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UK department store operator Debenhams is the latest retailer to sign a sustainability plan, designed to reduce environmental footprint of clothing over its lifecycle. The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) is led by the UK government's Waste & Resources Action Program (WRAP).                              

By 2020, signatories aim to have reduced their carbon and water footprints as well as the amount of waste sent to landfill by 15 per cent. The SCAP 2020 commitment also includes a 3.5 per cent cut in waste arising per ton of clothing. If these targets are met, WRAP expects to save the equivalent annual CO2 emissions of nearly 2,50,000 cars, water in 1,60,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and over 16,000 tons of waste.

Key action areas include reducing the environmental footprint of clothing through fiber and fabric selection, extending the useful life of garments, and increasing re-use and recycling. The campaign includes the SCAP footprint calculator, which enables a brand or retailer to quantify the carbon, water and waste footprints of its entire garment portfolio.

WRAP works with major UK businesses, trade bodies and local authorities and helps people recycle more and waste less, both at home and at work, and offers economic as well as environmental benefits.‎

Intercontinental Exchange Group (ICE) plans to issue a new world cotton contract to reflect global prices in the fourth quarter of 2014. The new contract would trade alongside ICE's US-based cotton futures contract.

The exchange expects the new international contract to begin trading before the end of the year and have its first delivery in early to mid 2015. The exchange's current cotton contract is only for US-grown cotton, with delivery points in the US. While the US is the world's top exporter of cotton, an international contract is necessary because the US contract doesn't necessarily reflect the global cotton market.

Both the International Cotton Association, a trade group, and American Cotton Shippers Association, an industry group, are now working together on the contract. The origins of cotton that could be delivered to fulfill the futures contract include Brazil, US, Australia, India and five West African nations like Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali and Ivory Coast. The contract price will be based on US-origin cotton, with premiums and discounts for cotton grown in other countries.

Australia, will most likely trade at a premium, while fibers from other origins will be discounted to varying degrees. The size of a lot on the world contract will be £55,000, nearly £5,000 pounds more than the US contract. That is because cotton tends to be shipped in £55,000 containers.

Hopes are high that the US will renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) before its expiry on September 30, 2015. But there have also been calls from US policy makers to investigate the effectiveness of the trade program, which provides duty-free access to the United States for products from sub-Saharan Africa.

Total US imports from AGOA beneficiary countries grew at an average annual rate of 6.7 per cent during the 13-year period from 2000 to 2013. Growth was most pronounced in the first eight years, when the value of these imports increased almost fivefold in 2008. Since then, however, US imports from AGOA countries have fluctuated sharply.

The increase in imports was primarily from three categories -- apparels, cars, and refined petroleum products. Apparels was one of the categories having experienced particularly strong export growth in the whole 13-year period.

Three major recommendations have been made: improving supply capacity, including seeking out foreign direct investment and capacity-building assistance; making AGOA permanent and binding; and improving the business climate of beneficiary countries. This could include improved rule of law and protection of intellectual property rights.

One suggestion is expanding the list of eligible products, ending country eligibility requirements to aid beneficiary countries in formulating long-term export strategies, and increasing trade assistance to improve both institutional and trade capacity.‎

Amsterdam can be called the European capital of denim. The concentration of jeans brands in the Dutch capital is indeed impressive. Key industry players like G-star and Tommy Hilfiger Europe are headquartered here. The boutique denim trade show Kingpins will be putting on its first European edition this week in Amsterdam. 

This October, House of Denim will open Denim City Headquarters in Amsterdam. The central goal of House of Denim is to educate the denim industry about cleaner production methods that conserve water, while attracting industry players as well as denim brands themselves. Members will be able to take advantage of resources offered at Denim City Headquarters: 125 sq. mtr. of the headquarters will be set aside for archives provided by the House of Denim and partners.

A 275 mt. sq. space will be equipped with sewing machines, serving both as a production workshop for up cycling companies as well as a laboratory for business incubators. Up until now only available to Dutch students, the program will welcome 25 international students in 2015. Denim City Headquarters will provide space for workshops. 300 sq. mtr. will be rented out as office space for denim companies or experts who want a pied-à-terre in Amsterdam - in line with House of Denim’s goal of connecting the industry’s professionals.


China has framed tough new environmental laws for textile units. That means clothing retailers need to choose their textile supply chain partners with much greater care and transparency. The new law will come into effect from January 2015 and allows authorities to jail company executives for up to 15 days if they do not complete environmental impact assessments or ignore warnings to stop pollution.

The news will have ramifications in the textile and clothing sector, where environmental transgressions are still widespread. The Beijing-based Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) has developed an online map of polluting Chinese enterprises.  It says new wastewater discharge regulations introduced into China’s textile sector are being systematically flouted by the country’s dyeing and finishing sector. IPE is also lobbying with the government for a system of PRTR (pollution release and transfer register), which is common in European and western nations. 

The Chinese government has had tough environmental laws in place for many years, but local environmental agencies have often lacked the resources and the teeth to enforce this legislation. Decades of rapid economic development and a huge population have left China with serious pollution problems. A report issued in April showed that nearly 60 per cent of monitored areas in China had very poor or relatively poor underground water quality last year.

Dutch capital Amsterdam will host the next edition of Kingpins Show on May 7 and 8, 2014. Focusing exclusively on denim, the show brings together some of the world’s best mills, laundries, trim, and technology suppliers to provide one stop shopping for denim brands, retailers, and garment makers.

Under the banner ‘of Comfort at any Degree’, the Invista stand will feature a variety of innovations that address consumer needs for comfortable garments that move with them, help keep them warm, cool, or protected. From its Lycra DualFX technology for super stretch garments that keep their shape, to thermal concepts such as its Coolmax All Season and Thermolite technologies, and durable options such as Tough Max Lycra and Cordura Denim fabrics, visitors of the Invista stand will find solutions for many common consumer issues.

Underscoring its commitment to develop consumer relevant market concepts, Invista will host a seminar on May 7 to present the results of a recently completed global denim study. The presentation will cover specific insights about what consumers are looking for in their jeans as well as some of the larger megatrends that are influencing their behavior.

In addition Invista will showcase a video of the denim desires of consumers in Amsterdam.  The Dutch own more jeans per capita than people in any other country.‎‎

Italian manufacturer Carvico has recently launched its innovative performance swim fabric, Vita. The new material is an evolution of Carvico’s bestselling material Malaga, and is made of 22 per cent Xtra Life Lycra, Invista’s premium swimwear fiber, and 78 per cent recycled polyamide.

Comparative tests were carried out both in laboratories -- for testing the fabric’s resistance to sun creams and oils -- and outside laboratories - in real-life usage, simulating 8.800 hours of swimming in the pool. Two groups of young swimmers wore swimsuits: one wore swimsuits created from Vita fabric, made using Xtra Life Lycra fiber, and a second group wore identical swimsuits made with a similar fabric containing chlorine-resistant yarn from the competitor.

The results showed the superiority of Vita’s resistance to degradation from creams and oils, an excellent shape retention and fit, four times higher compression capacity, a double resistance to fiber breakage in comparison to the competitor’s fabric with other chlorine-resistant elastane. Moreover, Vita fabric is characterized by 20 per cent thinner material thickness and smoother and softer hand characteristics. Carvico is a manufacturer of stretch warp knit fabrics used for swimwear, sportswear, underwear and outerwear garments.


The International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) has re-launched the Green Wool Facts brochure. The second edition of the Green Wool Facts publication highlights recent work on wool’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its impact on the environment. The 18-page booklet provides case studies on the topic and also explains IWTO’s push to prove the environmental credentials of wool. It points out that 50 per cent of the weight of wool is comprised of pure organic carbon; in comparison to cotton and viscose, which contain 40 per cent and 24 per cent respectively. Therefore, the claim that wool is a naturally green product. In addition, IWTO says that wool is readily biodegradable, unlike most synthetic fibers, and wool clothing and processing wastes are routinely recycled into other durable forms of textile (woolen-spun knitwear, insulation, geo textiles).

The relaunch, IWTO’s 83rd Congress is currently in progress in Cape Town, and gives the organisation an opportunity to highlight the importance of the wool sector and its relationship with the environment.

IWTO is an international and independent organisation, which focuses on world wool trade regulations. Its annual congress gives an opportunity for leaders in the trade to meet and help build a professional and sustainable industry, and for people to gain a better understanding of the South African sector.‎

Shri Govindaraja Textiles will start a yarn manufacturing operation in North Carolina with an investment of $40 million over the next three years. The unit will create 84 jobs. Located in a 1,80,000 sq. ft. building, it will buy North Carolina cotton and produce combed yarn.

Incorporated in 1999, Shri Govindaraja Textiles is part of the Shri Govindaraja Group, which is a part of the larger Sri Jayavilas group. It is one of the largest spinning groups in India, with 1.1 million spindles and 30,000 employees. The main activity is manufacturing of cotton yarn, polyester yarn, polyester cotton and polyester viscose blended yarn. With 504 rotors, it has grown to four lakh spindles and 8,000 rotors. It produces 100 per cent grey cotton ring spun and open end yarns for weaving and knitting.

The company specializes in 100 per cent grey cotton yarn ranging from 2s to 160s counts with over 60 per cent of yarn revenues derived from the fine/superfine count (60s and above counts) category. The company also has a good presence in the value-added domain through products such as gassed, high-twisted and compact spun yarn.‎

Zumba, the largest dance fitness company in the world, is implementing Lectra Fashion PLM to manage its active wear line. Lectra Fashion PLM will be used for Zumba’s apparel line starting with design, incorporating product development and sourcing. This will allow for the brand to better manage efficiencies with factories to understand sample development process, fabrics and trims, lab dips and more. And Lectra, with a vast network of partners within the supply chain, can help Zumba achieve its business objectives through offering process expertise and advanced technology.

Lectra is the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials—fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials. It develops advanced specialized software and cutting systems.

Zumba was founded in 2001. Known as the ultimate fitness-party, Zumba classes blend upbeat world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography, for an effective, total-body workout. The lifestyle brand designs, develops and sells apparel from active wear essentials to fashion-infused designs, offering a range of pieces that transition effortlessly from the studio to the streets. Zumba aims to grow a successful apparel brand that can transcend any space, whether fitness or every day life.‎,‎

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