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Australia’s cotton shipments to nearly all major markets are down. Over the previous four seasons, Australia had shipped nearly two-thirds of its exports to China. However, since the harvest started for 2015 crop, Australia’s exports as a share of the crop are at a 10-year low, largely on weak import demand from China.

In fact, many cotton exporters’ shipments have been affected thus far in 2015-16 by weak demand from China. Major importers have resorted to hand-to-mouth buying. In contrast, the United States has thus far in 2015-16 managed to offset lower shipments to China with higher shipments to markets in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.

Brazil and Turkmenistan have had robust sales. Competitively priced, quality varieties remain in demand, especially for export to destinations where mill use remains relatively strong, notably Vietnam and Turkey.

World production is lowered, mostly due to changes in India, China, and Pakistan. Consumption is slightly lower, ending stocks are lowered, while trade is about even. For 2015-16, Brazil’s exports are expected to be four million bales. Turkmenistan’s exports are likely to touch 1.1 million bales. On the other hand, Mali’s exports would decline to 1.1 million bales. Likewise exports from Greece are projected to fall to one million bales.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is gaining ground with at least five more countries planning to join the trade pact. At present there are 12 TPP members including Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Vietnam.

Countries that have at various times indicated interest in joining TPP are South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Colombia, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and India. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would affect 40 per cent of the world economy. It’s expected to cut red tape globally and set the rules for the 21st century for trade.

The deal could reshape industries and influence everything from the price of cheese to the cost of cancer treatments. It is seen as a challenge to China’s growing dominance in the Pacific region. It sets tariff reduction schedules on hundreds of imported items from pork and beef in Japan to pickup trucks in the United States.

The deal sets minimum standards on issues ranging from workers’ rights to environmental protection. It also sets up dispute settlement guidelines between governments and foreign investors separate from national courts. It would give Japan’s automakers a freer hand to buy parts from Asia for vehicles sold in the United States.


A denim archive is being set up in the Netherlands. It will hold a multi-brand collection of denim garments contributed by industry leaders, brands and iconic denim wearers. The focus of the archive is the period between 1945 and 2045. Pieces may be of interest because of their design, fabric, construction, wear, finish, fit, era, or simply because of a story behind them.

Archival garments will be stored, along with their attached story sheet, and kept separately in closed containers, with the most valuable pieces under lock and key. On display will be a pair of knit-denim flare jeans with no waistband, no pockets, no fly, and 360 degree stretch; a pair of jeans in original, organic selvedge cotton, with a bright blue wash and mild cracking, paint splatter and some distress; a pair of handspun, hand woven, natural indigo jeans with irregularity in the thread, in the weave and in the color because it is all hand done.

The aim of the archive is to connect and inspire people in their passion for denim, to show the range of what denim has been, can be, and what it means to people. The project wants to make denim accessible to everyone for inspiration, study and reference, both in the physical form and soon also online.

Japanese apparel brand Uniqlo will make Turkey its production hub for the exports to Europe. Uniqlo produces a billion units a year. Now, It’s planning to boost production to five billion units. Uniqlo is the third largest company globally on a sectoral basis.

Turkey will become Uniqlo’s fifth production hub in the world following India, China, Americas and Southeast Asia. The group is targeting sales worth $50 billion in 2020 and hopes to open a ,1000 stores a year. It currently reaches customers through 1,427 stores in 16 countries. Its business volume in 2013 was $14 billion while growth was at of 20 per cent on an annual average. The group has seven brands. The major one is Uniqlo, which accounts for a 30 per cent share in the group.

Fast Retailing is the parent company of Uniqlo, Theory, and J Brand. Uniqlo started as a chain of suburban roadside stores in Japan. In Japan alone the company operates over 840 stores. It has over 400 stores in Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan). The company has a relatively small European presence: one in Germany, 10 stores in the UK, 8 stores in France and five stores in Russia.

Ludhian-based Kauno Baltija has adopted the 3D virtual prototyping solution by Lectra, with which it has been partners for 20 years. Kauno is a high-end women’s wear manufacturing company that makes goods for European brands.

With Lectra’s 3D virtual prototyping solution, Kauno has been able to reduce development time, facilitate seamless communication at the product development stage and achieve perfect fit. Lectra’s solution enabled the company to visualise, adjust, and virtually grade styles on a 3 D avatar, which helped in producing clothes that fit perfectly in every size.

Also, the virtual prototyping solution helped the company incorporate design into its process along with communicating the new brand aesthetic between the designers and in-house patternmakers. Lectra’s prototyping software provides visibility between the designers who work freelance and our in-house teams, and this allows for early decision making.

The software also helps in raising the skill level of workers and revamping their processes. Lectra solutions deliver a new approach to product development by combining advanced pattern-making tools, such as digital grading with 3D technology. Its industry and solutions experts provide companies with insight, expertise, best practices and support to help them meet today’s industry challenges.

Spun-dyed yarns continue to be in demand because of superior colour-fastness, cost advantages and, most of all, tighter environmental rules and regulations for dyeing works within the Chinese market. An influence on the development of micro-components and original parts is a logical consequence of this trend. During ITMA the Oerlikon Manmade Fibres segment focused on solutions for customer-specific requirements and looked into the subject of spun-dyeing, as it is a technology company.

A new sensor that identifies yarn breaks in particularly critical yarns such as extra-fine or spun-dyed yarns has been developed by Oerlikon. Many times, conventional optical sensors do not register extremely fine or coloured yarns and thus signal a yarn break, which results in a direct interruption to the spinning process. The black yarns, commonly used in the automobile industry are a particularly serious challenge for sensor technology. The new dual sensor of the Manmade Fibers segment can prevent this misdetection, reliably identifying yarn breaks, with a second ‘eye’.

Small components used in texturing also are challenged by spun-dyed yarns and they result in considerably faster wear to the coatings of yarn guides to this end. Due to their high carbon content, black yarns in particular have a very aggressive impact on yarn guides. This is a considerable cost factor for texturing companies with increasing market shares for black yarns.

After Sales Manager Achim Beul, while talking about the new coating in practice, said one of their customers has been running the new yarn guides without any noticeable wear and with outstanding yarn parameters for six months now.

Bangladesh will once again try to persuade the United States and other developed countries to allow duty-free access to garment products, at the upcoming World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) summit.

“We are trying to get duty-free entry for garment items to the US,” Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told reporters while talking about the country's preparations to attend the 10th WTO ministerial conference in Kenya from December 15-18, 2015.

According to Ahmed, Bangladesh is one of the highest tax paying nations in the American market and the country's garment exports to the US have maintained buoyant growth. The higher rate of duty and suspension of trade privileges could not stop the growth of garment exports to the US. Ahmed, who is also the coordinator for the least-developed countries (LDCs) in the WTO summit, will lead the 19-member Bangladesh delegation.

According to the WTO's fifth ministerial conference in Hong Kong in 2005, the developed countries were supposed to give duty-free access to 97 per cent of products originating in the LDCs. The duty-free package was also gradually supposed to become 100 per cent from 97 per cent. Many developed and developing countries have already started allowing duty-free access to all products from the LDCs, including Bangladesh except the US.

Bangladesh's garment exports to the US increased 17.58 percent year-on-year to $1.81 billion between July and October, according to the Export Promotion Bureau. Garment exports also increased 2.85 percent year-on-year to $5.29 billion in the last fiscal year.

Covestro AG has won two awards and Tonello secured the top prize of ‘Launch of the Year’ at the ITMA Future Materials Awards 2015, held in Milan recently.

Celebrating the best innovations in the technical textile industry, this second edition of the annual awards, which is hosted by WTiN was attended by more than 200 guests and saw a host of leading companies and research institutes honoured for their cutting-edge products, processes and treatments. Tonello’s victory was in recognition of its Water Brush process, which uses a chemical-free approach to achieve an authentic vintage look on jeans. With Water Brush operators need no protection and there is no impact on either the environment or the workplace.

Covestro (formerly Bayer Material Science) won the ‘Innovator of the Year’ prize, and tied with Separex for ‘Sustainable Process’. Both Covestro’s awards were for its development of Impranil eco, a new class of waterborne polyurethane dispersions for textile coating which comprises up to 65 per cent renewable resources.

Separex, a French SME specialising in sustainable high pressure carbon dioxide technologies, picked up the Sustainable Process award for its approach to the use of CO2. Separex has developed a reverse dyeing process which allows discolouration of waste polyester textiles, allowing the production of higher quality recycled textiles.

There was another tie, in the category of Sports Textiles, where Coolcore and Europlasma shared the title for their innovations. Coolcore was picked for its performance fabrics for athletic and everyday apparel, developed without the use of added chemicals or topical agents, while Europlasma received the nod for its PlasmaGuard technology, a high-tech process which uses no water and a minimum of energy and chemicals.

Awards for ‘Most Innovative Company’ were split across large, medium and small companies, with Milliken & Company, Polartec and TissueGen respectively picking up the trophies in each of these categories. MultiFun was named ‘Best Start-Up Company’ for to its innovation in multifunctional fibre composite materials and associated technologies, including end-to-end hardware, and analysis, control and design software.

In the Medical Textiles category, Hohenstein Institute received the award for its Artus innovation, a textile-based artificial uterus that actively provides premature babies in neonatal incubators with womb-like motions and the mother’s voice and heartbeat. CeNTI (Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials) took the winner’s prize in Mobile Textiles. And there were awards for Torcitura Padana in Home Textiles, ViDi Systems in Industrial Textiles, LeMur in Protective Textiles and Bonded Logic in Sustainable Textiles.

CeNTI (Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials) won for its innovative self-cleaning fabrics which harness a special combination of nanomaterials with an innovative coating process. Torcitura Padana won for its COEX project, a natural fireproof material, ViDi Systems won with ViDi Suite, a piece of software that makes automatic inspection of complex pattern fabrics simple by using a self-training algorithm. LeMur’s win came for their silicone yarn, Muriel, which is elastic, flame-retardant, non-toxic and especially light. AndBonded Logic took the Sustainable Textiles prize for its work sourcing textiles and converting them back to fibre tomanufacture new nonwoven products.

In Clothing, Viz Reflective scooped the gong forVizLite DT, which combines dretro-reflective and phosphorescent technologies that illuminate fabrics without the need for LED lights or an external power source. In a new award category, Druckprozess and Zschimmer & Schwarz Mohsdorf received an accolade for Groundbreaking Partnership Development. The award was in recognition of their work in inkjet printing, where the companies pooled their resources for the development of new products and production processes.

Demand for fast fashion has more than doubled through the years as apparently, the world buys almost 80 billion pieces of clothing each year. Since 1980, demand for clothes has quadrupled, as per statistics. Earlier, fashion had four seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter, which has now given way to almost 52 fashion season’s in a year as new trends come up every week.

Today, brands compete with each other by introducing more lines per year at lower costs. Fashion houses come up with 18 collections a year, as product cycles are reduced from six months to three weeks. Trends are delivered as quickly as possible and at highly affordable prices in the retail model of fast fashion. The goal is to entice consumers using ‘democratising luxury’ as a euphemism to buy as many clothes possible in the shortest time, particularly the middle-class. Fast fashion is supported by an estimated 40 million garment workers in a rush to make luxury ‘accessible’. It relies on low-wage, overseas labour, particularly in Eastern Europe and Asia.

One of the serious side effects of fast fashion is that clothes become disposable, which often goes unnoticed. Because fast fashion promotes a culture of disposability, consumers do not experience much remorse and loss when these clothes are only worn for a few times, donated to charity, or thrown away. Though consumers think that they donate clothes to charity, the sheer amount of donated clothing is in itself unpalatable. A mere 10 percent of the donated clothing is sold or recycled and most is dumped in developing countries, which in turn clogs landfills and is destroying the local clothing industry. Thus, the question is, what is the real price of fast fashion?

To make payments to the families of the 112 workers killed and those permanently injured in a fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory in Bangladesh, the Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum are calling on international brands, including Walmart and El Corte Ingles, to contribute to a fund established for that.

The families of those killed and injured have been fighting for compensation for the loss of their loved ones or loss of their own ability to earn an income since the last three years.

The Spanish department store El Corte Ingles, the German discount retailer KIK, C&A, Sean John’s Enyce brand, and US giant Wlamart are the brands that Tazreen produced for. IndustriALL Global Union, the Clean Clothes Campaign, C&A and the C&A Foundation, just prior to the second anniversary of the fire last year, signed an agreement to make payments specifically to cover loss of income and medical treatment. This agreement led to the creation of the Tazreen Claims Administration Trust, which oversees the claims process, cooperates with organisations representing the families and collects funding to make the payments.

To cover the payments it is expected that the Trust will raise money primarily through contributions from brands and retailers whose products were produced at the Tazreen factory. Most brands have agreed to this, however, Walmart, Tazreen’s largest customer has yet to provide any funds to compensate the survivors and the families of the deceased workers.

Walmart publically declared it would contribute $3 million via BRAC USA for the victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse and for victims of other garment factory tragedies in Bangladesh last year. Till date, though, Walmart has refused to allocate any money to those affected by the Tazreen fire.

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