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The upward adjustments made by the Cotton Association of India (CAI) and Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) in cotton production forecasts led to cotton candy prices dipping by 0.42 per cent to Rs 62,220 recently. CAI has increased its estimate for cotton production this season to 309.70 lakh bales, while CCI reported procuring 32.81 lakh bales so far.

The anticipation of increased global supply, fueled by higher production forecasts in India and Australia, contributed to a decline in cotton prices. However, end stocks continued to decline, suggesting a potential tightening of supply-demand dynamics.

The cotton candy market experienced fresh selling, leading to a 1.62 per cent rise in open interest, with prices falling by Rs 260. Presently, cotton candy is being sold at Rs 62,100, with prices likely to decline further to Rs. 61,990. 

Overall, cotton candy prices are influenced by various factors, including production estimates, demand-supply dynamics, and market sentiment. While the anticipation of increased supply weighs on prices, concerns about dwindling ending stocks could offer some support in the short term.

 

 

E-commerce platform specialising in sportswear and athleisure solutions, Agilitas Sports has appointed Richard Zartman as its new Vice President for Footwear Design. Joining as part of the founding team, Zartman will spearhead the footwear design division for Agilitas Sports' array of athletic sportswear brands.

Expressing his pleasure over Zartman’s addition to the company’s team, Abhishek Ganguly, Founder, emphasised his extensive experience and expertise in footwear design, product creation, and strategy. Zartman's appointment will prove to be  a crucial step towards advancing the company’s vision of innovation and excellence in the sportswear industry, both in India and globally, opines Ganguly. 

Zartman boasts of two decades of experience in footwear design with particularly specialisation in running footwear. Prior to Agilitas Sports, has worked with prominent brands like Brooks Sports and Adidas. 

His mission at Agilitas Sports includes showcasing and elevating Indian footwear design and designers on a global stage. Together with the team at Agilitas Sports, he aims to push the boundaries of footwear excellence, promote an active and healthy lifestyle, and set new sustainability standards in the industry.

In tandem with Zartman's appointment, Agilitas Sports has secured Rs 100 crore in funding from Nexus Venture Partners to expand its operations. Additionally, the company has acquired Mochiko Shoes, a footwear manufacturer in India known for producing footwear for renowned brands such as Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Skechers, and others. This acquisition further consolidates Agilitas Sports' market position and enables it to deliver high-quality athletic footwear solutions.

 

 

The cotton industry anticipates a resurgence in demand and a promising year ahead, driven by renewed optimism and strategic planning. At the 67th annual meeting of the Plains Cotton Growers (PCG) in Lubbock on April 2, 2024, industry leaders convened to address the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Despite recent hardships, PCG President Martin Stoerner expressed confidence in the industry's resilience, foreseeing a brighter outlook for 2024.

According to the latest USDA Prospective Planting report, U.S. producers are gearing up to plant approximately 10.7 million acres of cotton, signaling a slight increase from last year. However, industry insiders speculate that actual planted acreage might surpass projections, ranging between 11 to 11.5 million acres.

Jody Campiche, Vice President of Economics and Policy Analysis at the National Cotton Council, highlighted the gradual improvement in demand, attributing it to global economic dynamics and competition from alternative fibers. To stimulate substantial demand growth, Campiche stressed the importance of a robust GDP performance and addressed challenges posed by just-in-time inventory practices adopted by global mills.

Despite facing stiff competition from synthetic alternatives and intensifying global market competition, industry stakeholders remain upbeat about prospects for the year ahead. Embracing sustainability narratives and enhancing consumer engagement emerge as critical strategies for the sector's revitalization, exemplified by initiatives undertaken by organizations like Cotton Incorporated.

Looking ahead, industry leaders advocate for concerted advocacy efforts and investment in research and development to drive innovation in post-harvest processing technologies and explore new industrial applications for cotton. With concerted efforts aimed at boosting demand and promoting sustainability, the global cotton sector embarks on a collective mission to secure a prosperous future.

 

 

Inditex has made changes in the leadership of Zara Woman, with Lorena Rodríguez taking over as a new director from Ana Risueño, who recently departed from the position. This move signals a shift towards internal talent within the Galician fashion giant.

A pivotal component of Inditex's flagship alongside its Basic and Trafaluc lines, Zara Woman is managed by Beatriz Padín who has been with the group since 1985 and manages Zara's women's division entirely.

By selecting Rodríguez to lead Zara Woman, Inditex has opted for an internal promotion. Rodríguez previously led the Circular department of the brand. The department supplies products to all three divisions of Zara for women.

The leadership change comes on the heels of announcement of Inditex's fiscal year 2023 results that revealed a 30.3 per cent rise in net profit to €5.381 billion. The Spanish congloremerate’s total revenue for fiscal increased by 10.4 per cent to €35.947 billion

Boasting sales of €26.050 billion in conjunction with Zara Home,  Zara reaffirmed its status as the flagship brand within the group in terms of business volume.

 

 

Fast fashion brand Mango has collaborated with Victoria Beckham to launch a collection that blends classic British luxury with Beckham's renowned style and Mango's contemporary design ethos.

Set to be launched on April 23, 2024, the promises to give a modern twist to feminine dresses and knitwear garments. 

Additionally, it also aims to include standout bags, accessories, and shoes to complement their looks.

Mango has been forging collaborations with diverse names such as Simon Miller, Camille Charrière, and Pernille Teisbaek. However, the brand’s collaboration with Beckham collaboration holds particular significance given her high-profile status and fashion influence.

For Mango, this collaboration pursues ambitious growth targets. The brand aims to achieve revenues worth €4 billion besides expanding store count by 500 by 2026.

 

 

The latest ITMF Global Textile Industry Survey, conducted in March 2024, reveals a cautious sense of optimism within the textile sector amidst persisting challenges. Despite a slight uptick in the business environment between November 2023 and January 2024, the overall outlook remained somber in March 2024. Weak demand continues to plague companies across the textile value chain, overshadowing modest improvements in order intake and capacity utilization rates.

Order intake in March 2024 showed a slight improvement, particularly in South-East and South Asia, with notable growth reported among fiber producers and weavers/knitters. However, the global average order backlog experienced a minor dip, while capacity utilization rates edged up to 70 per cent, indicating a slow adjustment to prevailing economic conditions.

The industry's resilience is evident in the relatively low rate of order cancellations, suggesting a semblance of stability despite weak demand. Most survey respondents reported average inventory levels, with the US market showing a mixed picture. While inventories of brands and retailers remain high, wholesalers have managed to reduce their inventories to levels similar to those seen before the pandemic.

Looking ahead, business expectations for September 2024 reflect cautious optimism, with respondents anticipating a delicate balance between more and less favorable conditions. However, challenges persist, as indicated by the survey's findings. The textile industry continues to navigate uncertain terrain, with demand uncertainties and economic fluctuations posing ongoing hurdles.

Despite the challenges, the industry remains cautiously hopeful, with signs of gradual recovery amidst the persistence of obstacles. As companies adapt to evolving market conditions, resilience and strategic planning will be critical in steering the textile sector towards sustained growth and stability.

 

 

Prominent US apparel conglomerate, VF Corporation plans to embark on an ambitious expansion in partnership with global retail giant GMG. 

Spanning the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia, the company’s expansion plan involves setting up over 300 stores for VF Corp's renowned brands, including Vans, The North Face, and Timberland, within the next five years.

As a part of the partnership, GMG will expand the presence of VF Corp's brands by setting up network of mono-brand partner stores across the world. The company currently operates 90 mono-brand stores in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia, which it plans to expand extensively by 2029.

The company also plans to introduce VF Corp’s brands in new Southeast Asian markets. It will particularly focus on the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while extending its footprint into North Africa and Egypt. It will also introduce The North Face brand in the North African market.

Mohammad A. Baker, Deputy Chairman and CEO, GMG, highlights the shared vision between the two entities and the commitment to deliver exceptional consumer experiences. Citing factors like an expanding labor force and a burgeoning consumer base, he underscores the immense growth potential of the SEA market.

Martino Scabbia Guerrini, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, VF Corporation, emphasises on the role of the enhanced partnership in driving regional marketplace strategies and delivering innovative solutions to better cater to local consumers' needs.

Having commenced in 2012 with the brand Timberland in GCC countries, the collaboration between GMG and VF Corporation, has evolved significantly to encompass multiple brands across various regions. Despite VF Corporation registering a 16 per cent discline in Q3of fiscal 2024, the company remains focused on its strategic expansion efforts, underpinned by its partnership with GMG.

 

 

Owner of the House of Fraser, Sports Direct and Flannels, British retail conglomerate Frasers Group has acquired independent menswear retailer Aphrodite.

Established in 1994, Aphrodite operates a store in Sunderland, UK, and has been selling clothing globally through its website, Aphrodite1994.com since 2007.

The retailer stocks apparel and footwear from brands, including Canada Goose, Comme Des Garcons and Paul Smith. It has been planning to expand its sportswear portfolio. In January 2024 it acquired the assets and IP of CrossFit and fitness performance brand WIT Fitness as part of its wider strategy to become a world-leading sports retailer. 

The group has also gradually increased its shareholding of online apparel specialists Boohoo where it is now the largest single shareholder, and Asos.

 

 

Renowned luxury couture label Anita Dongre has joined forces with Bemberg, the esteemed brand of cupro fibre by Asahi Kasei Corporation, Japan, to unveil their latest collection, 'Azure.' This collaboration marks a significant stride towards sustainable fashion, blending nature-inspired aesthetics with eco-friendly craftsmanship.

Anita Dongre, celebrated for her timeless elegance and sustainability ethos, seamlessly integrates Bemberg yarn into the 'Azure' collection, epitomizing a steadfast commitment to responsible fashion. The collection, reminiscent of the serene sea, boasts soft hues and delicate palettes, offering breezy dresses, kaftans, and elegant sets perfect for spring-summer wardrobes.

Founder and Creative Director of Anita Dongre, expressed her enthusiasm, highlighting the brand's dedication to consciousness in every aspect of their business. The 'Azure' collection signifies this dedication, featuring Bemberg yarn known for its luxurious feel and biodegradability, aligning perfectly with the brand's eco-mindfulness.

Takeshi Iitaka, General Manager of Bemberg Sales and Marketing Department two at Asahi Kasei Corporation, emphasized the collaboration's significance in promoting sustainable luxury fashion. The partnership resulted in a mesmerizing capsule collection embodying elegance and eco-mindfulness, utilizing the unique properties of Bemberg yarn.

This partnership underscores a shared vision for a more sustainable fashion industry, where environmental responsibility harmonizes with style and quality. The 'Azure' collection stands as a testament to this vision, offering discerning consumers garments of unparalleled beauty and environmental integrity.

 

 

Committed to conducting business ethnically and sustainably, Teejay Lanka aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, says Salman Nishtar, Group COO - Marketing & Supply Chain. The company's proactive embrace of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles is integral to its core business strategy, adds Nishtar. The company has set ambitious targets for 2030 and 2050, boosted by a comprehensive plan guiding its journey towards this overarching objective.

Teejay Lanka has developed a monitoring system to track key metrics such as carbon emissions, water usage, and energy consumption, enhancing resource efficiency. Its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is validated by the Science Based Targets initiative, ensuring alignment with a 1.5°C trajectory. The company targets a 42 per cent reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions and a 25 per cent reduction in Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services by 2030.

To support biodiversity, Teejay also pledges to plant one million trees along the Kelani River by 2050. It has already initiated reforestation projects in India and Sri Lanka on a Group level, earning him the top spot in the Higg Index among global players, highlighting its eco-friendly practices.

On the social front, Teejay's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives encompass raising awareness about sanitation, constructing washroom facilities in schools, and supplying hygiene products to promote health and hygiene standards. 

The company's Akura program, repurposes unused paper into books for schools, promoting sustainability and education concurrently. In terms of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Teejay's ‘SheCan’ initiative focuses on increasing women's leadership at the Group level, with the knitting operation in its India plant exclusively staffed by female employees.

Teejay's commitment to governance is underscored by its recognition as the No. 1 corporate for transparency in corporate reporting for the second consecutive year by Transparency International Sri Lanka, reflecting its unwavering dedication to transparency and accountability.

 

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