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"The international event offers ample opportunity for delegates to network with their peers, mingle with expert panelists and exchange ideas with their peers and competitors alike on issues of mutual interest. Past keynote speakers include: Paul Charron, Former Chairman of Liz Claiborne, Dr. William Fung, Group MD of Li & Fung, Edwin Keh, Former COO of Walmart Global Procurement, Andrew Wu, LVMH Group Director in China among others."



The Prime Source Forum (PSF), the leading global event that brings together executives and senior stakeholders from the apparel and footwear supply chain is in its 11th year and the next edition is scheduled to be held on March 14 and 15 in Hong Kong. This year, Ethiopian Minister and Special Advisor to Prime Minister Arkebe Oqubay will be the keynote speaker at the PSF. Oqubay is also the author of ‘Made in Africa: Industrial Policy in Ethiopia’ which focuses on Africa’s economic transformation, industrialisation and policymaking. PSF spokesperson, Josephine Ching says, they are happy to have someone like Oqubay’s calibre joining Prime Source Forum this year. “Ethiopia is fast emerging as global manufacturing hub and delegates will benefit immensely from Minister Oqubay’s insight and perspective,” says Ching.


Ethiopia’s emergence in global sourcing map


A recent McKinsey report where, Chief Purchasing Officers (CPOs) of $70 billion in 2014 purchasing volume in the apparel sector, were surveyed regarding their sourcing strategy. The report revealed while sourcing powerhouses such Bangladesh and China will remain significant players, Ethiopia is on the list of countries that CPOs expect will play a bigger role in their apparel manufacturing.

Fellow keynote speaker Tino Zeiske, Senior Vice President for Corporate Responsibility at Metro Group will share his perspective on the sustainable development in the fashion industry following the G7 Summit and COP21. K C Tan of Dassault Systemes will lead a discussion on the adoption of 3D and Virtual Reality technology in the apparel sector. A diverse group of brands and supply chain experts will delve into best practice for initiating and accelerating the application of this technology in the apparel supply chain.

arkebe oqubay addisfortune1

PSF initiated in 2006focues on the implementation of quota elimination in the apparel industry, with the support of three founding organisations, the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA; formerly USAITA) and Foreign Trade Association (FTA) in Brussels. However, PSF is not limited to just sourcing aspect of the supply chain, it also reflects on sources of information for the fashion industry. Held in Hong Kong since 2006, the event brings together over 400 top professionals from more than 20 countries who delve on the challenges and opportunities that manufacturers, suppliers and retailers face in the apparel supply chain.

This international event offers ample opportunity for delegates to network with their peers, mingle with expert panelists and exchange ideas with their peers and competitors alike on issues of mutual interest. Past keynote speakers include: Paul Charron, Former Chairman of Liz Claiborne, Dr. William Fung, Group MD of Li & Fung, Edwin Keh, Former COO of Walmart Global Procurement, Andrew Wu, LVMH Group Director in China among others.

Top organisations including adidas, APLL, Clarks, Coats, Cotton Council, Cotton Inc., Crocs, Dassault Systemes, EastMax, Fung Retailing, GAFTI, H&M, InvestHK, Lectra, LF Sourcing, New Balance, Primark, PVH, among others are expected to participate in PSF2016.




World’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, Coats has appointed Valerie Hayden as their Human Resources Director, Asia. Valerie joins from Dentsu Aegis Network, a global media group, where she was Regional Head of Human Resources, Asia Pacific.

She will work on all aspects of HR to help support the growth of Coats’ Industrial business in Asia. This includes HR leadership and advice on talent management, performance management, engagement, recruitment and reward. She will also be a member of Coats’ Asia leadership team.

Valerie has more than 25 years' HR experience gained across a broad range of industries including manufacturing. She has been based in Asia for nearly 20 years and former roles include Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Swiss Re, as well as senior HR positions at Rolls Royce Singapore, Novell Asia Pacific (a business software provider) and Hilton International, Middle East and Asia Pacific. Valerie reports to Ashok Mathur, Chief Operating Officer, Asia Industrial and is based in Singapore.

At the Heimtextile Fair Germany, Pakistan, the 4th largest exhibitor received almost half the number of orders this year compared to previous year. Heimtextile is a mega event for all textile millers and exporters of the world, where this year around 220 Pakistani exhibitors participated under the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) umbrella at the Pakistan pavilion.

Pakistani exporters have seen a massive drop in international orders lately, due to the energy crisis and the slowdown of global economy, said an exhibitor at the Heimtextile Fair and Ayesha Textile Mills CEO Abdulla Kamal. He said international buyers were moving away from Pakistani market due to delay in shipments. On the other hand, China is very good in timely delivery, he observed.

The global economic slowdown has also played a key role in keeping buyers away from the recent exhibition. Europe is passing through a low-growth phase, remarked Kamal. He said during the peak textile season, the government severs the gas supply. This time, though, the situation was better since the government cut supply to domestic consumers in order to facilitate the industries.

Moreover, he said the law and order situation in the country was another major hurdle in grabbing orders. The recent terrorist attacks on schools and colleges have dented Pakistan’s reputation internationally. Buyers are frightened to even come visit us, let alone give orders, he concluded.

Garment exporters in Tirupur, want a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Australia and a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with Canada. Tirupur’s knitwear garment exports last year recorded Rs 21,000 crores, an all India share of 20.38 per cent. The industry employs about 3,50,000 workers, of which 70 per cent are women. Exporters in Tirupur feel trade relations with European countries can help combat competition from Bangladesh. They also want reforms in other sectors including customs and yarn supplies and shortage of skilled manpower. They say the proposal to increase the power tariff to high-tension and low-tension consumers by 30 per cent would have an adverse impact on exports.

More than 95 per cent of the factories in Tirupur adhere to importers’ compliant norms. Tirupur is probably the first textile cluster in the country to have zero liquid discharge technology.

Non-cotton based fabrics is an area that exporters in the region are keen on focusing. These include fabrics such as viscose, polyester, polymate etc. Right now Tirupur predominantly caters to the summer/spring market. Once it goes in for other blended fabrics, it can cater to the autumn/winter market segment too. This will mean a steady inflow of business throughout the year.

Pakistan’s cotton output dropped 33.41 per cent during this season upto February. Heavy rains and pest attacks wreaked havoc with the crop. Cotton production, a mainstay of the country’s textile sector, has been declining for the past few years due to extreme weather conditions, inappropriate policies, shrinking domestic demand and the fluctuation in international cotton prices.

The pace of cotton arrivals at ginning factories also remained slow. Heavy rains in July 2015 inundated a large area of crops of rice and cotton. Low cotton prices, in the previous season, also discouraged farmers from sowing the commodity. Some farmers used their lands for other crops, like maize, fodder, vegetables due to softening domestic cotton prices.

Large areas of the cotton belt in Pakistan have been taken over by sugar mills. Cotton accounts for a 28 per cent share in major crops. The cotton crop for the current fiscal year is estimated at 10.9 million bales, falling well below the target of 15.4 million bales.

Much better yields and production for financial year ’16 are possible if growers are provided free cotton seeds and cotton is bought from them at international prices. In international markets, a slowdown in demand from China is likely to keep cotton prices low despite a fall in global cotton production.

Cambodia exported $7.1 billion worth of apparels and shoes in 2015, up 14.5 per cent from the previous year. Cambodia’s garment and footwear exports grew by 12.7 per cent in the first half of 2015. This increase occurred despite the 28 per cent monthly minimum wage hike that came into effect more than a year ago. The country’s share of the dollar value of US imports rose by 0.1 per cent in the first 11 months of 2015 to 2.9 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

In fact air cargo to and from Cambodia jumped 14 per cent last year, driven by an increase in apparel exports to the US, Japan and China. Most of Cambodia’s exports are garment products and most of its imports are accessories for garment production.

After manufacturing, finished product are sent mostly to the EU and US because these markets provide a quota to Cambodia. However, time will tell if Cambodia can retain its grip on garment exports: minimum wage for textiles and footwear workers went up 9.4 per cent in January, which could cause clothing giants to take their business to other low-cost countries. And air freight growth may slow in 2016 because of global economic uncertainty.

India’s cotton production is likely to decline by over 14 per cent to a five-year low in 2015-16. One reason is a decline in yield of the standing crop in north India. Farmer suicides in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Maharashtra made for a tragic picture.

Cotton sowing started weak this year on low soil moisture following deficient monsoon rainfall. The overall acreage has declined to 11.76 million hectares from 13.08 million hectares a year ago. The 15 per cent decline in average acreage in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Gujarat and Maharashtra is likely to hit farmers.

Unlike last season, when one or two spells of rainfall supported flowering, development and maturing of pods, the lack of winter showers has hit cotton yields now.

In Karnataka the cotton output is estimated at about 1.8 million bales, down from three million bales last year. Whitefly infestation in Punjab and Haryana is set to reduce output of this region to 4.05 million bales from 5.2 million bales in the previous year. The output in Gujarat is also likely to slump to about 9.5 million bales this year from 12.2 million bales a year ago.

There are allegations the yield in some states has been impacted because of spurious seeds supplied to farmers.

Syria's textile industry, once one of the country's bright spots, with its products coveted throughout the region and beyond is in shambles today. The sector has been devastated by the war that erupted in March 2011, with factories destroyed, workers displaced and sanctions hampering trade. The migrant crisis and outflow to Europe have also depleted its workforce.

Before Syria's conflict began, textiles represented some 63 per cent of the industrial sector's total production. According to the Syrian Economic Forum think-tank, the sector was worth 12 per cent of GDP, employed a fifth of the workforce and exports netted around $3.3 billion a year.But by 2014, private sector textile exports had fallen by half, with the industry particularly affected by fighting in Aleppo city, the country's former commercial hub and home to many textile factories.

Nearly 70 per cent of factories were closed or destroyed by the war. In addition, many businesses lost machines and employees. When the war arrived in Aleppo in mid-2012, eventually dividing the city between government control in the west and rebel control in the east, some businesses relocated to small workshops in the city's safer areas.

For all its challenges, Syria's textile industry continues to enjoy a reputation of quality in the region, and the recently concluded Beirut Fair attracted some 500 buyers, mostly from the Middle East.

The rising costs of production, difficult trading environment and shrinking workforce, all mean competitors from Turkey and China are increasingly able to pinch clients from Syria's textile industry. Manufacturers blame shrinking exports in part on sanctions slapped on Syria after the government began its crackdown on dissent following anti-government protests five years ago.

The US alone generates an estimated 24 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) — the equivalent of about 70 pounds of textiles per person, which ends up in landfills each year according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Major apparel brands such as H&M and The North Face are working to help minimize textile waste through take-back programs, campaigns and collections made from recycled fabrics, while enterprising startups and even the European Union are creating circular processes and economic models.

The solutions presented by the five winners of the first-ever , a €1 million challenge for early-stage innovation in the fashion industry adds to the list of ideas. Introduced in August by the non-profit H&M Conscious Foundation, the goal of the Award is to catalyze bold, pioneering ideas to help protect the planet by closing the loop for fashion.

The first five winning ideas range from creating new textiles out of citrus juice by-products and an online marketplace for recycling of textile leftovers to using microbes to recycle waste polyester. Now, the global public is asked to allocate the €1 million grant between the winners in an online vote this week.

Over 2,700 innovators from 112 countries shared their ideas to help close the loop for fashion. The winning innovations are important contributions in the journey towards a circular fashion industry. Now, the foundation has invited the public to use their voice and influence how much funding each idea should get, said H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson, also a board member of the H&M Conscious Foundation.

Public votes for their favorite innovations will determine distribution of the €1,000,000 grant. The idea that gets the most votes receives €300,000, second most votes receives €250,000 and third, fourth and fifth most votes receive €150,000 each. Everyone can vote, February 1-7. The voting result and the people behind the winning innovations will be revealed at a grand award ceremony in Stockholm, February 10, and on on February 11.

The 78th edition of Pitti Filati that took place on Florence, Italy from January 27 to 29, got a huge response. Final attendance figures show a two per cent increase in the number of buyers with compared to last year, bringing the total to 4.250. The number of foreign buyers exceeded 1,800, slightly more than last year. The number of companies from Japan was up five per cent. There was a great rebound comeback from Russia with the number of buyers up 50 per cent. China, Hong Kong and Turkey also maintained good turnouts. “This has been a definitely positive and energetic edition of Pitti Filati. Our exhibitors confirmed not only excellent results in terms of attendance, but also huge satisfaction for the high quality of the visitors which translated into three intense days of work at the stands with orders and samples for next season booked by designers and representatives from the style bureaus of the world’s major names in fashion,” said Raffaello Napoleone, Pitti Immagine CEO

The Italian market enjoyed a 3.5 per cent increase – an excellent result for the entire industry after a few seasons with low numbers of Italian buyers. Exhibitors confirmed not only excellent results in terms of attendance but also huge satisfaction for the high quality of the visitors which translated into three intense days of work at the stands with orders and samples for the next season booked by designers and representatives from the style bureaus of the world’s major names in fashion.

Pitti Filati revolved around the high end of the market. The event gives the yarn industry great hopes for this year. A section that launched trends and provided inspiration for knitwear research got a great response.

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