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US retail apparel prices are expected to show little change in the coming months, despite an anticipated 10 to 15 per cent drop in the price of cotton by the end of the year. Fiber prices are expected to decline because of an anticipated cutback in US exports to China and because US farmers will be planting more cotton this spring.

But the cotton price decline is not likely to result in an equivalent drop in the price of apparel because other factors, from design to transportation, contribute to the price of the finished product. Fiber prices are just a fraction of apparel prices. The US has yet to see any decline in apparel prices even though both fiber and import prices are lower. So apparel prices will not be significantly affected by the behavior of fiber prices.

For the US China's management of its giant cotton stocks will be the major determinant of cotton prices for the year. China has planned to end its accumulation of cotton stocks and is expected to cut its cotton imports to 6.4 million bales this year down sharply from 11 million bales in 2013.


Cornell will require its apparel licensees who have garments manufactured in factories in Bangladesh to sign and abide by the ‘Accord on Fire and Building Safety’ in Bangladesh. The accord is a legally binding, five-year agreement between apparel manufacturers and global and Bangladeshi trade unions. It was created in the wake of the disasters that struck factory units in Bangladesh including fires and building collapses last year.

Cornell is taking this step to ensure that workers who make Cornell logo apparel do not have to work in buildings that are structurally unsound or lack proper fire safety measures. The accord calls for independent inspections by trained fire- and building-safety inspectors at factories used by members of the accord. When problems are found in a factory, the companies using the factory will share the costs of retrofitting the structure. To date, more than 130 companies have signed the accord. Collectively, they do business with more than 1,600 Bangladeshi factories employing more than 2 million workers.

Cornell University is based in the United States. Cornell is the sixth university in the US to add the accord to their licensing requirements. Five of the 18 Cornell licensees who have disclosed sourcing goods from Bangladesh have already become signatories to the accord. They include Adidas and Fruit of the Loom.

China’s apparel exports have got off to a strong start this year. The figures show a surge of 13.4 per cent year-on-year in January. Both apparel shipments and textile exports from China have jumped compared to a year earlier. Exports of textile products and apparel reached $283 billion in 2013, up 11.4 per cent from 2012, compared to only a 2.8 per cent growth year-on-year in 2012.

Chinese textile and clothing industry exports are expected to grow by at least by 8 per cent year-on-year in 2014 thanks to the a recovery of US and European Union markets. With textile exports remaining high in January, and finished product inventory less than expected, the price of textile products was raised slightly during the month. High domestic cotton prices have also been inflating costs for Chinese textile and clothing producers.

The government began selling off some of its national cotton reserves in November. There are plans to replace the national cotton reserve program with a system of subsidies, which would help narrow the difference between Chinese cotton prices and the cotton price on the global market - largely lowering the cost for Chinese manufacturers.

Imperial will implement Lectra Fashion to reinforce its position in the fast fashion market and support its worldwide business growth. Imperial is a fast fashion brand from Italy. First specialized in menswear and women’s wear, the ready-to-wear brand has expanded its activities to include retail in 2012. The company delivers six million pieces per year. With the company growing at a very fast pace, it needed to master end-to-end development process. The challenge was to cope with increasing activities, while continuing to deliver up-to-date quality collections on time. It decided to integrate Lectra Fashion PLM to speed development while better connecting teams involved in the collection process, from design to final product. Lectra Fashion is expected to ease day-to-day work and streamline the development process. The partners have shared a relationship for the last 18 years.

Imperial’s plan is to go one step further and share pre-production and production data by opening its Lectra Fashion PLM to material or service suppliers via a web platform. Lectra is the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials—fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials.‎

The 16th edition of Texworld USA showcased 268 exhibitors from 18 countries an 11 per cent increase over January 2013.  The winter edition featured four international pavilions including Turkey, Taiwan, Egypt and Pakistan covering 12 product categories to offer buyers an extensive array of fabrics, textile accessories and sourcing options. Visitors came from 43 countries including, United States, Canada, Mexico and India. 


“Leading fashion buyers from Macy’s, Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply and Armani Exchange, to name a few, attended the sixteenth edition of Texworld USA despite the snowy weather conditions, proving that Texworld USA remains the premier apparel fabric sourcing destination in North America,” remarked Kristy Meade, Group Show Director, Messe Frankfurt in a company statement.


In collaboration with CCPIT-TEX, the fifth edition of the International Apparel Sourcing Show was once again co-located with Texworld USA and featured 63 exhibitors from seven countries. Returning exhibitors from China, Bangladesh, Egypt and India completed the overall supply chain by offering contract manufacturing, original design manufacturing and private label development.


Texworld Paris Art Directors, Louis Gerin and Gregory Lamaud created a thought provoking, interesting and relevant Trend Forum highlighting the spring/summer 2015 trends and colour direction. The forum featured a collection of fabric swatches provided by exhibitors that could be sourced at the show. Texworld USA’s show partner, Lenzing Innovation, delivered 12 complimentary seminars to 570 attendees over the three day show period. A few of the popular topics included: Navigating Texworld USA, Global Sourcing, Stylesight’s Trend Presentation and Denim Innovation.


In a global deal, the historic textile mill in Huddersfield, Taylor & Lodge has inked a joint venture partnership with China’s textile giant Shandong Ruyi Technology Group. Owners Bulmer & Lumb Group has agreed to the deal for its Taylor & Lodge manufacturing unit at Albert Street.

As per Bahman Mostaghimi, Managing Director of Shandong Ruyi UK the joint venture will bring world-class textile technology, marketing and financial power of Shandong Ruyi together with the manufacturing and design skills of Taylor & Lodge. Shandong Ruyi will help Taylor & Lodge to improve international markets through upgrading its equipment and expanding its marketing.

Mostaghimi says China is known for its cheap products. From the start, they wanted to be one Chinese company where the customer is happy about the quality and service, but complains about the price. 

Post the JV, a new company has been formed under the name of Taylor & Lodge (Huddersfield), which will be 80 per cent owned by Shandong Ruyi and 20 per cent by Bulmer & Lumb Group. Taylor & Lodge employs 65 people at its Rashcliffe Mills site. While, Shandong Ruyi supplies high-end suits to its customers including Marks & Spencer and John Lewis and indirectly to other retailers such as Moss Bros, Taylor and Lodge has built its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest, luxury British worsted cloths. In 1966, it was the first textile company in the world to get the Queen’s Award.

Pakistan Textile Exporters' Association (PTEA) has expressed strong displeasure over the proposed rise in sales tax and changes in tax regime. It feels this could negatively impact the textile exports as well as industrial activities. PTEA Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood and Vice Chairman Adil Tahir, the increase in sale tax would have an adverse impact on the country’s exports especially when a huge amount of sales tax refunds are already stuck with the FBR. This has lead to exporters facing low funds situations. Changes in the tax regime, they assume, would add fuel to the fire.

The industry is already suffering issues like power shortage, hike in tariff, low industrial activities coupled with high production cost. So the sales tax increase would not only affect exports but also the national economy. FBR should make efforts to bring the retail and untaxed sector into the tax net to enhance its revenue collection, instead of further taxing the already ailing textile segment, while the country is losing its ground and competitiveness against neighbouring competitors like China, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The duo feel to boost the economy, there is a need for initiating export-friendly policies since increased exports can bring in more revenues, while the country will also get forex and people, employment. The textile industry needs export friendly-policies and a conducive environment to reap maximum benefits of GSP Plus status such policies only retard the economic growth.

Though there was an overall decline in exports of Pakistan cotton yarn, the country enjoys a strong position in the one-billion-dollar club. As per official statistics, during the first half of this fiscal, despite stiff competition in global markets, Pakistan’s cotton yarn exports managed to cross a one billion dollar mark.

Pakistan exported cotton yarn worth 1.072 billion dollars during the first half of FY14 compared to 1.1 billion dollars in the corresponding period of last fiscal, a slight decline of 34 million dollars or 3 per cent. On a month-on-month basis, cotton yarn exports presented some improvement and posted an increase of 35 per cent. With the current surge, cotton yarn exports reached 178 million dollars in December 2013 up from 132 million dollars in November 2013, a rise of 46 million dollars.

Though China is one of the world’s largest buyers of cotton yarn, now there is a slowdown in the Chinese market. This has resulted in a decline in exports of the commodity during the first half. However, Pakistan’s cotton yarn exports are expected to increase in coming years. While India has adapted an aggressive marketing strategy as far as cotton yarn exports are concerned, Pakistan on the other hand, is dealing with issues like high production and business costs, rising power rates, hike in labour wages and gas crisis. For the last few years, the country has been proposing a level playing field that could help cotton yarn exporters to compete in the world market. The Pakistan government is also being urged to support the textile sector particularly textile mills and remove hurdles such as sales tax and higher power tariff to see Pakistan cotton industry grow over the years.

The second edition of ‘Made in India’ show was organized in Lahore recently. It showcased around 120 exhibitors with Indian products like textiles, gems, jewellery, embroidery, herbal medicine, electric products, paint, designing and engineering. The aim was to improve trade ties between the neighbours.


The show is organized by commerce ministries of both countries. Trade relations have not been too good between the two countries and so efforts are being made to ease cross-border tension. Trade has already accelerated with the formal exchange of goods between India and Pakistan increasing from Rs 1,552 crores in 2003 to over Rs 16,000 crores in 2013.


Jyotsna Suri, Head of the Indian delegation and Vice President, FICCI, there is a tremendous potential that remains untapped. The potential of bilateral trade can be gauged by the growth, which is almost 25 per cent, over the last three years — still 10 times lower than the potential. Suri emphasizes the need for promotion of tourism between the two countries which would boost growth and bring the two nations closer. 


Some Indian companies introduced power saving and efficient ginning machines during the show. Besides participation in the exhibition, representatives of these companies also visited Karachi to brief the industry about the efficiency of the Indian made cotton ginning machinery. The next ‘Made in Pakistan’ conference is expected to be held in Delhi later this year.

Clothing brand Loalde has transferred the bulk of its production to Cebu from Hong Kong and China to improve retail production operations. Chris P Aldeguer, Group President of Loalde says the company has been in the process of shifting operations over the last 10 years from 30 per cent local production to 70 per cent. Earlier, Loalde's Hong Kong and China production was at 70 per cent, whereas Cebu's production was only 30 per cent.


Aldeguer points out that increasing local production would increase the company’s turnover and lead to less shipping costs, and simpler and higher quality along with creating employment opportunities for the local community.

Loalde has been in the retail industry for the last 37 years. With the shift in production, it can now deliver 1,500 styles per year or 150,000 pieces, unlike when production was based in Hong Kong and China, where they could only deliver 750 styles a year. The higher local production would also enable the company to quickly respond to the needs of customers. Loalde, in the past, posted high sales growth -- between 15 and 18 per cent in 2010. However in the next three years, it slowed down owing to rising competition.

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