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In a move which could have ramifications on the global apparel industry, four people affected by the Ali Enterprises apparel factory fire in Pakistan, which killed 260 people in 2012, have filed a lawsuit at the Regional Court in Dortmund against KiK, the German discount retailer which was the main buyer from the factory at the time of the tragedy, seeking €30,000 compensation. The European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) is one of several organisations backing the action. The ECCHR claims the case against KiK should make it clear that transnational corporations’ responsibilities also extend to the working conditions in their subsidiary and supplier companies abroad.

German government is looking at changing the law to ensure German buying companies observe health and safety standards and ensure foreign workers are properly paid in remote manufacturing locations in the likes of South East Asia. The legal action coincides with it. The proposed changes in the law would mean that in cases where a German company was a buyer from a supplier country, inspection of manufacturing units would have to be carried out by German companies. The ECCHR, medico international and the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) from Pakistan are assisting with the claimant case against KiK, which was filed by Berlin lawyer Remo Klinger while Thomas Seibert, south Asia coordinator at medico international, has reportedly said that KiK tried to silence the survivors with charity hand-outs.

KiK made initial relief payments in the aftermath of the fire at Ali Enterprises. After two years of negotiations, KiK tabled a compensation offer in December 2014 which the The Baldia Factory Fire Affectees Association rejected and, instead, selected four claimants to pursue a claim through the German courts.

After the successful 87th edition, Pitti Uomo has announced another summer session filled with an explosion of colours and innovative concepts. Pitticolor, the menswear trade show based on the theme of ‘color and colors’ will be held from June 16-19 in Florence.

Elaborating on the theme, the organisers said these colours are what are one is constantly immersed in. The language of colour is also one of the fundamental codes of fashion. To celebrate the theme of this next season, Pitti Uomo is launching a ‘digital art project’ in June, inviting various directors to express themselves through a special project drawing inspiration from the show’s theme.

Young photographer and video director Luca Finotti will debut this series of collaborations with Pitti Uomo’s first fashion film. The multi-faceted Italian designer, who has been associated with the world of fashion, also having worked at companies including Dolce & Gabbana will showcase his interpretation of the theme through this video.

Human Rights Watch, in its new report, says violations of garment workers’ rights including damning allegations of illegal anti-union tactics by managers, assaults on union organisers, and the failure of efforts to properly compensate victims of the Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashions fire continue in Bangladesh. More than 160 workers from 44 factories, most of which make garments for reputed brands in North America, Europe and Australia, were interviewed for the report. Worker right violations were a problem in nearly all factories examined, with specific violations documented including physical abuse, verbal abuse (sometimes of a sexual nature), forced overtime, denial of paid maternity leave, failure to pay wages and bonuses on time or in full, pressures on workers not to use the toilet, and the provision of dirty drinking water.


Issues such as why recent government reforms and company interventions have not been sufficient to remedy the problems were also examined. The report concludes with recommendations on what can be done to ensure enhanced respect for workers’ rights in Bangladesh. Bangladesh government should carry out effective and impartial investigations into all workers’ allegations of mistreatment, including beatings, threats, and other abuses and prosecute those responsible, suggests the report.


Researchers also argue that the Bangladesh government should revise labour laws in line with international standards. The NGO suggests brands sourcing from Bangladesh should institute regular factory inspections to ensure that factories comply with companies’ codes of conduct and the Bangladesh Labour Law.


“Human Rights Watch wrote to a number of brands. Some, like C&A, accept that audits can only go so far in improving factory working conditions. C&A says it believes that most of the challenges faced by the ready-made garment industry are a consequence of the difficulties in ensuring proper collective bargaining processes,” the report says.







India's apparel, home textile and technical textile segments are expected to double in size by 2023. The Indian textile and apparel market is estimated to more than double in a decade. A young population, with high disposable incomes, is driving the growth for apparel brands.

Due to increasing corporatisation of retail, the domestic market for apparel will be growing from $41 billion to $102 billion. The share of corporatised retail in apparel has increased from 14 per cent in 2008 to 19 per cent in 2013.

Textile and apparel exports too are expected to grow from $40 billion to $95 billion by 2023, taking the total size of the industry to $233 billion from $98 billion. The fashion and lifestyle market is also shifting its focus away from traditional retail channels towards alternative avenues like direct selling, home shopping, and e-tailing channels. The rapid penetration of internet-supporting devices is contributing immensely to the growth of alternative retail.

Most brands of Madura Garments, including Peter England, Louis Philippe and Allen Solly, are now aggressively pursuing younger customers by introducing a casual line of apparels. They have been focusing more on customers in their early to mid 20s.

In a move that should make environmentalists happy, 33 Chinese textile mills have said that they saved $14.7 million by cutting their use of water, electricity and chemical products. These mills are part of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) ‘Clean by Design’ campaign, a global model for manufacturing sustainability to green the fashion supply chain industry-wide. The campaign was responsible for the improvements including a 36 per cent savings in water use, 22 per cent in electricity and no less than 400 tonnes of chemicals.

According to Linda Greer, NRDC senior scientist and director of ‘Clean by Design’, great fashion can also be green fashion. Although apparel manufacturing is among the largest polluting industries in the world, it doesn’t have to be. There are enormous opportunities for the fashion industry to clean up its act while saving money, and Clean By Design offers low-cost, high-impact solutions to do just that, she added.

China has become the epicenter of global manufacturing over the past two decades, and it currently produces more than 50 per cent of the world’s fabric. The country is suffering from increasingly serious pollution problems while also contributing significant carbon into the atmosphere.

The Bread & Butter trade show will take place in Germany from July 7 to 9, 2015. This is a professionals only event without the participation of end consumers. About 120 exhibitors have made use of the early bird rate booking.

The €500 entrance fee for all visitors from neighboring fields such as PR agencies, representatives of the pre-garment textile chain, retail designers, IT companies etc. is history. All those visitors will have free entrance just as all visitors registered for any of the other Berlin fashion trade shows.

The show will occupy 20,000 sq. mt. area in three halls: Hangar 5, 6 and 7. In the main hall (former Urban Base), Bread & Butter will host its Startup concept for which the organisers have received around 150 applications so far. Among the other halls, all focusing on denim, street and urbanwear, there shall be no further segmentation or clustering.

Bread & Butter takes place in January and July each year, parallel to the Berlin Fashion Week. The trade show presents a select brand portfolio including leading original brands and new labels. Additionally, fashion presentations are held. The show’s winter edition is to be held from January 19 to 21, 2016.

Weavers of the state are one of the most backward and neglected sections of society. Weavers will be given facilities and access to financial institutions. Skill development programs will get a boost. There are more than 100 centers where trainees learn about handloom weaving, pashmina weaving, carpet making and readymade garments at a stipend of Rs 500 for elementary and Rs 700 for advance training. There are 503 registered cooperative societies in the handloom sector out of which 257 are functional. There are benefits like reimbursement of 10 per cent rebate on the sale of handloom products and loans under the schemes of the micro credit plan, the weaver credit card, loans for looms and sewing machine and share capital loan schemes. Scholarship is also provided to girl students belonging to weaver families besides social security cover to weavers in the form of health and life insurance schemes.

There are centrally sponsored schemes like the integrated handloom development scheme, comprehensive handloom development scheme, and the marketing and export promotion scheme. Handloom clusters are also being run. There is a huge demand for Jammu and Kashmir handlooms and handicrafts worldwide.

Germany’s functional textile company Sympatex Technologies has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). SAC has more than 150 global brands, retailers and manufacturers as its members, among them adidas, C&A, Gap, H&M, Nike, Puma, Target and VF Corporation.

Sympatex will use the SAC's sustainability measurement tool, the Higg Index, to drive environmental responsibility across its supply chain. The Higg index is an open source, indicator-based tool that allows suppliers, manufacturers, brands and retailers to evaluate materials, products, facilities and processes based on environmental and product design choices.

The Sympatex membrane production method uses a material made from polyether and polyester, involving no use of polytetrafluoroethylene or fluorocarbons that are often found in textile membrane materials, while the un-dyed membrane is bluesign certified as 100 per cent recyclable post-consumer.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is a trade organization comprising brands, retailers, manufacturers, government, and non-governmental organizations and academic experts, representing more than a third of the global apparel and footwear market. The coalition is working to reduce the environmental and social impact of apparel and footwear products around the world.

The Higg index is a suite of assessment tools that standardizes the measurement of the environmental and social impact of apparel and footwear products across the product lifecycle and throughout the value chain.

Karl Mayer has a new machine in the MJ series, the MJ 59/1 S. The S in the machine designation stands for stitch forming and indicates that the machine has a new configuration.

Karl Mayer is a leading warp knitting machinery manufacturer. A leader in knitting elements, the new machine has a stitch-forming jacquard bar and not the normal pillar-stitch-forming ground guide bar. The fabric ground is therefore, produced exclusively by the split jacquard bar. The characteristic appearance features a perfectly symmetrical, regular net pattern, worked on the basis of a powernet lapping.

Other patterns possibilite are the result of the machine having 20 more guide bars compared to the JL 40 F jacquardtronic lace version. Fabric produced on the MJ 59/1 S can be produced in a lower weight than is normally typical for jacquardtronic lace and, in a gauge of E 28, has a fine, filigree appearance.

Another machine is the HKS 4-M, which is setting new standards for four-bar HKS machines in terms of speed. This new high-speed model can reach up to 25 per cent higher speeds than its predecessor. It is mainly the knitting movement that has been modified to enable it to do so. The HKS 4-M can be fitted with N or EL pattern drive and with a drive for feeding elastane.

The textile industries of India and Vietnam can cooperate for mutual benefit. With its large population, India is a potential export market for Vietnam garment industry. Vietnam has a large Indian population with a high demand for fashion.

Despite achieving impressive growth in garment and textile exports, Vietnam relies heavily on imported raw materials. Vietnam’s main imports of textile products from India are polyester viscose and synthetic fabrics, polyester wool fabrics, and polyester filament yarn.

The Indian government has endorsed a credit program to promote India-Vietnam garment cooperation worth $300 million. Based on this program, the two sides are considering the establishment of the first Indian garment industrial zone in Vietnam. Indian businesses can concentrate their production lines with the best infrastructure system access, reducing production costs while supplying materials for Vietnamese enterprises with updated technology, best quality and highly competitive prices.

The credit package will not only help Indian businesses develop factories there but also stimulate Vietnamese companies to expand cooperation with Indian partners. The successful development of such a garment industrial zone will serve as a strong basis for the establishment of another industrial zone in Vietnam.

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