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Bangladesh New Accord fails in brands legal accountability to suppliersThe recent renewal of the Bangladesh Accord has sparked a debate amongst industry leaders on the feasibility its renewal. While some believe, the agreement has led to substantial improvement in safety standards in Bangladesh factories, others are skeptical about the model’s ability to foster collaboration within the industry, writes Kim van der Weerd, Co-host of Manufactured Podcast, writer, consultant in a Textile Today write up.

Fails to shoulder supplier responsibility

The article quotes Elizabeth Cline, Author and Director- Policy and Advocacy, Remake who argues the new Accord encourages brands to enforce health and safety standards in garment factories. It makes brands legally responsible to adhere to worker safety rules in factories. However, it acquits them from their responsibility towards suppliers. The new Accord is an agreement between trade unions and brands, says Nurul Muktadir Bappy, who earlier worked with the Bangladeshi supplier Epcot. Though this compliance shake was needed, it would have been done in other ways.

Matthijs Crietee, Secretary-General, International Apparel Federation agrees, earlier, manufacturers were notBangladesh New Accord fails in brands legal accountability considered suitable to be the members of the International Apparel Federation. However now, perceptions are changing and suppliers are being treated on an equal level with brands, multistakeholder initiatives, unions, and employers,

Need to share financial risks and rewards

The author writes, to assert more control over safety standards in garment factories, brands need to share the financial risks and rewards involved in the production of their garments. However, the new Accord fails to make brands responsible to commit to making financial investments of at least 50 per cent of projected demand for a period equal to the supply chain’s total lead time. It also fails to compel brands to make prices compliant with demands.

If a brand is made to pay a deposit equal to the supply chain’s total lead time, it would compel them assume their fair share of the losses in lieu of changing consumer demands. Similarly, if a brand’s demand forecasts fail, they need to bear the losses equally with suppliers.

If suppliers are freed from shouldering the responsibility of changing consumer demands alone, they can concentrate on their workers’ conditions. Brands therefore, need to be made equally responsible for production of their garments. They also need to share financial risks equally. This alone would foster true collaboration between industry stakeholders.

  

The Lycra Company has introduced a new breakthrough technology called Lycra Adaptiv fibre. The novel fibre allows garments to have a better fit for various lifestyles, movements and different body types. The accompanying new brand identity, Lycra Adaptiv, was created to communicate these new and beneficial motion attributes.

Made from a ‘revolutionary’ polymer, the patent-pending, adaptive fibre is said to have a unique chemistry that allows it to adjust to a wearer’s functional needs in a hybrid manner. When the wearer is at rest, the polymer adapts its compressive holding force to deliver the right fit, shape and control, and when the wearer is in motion, the polymer adapts its elasticity to deliver improved comfort in motion and a second-skin effect allowing the garment to stay in place better. Garments made with fabrics containing Lycra Adaptiv fibre are also said to be durable and easier to put on and take off.

The Lycra Company has conducted internal studies to assess wear performance by comparing fabrics and garments containing Lycra Adaptiv fibre versus the same fabrics and garments containing only generic spandex. The company says that results show several advantages in using Lycra Adaptiv fibre including comfort-in-motion and second skin performance accompanied by shape retention and greater freedom of movement

The Lycra Company worked with DIP agency to develop a new Lycra sub-brand identity that communicates the “adaptive” nature of this new fibre. The global agency FCB was selected to develop the campaign ‘Lycra Adaptiv fibre Adapts to your world’. The campaign leverages computer-generated graphics to promote the adaptive nature of the ground-breaking spandex (elastane) fibre innovation, Lycra says.

  

The REACH4texiles project just kicked off. Funded by the European Commission, it aims at exploring solutions for fair and effective market surveillance on textile products.

The project pools together the key actors to address three objectives including Keeping non-compliant products away from the single market, increasing skills and knowledge and supporting a network addressing chemicals in textiles and applying the EU regulation 2019/1020

The 2 years project will share best practices, identify efficient approaches against non-compliant products, offer training and support for a more effective surveillance and for level playing field.

The first objective of the project will be pursued by increasing knowledge on market surveillance functioning by and working on a risk-based approach to identify products at higher risk.

The second objective supports a network to address the specificities of chemicals in textiles with market surveillance authorities and involving other relevant stakeholders. The third objective focuses on sharing knowledge with market surveillance actors on textile products and suitable test methodologies.

Supported by the European Commission DG Growth, the project team is coordinated by the Belgian test and research center Centexbel and include the European Textiles and Apparel industry confederation, EURATEX, the German national textile and fashion association Textile und Mode, T+m, the Italian association Tessile e Salute. Several other European industry associations and national authorities are welcomed to become involved through the project activities.

  

Indiex’s second quarter sales rew by 51 percent compared with the corresponding period last year, and 7 percent versus 2019 on a constant currency basis.

With 99 percent of Inditex brand stores now open, sales have been gaining even more momentum. The retailer’s retail store and online sales increased by 9 percent between August 1 and September 9 compared with 2019. Compared with 2020, those sales rose 22 percent on a constant currency basis.

In the first six months to July 31, Inditex’s net sales reached €11.9 billion, 49 percent higher than in the same period last year. Sales in constant currencies grew by 53 percent.

The company’s t online sales in constant currency increased 36 percent compared with the corresponding period last year, and 137 percent versus 2019. The company said it expects online sales to account for more than 25 percent of overall store revenue in the full fiscal year.

In the first half, EBITDA increased 109 percent to €3.1 billion, while EBIT reached €1.7 billion. That compares with an EBIT loss of 198 million in the first half of 2020.

Net income in the first half was €1.3 billion, compared with a loss of €195 million in the first six months of last year.

  

Led by fashion powerhouses Hugo Boss and Elam, 14 brands and innovators have joined the CanopyStyle and Pack4Good initiatives. They have committed to end sourcing paper, packaging, and viscose textiles from the world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests and to scale up the use of Next Generation alternatives.

A key priority of Canopy’s work with brands is the accelerated commercial-scale production of game-changing Next Generation Solutions. With intensifying market demand for these circular-economy alternatives, today’s new brand partners are joined by four additional Next Generation innovators. These technology ventures are developing breakthrough production innovations to alleviate today’s sourcing pressures on vital forests.

The companies signing on to CanopyStyle and Pack4Good are committed to ensuring their viscose and packaging supply chains will be:

● Free of Ancient and Endangered Forests including all recent deforestation.

● Maximizing recycled and alternative Next Generation fibres (such as regenerated cotton or agricultural residues).

● Preferencing FSC-certified wood if virgin wood fibre continues to be used.

  

Messe Frankfurt France has launched the first Texcare Forum France to dynamize the offer for textile care.

The first Texcare Forum France will be held onSeptember 27at the CCI of Nantes St-Nazaire. The event will kick-start the sector's recovery and the development of its economic activity. It will bring together a fully representative offer of the industry: equipment, products, services and insurances, for textile care specialists such as laundries, drycleaners and launderettes. Around 15 exhibitors and partners are scheduled to attend, including:

Alliance Laundry Systems (PRIMUS), Association Française des Laveries (AFL), CTTN-IREN, Electrolux Professional, Fédération Française des Pressings et Blanchisseries (FFPB), Gemsys, Generali Assurances, Gesticlean / Brooclean, Girbau, Immel / Lavandys,Kreussler Textile Care, LM Control, Miele Professional, Royant. Institutions and associations will complete this array of professionals.

Messe Frankfurt France will focus on the latest advancements in this constantly evolving industry by staging a series of conferences throughout the day around four themes.

  

Broomfield, Colorado-based footwear company Crocs has launched a new bio-based version of its proprietary Croslite foam material, set to hit shelves around the world in early 2022.

Developed in collaboration with global materials science company Dow, the new bio-based Croslite is made from sustainably sourced waste and byproducts, transformed using Ecolibrium Technology. Crocs is the first footwear brand to go-to-market with this technology, which, it claims, offers “all the comfort you expect from Crocs, but with far less carbon.

The material will be incorporated into existing Crocs designs, including its now iconic classic clog, as part of efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of each pair of Crocs shoes by 50 per cent. According to the company, its decision to use the new material in its existing products, rather than create a separate sustainable line, will result in faster progress in its efforts to lower emissions.

In July, Crocs announced its intentions to become a net zero emissions brand by 2030 and the company also has plans to become 100 per cent vegan before the end of 2021. In addition, the company said that it is currently exploring sustainable alternatives for its packaging, as well as ways of extending the lifespan of its clogs through initiatives such as consumer-led donations, recycling and re-commerce programs. Crocs is also in the process of transitioning to renewably sourced energy in its offices and distribution centers.

  

A webinar organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Sri Lanka, with leaders of the apparel sector highlighted the industry’s prioritization of employee safety with adherence to comprehensive health measures, while ensuring business continuity and thereby the industry’s sustenance. The theme of the webinar was: The pandemic resilient corporate success of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry. It featured Aroop Hirdaramani, Director, Hirdaramani Group; Shirendra Lawerence, Executive Director, MAS Holdings; Hasib Omar, Executive Director, Moose Clothing Company and Jeeith Senarathne, Senior Manager, Star Garments Group It was moderated by Presantha Jayamaha, President, AMCHAM Sri Lanka.

The four leaders representing some of the industry’s biggest players assured while more than 90 per cent employees have been partially vaccinated, and 70 per cent have been fully vaccinated, companies are going above and beyond in adhering to the health and safety guidelines, seeking to provide the maximum possible protection to employees.

The apparel industry leaders acknowledged the government and health authorities for their contribution in vaccinating employees and the Joint Apparel Associations Forum (JAAF) in advocating vaccination of all employees. While prioritizing employee safety, the industry has to also focus on economic sustainability, to avoid dismantling the relationships that have been built over decades. These are critical to the future of the sector, which accounts for almost half the country’s export earnings. It employs 350,000 individuals directly, and has created 700,000 indirect jobs, and contributes 6 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), they noted.

  

Kornit Digital’s 2020 Impact and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, reiterates the company’s commitment to produce approximately 2.5 billion apparel items in a responsible manner by 2026. Kornit’s ESG goals include changing the way it conducts business, create meaningful impact in local communities, and achieves environmental sustainability, in addition to how Kornit will continue to build a diverse and inclusive company culture, foster employee growth and development, and empower fair and safe labor practices globally.

In addition to enabling eco-friendly production processes with technology and consumables that use less water, reduce waste, and minimize the carbon footprint, Kornit technology solutions also enable sustainable production on demand, which eliminates overproduction of apparel and other textile goods. A 2021 Life Cycle Assessment conducted on two flagship products, the Kornit Atlas MAX and Kornit Presto S, demonstrated that relative to traditional analog processes, Kornit’s digital production systems used up to 95 per cent less water and 94 per cent less energy, and produced up to 83 per cent less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the Presto S system and up to 93 per cent less water and 66 per cent less energy, and produced up to 82 per cent less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the Atlas MAX system.

  

Net sales of the H&M Group in local currencies increased by 14 percent during the third quarter 2021, i.e., in the period 1 June 2021 to 31 August 2021, compared with the corresponding period in 2020. Converted to SEK, net sales increased by 9 percent to SEK 55,585* m (50,870).

The Group’s strong recovery continues with more full-price sales and good cost control. The group’s sales development continued to be affected by the ongoing pandemic, with considerable variation between markets. Lockdowns and restrictions continued to hamper development, particularly in Asia. However, as restrictions eased, sales in store picked up in many markets while online sales continued to increase.

The brand shut 180 stores temporarily. Stores that remained open operated with restrictions on opening hours, number of customers and store space. Most of the H&M group’s markets still had restrictions resulting in reduced footfall and around 100 of the stores remained temporarily closed.

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