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Lack of concerted efforts in using many of the government schemes seems to have affected the growth of Tirupur knitwear cluster. This was revealed in a CII study of the Tirupur district council, and Srupuram Trust among others, with the help of Grant Thornton, the sixth largest consultancy/accounting network firm in world, to understand the strengths/weakness of the Tirupur cluster. The report said 15 government schemes formulated to trigger growth of industrial clusters like Tirupur were either not fully used, or used only once, which too not in recent years.

Director (government and business advisory department) of Grant Thornton for South India, V Padmanand, says schemes like micro, small enterprises cluster development program, scheme for workers hostel, processing development scheme, technology business incubation, and market access initiative scheme were not used at all. Many in the knitwear cluster were not even aware of some of the schemes. The report further suggests the need for disincentivising export of cotton, and the requirement of a free-trade agreement with Russia and Brazil, and the European Union.

The feeling is that an FTA with EU is essential since competitors like China, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh are getting preferential market access to EU making their products cheaper than Indian apparels. Many say that an export duty should be imposed on cotton to discourage its export. As Padmanand puts it, main competitors of India are benefiting from cotton exports. Vietnam domestically produces only 2 per cent of the cotton needed for its apparel production, while imports the rest from India, and Africa.

Amid the stockpiles and waning demand in textile industry, state-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) is set to suffer its steepest loss in six years from sales in the current season. The CCI started selling from its stockpiles last month to make room in its warehouses for the ongoing bumper harvest, but managed to find buyers for less than half of what it auctioned.

The CCI has procured more than 6.5 million bales this season from farmers at prices around 5-6 per cent above current market rates, making the fibre uncompetitive amid world prices that are languishing near more than five-year lows.

As per CCI Chairman and Managing Director, B K Mikshra, the corporation may see a loss of about 20-25 billion rupees ($322-$403 million) under the support price in operation this year as the response to the sale is very sluggish in the absence of Chinese demand. He expected hopes to see some stability in prices by March on the basis of less supply. That would be the biggest loss since at least 2008/09, a government official said. However, this loss will not show up on CCI's books as it will be reimbursed by the government.

China used to buy almost 60 per cent of India’s cotton until last year but it has now cut imports to support its farmers. This will bring down India’s exports to 6-8 million bales this crop year, he said. India’s domestic cotton demand is expected to rise about 3 per cent to 31.1 million bales this crop year. However, Indian firms are delaying purchases on hopes prices will drop further.

Anticipation is building around the 2015 Spring edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics. The fair is on track to set a new exhibitor record, coinciding with its relocation to a brand new venue. More than 2,500 exhibitors from 21 countries and regions have confirmed their participation, setting a new high point in the fair’s history.

French suppliers are increasing their presence at Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, with a dedicated France zone making its first appearance at the Spring edition after a strong showing last October. Some of the leading names in the industry will participate at the fair, including new exhibitors Malfroy Million and Solstiss Sarl. Malfroy Million is well known for silk scarves and will exhibit premium silk at the fair. Solstiss Sarl will showcase its French lace produced on Leavers machines.

Yarn expo spring will be held alongside. This will showcase a spectrum of natural and blended yarns including cotton, wool, flax or regenerated flax, and man-made fibers and yarns as well as specialty products including elastic and fancy and blended yarns. The Chinese fiber pavilion will feature a bio fiber zone to promote the use of biochemical fibers. Some of the international highlights include the Indian pavilion and the Pakistani zone.

The United States has a high demand for textile products and the market also demands high quality products. Zimbabwe can export its textile products if these meet the United States’ standards. The Zimbabwean textile industry needs to explore the United States market as it bids to recover its former luster.

Trade between Zimbabwe and the US has declined in recent years, with exports to America totaling $34 million in 2013 compared to $91 million in 2001. The country imported $60 million worth of goods from the US in the comparative period, up $from 31 million. Zimbabwe imports mainly machinery, pharmaceutical products, vehicles and medical instruments and exports iron and steel, tobacco, coffee, raw hides and skins.

AGOA is the main vehicle for dialogue between the US and sub-Sahara Africa, but its lifespan ends this year. Notably, Zimbabwe is not eligible under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which offers qualifying sub-Saharan countries even more liberal access to the US market after Washington imposed sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle in 2003 on allegations of human rights abuses.

Polyester manufacturer Indo Rama Synthetics reported a standalone net loss of Rs 58.40 crores for the December quarter on account of inventory losses due to falling crude oil prices. The company had posted a standalone net profit of Rs 97.38 crores, same quarter, a year ago. However, net sales during the October-December quarter, increased 11.46 per cent to Rs 648.80 crores against Rs 582.07 crores a year ago, Indo Rama said in a statement.

Sales have registered a growth of nearly 20 per cent in volume at 74,000 tons during the quarter under review as against 58,000 tons in the same quarter last fiscal due to market demand and falling prices. With the improving economic conditions, the company expects to perform better in the coming quarters.

Indo Rama Synthetics is one of the India's largest dedicated polyester manufacturers with an annual capacity of around 6.10 lakh tons per annum.  The company is listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. The company exports to its customers in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

To counter non-tariff barriers, the Indian government has introduced a program called DISHA (Driving Industry towards sustainable human capital advancement) to address social and environment issues faced by the Indian apparel industry. The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has been assigned the task of implementing the program. DISHA is a business-driven initiative for the continuous improvement of working and environmental conditions in global supply chains that could lead to achieving a dual goal of job creation and social protection.

Across globe, time and cost pressure prevents producers from implementing the social compliance code of conduct. In the context of globalization and international competition, many companies source labour intensive goods from developing and newly industrialized countries. However, working conditions in these countries often do not comply with labor standards such as those established by the International Labor Organization (ILO). To address this issue, many companies and associations have created individual codes of conduct and monitoring systems like the DISHA program introduced in India.

Social compliance initiatives aim to establish a common platform for the various American and European companies’ codes of conducts and monitoring systems. It also lays the groundwork for a common monitoring system for social compliance. Popular elements under common code of conduct include legal requirements, no child labour, health and safety, workers’ rights, housing conditions, environment, systems approach, monitoring and enforcement and so on.

Experts feel compliance issues should have been covered under WTO preview long ago with clear guidelines of fines and penalties as in the cases of other products. Furthermore, to the extent feasible; the integration of these programs with other private programs should be explored by governments of the developing countries in order to minimize the requirements to comply with multiple labeling requirements.


A Denim Retail study conducted by Editd, which specializes in the use of data to advise retail stores about their product selection points out that in the United States and the UK, there are over 150,000 denim products in the market, and volumes are increasing. Interestingly, demand in both these nations is exactly in contrast.

UK and the US demand in contrast

While in the UK, product orders for premium and luxury market (averaging $315 for a pair of women’s jeans dropped by 24 per cent, they increased by 9 per cent in the US where the average pair’s price is $179. However, in the UK, in the mass market (jeans for $57) and value market (jeans for $26), product arrivals were up 29 per cent and 58 per cent. In the US, these markets, with jeans respectively at $69 and $30 on average, decreased by 2 per cent and 8 per cent.TMONLINE01938 Premium Denim dynamicbanner notext frame1


The study further goes on to show that luxury products saw greatest discounts. Only 45 per cent of sales were made at full price, as compared with 65 per cent in the premium market and 61 per cent for those in the mass and value market. The major retailers selling denim included Asos for both countries for the mass market segment, and Nordstrom in the United States and Farfetch'D in the UK for luxury and premium segments. The most stocked brands for men were Levi's, 7 for all mankind and Diesel in the US, and Diesel, Levi's and G-Star in the UK. The most stocked brands for women included 7 for all mankind in the US, followed by J. Brand and Paige Denim, while in the UK, J. Brand, G-Star and 7 for all mankind occupied the top spots.

Editd’s study also reveals that the notion that rise of fitness apparel has had a negative impact on denims is not entirely true. While new arrivals of leggings, jeggings and other sweatpants almost doubled between January 2014 and January 2015, denim arrivals were also 31 percent higher. But while sales of casual pants were up 114 percent, sales of denim posted over 45 percent rise. Over the course of two years, sales curves essentially followed the same trends.

Sustainability will be one of the main topics at the Kingpins Show in Amsterdam to be held from April 16 to 18, 2015. Kingpins is an international denim sourcing show. This event showcases innovation, sustainability and craftsmanship in the apparel and clothing, textile, fabrics, yarns and fashion accessories industries.

This edition will feature a concept called ‘Transformers’. Transformers are people in the denim supply chain who recognize that they need to invest in new and better ways to produce denim, from making dye stuffs to manufacturing fibers and finishing garments, to make the industry environmentally and financially sound by 2029.

There will be a panel discussion on water use in producing denim. A selection of people involved in the denim supply chain will present their concepts for change in their specific area. The panel will end with conclusions and industry suggestions, all with input from an audience of denim professionals.

A pair of jeans requires huge amounts of water at all stages of the manufacturing process. Transformers are those who offer new technologies and alternative practices to significantly reduce the jean industry’s water usage.

A special ‘Denim Days’ program will be carried out throughout Amsterdam from April 13 to18, with a range of events and activities in and around the most important denim stores in Amsterdam. This will provide an opportunity for denim brands, producers, consumers, press and designers to celebrate all things indigo.

On February 12, Première Vision Paris closed its doors on the first fully integrated edition. The event was roaring success. After three days of strong business, fruitful meetings and professional exchanges, the show at the Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte was a unique event, once again earning strong support of the global fashion industry. Exhibitors and visitors alike affirmed the positivity with high quality contacts and growing sales activities and international visibility, Première Vision Paris, through its six shows, stood out as an important seasonal event.

Around 58,443 visitors visited Première Vision Paris, but steady growth in the visitors at 73 percent showed a slight decline of 5 percent against February 2014 edition. The decrease in attendance was largely due to a decline in Russian visitors, a result of economic and political instability, and a drop in American attendees, whose presence was affected by the New York Fashion Week, held the same week.

Organisers claim that the shows took place in an increasingly complex and evolving international economic and political environment, which could have had much more serious consequences owing to a decline in the global consumption of textiles and apparel, especially in Europe; a slowdown in exports of luxury products towards hitherto untouched territories such as China, but also and especially the Russian market, penalized by a 40 percent devaluation of the ruble since January 2014 and the situation in Ukraine and increasingly concentrated apparel companies, leading to a reduced number of players on the global fashion scene.

Eight handloom weavers from Zambia are set to promote higher quality artisanal textile production in their home country having received training in Tamil Nadu. Zambian handloom weavers received training at the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHT) in Salem on textile design, block printing, use of sophisticated handlooms and quality management.

During the training period of two months they visited several handloom cluster sites in Tamil Nadu. The weavers will spearhead ITC’s pilot handloom cluster development project in Zambia. They will become the lead trainers of project beneficiaries in two cluster locations in Lusaka and Mumbwa. The master weavers will be linked up with stakeholders in Lusaka and cotton farming communities in the district of Mumbwa who are waiting to receive training.

The Zambian pilot handloom cluster development project is part of a larger EU-financed program for African cotton promotion and value addition. This program seeks to introduce low cost traditional techniques to stimulate artisanal textile production and competitiveness, and to build linkages to regional and international markets.

The project has supported weavers to build value addition skills and move up the competitive ladder along the cotton value chain. The cotton handloom sector in Zambia has the potential to contribute substantially to employment creation and poverty reduction.

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