The Wool Retail Forum will take place in China on May 19 and 20. The aim of the event is to promote greater transparency along the wool supply chain. It’s organized by the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO).
Taking the theme Provenance and Performance, the Wool Retail Forum examines wool’s role in modern retail, looking at quality assurance through provenance, wool’s performance in outdoor and sportswear, and trends in the Chinese luxury and consumer markets. By bringing together representatives from each stage of the wool supply chain, IWTO aims to foster better understanding of wool's route from farm to retail, and to open opportunities for closer collaborations.
The Wool Retail Forum is an opportunity for retailers, who are looking for ways to strengthen transparency and authenticity, to exchange ideas directly with downstream suppliers. IWTO presents the Wool Retail Forum in partnership with The Woolmark Company and China Wool Textile Association.
It’s the nature of the wool industry that the different actors within the supply chain don’t get the opportunity to talk to each other. The Wool Retail Forum recognises that as an industry players must work more closely together in order to meet consumer expectations about origins, accountability, and value.
Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has added another prominent member in its drive from Europe. ‘Bestseller’, one of Europe’s largest fashion brands, has become member of the BCI’s Better Cotton Fast Track Programme (BTFCP). The aim is to channel funds directly to farmer’s training and capacity-building programs designed around the BCI standard, the BCFTP was set up in 2010 through the sustainable trade initiative and leading NGOs. The BCI and its partners reach more regions, train more farmers and produce better cotton under the drive which has dramatically accelerated the scale up of Better Cotton worldwide.
Denmark-based ‘Bestseller’ is a privately held family-owned clothing company founded in 1975. Its products are sold in 70 markets across most of Europe, the Middle East, Canada, India, and globally via e-commerce. They have more than 3,000 branded chain stores across 38 markets worldwide and the products are sold in approx. 15,000 multi-brand and department stores.
More than 60 per cent of Bestseller’s total fiber consumption comes from cotton which makes it the most important fiber in their products. Bestseller’s ‘Sustainability Strategy 20 by 20’ aims to have majority of its cotton sourced from sustainable sources by 2020. After joining the BCI in 2011, they have since contributed directly to support farmer training in India and have set themselves an ambitious and strategic goal to source Better Cotton. Two of their frontrunner brands ‘Jack and Jones’ and ‘ONLY’ have already been sourcing Better Cotton throughout the year.
In January 2015, Bestseller officially joined the BTFCP – making it the 10th brand partner to be a part of the demand-driven coalition of front-runner apparel brands. Other partners in the Better Cotton Fast Track Program include IKEA, Levi Strauss & Co, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Adidas, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger Europe, VF Corporation and TESCO.
The International Labor Organisation (ILO) and the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) have forged a unique partnership to promote decent work in the garment and textile industry. This partnership came out of the realization that issues in the garment industry are systemic and requires actions that help develop effective industrial relations and promote respect of international labor standards. So there was an urgent need to establish strategic and comprehensive public-private collaborations.
The partnership agreement includes a comprehensive framework on improving industrial relations through training and compliance with international labor standards including occupational safety and health, wages, nature of employment, discrimination and other forms of malpractices. The Pakistan textile industry will collaborate with ILO for improvement of working conditions and implementation of international labor standards in textile industries. This collaboration is expected to help improve the image of Pakistan textile industry as a responsible workplace that is compliant with national and international laws.
The country’s textile policy also reflects compliance with labor laws, which is of immense importance in order to reap the benefits of trade preferences such as GSP Plus. Foreign trade has a lot of attached responsibilities as international buyers are increasingly getting sensitive about ethical sourcing and international compliances.
Curve the a lingerie and swimwear show in Las Vegas, wants to add a new dimension to its Las Vegas trade fair by associating itself with the leading ready-to-wear show in America, Magic. Curve’s next edition will take place in the framework of Magic, but retain its distinct identity.
Called CurveNV@Magic, the lingerie and swimwear show will take place over three days instead of two, August 17 to 19, 2015. The trade fair will have its own entrance with the Curve banner. Until now there has been small, winter lingerie and summer swimwear offering at the Magic trade fair, but no dedicated and structured sector as such. With this alliance, Curve hopes to attract a few more international brands, but also American ones.
Curve will still be in charge of its advertising and promotion among its targeted specialist buyers, but Magic will add the show to its own communications for its ready-to-wear audience. Apart from lingerie and swim wear, Curve showcases sleepwear, lounge wear, shape wear, hosiery and maternity.
Curve was launched in Las Vegas in February 2007 and now produces trade shows twice a year, in Las Vegas and New York. Eurovet, a Paris-based international organizer of lingerie and swimwear trade shows, bought a 30 per cent stake in Curve in November 2008.
Lectra has come out with a digital magazine, Lectra Live. Up until now, Lectra had a monthly newsletter to liaise regularly with employees around the world. With Lectra Live the company has a dynamic tool capable of explaining its strategy, demonstrating its strengths and highlighting in real time the company’s milestones and achievements.
Lectra Live is an interactive and participatory internal webzine published in three languages, English, French and Chinese. Lectra Live is animated by numerous videos, strong images and energetic colors in a modern and elegant style. Like smart grids, intelligent networks which gather together different information from various sources, the new platform is based on an intuitive way of reading content. A completely redesigned indexing system guides the reader as he browses through the site to a selection of related articles. Employee comments and reactions are also taken into account when defining editorial choices.
The new digital magazine better supports Lectra’s ambitious strategic plan, launched in 2009, intended to completely transform the company. Lectra Live was awarded the silver prize during the Top/Com Grand Prix corporate business 2015 ceremony.
Lectra is the world leader in integrated technology solutions that automate, streamline and accelerate product design, development and manufacturing processes for industries using soft materials.
Under pressure from cotton producers and textile factories, the Ethiopian Ministry of Industry is going to set the price for cotton. With a view to stabilize cotton prices in the market, the federal government imported cotton but the move is yet to encourage farmers to produce more and supply to the textile factories at a fair price. While local textile units lament inconsistent prices, which has forced farmers to change their production cost several times, producers too blame the cost of labour, high price of agriculture machineries, uncertainty in market and weather conditions.
Tadesse Haile, State Minister of Industry says it was right for the government to stabilize the cotton market. The government is aware of brokers who set the price of cotton randomly and that discourage textile factories which causes them to incur additional costs. For the purpose of drafting a regulation, discussion is being held with stakeholders and the Ministry.
The regulation is going to prohibit brokers from involving in the delivery line of agricultural products for their interference is impacting the industry. The supply chain of cotton is a long one which results in lower earning by farmers while brokers lap up good profits.
Abreham Tadesse, Vice President of the Ethiopian Cotton Producers, Ginner and Exporters Association (ECPGEA), criticized the federal government for not giving proper attention to the industry. Nearly 250,000 hectares of land is available for cotton plantation while only 10 to 15 per cent of this is cultivated, he argues.
Delay by the Zimbabwean government in announcing a new policy on import duty for apparel and textile material for manufacturers can put the feasibility of already sick clothing sector in jeopardy. Secretary General of the National Union of the Clothing Industry, Joseph Tanyanyiwa, believes the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should not delay the issue of clothing manufacturers rebate. The buzz is that most players in the clothing industry are contemplating sending their workers on forced leave. Many others have reportedly failed to resume operations as their materials were being held at bonded warehouses.
Tanyanyiwa further said that most companies have failed to clear their clothing and textiles imports since December 2014. Currently the clothing sector is operating at below 30 per cent from a peak of between 40 and 45 per cent in 2010-11. In his 2015 budget statement, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa had proposed to extend the clothing manufacturers rebate facility by another 12 months as the rebate had attracted investment and generated additional employment in the clothing industry. Last year, government in partnership with the private sector launched the cotton-to-clothing strategy as a part of efforts to revive the sector. Materials eligible for rebate include: cotton sewing thread containing 85 per cent or more by weight of cotton; cotton sewing thread, denim, plain weave weighing more than 100g per sq. mt.; sewing thread of man-made staple fibres; woven fabrics of polyester staple fibres, chenille fabrics, tulles and other net fabrics.
Due to a number of problems afflicting the industry the employment figure in textile and clothing industry has plunged to about 8.000 now from 35,000 when at its peak.
The country-wide blockade and has badly affected production at most textile units in Bangladesh following supply disruption of raw cotton. In absence of adequate transport facilities a significant quantity of the raw material is stuck up at Chittagong Port from where imported cotton is transported to textile production units. The overall production in textile sector declined by around 20 to 25 per cent over the last one month due to the short supply of raw cotton, sources say.
Textile manufacturers have imported around 4.30 million bales of cotton in 2014 from countries including US, India, Pakistan, Australia, Uzbekistan etc, informed the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA). The volume of imported cotton was 4.0 million and 3.5 million in 2013 and 2012 respectively. Textile millers have been importing on an average 0.35 million bales of cotton every month to meet local demand, the BTMA data reveals.
BTMA statistics showed more than 1,409 textile units across the country have been facing 25 per cent shortage of raw cotton. Local spinners can supply 95 per cent of yarn for the knitwear sub-sector and nearly 40 per cent of fabric for the woven sub-sector. Raw cotton imported by them is now waiting at the port due to transportation problem, informed a source.
Illies Engineering has been appointed Itema's sole agent in Indonesia. All activities related to the sale of Itema weaving machines, spare parts and after sales services in Indonesia will be carried out by Illies Engineering.
The new set up in Indonesia is in line with the company's strategy to build up a stronger presence in important weaving markets throughout Asia Pacific with the creation of a new dedicated regional hub based out of Hong Kong. Indonesia is for Itema a key market in Asia Pacific and the company is committed to providing, besides the best weaving machines in the world, the most accurate and dedicated service. Itema is the world’s largest privately held provider of advanced weaving solutions. It works relentlessly to provide the best tailored solutions. It already relocated Cristiano Capitanio, regional head of sales, to the Hong Kong hub and allocated resources focused on after-sales service and marketing related activities. This is a move to enhance local presence and increase efficiency.
Illies has long-standing know-how about the Asian textile market and works with top industry players of the sector to develop and take care of their business in the region. It is known for professionalism, reliability and expertise in the textile industry.
The year 2014 has been positive for the India’s textile industry. Second largest employment generator, the textile industry is said to be contributing around 14 percent to industrial production, 4 percent to the country’s GDP and 12 percent of the country’s exports as well as around 8 percent of the total excise revenue collection. At this interesting growth juncture, the country needs to come up with quick measures to tackle issues blocking its prospects in the global textile trade.
While the country can race ahead with its expertise and rich resources in terms of quality raw material, skilled labour and production capacity, its time, the nation prepares itself to take advantage of China’s diminishing competitiveness in global textiles. The number of manufacturer-exporter is grappling with various issues like increasing labour cost, appreciating Yuan against dollar, rising power cost and its deliberate move towards value-added industries. Experts say that Indian textile industry can grow rapidly if the players focus their energies on value addition, improving efficiency, modernization of units and integrated operations.
India is expected to consolidate its position in the coming years The Indian textile and
apparel industry was estimated at $108 billion in 2013 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent from 2008-2013. It is projected to continue to grow at a CAGR of 12 per cent and reach $440 billion by 2025.
After the Narendra Modi-led stable government took charge at the Center, there were a lot of expectations. While the government was able to garner attention through its budget announcements with a proposal of setting up a few mega textile clusters with a fund allocation of Rs 200 crores as well as recent approval to the Constitutional Amendment Bill on Goods & Services Tax (GST), which is expected to lead a decision on rollout of an ambitious indirect tax reform expected to raise revenues and boost growth.
Government’s efforts to bring artisans from rural clusters like Varanasi and Chanderi on online platforms like Flipkart with the help of designers may also help in promoting brand India on the global platform. After completion of the 100 days at the centre, the government launched an ambitious new initiative to promote domestically manufactured products and attract investments. ‘Make in India’ campaign covering 25 sectors, including the textile and garment industry, was unveiled by the Prime Minister in the presence of industrialists and biggies from the corporate world of India and abroad at a ceremony in New Delhi.
Hurdles to growth
The vocational training offered in India mismatches with the needs of casual workers who constitute over 90 percent of the labour force, resulting in a shortage of skilled workers at the national level. In contrast, the Chinese vocational education and training (VET) system, which is similar to India’s, targets a larger population as the average education level of its working age population is higher. Also there is no uniform policy and structure for such initiatives across states.
Also while global textile sourcing is shifting towards India and China, there is a rise in global machinery companies building their manufacturing units in the country posing direct and stiff competition for the homegrown players, who are far behind in bringing the level of technology used by their global counterparts. Lack of proper infrastructure, high power costs are some of the other hurdles to growth. Unlike in countries like China and Bangladesh, which have developed large production units, India lacks such set-ups that can cater to large orders and rising demand making it lag behind in the competition.
Industry veterans point out that to tap the growth opportunities that are clearly visible, the industry must invest in modernization and consolidation of weaving, processing and garmenting capacities to increase productivity and quality. And the Indian government must play its role in implementing industry friendly policies and adequate measures like labour laws reforms to attract investments and trigger growth.