Many readymade garment factories in Bangladesh may shut down over compliance issues. In the last one year, more than 80,000 workers have become jobless following the closure of about 220 non-compliant garment factories in the country.
This is an unwelcome development for the country's once-buzzing apparel industry that was acclaimed the world over. Most of the factories now out of production are small and medium scale ones. They face challenges due to compliance issues, wage hikes and a fall in work orders. The compliance conditions were prescribed by western nations for preventing tragedies such as the Rana Plaza collapse and the Tazreen Fashions factory fire.
Dismal working conditions in the country’s $20 billion apparel industry have been under global scrutiny. Overloaded ceilings, exposed cables, too few fire alarms and sprinklers, and locked emergency exits are just a few of the hazards that inspections have revealed. Some factories have not been upgraded in as long as a decade, some even three decades.
Factory owners have been hit in recent months by worker protests and flash strikes demanding better pay and safer working conditions. The garment and textile industry is crucial to Bangladesh. It provides the much-needed jobs and export earnings. Without textiles, Bangladesh, already burdened by immense poverty, would see its economy collapse.
The textile sector in Pakistan accounts for 6.5 per cent of the global trade. The country is almost non-existent in the global trade map on 93 per cent of the trading sectors. Structural imbalances are severe. The domestic spinning industry has 25 per cent more yarn-producing capacity than can be woven in the country. So the country exports 25 per cent lowest value-added textile production as yarn.
To get higher exports orders Pakistan will have to address the structural imbalances. The ratio of cotton use in Pakistani textile products is 75 per cent while the industry consumes only 25 per cent of manmade fibers by blending them with cotton. The global average is 75 per cent manmade fibers blended with 25 per cent cotton.
This means Pakistan is catering to 25 per cent of the global textile market. The local industry has the machinery and state-of-the-art equipment to produce a complete textile range. However, its wings were clipped when the government of Pakistan guaranteed 10 years’ high duty protection to a multinational investor for establishing a polyester plant in Pakistan. The protection made it impossible for the textile industry to compete globally in blended textiles.
The local market accounts for only 20 per cent of the textile consumed in the country. Local entrepreneurs are denied the domestic market because of under-invoicing, smuggling and massive imports of used clothing.
Manipur has been organizing several skill development programs for handloom artisans. Fashion shows are also held regularly to promote the handloom sector. The Power Loom and Allied Service Centre in Imphal, gives artisans skill development training and aims to equip them with modern technology. The center also plans to provide loom sets, incentives and marketing assistance to those who undergo the training.
Manipur currently occupies the third position in the country in terms of handloom productivity. It hopes to reach the top through such skill development programs and by providing other incentives including high-quality fabric and weaving tools and machinery to the artisans.
Recently, a fashion extravaganza was held in Imphal with an aim to promote handloom products. Models walked the ramp, displaying traditional attires of different tribes. Ethnic garments like a wraparound and saris were also showcased. A special fashion show for children was also organized.
The event provided a great opportunity to local weavers and designers to present their handloom products before the public. A large number of people in rural Manipur and other northeastern states are engaged in weaving and craftwork. Promotion of the sector through fashion shows will help to provide exposure to their intricate work.
Interfiliere Paris took place from July 5 to 7 along with various other fashion and lingerie trade shows. This fair focused on intimates and beachwear fabrics. This time attendance declined by 5 per cent and the number of exhibitors dropped from 300 to 280 compared to July 2013. The trend was particularly evident during the first day of the event, which was quieter than usual. While the show shared a common entrance with Mode City, visitors encouraged to sign up for both shows did not seem to stem the decline. The fair is open to producers of knitted and woven fabrics, lace, embroidery, braid, trimmings, ribbon, elastic, supplies and accessories, as well as designers, producers of fibers or machines and manufacturers offering local production capacities.
French professionals obviously showed up in the greater numbers. However, this year Italy rose to second place, relegating Britain to the third. These were followed by Germany, the United States and China, which overtook Hong Kong and Spain. Russia, occupied ninth place, while the Netherlands entered the Top 10 at the expense of Switzerland.
The next edition of Interfilière will be held in New York on September 23. The Chinese edition will be held October 20 to 21.
In the first quarter of 2014, global yarn production increased by 10 per cent. Worldwide yarn stocks decreased slightly in comparison with the previous quarter as a result of lower stock inventories in South America and Europe. Year-on-year global stocks jumped with higher stock levels in Asia and Europe. Yarn orders in Europe and Brazil were up in the first quarter of 2014. Compared to the last quarter, yarn orders were lower in Europe and Brazil.
Fabric orders rose in the first quarter of 2014 in Europe and Brazil. Global fabric production was down in the first quarter of 2014, due to lower fabric production in Asia, with South America and Europe recording higher output levels. Year-on-year basis fabric production decreased slightly, with Asia’s output shrinking and Europe’s and South America’s output growing. Worldwide fabric stocks were lower in the first quarter, with South America and North America recording lower stock levels, despite higher ones in Asia and Europe.
Estimates for yarn production in the second quarter of 2014 looks positive in Asia and North America, unchanged in South America and negative in Europe. The outlook for yarn production in the third quarter of 2014 is promising in Asia and unchanged in Europe.
Readymade garment exports from Bangladesh hit a record high at $24.50 billion in the immediate past fiscal year, rising 13.86 per cent year-on-year, reveals Export Promotion Bureau data. Industry players have attributed the rise to competitive prices of Bangladeshi products and a higher demand among western consumers.
Export of knitwear products rose 15.02 percent to $12.04 billion, while that of woven garments grew 12.70 percent to $12.44 billion. The total garment exports were worth $21.51 billion in fiscal 2012-13. The total earnings from exports also saw a boost, rising 11.65 percent year-on-year to $30.17 billion in fiscal 2013-14. However, the amount narrowly missed target at $30.50 billion for the year.
Experts feel Bangladeshi manufacturers need to strengthen their capacity in home textiles as the demand for such products is rising among western customers. Besides traditional markets like the US, the EU and Canada, Bangladesh is also performing well in Japan, India, China, South Korea, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Australia and Turkey. Home textiles have the potential to earn one billion dollars a year as the sub-sector already brought in $792.53 million in fiscal 2013-14. Jute and jute goods earned $824.49 million in fiscal 2013-14.
From model and actress Amber Valetta to representatives from Gucci, Eileen Fisher and the Council of Fashion Designers of America will gather to discuss sustainability issues across the supply chain on July 22–23 during the Première Vision Preview New York event in New York. Titled ‘Responsible Creation: Issues and Values for Fashion’, the event will cover responsible creation in the textile and fashion sector.
The panelists include Valletta, who is founder of lifestyle brand Master & Muse and Yoox curator for a clothing, jewelry and accessories collection from environmentally responsible brands. This year, Valetta was also the face of H&M’s sustainable Conscious Exclusive collection. Other panelists include Rossella Ravagli, Head of Gucci’s corporate sustainability and responsibility; Inka Apter, Manager of fabric R&D at Eileen Fisher; Melissa Joy Manning, jewelry designer and member of the CFDA’s Sustainability Committee; Giusy Bettoni, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of C.L.A.S.S.; April Crow, Global Sustainability Director at the Coca-Cola, which is developing a clothing collection made from recycled soda bottles.
The summit will be held on July 22, this will be the third time Première Vision has organized the sustainability panel, which was first held last September at Première Vision Paris and then in October at Première Vision Shanghai. Moving from its longtime home at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building, Première Vision Preview New York will have more than 300 exhibitors representing high-end European and international textile mills. Première Vision’s textile print and surface design show, Indigo New York, will also be held concurrently at Pier 92 in New York.
US cotton exports may grow by two per cent due to an expansion of the Panama Canal set to be complete by April 2015. Transit time to China from the East Coast through the Panama Canal will be 7 to 8 days longer than the intermodal route. But once the canal can accommodate bigger ships, all-water shipping from the East Coast will be much cheaper than the intermodal option. The expansion will reduce maritime costs for shipments from the Gulf and South Atlantic ports to China by 28 per cent.
The United States would gain in cotton exports mostly at the expense of India and Brazil. Most other cotton-producing countries would experience a modest gain in business. Even so, the deepening of the canal will redistribute wealth among the states as well, increasing cotton exports from Atlantic and US Gulf ports at the expense of Pacific Coast ports.
Historically, the top three destinations for cotton exports are China, Turkey, and Mexico. The top three ports of cotton exports from the US are Long Beach/Los Angeles, Savannah and Houston. Exports from Savannah are growing, with much of the cotton going to Asia.
A 28 per cent reduction in costs would double exports from Savannah and New Orleans and result in a 57 per cent increase in exports from Houston. These gains would come at the expense of exports from Los Angeles and Long Beach, which would see their traffic drop by 70 per cent.
The Zimbabwean textile industry requires at least $200 million in the short to medium term to recapitalize. About $50 million is required to support cotton farmers while the same amount is needed for plant upgrades. The textile sector also needs to recapitalize and restructure to achieve plant and technology upgrades to raise production capacity. The textile sector is a high volume, low margin business. It has to reduce production costs, upgrade technology and increase production capacity.
Zimbabwe’s textile sector at its peak employed about 51,000 people. But the numbers sharply reduced from 13,500 in 2009 to 12,506 in 2010, then to 8,627 in 2011 and to a mere 4,748 in 2012. The textile industry fared even worse than the clothing industry during the same period.
The textiles and clothing sub-sector is an important arm of the manufacturing sector. But there is need for the creation of an enabling business environment. Zimbabwe has major competitive advantages over other textile manufacturing countries. These include: proximity to the industry’s primary raw material cotton, skilled labor and a highly literate population.
Recovery and further development of the cotton chain has potential to strengthen industrialization in Zimbabwe in future. The country should create competitive advantages through legislation.
Eurovet has signed a partnership agreement with Igedo to develop the Body & Beach sector of CPM in Russia. Eurovet is a leader in lingerie and beachwear trade shows with 22 shows globally. CPM is a fashion fair held in Russia since 2003 for men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. The fair is run by trade organizer Igedo. Igedo aims to provide an optimal network that connects exhibitors and visitors and creates added value for participants.
Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States make up a geographical area of significant strategic importance to lingerie and beachwear brands. In 11 years, CPM has moved from 300 brands to approximately 1,700 collections, and welcomed 19,850 visitors last March 2014. The show is presented twice a year and showcases Russian and international brands.
The Body & Beach sector was launched in September 2012, with 80 brands from 15 nations. As a result of the agreement, Eurovet moves in as a co-owner with Igedo for the February 2015 session. The CPM Body & Beach will evolve to become Moscow Mode Lingerie & Swim, in line with the new global campaign of Eurovet’s brands shows in 2015 in Paris, Shanghai, New York, Las Vegas and now Moscow.