Cheap imported fabrics, power cuts and a rise in production costs are making it difficult for Nigerian textile traders. Working capital will assist in the retooling of operational textile mills, as well as resuscitate about 80 closed mills and 23 ginneries that have been shut down across the country. Although several factories have benefited from government intervention to revive the country’s textile industry, manufacturers say monetary support alone will not fix the problem.
Electricity supply is below 20 per cent and the business environment is not really good enough for Nigerian products to compete with Chinese imports. Since manufacturers cannot produce enough material, this means textile traders down the line must rely on imports, much of which is smuggled.
At the same time, importers have tightened the supply chain, insisting on upfront payment since the local currency was devalued. In the face of stiff Asian competition, manufacturers are asking for government protection. Until such interventions happen, more traders and manufacturers will be at the mercy of Asian suppliers.
Experts have emphasised the need for improvement of cotton production through financial support for the Institute for Agricultural Research and have recommended financial support for the National Biotechnology Development Agency to enable it to deploy biotechnologically improved cotton at confined fields at trial levels.
After over two and a half years of talks, a free trade deal agreement was recently inked between the European Union (EU) and Vietnam. A first of its kind agreement between the EU and a developing country, this deal will remove almost all tariffs on goods traded between the two economies. Vietnam will also do away with almost all of its export duties.
The FTA tackles other trade-related issues such as public procurement, regulatory issues, competition, and Geographical Indications, apart from eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers. Moreover, it also has an in-depth chapter on trade and sustainable development, which covers labour and environmental matters, with special attention to corporate social responsibility and fair and ethical trading schemes.
In 2014, imports into the EU from Vietnam were S$24 billion totally. Key goods included: footwear, textiles and clothing, among others. The state-run Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, Vinatex, suggests that the value of Vietnam’s textile and garment exports reached $12.18 billion in the first six months of this year, . a rise of 10.3 per cent on the same period a year ago.
The deal between the EU and Vietnam is welcomed by the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI). FESI also notes that the FTA would ensure better market access for high quality European sports equipment and it would also support the sourcing of sporting goods in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the top sourcing countries for sporting goods globally. Alberto Bichi, FESI secretary general says employment will be created for thousands with FTA between the EU and Vietnam.
Colorant is in talks with Chinese producer of textile dyes, which had supplied flourine-based reactive dyes technology to Colorant, to also source intermediates. The two companies will together set up a joint venture in India to produce dyestuffs. Alongside, Colorant will also be supplying dyes to the global network of the Chinese company. Major global apparel brands like Levi’s, M&S and Decathlon, among other already source from Colorant and now the company expects to be on the list of approved suppliers to the fast fashion brand Zara.
Colorant, manufacturing reactive textile dyes was set up in 1999 by Subhash Bhargava. The company’s dyes are primarily meant for the cellulose and cotton textile sector and it offers the complete range meeting every need of the industry. Colorant is the first Indian manufacturer and only producer of flourine-based reactive dyes in India. It has four units in Ahmedabad. The company has an office in Tirupur and sales officials stationed in Vapi, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Delhi and Kolkata.
Colorant has an installed monthly production capacity of 500 tons. The company exports 20 per cent of its production to countries like Brazil, the Central American region, South Africa, Mauritius, Nigeria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and also in small quantities to China. They are also vendors to state-owned National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC).
Colorant is the recipient of several export awards and has won awards in the last eight years in a row in the SME category from the Gujarat Dyestuff Manufacturers Association (GDMA) and from the Dyestuff Manufacturers Association (India) for the last four years. It has also bagged two awards from Chemexcil, in the SME exports category.
The US has finally renewed the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for Indian exporters retrospectively from August 2013, enabling duty free entry of 3,500 products. Timely renewal of GSP is important for maintaining stable bilateral trade between the two countries and to avoid uncertainty in bidding for any new business.
This was the longest delay by the US in renewing GSP. The benefit had lapsed in July 2013. It has been extended till December 2017. The move is expected to benefit exporters of textile, engineering, gems and jewelry and chemical products, among others, as their biggest market is the US.
In GSP a wide range of industrial and agricultural products originating in certain developing countries are given preferential access to American markets. This is given in the form of reduced or zero rates of customs duties. It was introduced by the US in 1976.
The GSP program helps developing countries expand their economies by increasing exports to the US and it also aids US businesses by lowering the cost of imported goods that are used as inputs in value-added US production. Therefore it helps in keeping products made in America competitive for both domestic consumption as well as US exports.
J&D Wilkie, a Scottish technical textiles specialist is set to open a new ￡3 million factory in Jianxing near Shanghai to enable it to produce technical products. During a trade mission to China, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, revealed the expansion plans. Wilkie began producing jute and flax in Scotland in 1868 and since it has established operations in China, production has doubled. The company produces a wide range of fabrics for commercial and industrial applications, including for the military.
The expansion in China, Wilkie says would safeguard 90 jobs in Scotland and the new factory there would house an integrated spinning and weaving unit on one site. He added that this move will further strengthen their position in Europe where the Scottish weaving unit has almost doubled since starting the yarn production in China.
A privately owned global technical textile manufacturing company with its head office based in Scotland, J&D Wilkie’s manufacturing sites are optimised so that there is flexibility to respond to their customers’ needs irrespective of their global geographic location. The company also benefits from a fully owned manufacturing site in China capable of producing ‘European quality at Chinese prices’.
Decades of irresponsible fabric sourcing by companies have caused deforestation, says Rainforest Action Network in its latest report titled ‘Lessons from the Incense Forest’. The study identifies top American apparel brands, dubbed the “Fashion Fifteen,” and lists Prada, LVMH, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Vince, Guess, Velvet, L Brands, Forever 21, Under Armour, Footlocker, Abercrombie and Fitch, GAIAM, Beyond Yoga and Ralph LaurenPopular, many of them beloved and iconic, as the perpetrators of forest destruction. The pressure on these fashion companies to address these violations in their global supply chains is growing.
The recent global expansion of massive plantations for the production of pulp for use in fabrics has led to land grabbing from surrounding communities. Every year tens of millions of trees are turned into clothing through the use of forest fabrics like rayon and viscose. These forests have played a critical part in local community livelihoods for generations, and are now being seized and for forest fabrics.
Without strong policies from fashion companies, rainforest destruction and human rights abuses can become part of the clothing worn by millions of consumers around the world. Protest groups are urging brands to take action to ensure that real changes are made on the ground to prevent deforestation, human rights abuses and climate pollution from being woven into the fabrics consumers wear.
These group wants brands to use only forest-friendly fabrics in their collections and to identify negative manufacturing components and develop commitments to protecting forests and human rights.
Rainbow Denim's losses in the first quarter ended June 2015 narrowed to Rs 22.56 million against the same quarter previous year. Revenues for the quarter soared 90.44 per cent to Rs 602.20 million, compared with Rs 316 million for the prior year period.
Operating margin for the quarter stood at negative 0.35 per cent as compared to a negative 25.92 per cent for the previous year same period. Operating loss for the quarter was Rs 2.10 million, compared with an operating loss of Rs 81.96 million in the previous year period. Earnings per share stood negative at Rs 1.70 compared with negative Rs 7.85 in the same quarter last year.
Set in Punjab, Rainbow Denim’s plant uses rope-dyeing technology to produce over 20 million meters of denim per year. To keep pace with international fashion trends, products are engineered to meet the demands and requirements of the denim fashion brands. Denim is not only produced in different depths of blue, but in various combination shades, making Rainbow part of the select few companies in India with such manufacturing capabilities.
‘Y WASTE?’ an exhibition by Hong Kong-based NGO Redress, working on the mission of creating green future in the global fashion industry, uncovered the dark shadow of fashion. It contained 360 kg of discarded secondhand clothes representing the amount of textiles dumped into Hong Kong’s landfills every two minutes. The exhibit was displayed at Hong Kong’s K11 Art Mall from July 7-20, 2015. The aim behind the installation was to create awareness about the importance of reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption.
The exhibit, in collaboration with clothing care experts, Miele, with design by students from Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts, raised awareness about shockingly high clothing and textile waste rates that are collectively generated and the negative environmental impacts associated with discarding them into landfill.
Redress works along with the fashion supply chain to achieve their mission of creating awareness about the hazardous impact of textile waste. Its works are grouped into four key programs: The EcoChic Design Award, The R Cert, Consumer Campaigns and Industry Engagement. Collectively, these four programs cover a sustainable fashion design competition, a recycled textile clothing standard, workshops, clothing campaigns, fashion shows, exhibitions, seminars and research.
Now even EU member states have agreed to ban a toxic substance widely found in clothing because it poses an ‘unacceptable risk’ to the environment. Countries unanimously voted in favour of extending existing restrictions on nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) found in clothing and other textile products. The measure is intended to protect aquatic species. Use of NPE in textile manufacture in Europe was banned over 10 years ago but the substance is still released into the aquatic environment through imported textiles being washed. The proposal was brought forward by Sweden in 2013 and backed by scientists at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
A 2011 study by Greenpeace found NPE in two-thirds of clothes tested, including items sold by big-name brands such as Adidas, H&M, Lacoste, and Ralph Lauren. The new ban on textiles containing NPE in concentrations equal to or greater than 0.01 per cent will enter into force five years after it is adopted by the European Commission, which is likely to happen in the near future.
Redress works with multiple fashion designers, textile and garment manufacturers, retailers, schools and universities, multilateral organisations, governments, NGOs, financial institutions and media organisations for the cause. Redress was established in 2007 in Hong Kong and is a Hong Kong registered charity under S88 of the Inland Revenue. Redress was previously called Green2greener. Cutting waste out of fashion
The EcoChic Design Award, one of the key initiatives of Redress, is a sustainable fashion design competition inspiring emerging fashion designers and students to create mainstream clothing with minimal textile waste. Each competition cycle takes designers on an education and design journey lasting several theory and design-packed months.
Firstly, it educates designers about the fashion industry’s negative environmental impacts and the sustainable fashion design techniques, zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction that can combat this. Secondly, Redress provides designers with the tools, via lectures, videos, articles and recommended links, in order to develop their understanding of sustainable fashion design. It also challenges them to source textile waste, in its many forms, to enable them to transition towards sustainable design and sourcing and then the designers are put to the ultimate test – to cut waste out of fashion – through sustainable design competition. This puts sustainable design talent in the spotlight and rewards the best with career-changing prizes to change the pattern of fashion.
Expressing disappointment over RBI keeping its policy rate unchanged, the Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) has appealed to the government to announce a three per cent interest subvention scheme for the garment sector.
“At this juncture, we strongly request the central government to announce three per cent interest subvention scheme on rupee packing credit to employment-intensive garment sector immediately with retrospective effect from April 1, 2015, for growth of exports,” TEA President A Shaktivel said in a statement.
Announcing the monetary policy that kept rates unchanged, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has said that the headline inflation is at an elevated level and banks are yet to pass on full benefits of previous rate cuts. “We were expecting some reduction in repo rate in the third bi-monthly monetary policy of 2015-16, but unfortunately it has not happened,” he said.
Rajan kept the repo rate, at which RBI lends to banks, unchanged at 7.25 per cent and the cash reserve ratio, the proportion of deposits banks have to maintain with the central bank, at 4 per cent.
Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF) is under from August 5 to 7, 2015. The show in northern Europe presents carefully curated premium brands. CIFF first emerged on the Scandinavian fashion scene in 1993. The trade fair dedicated to women’s wear, men’s wear and accessories, is aiming to attract more than 600 exhibitors in this edition. It has for the first time opted for independent showrooms as well as representation sites.
The new season consolidates CIFF as a major player in the industry. Its children’s wear edition will take place at the same time as the adults’ version. CIFF this season expanded the Lab, Sleek and Urban concepts. Lab is a unisex high profile area, and Sleek is a specifically curated women’s wear area. Both areas feature fashion forward, design driven, innovative, local, international, established and upcoming designers and brands. Both Lab and Sleek will welcome new exhibitors and brands this season. Sleek will feature some very interesting high profile special projects. Urban features urban edge designers and brands within street wear and denim.
The new expansions will result in more room for brands, collaborations and creative and innovative projects thereby solidifying CIFF as the one-stop, leading destination for art, fashion, design and lifestyle in Copenhagen.