matters of common interest.
It also provides opportunities for industry and government leaders from producing, consuming and trading countries to consult on matters of mutual concern. Its secretariat is located in Washington DC.
Pakistan is a longstanding member of the ICAC and participates actively in its deliberations. With a production of 2.08 million tons of cotton in the recent season, Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of cotton in the world. With the mill use of cotton to the tune of 2.27 million tons, it is the third largest mill user of cotton in the world. Pakistan is, furthermore, a leader in scientific research on cotton.
Garmatex has partnered with Base 360 to bring a new generation of protective hockey wear to the Canadian market. This is designed to save lives through the use of world-leading fabric technologies.
Garmatex is an inventor of intelligent fabrics and apparel solutions. Base 360 is a manufacturer of safety products for high risk sports.
The line of hockey apparel protects the exposed areas of the wrist, calf and ankle and is designed to minimize the risk of a severe injury. The addition of Garmatex’s antimicrobial formula, Bact-Out, provides temperature regulation and bacterial odor management that does not wash out.
The companies are working together to incorporate Garmatex’s Steel Skin technology into the next generation of apparel to further enhance its protective properties. They are also in the process of developing a new line of apparel designed specifically for speed skaters.
Garmatex harnesses advanced, nano-level processes that manipulate raw textiles and alter fabric molecules and provide superior fabrics that perform under extreme conditions. Garmatex offers innovative solutions for athletic and lifestyle apparel as well industrial and commercial products. Its current products and fabrics include: Kottinu, Bact-Out, Cool Skin, Warm Skin, Ice Skin, Steel Skin and Recovery Skin.
The company plans to expand its portfolio by collaborating with leading research and development teams to produce textiles that improve the health, well-being and effectiveness of people.
Organic cotton that can be manufactured to the same texture and quality as standard cotton is grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides, avoids a significant drain on water supply and soil, and increases the overall well-being of farmers and pickers; in spite of benefits is not being produced enough. Although the eco-benefits are clear the cotton industry is still facing a struggle to increase its global production of organic produce.
Top companies are leading the charge for the organic cotton trade revolution by making strong commitments to use 100 per cent organic cotton by 2020. However it is not just these big brands making a change, there are a slew of smaller organic companies which offer sustainably resourced mattresses, clothes and pillow cases.
The overall aim is to equip farmers with the tools and know-how, reducing water consumption and eradicating the use of pesticides.There is a deficiency of good quality cotton suppliers that are producing cotton without genetically modified organism. Despite the fact that only one per cent of the cotton manufactured is organic, demand will soon likely exceed supply.
One hurdle to the production of organic cotton is the fact that many farmers lack the business savvy and the will required to go organic. A significant amount of expert knowledge is required. Verification of the organic status is rigorous.