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The world's largest fashion marketplace, Magic, is being held in Las Vegas, from February 17 to 19. Magic has 10 separate communities, each tailored to offer brands and knowledge that will appeal to buyers from the field.

Among the offerings this year is the new emporium Global Artisans at Sourcing at Magic, which will showcase handmade clothes, jewelry, scarves, handbags and shoes by artists from the Philippines, Cambodia and Nigeria. At the FN Platform, buyers can take their pick from over 1,600 men’s, women’s, juniors and children’s footwear brands from more than 20 countries.

The latest edition to Magic’s stable of trade shows is Playground, which promises to deliver a new outlook on children’s apparel. It is dedicated to contemporary children’s brand market and will have about 100 kids’ wear brands.
Magic is also continuing to underline its global credentials with Japan Fun Time, which will feature young contemporary accessories brands from Japan. Japan Fun Time can be found at WWD Magic and is a continuing partnership with the Japan Fashion Week-International Fashion Fair trade expo.

ENK Vegas is focusing on ethical brands with new group Conscious Collections, which consists of 46 brands that focus on social consciousness, fair trade, organic materials and philanthropy.

Global retailers will focus on safety standards and compliance in Bangladesh's garment sector at the sourcing trend meet to be held in Hong Kong in mid-March. SourceTrends is an annual event for apparel and footwear brands, manufacturers, retailers, agents and suppliers. This year, Bangladesh is on the radar due to the Tazreen Fashions fire and the Rana Plaza building collapse.

Every year, retailers, brands and manufacturers from all over the world attend the meeting to discuss updates on safety standards, compliance and future plans in the apparel and footwear sectors. A full-day event is planned with five panel discussions that address product testing regulations, US customs and supply chain traceability.

Each panel will comprise speakers from retail or brand organisations, product testing or audit or inspection companies, along with leaders from international trade associations from the textile, apparel and footwear industry. There will be a discussion of Alliance, a North American garment factory inspection agency, and Accord, another platform of 190 retailers and brands for factory inspection.

The discussion will shed light on how brands and retailers can use the experiences of both Accord and Alliance on factory inspection globally. American Apparel and Footwear Association, American Chamber of Commerce, Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, SGS, Oeko-Tex, Business Social Compliance Initiative, Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production are organising the meeting.

Despite mounting pressure from the US to do away with incentives for textile exporters, India has decided to continue giving sops to textile exporters this fiscal. This comes as a major relief to exporters. Reminding India of its export competitiveness in the textile segment that was attained eight years ago, as per the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), US India no longer qualifies to give such concessions. But India has stuck to its stand as the government does not feel compelled to withdraw textile export incentives while announcing the forthcoming Budget or the Foreign Trade Policy.

Meanwhile, Commerce and Textile Ministries have started working on alternative schemes that are amenable to WTO, so that export sops for the sector can be replaced. As per sources, the US has been claiming that India needs to stop export sops for the textiles sector from 2015 but the Ministry believes in sticking to its deadline of phase-out period that ends in 2018. The sops to be phased out include focus product and focus market schemes targeted at incentivized markets, the EPCG scheme and the interest subvention scheme.

India argues that the phase-out period ends in 2018 since the WTO undertook a calculation of India’s world trade share only in 2011, and determined that it had retained competitiveness on the basis of data of 2009-10. As per WTO statistics, India’s share in world trade for textile and clothing was 4.66 per cent in 2013 with exports at $37 billion.

With the revival of textile sector in UK, nearly 15,000 jobs could be created in the UK textile and apparel sector by 2020. Last year 5,000 new jobs were created in textile manufacturing in the UK.

Post-recession growth is coming from micro companies rather than well known manufacturers in the UK textile industry. Significant capabilities still exist in traditional sectors such as yarn spinning, knitting and weaving alongside growth in technical textiles, materials and composites.

Increasing costs from competing countries are making UK sourcing more attractive and traditional areas of manufacturing are focused around high unemployment pockets. A number of retailers are supporting repatriation of textile manufacturing to the UK. From princesses' wedding dress to F1 cars, planes and space crafts, UK textile manufacturing is still leading the world in many segments.

Of particular note is the success of the National N Brown Textiles Growth Program, the first ever textile grant growth program in British history, led by N Brown Group, a UK apparel retailer. Launched in 2013, as an incentive scheme, the program has to date invested £1million in grants to 94 companies thereby leveraging an additional £30 million of private sector investment. The UK textile industry is worth £9 billion to the economy and is experiencing year-on-year export and domestic growth.

Textile factories in Bangladesh will be provided funds to help adopt eco-friendly technologies and practices. The fund can be accessed by wet processing units, which are export-oriented or supply to the garment sector. Inefficient resource use and poor environmental practices are major challenges for the textile sector. Textile factories in Dhaka consume 1,500 billion liters of groundwater annually to produce five million tons of fabric, with every kg of fabric gobbling up 300 liters against the global standard of 100 liters per kg of fabric.

Textile dyeing and finishing units in Bangladesh are known to waste large amounts of water as they consume five times the best practice benchmark. Environmental sustainability is important for a country’s mid- and long-term development. It’s estimated Bangladesh can raise its garment exports to $50 billion by 2021 if factories are eco-friendly.

Toxic discharges of the industry pollute both surface and ground water. Long-term sustainability of the industry lies in its ability to produce green textile products mainly due to the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products. However, factories need financial support from the government and price support from buyers to adopt eco-friendly practices.

Export promotion councils in India will undergo an overhaul. Currently, there are 23 export promotion councils of which 10 are administered by the Textiles Mministry. These include apparels, handicrafts, carpets and handlooms. Transparency will be introduced in the election procedure of these councils. The way these councils nominate officers on the board of directors and management will be reviewed. Apart from this, all executive heads of the textile export promotion councils may have to inform the ministry regarding their foreign visits.

Activities of the councils with regard to exports and conduct of exhibitions, buyer-seller meets within India and abroad will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. The government provides funds to these councils to boost exports and other related activities. But exports have been hovering around $300 billion for the last few fiscals.

Export promotion councils help Indian entrepreneurs market themselves globally and guide them through rules and regulations. They help entrepreneurs fulfill their business objectives through effective branding and marketing, technology transfer and upgradation by arranging joint ventures and international collaborations with foreign partners through the process of exhibitions, trade shows and B2B meetings.

Indo Rama Synthetics, India's second largest polyester manufacturer and supplier now aims to increase polyester supply to the fast growing garment sector of Bangladesh. The company also makes supplies polyester and chemicals not only in India, but in Indonesia, Thailand, US and some other countries in the world.

Indo Rama manufactures several types of polyester products including polyester staple fiber , draw texturised yarn, fully drawn yarn, polyester chips. In addition, the company is also supplying manufactured yarn. Founded in 1989, it has a strong footprint both in India and overseas. It produces 50,000 transformers from its single location plant.

Indo Rama also has several technical collaborations with various technology leaders in Japan, Germany and USA. It stands for high quality standards and innovative business practices. It has the country’s largest dedicated polyester manufacturing unit at a single location. The company has a polyester manufacturing capacity of six lakh tons per annum.

Polyester is the most important synthetic fiber accounting for 70 per cent of all man-made fiber consumption. Globally the industry is shifting to China and India, which are slated to be the two most important sourcing destinations for textiles.

Latest data from the Bangladesh embassy in Tokyo, reveals exports from Bangladesh to Japan are likely decrease owing to fall in net income of the Japanese people. Japan government has decided to impose a 10 per cent consumer tax on income of its citizens, which has led to decline in consumer spending. Also there has been a lot of fluctuation in the Japanese yen against the US dollar, which could also result in fall in exports.

However, experts feel that since Bangladeshi exporters have obtained duty-free access to the Japanese market, the negative impact of the above factors could be less. As per the trade councilor letter, Bangladeshi exports to Japan during July-October period this fiscal was less 0.81 percent or $2.40 million than the strategic target of $296.45 million. The net income of Japanese people fell by 16 percent in April in 2014 while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision on whether to proceed with the next proposed sales tax hike in October 2015, to 10 percent from 8 percent. It said the Japanese consumer spending is 60 percent of Gross Domestic Product of the country.

Export Promotion Bureau’s recent data showed at end of FY2013-14, Bangladesh’s exports to Japan amounted to $540 million. In 2012-13 year it was $519 million.

In order to produce high performance fabric, manufacturers either embed chemicals in yarn or go through a process of applying finishes or coatings after production. While these chemicals improve performance, there is a growing consensus that they pose hazards to not only environment but also to the wearer’s health. In addition to health concerns for consumers, who wear these treated textiles, many of the health risks can be higher for workers as well as the communities surrounding the manufacturing plants. Thus, the Eco-system showcase will return at Interfiliere Hong Kong this year with a new focus on ‘human’ by zooming in on working conditions and consumer safety.

The show will have an interactive zone for visitors to fully engage themselves and gain a comprehensive understanding of this global issue. Six topics will be discussed and revealed during the event including chemicals and textile globalisation, role of NGOs, REACH regulation, ethical associations and safety labels, collaborative initiatives from companies, case study of the Rana Plaza’s disaster and improvement on laws. Sustainability conference will also take place throughout the two days in order to deliver in-depth review and insight for the intimate apparel industry experts.

The forthcoming Interfiliere, to be held at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, on March 18 and 19, 2015, will unveil themes for the Autumn/Winter 2016-17, focusing on the two major areas of current global intimate activity. Three themes will be introduced under the ‘Day & Night’ concept: latest novelties for sport and everyday underwear; gorgeous sensual decorated fabrics; and prototypes for more dressy seductive nights.

Safexpress, India's largest supply chain & logistics firm servicing the apparel, fashion and textile industry in a big way, has inaugurated new ultra-modern warehousing facility at Udaipur. Spanning over an area of 4,500 sq. ft., this logistics park is a part of company’s strategy of developing 32 such parks at key industrial hubs in India.

Over the last couple of years, Safexpress has already launched several logistics parks across India. Earlier this year, the company launched two of its state-of-the art parks in Faridabad and Dhule. The Logistics Park in Udaipur is the company’s third successful launch this year.

Speaking about the new launch, Pawan Jain, CMD, Safexpress said, “Udaipur, also known as the 'Venice of East’, is a commercial hub of the world for handicrafts and marble mining. The important industrial minerals of the place are marble, emerald, lime stone and calcite, the transportation of which is very difficult. Udaipur holds vital importance due to its focal location.”

Highlighting the USP of this park at Udaipur, Jain said, “Our Logistics Park at Udaipur has a column-less span of over 90 feet and enables loading/unloading of several vehicles simultaneously. It has a floor load capacity of six metric tons per sq. mt. and a truck docking area width of over 40 ft. Moreover, to make it eco-friendly, we have introduced special go-green initiatives by investing in rainwater harvesting and developing special green zones.”

Safexpress offers a complete spectrum of supply chain and logistics services which include Express Distribution, 3PL, Consulting, SafeAir, Campus2Home, Easy2Move, Stock2Shelf, SafeReturns and Sainik Express.

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