International Observation

  • 2018-12-14
    EU-Japan EPA to Take Effect 1 February 2019
    On 12 December 2018, the European Parliament gave its consent (474 votes for to 152 against with 40 abstentions) to the EU’s trade agreement with Japan, the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated by the EU.  The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will remove almost all custom duties adding up to €1 billion annually for EU companies. It represents a clear stance in support of rules-based, free and fair trade “at a time of serious protectionist challenges”. A Parliament announcement said:

    Agriculture, SMEs win

    While the most sensitive EU sectors such as rice production are safeguarded, wine, cheese, beef, pork, pasta, chocolate and biscuits will enter duty-free either immediately or after a transition period, 205 products with European geographical indications will be protected, to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which make up 78 percent of exporters to Japan. Parliament urges the Commission to set up contact points for them, so that they can quickly benefit from the agreement.

    Railways, services

    Japan opens up its rail procurement market and public procurement in its main cities to European competition. E-commerce, international maritime transport and postal services will also be liberalised.

    Labour codes

    The Parliament welcomed the high level of environmental and labour protection, the commitment to the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, and encourages both parties to combat illegal logging. MEPs nevertheless stressed that Japan must ratify all relevant labour codes set by the International Labour Organisation.

    Parliament also approved today the Strategic Partnership Agreement with 535 votes for, 84 against and 45 abstentions, which extends cooperation to areas such as energy, education, research and development, development, and the fight against climate change and terrorism.

    Japan has already ratified the agreement. After the European Parliament’s approval, the Council is set to give its final go-ahead on 21 December, which allows the agreement to enter into force on 1 February 2019. For the strategic partnership agreement to enter into force, all member states have to ratify it, but a large part of the Agreement can be applied on a provisional basis in early 2019.【Source: Baker McKenzie】
  • 2018-12-14
    Adidas to Continue "Heavy" Investment in Digital
    Adidas says it will continue to invest very heavily into its digital business model as the German sportswear giant looks to boost product innovation and speed-tomarket. Speaking on the firm's earnings call following the release of its third-quarter results this week, CEO Kasper Rorsted told analysts that when it comes to digital, he believes there are still many things Adidas can do. The company has been something of a pioneer in digital innovation, nearshoring using automation and robotics, and looking at IoT from a customer and store point of view. "We have been and will continue to invest very, very heavily into the overall set of our digital business model," says Rorsted. "We are heavily investing in people and can make use of data much more diligently. We are applying dynamic pricing. We are investing in physical infrastructure to ensure we speed up delivery. It's a combination of products, Hype launches surrounding digital tools like the app, like the Creators Club and just continuing to invest to make the app consistent." The Creators Club is a global membership programme that rewards consumers' loyalty with access to a set of specials, including exclusive product offers and events. Consumers in the US are the first who can sign up for the programme in stores and through the Adidas app. "It makes a huge difference that we drive our business and our consumer engagement through the digital channels," Rorsted told analysts. "Some quarters will be great, some quarters will be slower but overall, we're convinced that the digital journey is the right one for the company." CFO Harm Ohlmeyer concurred. Especially in the US, he said Adidas is continuing to invest to reach the consumer faster through digital, through e-commerce, and by investing in building the appropriate infrastructure. "We have the financial strengths to do so and [are] accelerating these things." He added: "We used to run this company like 20 small companies. We want to run it as one company. And we are accelerating our ERP roll-out. We're also standardising some of the business processes, primarily in Asia. And we put all hands on deck for Asia to accelerate as much of these things into 2018 to then get more scale in the years to come." Adidas increased its full-year earnings outlook on Wednesday (7 November) as a result of strong growth in its third-quarter. Net income from continuing operations jumped 19% to EUR656m (US$863m), while sales climbed 3% to EUR5.9bn. Combined sales of the Adidas and Reebok brands continued to expand at strong double-digit rates in both North America (+16%) and AsiaPacific (+15%), but declined 1% in Western Europe in the quarter. Speaking to CNBC following the release of the results, Rorsted said: "Some of our launches in Western Europe have not worked to the extent that we wanted, and there is no doubt that the European economy has been more impacted (by events) than any other in the world. The Brexit decision is perhaps the most unwise we've seen in the past thirty years and that is also affecting consumer spending in Europe." 【Source: just-style Apparel Sourcing Strategy】
  • 2018-12-12
    Fila Debuts New ‘Fila Fjord’ Collection At Pitti
    Sportswear brand Fila unveiled a new premium line, dubbed “Fila Fjord”, this week at Pitti Uomo in Florence.

    Done under the creative direction of Danish-born designer Astrid Andersen, Fila Fjord gives a nod to Fila’s Italian sportwear heritage while taking the brand in a new contemporary designer direction.

    The Fila Fjord autumn/winter ’19 collection has been created with a natural, sustainable and streamlined lifestyle in mind for a new customer. Priced from €50 to over €1,000, it has been developed with a focus on quality textiles and fabrication as a sophisticated collection for the modern wardrobe. Highly developed knitwear centered on the quality of all-natural cashmere fibers, tailored woolen coats sat alongside technical outerwear, and eco-sourced jersey give a new dimension to Fila.

    “This aesthetic is already perceived as contemporary designer wear – Fila Fjord is about matching that perception with the highest possible quality at an elevated but accessible price point,” said Andersen. “I have always pushed the sportswear category that bit further in this respect and translating this idea through a brand as familiar as Fila with Fila Fjord epitomizes that philosophy”

    “The idea of experimenting and creating what comes next within the luxury streetwear market is incredibly exciting,” added U.K.-based stylist Elgar Johnson, who helped to co-design the collection with Andersen. “Of course, nobody knows the answer but I think that makes it even more exciting. From an initial idea with references including cult tv show Twin Peaks to presenting a collection at Pitti with Fila – it has been a whirlwind of excitement and emotion. I hope the audience will share the same vision as myself, Astrid and the Fila team.”【Source: MR Magazine】
  • 2018-12-08
    Living Coral Is Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year
    Say so long to millennial pink. Another pink-tinted hue is set to take over in 2019—according to Pantone, at least.

    The company announced today that Living Coral, a bright coral shade, is its 2019 Color of the Year. Although it may seem more pink in nature, Pantone describes Living Coral as “an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with golden undertones.” This year’s color was Ultra Violet, a deep purple hue. (Despite its ubiquitous nature, millennial pink has never actually been a Pantone color of the year—Pantone doesn’t actually have a hue named millennial pink!)

    The decision of what will be the next year’s Color of the Year is up to the Pantone Color Institute, Pantone’s consulting division that analyzes each year’s color trends. In particular, they pay attention to those that have appeared in branding efforts. Pantone pointed to Airbnb and Apple’s use of coral over the past few months as a sign of the color’s domination.

    “A global team of color experts comb the world looking for new color influences,” said Laurie Pressman, vp of the Pantone Color Institute. “This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.”

    Pantone also cited Living Coral as a color of carefree happiness. A press release says it “symbolizes our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits”—a feeling that, perhaps, people might be craving in today’s landscape.

    “Color enhances and influences the way we experience life,” said Pressman. “As a shade that affirms life through a dual role of energizing and nourishing, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral reinforces how colors can embody our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time.”

    To celebrate this year’s announcement, Pantone teamed up with Tribute Portfolio, a new brand of independent hotels from Marriott, to create a pop-up activation this week: Pantone Pantry by Tribute Portfolio at Art Basel Miami.

    The installation will reportedly reimagine the “traditional hotel experience,” featuring pops of Living Coral at a replica of the concierge desk and a hotel room. It will also feature custom animations created by artistic partners like Sia and Diplo. After the conclusion of Art Basel Miami, the installation will travel to Savannah, Georgia, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

    Pantone also partnered with global materials and innovation consultancy Material ConneXion, as well as Adobe Stock, to bring Living Coral to creatives and designers. With Adobe Stock, they curated a group of Living Coral-colored images available for creative use for Adobe Stock customers; with Material ConneXion, they’ve worked to make it easier for suppliers and designers to source Living Coral in product design.【Source: ADWEEK】
  • 2018-11-30
    H&M announces closure of Cheap Monday brand
    Swedish fashion giant H&M has announced that it is closing down the Cheap Monday brand, with the process beginning immediately and expected to be completed by summer next year.Shares in H&M rose by 0.7 percent following the decision.The Cheap Monday online store and physical shop in London will be closed by the end of this year, according to a statement from H&M. "Cheap Monday has had a negative trend in sales and profits for a long time. The H&M group therefore intends to close down Cheap Monday," the company said.

    A total of 80 employees, most working in Tranås and Stockholm, will be affected by the closure, but will be offered the chance of looking for further work within the H&M Group as well as transition support. "Discussions and negotiations with union representatives have begun and the plan is that the employment periods will end gradually during 2019," the H&M statement said.

    The H&M Group acquired Swedish fashion company FaBric Scandinavien, which runs Weekday and Monki as well as the Cheap Monday brand, back in 2010, after buying 60 percent of the shares in the company two years earlier. H&M also owns several other independent brands, including COS and &OtherStories.【Source: The Local】
  • 2018-11-30
    The North Face reinvents Thermoball with recycled materials
    Outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear brand The North Face has reduced the environmental footprint of one of its iconic products – the ThermoBall Eco jacket – by using recycled materials. One of the the company's largest product lines, the new ThermoBall Eco uses recycled insulation sourced from Primaloft, which is spun from at least five plastic bottles that are diverted from landfill. The price of the jacket will remain the same, the company says. "We know that material production and manufacturing accounts for 60-85% of our total environmental impact," the brand says. "This motivated us to change the materials used in our largest collections to recycled materials. In this case, we're taking plastic bottles and recycling them into fibres and fabrics. Converting ThermoBall to recycled materials is an important step toward creating sustainable change at scale." The company continues: "This evolution builds upon how we've shifted to use recycled fibres across our core products like our iconic Denali jackets back in 1996, our Reaxion and Glacier lines, and with the launch of our Bottle Source collection in early 2018, sourced from plastic bottles from national parks. "When we launched ThermoBall in 2013, it made waves for its groundbreaking use of synthetic insulation. The small round synthetic fibre clusters, which trap heat within small air pockets mimicking down, can offer the lightweight warmth and compressibility of down jackets with the wet-weather performance of synthetic insulation. Independent testing by Kansas State University has shown that ThermoBall has warmth equivalent to 600 fill goose down." 【Source: just-style】
  • 2018-11-28
    Adidas recalls potentially dangerous childrens' swimwear
    Adidas has announced it is recalling a line of swimwear products after customers and a third-party investigation cited safety concerns. Adidas recommends that purchasers of the Infinitex 3-Stripe range of swimwear worn by children up to the age of 14 return the products to an Adidas store or authorised dealer for a full refund or contact Adidas for a product voucher. The swimwear is sold in New Zealand.

    Harald Habermann, Vice President product operations, advanced creation at Adidas says the recall is a "precautionary measure," and that sales of the affected product will stop immediately. The stripes have been reported by customers to come off in water and a third-party investigation cited safety concerns due to the possibility of the stripes becoming tangled with objects or with other children."The safety of our consumers is our highest priority,"Mr Habermann said."We continue to be committed to quality and apologise for any inconvenience this safety notice may cause to consumers."【Source: More FM】
  • 2018-11-19
    Nike House of Innovation 000 in New York City Reflects a New Generation in Sports Performance
    Nike House of Innovation 000 continues the athletic brand’s redefinition. As a company that prides itself on the innovative design of its foot and athletic wear, Nike has chosen to design its retail locations to reflect a new generation in sports performance. The House of Innovation maintains a foundation in flexible design, allowing the retailer to provide its patron with an immersive brand experience.

    The store concept is described as “one floor, one world.” Each floor, inspired by the sounds and movement of New York, highlights different collections within the Nike brand. The retail program of each floor gets more specific as the levels increase. The 68,000 square-foot, six-level destination is the second Nike House of Innovation. The first was opened in Shanghai last month. These stores are the first of a new generation of sport retail experiences for Nike, numbered sequentially around the globe.

    The store’s façade integrates slumped and carved glass. From the street, visitors can witness a display of temporary graphics programmed onto the exterior, creating a full-scale digital billboard to celebrate Nike and NYC’s sport’s innovation.Save this picture!

    A triangular section of the textured glass exterior surrounding the main entrance was replaced by traditional glass. This entry sequence mimics a runner exploding off a starting block. Below the prominent white swoosh and above the doors, the ceiling of this curated entryway is angled at precisely 23.5 degrees - the exact angle of the Nike Swoosh trademark. 【Source: ArchDaily】
  • 2018-10-02
    ZDHC expands its Roadmap to Zero Programme to Man-Made Cellulosic Fibre Production
    With the inclusion of the area of raw material production into its Roadmap to Zero Programme, ZDHC continues to establish itself as the holistic approach to sustainable chemical management in the textile and apparel industry value chain.

    Over the past years, the collaborative efforts of the ZDHC Programme have largely focused on driving chemical management best practices and related innovations in the dyeing and finishing of textile, apparel, leather and footwear. Given the importance of fibre production not only in terms of environmental impact but also for circularity of the industry, it is a logical step for ZDHC to expand its content scope to include raw material production into its Roadmap to Zero Programme. With the global viscose production continuing and projected to grow, the collective action of ZDHC will start with man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF including viscose, modal and lyocell) and expand to further materials in the future.

    Man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF) are produced from natural feedstock, such as wood and plants, using hazardous chemicals. Within the production process of viscose and modal, the chemicals react with the cellulose and create by-products that might be released into air, water and soil, in case the production process is not an integrated (closed loop) process.

    In March 2018 ZDHC hosted the first multi-stakeholder MMCF roundtable with 80% of the global MMCF production attending, including Birla Cellulose, Lenzing Group and the Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose. Several ZDHC Signatory Brands as well as Canopy, Textile Exchange, bluesign and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles attended the event. The roundtable confirmed that the need to develop a clear framework of guidelines for wastewater, sludge, waste and air emissions specific to MMCF production, that maps holistically into the ZDHC toolset, is a key priority for ZDHC. The discussions also confirmed that well-defined expectations for process by-product recovery to address closed loop commitments are needed.

    The guidelines will for now focus on the production of MMCF while the dissolving pulp production process will be considered at a later stage. The first draft of the guidelines is expected at the end of 2018, with pilots foreseen in early 2019. The recently released public disclosure portal of ZDHC will offer brands, retailers and their fibre production partners a recognised platform to demonstrate continuous improvements and environmental performance in a transparent and meaningful way.

    ZDHC is collaborating with Canopy for the MMCF initiative, and in May 2018 Birla Cellulose and the Lenzing Group joined ZDHC as Contributors. As this announcement is released, additional strategic partnerships with other key MMCF stakeholders are under way.【Source: Stichting ZDHC Foundation】
  • 2018-10-01
    Under Armour Is Cutting 400 Jobs as It Restructures
    Under Armour Inc . is cutting about 400 jobs globally as part of its ongoing restructuring effort, the company said Thursday.

    The sportswear company said that it was reducing its workforce by about 3%, which a company spokeswoman said comes out to about 400 employees. Under Armour expects the workforce reduction to be finished by the end of March.

    A little over a year ago, Under Armour announced that it was cutting its workforce by about 2%.

    Under Armour now expects its pretax restructuring charges for the year to be between about $200 million and $220 million, with the workforce reductions resulting in about $10 million in severance charges. The company had expected charges for the year to be between $190 million and $210 million.【Source: BARRON'S】
  • 2018-09-28
    The North Face Expands Use of Climate-beneficial Materials
    Outdoor clothing and equipment company The North Face is exploring new ways to incorporate climate beneficial materials into its products – including an
    expansion of its Cali Wool Collection made from Climate Beneficial Wool. The brand first launched the line in 2017 with a beanie hat, and has now extended it to include a jacket and scarf. All products are made in the US from Climate Beneficial Wool, which has a net negative carbon impact at the ranching stage of production. 

    Partnering with Bare Ranch in California and Fibershed, the non-profit behind the Climate Beneficial Wool programme, the initiative encourages ranchers to
    adopt carbon farming techniques that draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere down into the soil, mitigating the effects of climate change. Bare Ranch's carbon farming practices are expected to sequester 4,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. The climate conscious practices offset emissions equivalent to removing more than 800 cars from the road a year.

    To support the new Cali Wool Collection products launching this year, The North Face says it is upping its commitment to climate beneficial products and purchasing five times as much Climate Beneficial Wool by volume compared to last year.

    "It's important to us to keep innovating – to try new methods and sources, to improve the environmental performance of our products, and to manufacture in new and more responsible ways, wherever we can," James Rogers, director of sustainability at The North Face told juststyle. "We strive to make sustainability part of everything we design, and then focus on making innovative products that have a positive effect on the environment and society. "We believe a hyper-local, climate conscious approach to wool sourcing can reshape our relationship with our land."

    Rogers says the company challenged itself to commercialise a product using climate beneficial materials; to find the right partners, fabrics, colours and story to bring the importance of addressing climate change to the forefront of its work and customers.

    Efforts expand and scale

    And it appears the company is looking to take this ambition beyond just the Cali Wool Collection by adopting a similar sourcing strategy to other The North Face lines. "We want to be successful so that we can continue to expand and scale our efforts – but also to help other companies do the same," Rogers adds. "That's why drawing awareness to climate beneficial methods and creating a dialogue around regenerative agriculture is important to us. We have insights to share and lessons to teach and learn from, as do others in our industry. "We will continue to explore opportunities to incorporate climate beneficial materials into our products, as well as invest in programmes and policies to support the transition to a low carbon economy. We're also currently evaluating other circular business models that would help extend the life of our products."

    Coinciding with the Global Climate Action Summit, the launch of the extended Cali Wool Collection range builds on a legacy of climate action from the global outdoor retailer.

    Renewable sources

    At its headquarters in California, more than 100% of the company's electricity is provided by renewable sources, while it also tracks greenhouse gas emissions from its US facilities to monitor company progress towards emissions reduction. The North Face says that while reducing the group's direct energy footprint is its first priority, the company has purchased offsets since 2007 for greenhouse gas emissions it hasn't yet eliminated.

    "We're always looking for ways to minimise our footprint and create the most sustainable, innovative products," Rogers explains. "In 2010, we conducted three different lifecycle assessments for shoes, backpacks and jackets. From that, we learned that the majority of our impact comes from the materials and manufacturing stage of our products. If we continue to focus our efforts on the types of materials used and how they're made, that's the number one way we can reduce our impact. We are also focused on creating the most durable products on the market and extending the life as long as possible."

    While The North Face is making its own strides towards tackling climate change and sustainability in apparel manufacturing, Rogers believes consumer awareness and demand is what is driving the need for a completely sustainable clothing industry. "It's what drives us to be able to expand our sustainable product lines. We've seen this first hand through our sustainably sourced products.

    "In the last few years, the apparel industry has made great strides in commercialising sustainable solutions. Of course, there is a long way to go and we will continue to see the industry take small but meaningful steps in the years to come."【Source: just-style Apparel Sourcing Strategy】
  • 2018-09-20
    Gap Launches New Men's Apparel Brand Hill City
    Gap is making its foray into the world of men’s athleisure apparel with the launch of a new brand, Hill City, which it describes as “a premium, high-performance lifestyle brand for men.”

    The debut line of products includes several running items, such as a half-zip training top, performance shirts, run shorts, and lightweight running pants. Other options are geared toward cold weather (think: coats, vests, and pants). Gap describes the brand as a collection of everyday basics using simple, human-centric, logo-light designs for a clean aesthetic. Prices range from $38 for a basic performance T-shirt to $98 for athleisure pants to $148 for a Sherpa jacket.

    “Our team set out to rethink men’s apparel with one brand that could fill a man’s entire closet with versatile, high-performance pieces that can take him from a hike to a dinner out, without sacrificing a sense of style,” said Noah Palmer, former MLS soccer player who’s heading the Hill City project, in a press release.

    Hill City will officially launch in mid-October. Products will be available on the brand’s own website and in select Athleta stores, Gap’s already-existing women’s fitness and athleisure brand. Stay tuned here for more in-depth reviews of the products coming soon.

    In the meantime, the new men’s brand will join its parent corporation, Gap Inc.’s other five clothing brands: Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Intermix, and Athleta. The company reported $15.9 billion in sales in 2017, but has seen mixed success in recent years. Gap Inc. has shuttered 200 underperforming stores in the last year, permanently closed bridal-wear brand Weddington Way in April, and has seen shares fall 20 percent this year.

    Yet, Old Navy and Athleta have seen strong growth, making up for poor numbers from their sister brands, according to Business Insider. The introduction of Hill City appears to be an attempt by the 49-year-old company to double down on its success in the booming activewear industry, which will reach $54.7 billion by 2024 through around 6.5 percent annual growth, according to a report from Allied Market Research.【Source: Runner's World】
  • 2018-07-30
    The Debut of the 10th ANTA Brand - “AntapluS”
    ANTA announced that new brand “AntapluS” for the 10th ANTA brand on 30th July. In addition to ANTA itself, the brands include DESCENTE, FILA, FILA KIDS, KINGKOW, KOLON SPORT, SPRANDI, ANTA Kids and the new star “AntapluS”.
    AntapluS focuses on Fashion Sports which was build up by a diversity group of international designers and is a self-owned brand to cater to the current trend. ANTA’s 2017 financial statements, AntapluS is separated two production lines: AKOS for professional sports and Sport Lounge for casual sports. AKOS is needed for different sports as yoga, running and training, etc. The AKOS products are possessed the aspects of function, design and technology. As for Sport Lounge, it is content to the accessories in life.

    On 26th July, the first AntapluS store was debut in Eurasian shopping area, Changchun, Jilin Province. At the same time, the products had hit the store shelves of Taobao, the on-line shopping store.     
  • 2018-07-25
    Lululemon Taps Sephora Exec as New CEO
    Yogawear maker Lululemon on Tuesday has named a Sephora executive to lead the company, replacing Laurent Potdevin, who abruptly stepped down as chief executive in February over an unspecified misconduct.
    The Canada-based company said Calvin McDonald will take the helm starting August 20 and will also become a board member. Mr McDonald will receive an initial annual base salary of $1.25m and be eligible for an annual performance based bonus of 150 per cent of his salary, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 
    Mr McDonald has served as president and chief executive of Americas for Sephora where he helped the purveyor of beauty products deliver double-digit growth and create new digital platforms and store experiences. Previously, Mr McDonald served as president and chief executive of Sears Canada and worked at Loblaw Companies, a Canadian retailer. 
    “Calvin McDonald has an impressive record of leading organizations through periods of significant growth and innovation. He is the ideal match for the Lululemon brand and culture given his strong consumer mindset, performance-driven approach, and success developing people,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman.
    The appointment comes 5½ months after Mr. Potdevin resigned over what Lululemon said was a breach of its standards of conduct. 
    The company, which had once seen sales hit by the “sheergate” controversy in 2013, when founder Chip Wilson blamed a product defect on the size of women's thighs, has regained momentum with robust sales in recent years. Indeed, the company has managed to buck much of the pain in the retail sector thanks to both the yoga craze and the athleisure trend, in which people wearing work-out clothes outside of the gym. 
    Lululemon shares, which are up 56 per cent year-to-date, rose 0.8 per cent in extended trade. 【Source: FINANCIAL TIMES】
  • 2018-07-18
    Diesel, Marni Prevail in Counterfeiting Case against Zara
    After staging a mock counterfeit operation on New York’s Canal Street in February as a play on the modern counterfeit trade, Diesel’s parent company OTB Group has been facing off against one such bad actor, Inditex, in court. Breganze, Italy-based OTB Group – which owns Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, and Viktor & Rolf, among other brands- has been embroiled in a legal battle against Zara’s parent company after initiating the matter in a Milan court in November 2015, alleging that Zara was selling counterfeit versions of legally-protected Diesel jeans and Marni footwear.
    According to OTB Group’s complaint, Zara was manufacturing and selling copycat versions of Diesel’s Skinzee-SP skinny jeans and Marni’s Fussbett sandals in violation of European Union (“EU”) intellectual property law. OTB claimed that it maintains an EU registration for the design of the Skinzee-SP jeans, while it relies on EU unregistered design protection for the Fussbett sandals. As a result, it sought monetary damages caused by Zara’s sale of counterfeit goods not only in Italy but throughout the EU.

    In response, Inditex argued that there were “material differences” between its sandal design and that of Marni’s Fussbett sandal and that the registration for Diesel’s Skinzee-SP jeans is invalid due to a lack of originality. Moreover, it asserted that even if was on the hook for infringement, the Court of Milan could not force it to pay damages, as it is a Spanish company that is not headquartered in Italy.
    However, the court disagreed in what is being called “the first decision in Europe to confirm the possibility of claiming EU-wide damages for registered and unregistered designs in a jurisdiction (in this case, Italy) other than the main defendant’s jurisdiction (Spain).”

    Judge Claudio Marangoni upheld the validity of the design protections at issue and further held that Zara had, in fact, engaged in counterfeiting and ordered Inditex to immediately recall the infringing goods or pay it would run the risk of having to pay $235 for each product on the market that runs afoul of the court’s injunction. 【Source: THE FASHION LAW】
  • 2018-07-16
    Adidas Vows to Use Only Recycled Plastics by 2024
    Adidas is planning to use only recycled polyester in all its shoes and clothing within the next six years in a push to increase the sustainability of its supply chain.

    “Our goal is to get rid of virgin polyester overall by 2024,” Eric Liedtke, head of Adidas’ global brands, told the Financial Times. He said about 50 percent of the material used in the 920m individual items Adidas sells is polyester, adding: “With those kind of volumes, we cannot make the transition overnight.” 

    Recycled polyester is 10-20 percent more expensive than “virgin” materials, and even if Adidas meets next year’s target of 11m recycled pairs of shoes, it would account for just 3 per cent of its annual footwear production. But industry experts believe the price gap between recycled and new plastics will close in the coming years as more companies shift to renewables and suppliers increase their ability to produce recycled materials in large quantities.

    Adidas’s move comes as more brands embrace recycled materials, in part to burnish their green credentials and increase their appeal as an anti-plastics movement has swept across the UK and Europe.
    Clothing brands including Patagonia and H&M already use recycled polyester in certain items and fashion brand Stella McCartney has promised to stop using virgin nylon by 2020.

    Adidas has been experimenting with making kit from recycled plastics for several years. In 2012, its uniforms for volunteers at the Olympic Games in London were made from re-used water bottles. “We have to make sure we take right-sized bites so that we can maintain our current margin structure,” he said. “We can absorb some costs every year, but we could not absorb it all in one year.”
    A 2016 paper by the World Economic Forum stated that at least 8m tones of plastics end up in the sea every year. It warned that by 2050, there might be more plastics than fish in the sea.
    Environmental lobby groups welcomed the Adidas plan. “I’m happy to see that industry leaders like Adidas are working towards change, but we need to continue,” said Erin Simon, a director at the World Wildlife Fund. 【Source: FINANCIAL TIMES】
  • 2018-06-19
    The Exports of Cambodia’s Garment and Footwear Sector Continued to Grow in 2017
    According to Cambodia’s General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), the exports of Cambodia’s garment and footwear sector continued to grow in 2016 but at a slower pace than that of 2015. The sector’s exports rose by 7.2 percent to US$ 7.3 billion in 2016 (up from US$ 6.8 billion in 2015). The sector remains the most important component of Cambodia’s exports, with garment and footwear exports accounting for 78 per cent of the country’s total merchandise exports in 2016. This ratio edged down slightly from 81 percent in 2015. Footwear continues to be dwarfed by garmentexports, but footwear is rising as a share of the sector’s total.
     A diminishing share of Cambodia’s garment and footwear exports has gone to the US in recent years, and this trend continued in 2016. The share of the sector’s exports going to the US market continued to drop from 29 per cent in 2015 to 25 per cent in 2016. The US market, which was a lifeline for the industry just a few years ago, now accounts for just a quarter of the sector’s exports. 

    Board (CIB) approved a total of 121 new investment projects worth US$ 3.2 billion in fixed assets, across all sectors. This represents a fall in new investment of 17 per cent compared to the size of fixed assets approved in 2015. Of these total new investment projects approved in 2016, 56 projects are in the garment and footwear sector, consisting of 41 garment and 15 footwear projects. Newly approved garment and footwear projects in 2016 were valued at US$ 248 million in fixed assets,
    a decline of 34 per cent compared to 2015. This made 2016 the fourth straight year in which the value of newly approved investments in the garment and footwear sector declined in Cambodia.
    The value of newly approved investments in the garment and footwear sector represented only 7.6 per cent of the total fixed asset values of the all newly approved investment in Cambodia. This ratio is down from 28 per cent in 2014 and 10 percent in 2015. 

    Employment in officially registered garment and footwear factories edged down slightly in 2016, totalling 605,129 employees 29 working in the sector. This was down from 622,943 employees working in the sector in 2015, representing a 2.9 per cent shrinking of employment size in the sector in 2016. It should be noted that these employment figures are subject to the same statistical issues as the factory figures;some unknown portion of the decline in employment in 2016 is due to improvements in the MOC’s database, rather than reflecting actual job losses.
    The minimum wage of the garment and footwear sector increased every year between 2013 and 2017, rising from US$80 in 2013, to US$ 100 in 2014, to US$ 128 in 2015, to US$140 in 2016 and US$ 153 from 1 January 2017. The rising minimum wage in recent years has generated increasing discussion of the need to monitor wage trends and to ensure sustainable wage policy in this largest exporting sector. The increase in the minimum wage has contributed to improving living conditions of hundreds of thousands of low-paid workers, but at the same time economic factors must be taken into account in adjusting wages.
    Largely due to these minimum wage increases, the average monthly earnings (including overtime) of Cambodia’s garment and footwear workers increased from US$ 145 in 2014, to US$ 175 in 2015 and to US$ 195 in 2016. If this average monthly wage is calculated in inflation-adjusted (real) terms, the real average monthly wage30 of these workers rose from US$ 127 in 2014 to US$ 151 in 2015 and to US$ 163 in 2016, expressed in 2010 prices. In other word, real average monthly wages/earnings were 8.0 per cent higher in 2016 than they were in 2015; this rate of real average monthly wage growth was down from 19.3 per cent the previous year. 【Source: The Phnom Penh Post】
  • 2018-06-15
    China to Halve Import Tariffs on 1,500 Consumer Products From July 1
    Average duty to fall to 6.9 per cent from 15.7 per cent, with tariffs on drugs, including penicillin, cephalosporin and insulin, set to be slashed to zero.
    China will cut import tariffs on nearly 1,500 consumer products ranging from cosmetics to home appliances from July 1, in a bid to boost imports as part of efforts to open up its economy.The move would be in step with Beijing’s pledge to its trade partners – including the United States – that it will take steps to increase imports, and offers a boon to global brands looking to deepen their presence in China.

    The finance ministry published a detailed list of products affected and their new reduced tax rates on Thursday, following early announcements of the broader plan.

    From next month, the average tariff rate on 1,449 products imported from most favoured nations will be reduced by more than half to 6.9 per cent from 15.7 per cent, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

    That followed an announcement from the State Council, China’s cabinet, on Wednesday that it would cut import tariffs on consumer items including apparel, cosmetics, home appliances, and drugs.

    The tariff cuts this time are more broad-ranging than previous reductions.

    Import tariffs for clothing and footwear, kitchen supplies and fitness products will be more than halved to an average of 7.1 per cent from 15.9 per cent, with those on washing machines and refrigerators slashed to just 8 per cent from 20.5 per cent.

    Tariffs will also be cut on processed foods such as aquaculture and fishing products, and mineral water, from 15.2 per cent to 6.9 per cent.

    Cosmetics, and some medical and health products, will also benefit from a tariff cut to 2.9 per cent from 8.4 per cent.

    In particular, tariffs on drugs, including penicillin, cephalosporin and insulin, will be slashed to zero from 6 per cent before.

    In the meantime, temporary tariff rates on 210 imported products from most favoured nations will be scrapped as they are no longer favourable compared with new rates.

    In December, China cut import taxes on almost 200 consumer products including food, health supplements, pharmaceuticals, garments and recreational goods to 7.7 per cent on average from 17.3 per cent, the finance ministry said.【Source: South China Morning Post】
  • 2018-06-15
    World Cup 2018 Fashion: adidas Dominates, but Nike Still Wins
    The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those solely of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of Highsnobiety as a whole.
    The 2018 FIFA World Cup hasn’t kicked off yet, but one of the key duels at this summer’s tournament has already been fought, won, and lost: the battle of the kit manufacturers.
    While we typically remember World Cups in terms of scintillating matches — Germany’s ruthless 7-1 dismantling of host Brazil in 2014 — or spectacular, era-defining goals — Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” against England in 1986 — some editions of the tournament sear themselves onto the collective imagination through sheer style. Although soccer shirts are usually forgettable pieces of athletic wear, some are truly iconic designs that remain immortalized in the memory long after the runner-up in a tournament is relegated to the annals of sporting trivia.
    The Tetris-like adidas shirt West Germany wore when lifting the 1990 World Cup in Italy is a standout example. The subtly maximalist Umbro number sported by England as it was defeated in the semi-final by the Germans that same year is another. And the brilliant orange worn by the Netherlands as total football somehow failed to win out in 1974 is iconic even today. (Interesting factoid: that 1974 shirt was produced by adidas, but Dutch captain and talisman Johan Cruyff’s jersey had just two stripes on the sleeves as a result of his personal endorsement with PUMA.)Although not every tournament produces an iconic shirt, this year’s World Cup has one so brilliant it doesn’t even need a shroud of nostalgia to be adored: Nigeria’s home jersey. The shirt, manufactured by Nike, is a bonafide icon that takes the patterned aesthetics of early ’90s football shirts and updates them for the modern era. It’s thoroughly contemporary, yet if you were to squint your eyes it could almost pass for a piece of Nigerian national dress, adding extra nuance to this fusion of old and new.
    The more understated away shirt is exceedingly dapper, too, and although Nigeria has only a faint hope of escaping a group that contains Argentina, Croatia, and the pluckiest of underdogs, Iceland, the Super Eagles can take some comfort from the fact they’ll be the best-dressed team in Russia.
    But the hype around Nike’s impressive Nigeria uniform distracts from the uncomfortable truth that, actually, the Oregon sportswear giant has gone downhill this year. For the first time in a long time, Nike has by and large been usurped in the football style stakes by its European arch-rival, adidas. Sure, Nike has Nigeria to brag about, but what’s going on with that Australia jersey? The shoulders look like they have stretch marks.Most of Nike’s shirts this year have a bizarre, dipping oval neck, leaving the impression that someone’s been trying to throttle the wearer with their own garment. The French one has a button attached despite having no collar. Why? The diagonal sleeve hems Nike has decided to roll out across its kits this year are a small but noticeable detail that simply looks bad. All of Nike’s classic kits in recent years, such as the one worn by Jose Mourinho’s Champions League-winning Inter Milan side of 2009-10, had their sleeves attached vertically, giving a much cleaner look.

    For style-conscious football fans, Nike has always been regarded as the absolute gold standard in football apparel. For the past decade, not a single manufacturer has been able to compete. The key to Nike’s success has always been simplicity: Inter Milan’s 2015-16 shirt; the redcurrant number Arsenal wore as it bade farewell to Highbury Stadium in 2005-06; the England shirt unveiled in 2013. These were all unfussy, classy looks conjured up by designers that didn’t try to overthink things.adidas, by contrast, always produced shirts that were overwrought, with a boxy, space-age look resembling a kind of body armor. A prime example of this is the 2009-10 Chelsea uniform, which looked like it was fitted with breast pads.

    Designing a great football shirt is surprisingly easy, which is why it’s so perplexing when sportswear manufacturers get it wrong. Simplicity is always a sure-fire winner. Recreating past classics from the ’70s, ’80s, or early ’90s, as Umbro did for West Ham in 2015-16 and New Balance did for Liverpool last season, rarely disappoints. Adding some sort of collar — something Nike has failed to do this World Cup — is essential.

    This year, adidas has generally stuck to these parameters and given us — Nigeria aside — the World Cup’s best-looking kits. Germany’s home and away uniforms flex the power of retro. Belgium’s away shirt shows how much smarter a kit looks with a simple collar, as opposed to Nike’s England jersey, which looks like its collar was cut out with scissors by a child. The diamond pattern emblazoned across the chest of the Belgium home shirt is a nod to the 1984 European Championship team, and even if it has a touch of golf sweater about it, at least it’s distinctive. Mexico away reinforces the efficacy of minimalism. Likewise Egypt and Morocco home.That’s not to say all of adidas’ efforts are good. Russia’s shirt looks like the kind of fake you’d find at a Novosibirsk market, although, with the faddishness of the whole ironically shabby post-Soviet look, maybe that’s the point. Instead of using the deeply satisfying golden yellow of the Swedish flag, adidas has decided to go with a shade reminiscent of a fading highlighter pen for the Sweden home shirt. (The deep blue away one is much better, though.)

    And nor is it to say that Nike has got it wrong across the board. Its South Korea and Poland home uniforms are a reminder that simpler is always better, and the minimal away versions look great. The grayscale checks of Croatia’s away shirt make its awful (lack of) collar less noticeable. Yet, despite these exceptions, there is little that matches the pleasant retro touches found on adidas’ Spain and Colombia shirts, nor the Samurai-inspired Japanese jersey.

    Still, I suspect that of all the uniforms we see in Russia this year, the only one that will endure is Nigeria’s. Perhaps this is what matters most. adidas invested bundles of cash into advertising its Predator cleats in the buildup to the last World Cup in Brazil, but it was PUMA that captured the collective imagination with its mismatched neon-colored evoSPEED. In that sense, despite a lackluster tournament, it’s actually Nike that beats adidas in the battle of the kit manufacturers with a last-minute 40-yard howitzer from an unexpected source. adidas would have never imagined that Nigeria would be Nike’s World Cup winner, but football is an unpredictable game.

    Sorry, adidas, you were the better team over 90 minutes, but it appears you’re second best once again.【Source: HIGHSNOBIETY】
  • 2018-06-01
    EU Moves to Ban Single-Use Plastics
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission on Monday proposed banning single-use plastic products such as cotton buds and plastic straws and putting the burden of cleaning up waste on manufacturers in an effort to reduce marine litter.Under the proposal, single-use plastic products with readily available alternatives will be banned and replaced with more environmentally sustainable materials.The proposal also requires EU countries to collect 90 percent of single-use plastic drink bottles by 2025 and producers to help cover costs of waste management and clean-up.“Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food,” said EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans.
    Plastic accumulating in the world’s oceans has become a major policy issue for governments, with scientists warning of their effect on the food chain.Research published in the online journal Scientific Reports estimates a garbage patch of some 79,000 metric tonnes - 1.8 trillion pieces - of plastic has formed in the Pacific Ocean, mainly consisting of fishing nets, plastic containers, packaging and ropes.Earlier this year, Britain also said it planned to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single-use products.
    The Commission proposal will still need to be approved by the European Parliament and Council, and the Commission said it hoped for it to be given the green light before the European elections in May 2019.【Source: REUTERS】
  • 2018-04-13
    Nike is Trying to Become The Next Great Direct-To-Consumer Brand
    Nike rose to be the world’s biggest athletic brand in a very different retail landscape. Back then shoppers went to stores and bought things, and retail partners were frequently the conduit between brands and consumers.

    This worked pretty well, but it wasn’t perfect for brands: They had little or no direct connection with their customers, and the middleman—the retailer—took a cut of their profits.

    The digital age, though, has made it much easier for brands to interact directly with shoppers. A number of buzzy new companies, from Warby Parker to Everlane, have thrived by doing just that, learning from their customers and selling them what they want.

    Nike may still have much of the infrastructure and wholesale accounts to show its age, but it’s working as hard as it can to be the next great direct-to-consumer brand.

    Fundamental to this strategy, CEO Mark Parker said on a call yesterday (March 22) with investors, is “to be more personal at scale.” The aim is to use data to treat every one of Nike’s millions of customers as a unique individual, which is why Nike announced that it had acquired Zodiac, a consumer data and analytics company. Parker explained that Nike has been working with Zodiac for several months already, using it to gain insight on its customers and how they behave.

    Nike’s digital business will be a key part of this effort. The sector has been a bright spot for the company, growing 18% in the most recent quarter versus the same period last year, and Nike now wants to get more value out of each of its digital customers. It’s focusing first on its superfans: the Nike+ loyalty program members and app users, who on average spend nearly triple what shoppers do. Nike launched its SNKRS app in China in December, boasting that it got 2 million downloads in the first month alone, and just launched it in Japan, where it became the No. 1 free downloaded app in the iOS store.

    Nike’s large fleet of its own stores is still very important, both as a sales channel and as a way to communicate with shoppers, and it plans to integrate more personalization there too. The company is debuting a new functionality in its app specifically for the retail experience: When you enter a Nike store, the store recognizes you and shows you products tailored to you on the app. You can reserve products to try on, which will be held for you in a personal locker, and even check out and pay through the app, without having to wait in a line. The new program will start small, launching at select locations in Portland and Los Angeles, but Nike says it will phase in additional features and expand it to more stores.

    When Nike announced in 2015 that it plans to hit $50 billion in sales by 2020, the direct-to-consumer and digital businesses were two of the key ways it intended to get there. Those efforts aren’t slowing. On yesterday’s call, CFO Andy Campion spoke about the investments Nike has planned for next fiscal year. “At the top of our list is digital, ranging from new Nike+ membership experiences to new capabilities, including data and analytics,” he said. Meanwhile, Nike has been reducing its presence at its huge number of retail partners, to focus mostly on a core group.

    While Nike’s North America sales continue to struggle—a trend Nike assured investors it is turning around—it still had a solid quarter (pdf), beating analyst estimates. Overseas and digital sales led the way.

    Correction: An earlier version of this article said Nike is debuting a new app for its retail stores instead of a new functionality for its current app. 【Source: QUARTZ】
  • 2018-05-25
    Adidas Just Opened A Futuristic New Factory — And It Will Dramatically Change How Shoes Are Sold
    Adidas' American Speedfactory is open for business.
    The 74,000-square-foot facility in Cherokee County, Georgia, outside Atlanta, is now pumping out shoes using a completely automated digital manufacturing process.
    The first shoes produced and sold from the factory, the new AM4NYC (Adidas made for New York City), created specifically for New York's urban streets, will go on sale Thursday.
    The shoes were made for quickly changing directions on urban streets using Adidas sports-science data, and are an example of the combination of speed and flexibility the new factory offers, as well as its ability to create specific and custom footwear.
     "We have ambition to have 50% of our sales [from] under what we call speed programs," Gil Steyaert, an Adidas executive board member responsible for global operations, told Business Insider. "That means that product, which would be reproduced or created in the season [is] for the same season."
    The speed initiative is "very much aiming at the fast fashion model where we can bring product closer to the consumer," Steyaert said.
    Closer to the consumer also means physically closer — that is, produced in North America, not Asia, where the majority of Adidas shoes are made. That makes it much quicker to ship the shoes throughout the continent, and the shoes can be made specifically for the American market, which has been the major focus for the brand and part of its stellar performance in the last few years.
    The Speedfactory is fast, but flexible
    The Speedfactory can create more inventory for a hot shoe that's flying off shelves and can't be kept in stock, supplementing other inventory shipped over from Asia. Or the factory can create entirely new shoes specifically for the market as part of a limited run.
    Eventually, Steyaert says customers may be able to create their own completely custom, one-of-a-kind Adidas shoes designed to their own specifications online. Things like patch placement and details on the uppers of shoes would be able to be customized.
    "Speedfactory is able to customize the shoe indefinitely while being in an automated engineering process," Steyaert said. "We can actually tune the shoe to the customization that the consumer wants to have. That's the goal: full customization, but without compromise on speed."
     "It's customization without compromising the needle on the speed nor on the changing of the line," Steyaert said. "If you had to make a new line [with traditional manufacturing] you'd have to stop the production line and reproduce."
    Adidas has lofty goals for its Speedfactories
    The apparel giant wants to create a total of one million shoes a year from both of its two Speedfactories — the Atlanta location as well as the first in Germany — by 2020.
    That number is significant, but it's small compared to the total number of shoes Adidas makes each year — 403 million pairs of shoes in 2017, or more than a million a day on average.
    The Speedfactories are meant to be "complementary to our main source of supply," Steyaert said. "[They] will never substitute our main source of supply."
    As of now, the factory currently has about 150 employees. That relatively low number means it is economically feasible to have a factory in a country without an employee base full of highly skilled shoemakers. 
    Adidas wants to increase its speed in other ways
    The second part of Adidas' speed strategy relates to infrastructure — something that's been under pressure in the US as Adidas' popularity has taken off, particularly distribution.
    "When you grow more than 30% per year you push inevitably some infrastructure," Steyaert said.
    Adidas has made investments in its East Coast and West Coast warehouses, including its own warehouse in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
    The brand is also planning to open a brand new warehouse in New Jersey dedicated to e-commerce and retail. Steyaert says this will be able to service New York City — one of Adidas' "key cities" — with quick delivery, possibly even same-day.
    Adidas isn't done with its Speedfactories, however. It plans to innovate within them to add more automated processes and see if it can get even more speed and flexibility out of them. There are currently no plans to create more factories, but Steyaert says he hopes to eventually duplicate its automated technology or even export the technology tested in the Speedfactories to its locations in Asia. 【Source: BUSINESS INSIDER】
  • 2018-05-24
    Progress Seen On Pacific Trade Pact
    To celebrate the launch, adidas is opening up a SPEEDFACTORY Lab Experience in Brooklyn, New York City for the public get a glimpse of the future of creation with the brand and find out more about SPEEDFACTORY.  Inside, guests will be able to receive custom, private footscan data to learn more about their perfect fit, receive individual, shareable content tied to AM4NYC, and test run with the shoe through an interactive experience. 
    With the intention of creating a specialized and fast running shoe for crowded urban areas such as New York City, adidas knew that urban runners needed a design solution that provides the agility and stability required to round corners and change directions with speed. To achieve this, adidas analyzed years of aggregated sport science data on running movement, then used this data to design a specialized fit which provides maximum heel and midfoot lock down with minimal weight.
     This data-driven upper design was then verified with local expert runners, including Adam Francique and Jessie Zapo (captains of adidas Runners NYC), before being brought to life at SPEEDFACTORY Atlanta. Through a unique process of fit programming, tension patches are digitally mapped onto the shoe upper, puzzling together varying stretch and stiffness for a precise fit that delivers the best stability and agility.
     Aside from the programmed upper, AM4NYC also features:
     Floating Torsion Bar – for effortless movement
     adidas’ iconic Torsion system redesigned and digitally embedded to “float” inside the sole without stiffness of adhesives. Precisely balancing flexibility with stability for best heel to toe transition.
     Fused Bonding Construction- for direct comfort
     Precise digital bonding of sole to upper eliminates glue, giving you the most direct experience of BOOST comfort.
     BOOST- for energy return
     BOOST is our most responsive cushioning ever: The more energy you give, the more you get.
     Ben Herath, VP Design for adidas Running, said:
     “The AM4NYC shoe demonstrates the potential of adidas SPEEDFACTORY to set a new benchmark for performance products by using an advanced digital and data-driven processes, and bringing in local runners to be a part of this future of footwear creation,”
     “This latest launch in the expanding product portfolio of SPEEDFACTORY is a testament to our team successfully challenging conventional ways of design and production, embracing technology to evolve our work, and pushing boundaries on the performance of running footwear.”
     AM4NYC goes on sale together with AM4LDN 1.1, and AM4PAR 1.1 at adidas’ New York City 5th Avenue flagship store, (565 5th Avenue), the brand concept store on Broadway (610 Broadway), as well as via, and select retailers on Thursday, April 26, 2018. It will retail for $200 USD. New iterations of AM4LDN and AM4PAR will also release simultaneously. 【Source: THE NATION】
  • 2018-05-18
    Adidas and Reebok Top Transparency Index
    Adidas and Reebok have topped the Fashion Revolution supply chain transparency ranking for the second year running.
    The two firms came joint first, scoring 145 points out of a possible 250.
    The index, compiled by Fashion Revolution, an NGO campaigning for ethical supply chains, ranked 150 of the world’s biggest fashion brands and retailers, awarding them marks based on the information disclosed about their supply chain policies, suppliers and environmental impact.
    Overall, 10 brands were said to be leading the way, including Adidas, Reebok, Gap, Old Navy, C&A and Marks & Spencer.
    However the report said many companies were underperforming, with the average company scoring just 21% of the total possible points. Not a single brand scored above 60%.Some of the worst performing brands included Chanel (3%) and Dolce & Gabbana (1.2%) and Forever 21 (6%), which all scored low because they provided little information.
    Dior, Helain and s.Oliver were among 14 brands that scored zero because they disclosed no information.On a more positive note, 98 brands and retailers showed a 5% increase in their level of transparency across the range of criteria, which included policy and commitments, governance, traceability, human rights and environment. Among them were luxury brands such as Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Bottega Veneta and Burberry.
    In addition, the number of companies publishing lists of tier one manufacturers rose from 12.5% in 2016 to 32% in 2017, and firms provided more detailed information that included factory addresses and numbers of employees. The report also said more brands were describing tier two processing facilities.
    ASOS was the only brand to disclose raw material sources.
    Carrie Sommers, founder and global operations director at Fashion Revolution, said: “Transparency is power. The brands that are still sitting in the armchairs in their fifth floor apartments, who haven’t yet learnt how to sail on the tide of transparency, will be drowned by it.”
    The report said the fear of compromising competitiveness or authorities uncovering controversial issues were the main reasons behind the lack of disclosure. But, it said, transparency around factories and workers in the supply chain can help NGOs and organisations uncover human rights or environmental violations and encourage ethical practices across the industry.
    Fashion Revolution transparency index top performers:

    1. Adidas and Reebok (58% each)

    2. Puma (56%)

    3. H&M (55%)

    4. Esprit, Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy (all 54%)

    5. C&A (53%)

    6. Marks & Spencer (51%)

  • 2018-04-09
    Global Sportswear Giant Is Expecting To Shift From Physical Retail To Online Selling
    Sneakerheads, you may soon have to bid farewell to your local adidas stores. According to recent reports, the global sportswear giant is expecting to shift from physical retail to selling more products online in the next couple of years. CEO of adidas Kasper Rorsted explains to Financial Times in an interview that “over time, [adidas] will have fewer stores but they will be better, stating that the brand’s website ”is the most important store we have in the world.” Consumers can probably expect to notice a reduced number of adidas stores over the coming year.
    As of right now, Three Stripes has 2,500 brick and mortar store locations worldwide, as well as 13,000 additional mono-branded franchise stores. As FT reports, the company is looking to boost its e-commerce sales from the €1.6 billion EUR it earned in 2017 to an estimated €4 billion EUR ($4.91 billion USD) by the year of 2020. 
    【Source: Hypebae】

  • 2018-04-07
    The North Face Pledges To Feature More Women In ADS
    Look for more female representation in future marketing from the North Face. The outdoors brand is committing to having an equal number of men and women in all its advertising moving forward, the VF Corp.-owned brand says. It's starting with "Move Mountains," a global campaign sharing the stories of female athletes, that debuts on Tuesday.
    The push will include print and out-of-home advertising, as well as several digital videos airing on social channels. The spots will include alpinist Hilaree Nelson, climbers Ashima Shiraishi and Margo Hayes, and runner Fernanda Maciel, as well as actress America Ferrera and NASA scientist Tiera Guinn Fletcher.
    In addition, The North Face is opening two women-focused stores later this year, collaborating with the Girl Scouts of the USA on 12 new outdoor adventure badges, and expanding its female exploration grants program.

    【Source: AdAge】
  • 2018-03-29
    Lululemon's E-Commerce Game Could Help It Get To $4 Billion In Sales
    Lululemon is doing what most retailers would kill to do — getting online customers to spend on its website.The athleisure company's e-commerce game is part of the reason why it reported an earnings beat for the fourth quarter of 2017, and also a reason why analysts are optimistic about its prospects.
    The e-commerce boost was largely attributed to the relaunch of its website, which made it more attractive and easier for consumers to shop.The retailer has plans to hit its goal of $4 billion in sales by 2020, including $1 billion from online sales, $1 billion from international sales, and $1 billion in sales of men's apparel. Some analysts at Wall Street felt it was well on its way.
    "We see further opportunity ahead, as product and digital initiatives take hold and the int'l growth story continues," Randal Konik, a Jefferies analyst, wrote in a client note on Wednesday. However, Konik believes the company's valuation is too high.Konik maintained a "Hold" rating on the company, and a price target of $82 per share.
    Other analysts were more bullish. Credit Suisse's Michael Binetti says there are multiple drivers supporting a ramp up in sales, including the company's increased capex investments, its co-located men's and women's stores that are driving traffic, and its continued e-commerce strength. Binetti raised his price target to $98 per share from $96.
    【Source: MARKET INSIDER】
  • 2018-04-12
    Puma Operating Profits More Than Double In Q4
    Puma reported fourth-quarter earnings slightly more than doubled with the help of strong sales growth combined with an improved gross profit margin. Puma also said it expects currency-adjusted net sales will increase by approximately 10 percent in 2018.
    2017 was a good year both for Puma’s athletes and for their business. Since they implemented their turnaround strategy in 2014, their sales have grown almost 40 percent. For the first time in the company’s history, they managed to exceed the four billion Euro mark in sales. Product sellthrough, both in retail stores and those of key retail partners, has improved. They have received very positive feedback on our product ranges, particularly from retail partners. All this proves that Puma is heading in the right direction.Their strategy has continued to focus on five priorities: increased brand heat, a competitive product range, a leading offer for women, improved quality of distribution and organizational speed.
    2017 was also a successful year for Puma’s Golf business, where they continued to deliver stylish, performance-ready golf apparel, footwear and accessories to the market, while Cobra Golf introduced technology-rich, game-changing equipment. A real breakthrough was the launch of KING F7 & F7+, smart drivers with an embedded sensor, allowing golfers to automatically track the distance and accuracy of each drive. 
    Puma’s Women’s business, another focus of their strategy, was one of the best performers in the industry last year. Together with powerful ambassadors like Cara Delevingne and the New York City Ballet, they opened another chapter of their “Do You” campaign, which aims to inspire confidence in women around the world. Puma’s Women’s Creative Director, Rihanna, presented two exquisite seasonal collections of her “FENTY Puma by Rihanna” line, which has established itself amongst the most anticipated shows of the Paris and New York Fashion Weeks. And just recently, singer, actress and producer Selena Gomez presented the PHENOM and EN POINTE fitness footwear lines, which received positive media echo and already delivered promising results in retail.
    Puma has continued to improve the quality of its distribution and expanded its presence in key Sports Performance and Sportstyle accounts around the world. They have further strengthened their relationships with key retailers and proven to be a reliable partner and one that maximizes the brand’s contribution to their business. It is their clear objective to create win-win situations for their partners and themselves, enabling their retail partners to make money with Puma’s products. Through improved sell-through, Puma gained more shelf space in retail stores in 2017. Furthermore, they continued to upgrade their owned and operated retail store network with further openings and refurbishments. They relaunched their eCommerce presence ‘’ into a more modern and mobile-friendly format, which initially went live in Europe in June.
    【source: SGB MEDIA】
  • 2018-04-12
    Shanghai to Shape Adidas' Dreams
    German sportswear maker Adidas has put Shanghai at the center of its efforts to boost expansion in the world's fastest-growing consumer market and consolidated its Asia-Pacific operations in the city.
    Previous individual markets in China, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia-Pacific will be brought together.With a more sustainable business model across Asia-Pacific, it will also improve operational efficiency, driving simplicity and allowing the brand to leverage best practices and the best talent from across the region, according to Adidas.
    Buoyed by the nationwide surge in sports and fitness, Adidas has over 10,000 stores in more than 1,200 cities in the country and consolidated its position in 23 key Chinese cities, as well as made strong inroads into lower-tier or "future" cities.In 2017, sales in China increased by 29 percent, making it Adidas' fastest growing market globally.
    【source: China Daily】
  • 2018-04-12
    Hyosung Invests $100 Million in New Indian Plant
    Hyosung, a leading elastane manufacturer has announced the company’s plans to build its first spandex plant in Maharashtra State in India. The initial investment of US$ 100 million has been made as part of the project to increase Hyosung’s creora brand share of India’s spandex market to 70%. The factory is expected to be completed by 2019.
    The Indian market for spandex grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 16% from 2012 to 2017, and growth is expected to reach 12% in 2020. Maharashtra, where Hyosung will build its plant, is a key region for textiles production in India. According to the manufacturer, the plant in Maharashtra will create jobs and boost the regional economy, as well as spur the development of businesses in the state such as weaving, knitting and sewing.
    【source: Knitting Industry】
  • 2018-02-26
    Adidas Alphaskin: Next Gen Compression Tech
    Adidas Alphaskin, the new base layer tech for athletic use just may revolutionize sport tights. The new design features functionality that eliminates friction between skin and fabric in critical areas of movement by the human body. Lee adds, “after taking a deep dive into their movements, needs and culture, we created a performance layer that keeps up with all of those elements.”
    The Alphaskin tech behaves more like its own layer of the wearer’s skin rather than something like compression garments. By eliminating the friction between skin and fabric, Alphaskin removes all unnecessary distractions for the athlete.
    Adidas claims Alphaskin was made with the intention of allowing the athlete and the base layer garment to move as a single unit as opposed to a human wearing tight garments. Essentially, the athlete moves as pure athleticism itself, with no hindrances from external wearables. “By using our highly advanced ARAMIS system instead of a traditional static mannequin for testing, we were able to understand how to make Alphaskin and athlete’s bodies move as one,” says adidas.
    Alphaskin tech comes in three forms namely 360, Tech, and Sport. Alphaskin 360 provides the highest compression for ultimate seamless distraction elimination, while Alphaskin Tech gives mid-level compression with Climachill for a cooler core temperature, and Alphaskin Sport is the lightest of compressions with Climacool to keep the wearer dry while still supported. The three levels are designed to provide for each athlete’s individual preference.
  • 2018-01-18
    Knitted Sneakers Kick Wool Prices to Record Highs
    New uses for wool in sneakers such as Adidas AG’s marquee Ultra Boost helped drive prices to a record. They’ll only climb further this year, according to growers in the world’s biggest producer. Increased affluence in traditional markets such as China and growing demand for natural fibers in athleisure wear has coupled with limited supply to create a “perfect storm” for wool, according to Australian Wool Innovation Ltd., which represents 24,000 growers in the country that supplies about 90 percent of the world’s apparel wool.
    “China is the perfect consumer of Australian wool -- they have always been good manufacturers and they also now have the affluence to start buying wool” more for their own use, he said. “They want the finer things and wool will always feature in luxury spending behavior.”
    The nation is the biggest consumer of Australian wool and accounts for about 78 percent of exports. Italy is the second-biggest buyer. European demand is heavily driven by fashion, he said.
    But it’s the U.S. where there is room for significant growth, according to McCullough. Per capita wool consumption in the U.S. is just 300 grams (11 ounces) a year - compared with about 1 kilogram in China, Europe and Canada, he said.
    Prices will be underpinned by supply constraints with production in Australia mostly stable since around 2010. Exports are forecast to gain just 4 percent to 446,000 metric tons in 2017-18, with the value to increase 20 percent to A$4.3 billion on higher prices, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
    “There is no easy way of getting substantial growth in the wool market,” McCullough said, citing infrastructure constraints for farmers. “We will see it tick along at 2 percent to 5 percent growth over the next significant period.” 【Resource: Bloomberg】
  • 2018-01-16
    Columbia Sportswear Reveals Ski Team Uniforms for 2018 Olympic Winter Games
    Columbia states that the manufacturer has focused on three key design areas: innovation, performance and national pride. Every jacket will reflect each nation’s culture and customers with unique colors and designs.
    The manufacturer has worked closely with teams to offer the most advanced, best-performing products for the Winter Games. Waterproof protection is a key performance feature of the Columbia lineup. OutDry Extreme provides maximum mobility and waterproof protection to wearers.Athletes stay dry and warm thanks to the uniform’s membrane, which offers a permanent waterproof layer that actively repels water away from the uniform. The membrane keeps the athletes warm and dry while promoting full range of motion.
    A four-way stretch is provided to allow for complete range of motion.
    Warmth is provided with the company’s Omni-Heat Reflective design. The material is designed to be warming and breathable. Silver, reflective dots work to reflect the body’s temperature while also retaining the warmth that the body generates.
    Omni-Heat reflective material eliminates the need for bulky layers and also acts to wick moisture to keep wearers comfortable and dry even in the most extreme sport conditions.
    The company has paid special attention to each team’s unique identity.
    Athletes are able to make each uniform their own with the introduction of knee patches and nameplates that are removable and can be changed. The goal is to provide a cohesive look that teams and players can make their own without risk of damaging the integrity of the jacket. 【Resource: axcessnews】
  • 2018-01-12
    New Cambodian Worker benefits take effect in 2018
     A slew of new health and maternity benefits for workers took effect at the stroke of midnight yesterday in a dramatic expansion of the country’s social security framework, even as labour advocates and business experts raised concerns about cost and quality.
    As part of a raft of promises made by Prime Minister Hun Sen last year, garment workers will enjoy expanded health and maternity benefits in 2018. But changes announced in October by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) mean that informal workers such as maids and construction workers are also eligible for the same benefits, paid for by the NSSF. The expanded perks also apply to local government officials like village chiefs and commune councillors.

    In addition, under changes made in November, firms employing as few as one employee are now required to register with the NSSF and will receive workers’ injury compensation and health insurance.

    “The Ministry of Labour claims that informal workers will get benefits starting at midnight on December 31, but in practicality there is a long process to go,” Poeun said.Central’s Tola noted that many workers covered by the NSSF still complain about quality of care in state hospitals. The goal is “not only put people into the system, but then the people are still not enjoying the services of the system,” he said.Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said yesterday the NSSF “is ready to provide the service to all its members”.

    But business leaders also raised concerns that the dramatic expansions of benefits for garment workers will slow down Cambodia’s economy.As of yesterday, employers are required to cover the entirety of the cost of health insurance for their workers, instead of splitting it evenly.“Socially and politically it’s good, but for business and economy it’s going to be tough,” said Van Sou Ieng, chairman of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia.He expressed apprehension that, because informal workers like maids or tuk-tuk drivers do not have to pay a fee to the NSSF, companies are effectively subsidising their costs by contributing for insurance.
    “Sooner or later, [the NSSF] will raise contribution rates,” Sou Ieng said. “People who want to invest in Cambodia will not wish to pay such a cost – that is what I foresee.”【Resource:The Phnom Penh Post】
  • 2018-01-05
    Al-Futtaim Takes Control of Marks & Spencer Hong Kong, Macau
    Marks & Spencer has confirmed the sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau to its long-established franchise partner Al-Futtaim. The two companies all but confirmed the sale in August  and settlement took place on December 30.

    Al-Futtaim is now the sole franchisee for Marks & Spencer Hong Kong and Macau, but the deal does not extend to the mainland where M&S has a presence on Tmall, having closed its department stores there.The two companies have a partnership dating back to 1998 when Al-Futtaim opened Dubai’s first M&S store in the UAE. The addition of 27 Marks & Spencer Hong Kong and Macau stores takes Al-Futtaim’s M&S network to 72 shops in 11 markets in Asia and the Middle East.

    “We have substantially reshaped our International business, which has improved profitability and positioned us for growth,” observed Paul Friston, Marks & Spencer’s international director in a statement confirming the sale.“As one of the world’s leading retail operators, with strong logistics capabilities and local expertise, Al-Futtaim is the ideal partner for us to develop and grow our business in Hong Kong and Macau.”【source:】
  • 2017-12-27
    Nike Launches Its First-Ever ACG Collection For Women
    Nike All Conditions Gear (ACG) revamped its modular apparel system recently by introducing the division's first women's line.

    The new ACG women's offering is accentuated by the ACG 3-in-1 Coat, which incorporates a 3L GORE-TEX outer shell with a detachable hood and reversible insulated inner jacket. It also features removable liners, water-repellent fabrics and reflective graphics, representing the hands-on approach exemplified by Nike’s empowering advancements.

    The main themes that Nike aimed to focus on revolved around performance, mood, style, movement and material. As, “form follows function”, these garments allow for seamless transitions against any elements. Some other key items featured in the collection are the Nike ACG tech-woven pants, the ACG pull-over shell jacket and the NikeLab ACG Balaclava. NikeLab's debut ACG collection for women hits Europe on Dec. 9, before arriving in North America on Dec. 21. 
  • 2017-12-25
    Adidas Quits Digital Sports: No More Running Watches Or Trackers
    Adidas was one of the earliest sports companies to embrace wearable tech – the German sports giant’s miCoach platform included GPS running watches, fitness trackers, smart clothes and even connected shoes – but it is to be discontinued. The move is part of a “redefined strategy” that is said to be “in line with Adidas chief executive officer Kasper Rorsted’s plans for more digital experiences”. It’s thought that Adidas will shift focus to its app platforms – Adidas All Day and Runtastic.

    Adidas acquired the latter in 2015, in a deal valued at around €220 million. Runtastic, which was founded in Austria back in 2009, had an active user base of over 70 million users.At the end of 2016, Stacey Burr, who was then VP of wearable sports electronics at Adidas told Wareable that no more GPS running would be coming out of Adidas HQ. "We're not going to see a new running watch from Adidas for a while,", she said. "There will be some additional hardware in the future that we're very excited about but we're looking, on the running side, at how we can bring our algorithms and coaching and training plans to other device platforms, in addition to Smart Run."
  • 2017-12-28
    Uniqlo Expanding Production Network to Africa
    TOKYO -- Japan-born casualwear retailer Uniqlo is opening its first African manufacturing plant in Ethiopia to take advantage of low labor costs, hoping to create an export hub for the U.S. and European markets.

    The chain aims to begin test production of T-shirts and other tops in the country as early as 2018. More products will join the mix if the plant shows that it can handle the volume and meet quality standards.

    The plans were announced by Tadashi Yanai, chairman and CEO of parent Fast Retailing. Wages are on the rise in China and Vietnam, where Uniqlo now manufactures much of its products. But labor costs in Ethiopia remain low even for Africa.

    The country also sits closer to Europe, which Uniqlo considers a key market for growth. Clothing intended for export to the U.S. would not be taxed, either. Fast-fashion titan H&M Hennes & Mauritz has also begun production in Ethiopia, as have such players as Chinese companies.

    Fast Retailing set up a joint venture in Bangladesh in 2008 to tap cheap labor there, eventually turning the country into a production hub.

    Uniqlo has been performing strongly abroad, particularly in greater Asia. But in the West, it faces tough competition from the likes Zara and H&M. It aims to cut costs with the Ethiopian plant to gain an edge.
  • 2017-11-24
    TPP revived as CPTPP
    At the November 2017 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, the 11 countries remaining in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) took a significant step forward to finalize a new agreement now referred to as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP“).

    In the absence of a key player – the United States – this new cross-border deal, the CPTPP is reported to have largely incorporated the TPP on the one hand but “suspended” certain intellectual property provisions on the other hand, in hopes of reviving them when the United States re-joins the agreement at some point in the future. Thus, although the final text has not been published, it is highly likely that the CPTPP has ceased the effect of many IP-related and/or drug-specific articles that the United States rigorously promoted when the TPP was being negotiated. In light of the above, we think that the following important issues in Chapter 18 of the TPP, which concerns intellectual property, may have been included in the list of suspended provisions of the CPTPP.

    1. Scope of Patentable Inventions

    Article 18.37 of the TPP required its member countries to extend patent protection to “new uses of a known product, new methods of using a known product, or new processes of using a known product.” Reportedly, this is one the points that United States focused on during the TPP negotiation to facilitate protection of drugs invented by US pharmaceutical corporations. However, various countries, mostly developing ones, have been strongly opposed to this approach.

    2. Copyright and Patent Term Adjustment

    The TPP increased the duration of copyright protection to the life of the author plus 70 years, which is 20 more years than the Berne Convention (Article 18.63). Further, the TPP required the signatories to adjust the term of a patent to compensate for delays in the process of patent application (Article 18.46). For drug patents, the TPP also mandated members to adjust the term of a patent to compensate for unreasonable curtailment of the effective patent term as a result of the marketing approval process (Article 18.48). When negotiating the TPP, the United States is said to have actively called for a longer duration of copyright protection and new statutory reforms that would effectively create longer patent terms and constrain the entry of generic drugs into TPP markets.

    3. Undisclosed Test or Other Data

    Similar to Article 39.3 of the TRIPS Agreement, TPP members must protect undisclosed test or other data that authorities obtain as a condition for granting marketing approval for a new drug. However, while TRIPS only generally requires members to protect this against “unfair commercial use,” the TPP goes one step further to specifically mandate members to forbid third parties from marketing the same or a similar product for at least five years from the date of marketing approval of the drug (Article 18.50).

    4. Legal Remedies and Safe Harbors

    One measure that United States adopted to enforce copyrights in the network environment is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), which vigorously deals with Internet Service Providers by providing certain safe harbors and appropriate sanctions. The United States, therefore, actively imposed similar DMCA standards into the TPP as displayed in Article 18.82. However, a rigid application of these standards in developing countries was said to be impractical and ineffective. Hence, it would not be surprising if this provision is to be suspended when the CPTPP comes into effect.  []
  • 2017-11-17
    Icebreaker Acquired, to be Sister Brand of The North Face

    VF Corporation, the parent company of The North Face, Timberland, SmartWool, and others, will acquire Icebreaker. The company announced this week it will complete the deal in 2018. VF Corp. and Icebreaker did not disclose terms of the agreement.
    Icebreaker is a privately-held company based in Auckland, New Zealand. It employs 340 people making and selling products from base layers to jackets, all from natural fibers.
    Jeremy Moon founded Icebreaker in 1995. It now sees about $150 million of annual revenue. It bases its entire product line on merino wool, plant-based fibers, and recycled fibers.
    In a press release, VF Corp. noted its new acquisition will position it as a leader in the “growing and under-penetrated natural fiber category.” (Note that VF Corp.-owned SmartWool, a Colorado-based company, also sells merino socks and apparel.)
    We have long covered Icebreaker and founder Jeremy Moon. In our recent interview with Moon, he opened up about how he launched the brand after a farmer gave him a wool shirt. From humble beginnings, the brand grew steadily over two decades.
    “I founded Icebreaker to offer a natural choice to adventurers, and to build a global brand from New Zealand,” said Moon.
    “Our partnership with VF provides us with the largest platform in the world to tell our story, access new markets, and reach new consumers at an accelerated pace.”
    Moon said the acquisition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Icebreaker and its wool suppliers “to introduce a whole new universe of consumers to the benefits of sustainably-farmed, ethically-sourced, New Zealand merino wool.”
    Icebreaker will continue to operate as a unique brand and will maintain staff operations in New Zealand. [source: gearjunkie]
  • 2017-11-13
    Wal-Mart strikes deal with Lord & Taylor, growing in fashion against Amazon
    Wal-Mart is creating a home for luxury fashion online.The big-box retailer announced Monday it has partnered with Lord & Taylor to create an online "flagship store" for the apparel retailer. The landing page will launch on in spring 2018.
    "Our goal is to create a premium fashion destination on," Denise Incandela, head of fashion for Wal-Mart's U.S. e-commerce division, said in a statement. "We see customers on our site searching for higher-end items, and we are expanding our business online to focus on adding specialized and premium shopping experience, starting with fashion."
    Through this partnership, will provide Lord & Taylor dedicated space on its website, as the department store chain continues to operate its own e-commerce platform. " is a shopping destination that reaches a wide base of customers looking for premium fashion brands," Lord & Taylor President Liz Rodbell said in a statement. "As retail continues to change, this flagship store creates enormous growth opportunities for Lord & Taylor and our brand partners."
    It was rumored in October that this deal would come to fruition.
    In a move to beef up its grocery offering, Wal-Mart also acquired, bringing Quidsi co-founder Marc Lore to its management team.
    Lore has specifically said he wants to "elevate the brands." At a recent investor day, he also explained that Wal-Mart has plans to redesign its website, with a focus on household goods and fashion.
    "Expect to see those experiences get elevated," Lore said about Wal-Mart's home and fashion departments.
    Wal-Mart said Monday it's beginning to build out "elements of discovery and inspiration" within the fashion portion of its website. The company declined to comment on whether there will be more brand partnerships in the future.
    In working with Lord & Taylor, Wal-Mart could begin to shift's image away from that of a discount site for consumer packaged goods and into that of an online platform with luxury brands.
    Meantime, Lord & Taylor has problems of its own, met with declining sales and weaker foot traffic. In a bid for fresh capital, the retailer recently announced that its flagship store on Fifth Avenue will soon become the new global headquarters of WeWork. After the holidays, Lord & Taylor will occupy only a small portion of the building.
    A Wal-Mart partnership could entice more shoppers — and new ones at that — to the department store chain's brands.
    Monday's announcement comes as Amazon has been making its own push into fashion. One example of this is Prime Wardrobe. The internet giant also recently unveiled two private-label athletic apparel brands, as it continues to lure top brands, such as Nike, to sell directly from
    Earlier this year, Amazon began working with department store chain Kohl's to sell some of its electronics in the retailer's stores. In turn, analysts are already predicting Kohl's locations will be a testing ground for Amazon's private-label apparel business.Kohl's and Amazon declined to comment on future initiatives.
    All things considered, competition is only intensifying within the industry. Wal-Mart is also reportedly raising prices on some items across its website, in a move to drive store traffic where Amazon doesn't operate, the Journal reported Sunday. [source:CNBC news]

  • 2017-10-31
    Adidas Q3 revenue up 12% as China and US sales jump
    German sportswear maker Adidas is on a run. In the third quarter, sales in China and North America jumped by about a quarter in each region. The group’s overall quarterly revenue excluding currency effects rose by 12 per cent, with Russia being the only global region where sales slipped.
    At €795 m, Adidas’ operating profit was more than a third higher than a year ago, pushing the operating profit margin by 2.7 percentage points to 14 per cent.
    The Herzogenaurach-based group confirmed its full year outlook, which it had raised earlier this year.
    Chief executive Kasper Rorsted promised to grow sales by up to 19 per cent, excluding currency effects, and is eyeing an increase in net income by up to 28 per cent.
    The sales increase in the third quarter was driven by the Adidas brands, and particularly running and outdoor categories. Sales in Rebook flatlined. [source: financial times]

  • 2017-11-06
    Vietnam Export Forecast To Hit US$215 Billion By 2020
    Việt Nam will improve the competitiveness of major export products to boost export value in line with the country’s economic restructuring and renovation of the growth model, according to a decision recently issued by the Prime Minister.
    Accordingly, by 2020, the project would focus on increasing the quality and value of productsthat are advantageous for export to reach an average export revenue growth of 8 per cent per year during the 2016-20 period.
    Exports of major agriculture and fishery products are planned to increase on average by 20 per cent and would be promoted in developed countries such as the European Union, Japan and Korea.
    The project also targets to enable Vietnamese firms to participate in the global supply chain in several stages of high added value.
    From 2021 to 2030, export growth is expected to reach 9-10 per cent per year. In addition, Việt Nam will have highly-competitive firms in each export product category.
    The project will focus on two product categories with advantages for export, including agriculture and fishery, and processing industry products.
    Products which will be in focus by 2020 include rice, coffee, rubber and fishery, as well as pepper, cashew, cassava, fruits and vegetables, along with garment and textile, footwear, wood products and handbags, in addition to umbrella, phones and components, computers and parts, cameras, transportation means, machinery and electric wires.
    During the 2021-30 period, products to be improved in terms of competitiveness include tea, honey, raw materials of the garment and footwear sector, and plastics, as well as fertilisers and chemicals.
    To achieve the goals, transforming production methods towards increasing the proportion of high value-added products is critical.
    In addition, the export markets must be expanded together with developing national brands, products brands and business brands, while enhancing national competitiveness to create favourable conditions for firms.【Source:vietnamnews】
  • 2017-09-28
    ZDHC Announces the First ZDHC Accepted Certification Standards
    The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Foundation is proud to announce ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® Programme and ToxServices Full Materials Disclosure™ (ToxFMD™) Programme as the first accepted certification standards, which are indicators of chemical formulations conforming to ZDHC’s Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) v 1.1.
    Chemical Products  with the ECO PASSPORT  by OEKO-TEX® certification and ToxServices Full Materials Disclosure™ (ToxFMD™) Programme are now listed on ZDHC Gateway’s Chemical Module as Level 1 conformers to ZDHC’s MRSL Conformance Guidance.
    “We’re pleased to have the two certification standards on board”, says ZDHC Executive Director Frank Michel.
    “Not only will ECO PASSPORT and ToxFMD™ certify chemical formulations to be Level 1 indicating conformance to the ZDHC MRSL, but the formulations will also be directly verified and officially ranked within the ZDHC Gateway – Chemical Module. These new standards will help us tremendously to work towards our goal and support the industry by sourcing safer chemicals.”
    To accelerate the global impact of ZDHC’s Roadmap 2020 programme the organisation has decided in a very early stage not to start its own certification system for MRSL conformant chemistry but instead to leverage existing certification as indicators of ZDHC MRSL conformance.
    The ZDHC MRSL conformance Levels range from 0 to 3 as seen in Figure 1. Higher conformance levels are expected to reflect a higher confidence that a chemical product meets the ZDHC MRSL conformance levels, and therefore a lower probability of any ZDHC MRSL substances being present in the certified chemical product.  
    To become a ZDHC Accepted Certification Standard, interested organisations can apply here for acceptance of their Chemical Formulation certification system by the ZDHC Foundation.【source:roadmaptozero】
  • 2017-09-26
    Puma Published Preliminary Results For The Second Quarter And Raises Full-Year Guidance For 2017
    PUMA SE publishes preliminary results for the second quarter 2017 and raises its guidance for the full-year 2017.

    In the second quarter 2017, consolidated sales increased currency adjusted by approx. 16% (approx. 17% in reported terms) to € 969 million compared to € 827 million in the second quarter last year. The operating result (EBIT) in the second quarter 2017 increased to approx. € 43 million (Q2 2016: € 12 million).

    In light of the strong second-quarter increase in sales and profitability as well as the positive business outlook for the current year 2017, PUMA raises the full-year guidance for its consolidated sales and operating result (EBIT). The Management now expects that currency adjusted sales will increase between 12% and 14% (previous guidance: currency adjusted increase at a low double-digit percentage rate). The operating result (EBIT) is now anticipated to come in between € 205 million and € 215 million (previous guidance: between € 185 million and € 200 million). In line with the previous guidance, the Management still expects that net earnings will improve significantly in 2017.【source: puma】
  • 2017-10-19
    American Apparel Is Back, But Not Everything Is Made in the USA
    Did you wake up yesterday feeling a little bit lighter? The lightness that comes with knowing that nonathletic tennis skirts and striped tube socks were suddenly widely available again? Maybe you didn’t, but I definitely did.

    American Apparel’s website relaunched yesterday, bringing light and life to all. Gildan Activewear Inc. acquired American Apparel at a bankruptcy auction. It purchased American Apparel’s name, but not its operations, which explains the biggest difference in American Apparel 2.0 — not everything is made in USA.

    The new site’s tagline reads, “Globally sourced, ethically made, sweatshop free. That’s American Apparel.” To appeal to its original market, it has a “Made in USA” capsule collection of eight styles that are domestically produced.

    The Made in USA capsule is more expensive than the identical, foreign-made counterpart. For instance, an American hoodie costs $48, while its globally made twin costs $38.For transparency’s sake, there is also a section titled “Sweatshop Free Stories” to provide a look into their new foreign factories in Honduras where the rest of their clothes are produced.The company explains the change at the top of the “Sweatshop Free Stories” section: “At American Apparel we’ve always believed in sweatshop free and ethical manufacturing. We’ve also always believed that border lines are pointless.”
  • 2017-10-06
    Target acquires transportation company Grand Junction to expand same-day delivery services
    Target has acquired San Francisco-based transportation technology company Grand Junction, in order to help it move more quickly into the business of same-day delivery. The company had already been working with Target on a same-day delivery pilot program in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, prior to this deal. That pilot will expand this fall to more New York area stores before a broader rollout to other large metros starting next year.

    The retailer had already dipped its toe in the water of on-demand, local delivery. It has tested same-day delivery in 2014, and later in partnership with Instacart. And this May it announced its plans for Target Restock, a next-day delivery service focused on “everyday essentials,” like household items, personal care products and other dry goods – similar to those you can order through Amazon Prime Pantry.

    Around the same time, Target also announced a small test of same-day delivery in New York. The pilot allowed guests shopping the Tribeca location to have their in-store purchases delivered anywhere in Manhattan, and to parts of Brooklyn or Queens. This eliminated the need for customers to haul their heavier purchases home themselves, or on public transit.

    “Grand Junction’s technology and algorithms will help Target deliver to guests faster and more efficiently,” said Arthur Valdez, executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer, Target, in statement. “This acquisition is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to strengthen Target’s supply chain to provide greater speed, reliability and convenience for guests.”

    Meanwhile, Walmart has doubled down on a same-day pickup service for groceries, and even incentivized customers with discounts when online customers chose to ship items to the store for pickup instead of delivery. Walmart has also taken on Amazon with a free 2-day shipping service and has begun testing using store staff for last mile deliveries.

    Lastly, startups like Curbside are working with major companies like CVS, Pizza Hut and Yelp, to expand access to same-day pickup services, too. (Target had also worked with Curbside before.)
  • 2017-09-26
    Amazon's plan to create sportswear and seek Taiwanese suppliers for cooperation
    Amazon is tapping some of the biggest athletic apparel suppliers to make a foray into private-label sportswear, setting the stage for further upheaval in an already tumultuous industry.

    The project is new and long-term contracts have not been signed yet, said sources. The manufacturers are producing small amounts of products for Amazon as part of a trial. Amazon had previously ventured into private-label fashion, offering office clothing, jackets and dresses under names such as Goodthreads and Paris Sunday.

    But pushing into activewear would bring fresh competition to some of the world's biggest athletic brands. The move comes as unwelcome news for activewear companies already struggling to stand out in a sea of competition and discounts.Last month, Nike said it expected sales to decline again this quarter in North America. Under Armour cut its annual sales forecast in August.Lululemon has fared better this year, but it is also facing steeper competition in the market for yoga pants and other sporty apparel. That cut-throat environment in North America has pushed it to look overseas for growth.

    Amazon has been hiring staff with know-how in private-label athletic apparel.In January, Ms Kirsten Harris joined the company as a senior brand manager for Amazon active apparel, according to her LinkedIn profile.

    This also sends a message to brands reluctant to sell their full inventory on Amazon. If shoppers cannot find their products on the site, Amazon will make its own substitutes and become a competitor.

    It is game on.
  • 2017-09-01
    Lululemon Announces Plans To Sell Footwear In Select Stores
    Activewear retailer Lululemon is today expanding its offering into shoes, giving men and women a head-to-toe look.
    The featured brand, Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL), will be available in 23 select stores in cities that include Denver, Scottsdale, Ariz., Seattle, Atlanta and New York
    “We look forward to inspiring more sweaty pursuits by offering a one-stop shop with an in-store shoe option to complete our guests’ outfits,” said Celeste Burgoyne, EVP, retail, Americas, Lululemon. “APL shares our brand values of providing a quality technical product that elevates and celebrates our guests to live a life they love.”
    APL was founded by Adam and Ryan Goldston in 2009 and its footwear is designed with the brand’s proprietary Propelium technology. Features include outsoles designed in the shape of a feather, natural motion flex grooves that react to one’s movements and solid rubber placed in high-wear areas for increased durability.
    Included in the offering are the TechLoom Phantom and TechLoom Pro styles in a range of colors for both men and women. The shoes average at $150. According to the company, the assortment of styles will vary by store. They are also available online at APL.
  • 2017-08-24
    Google and Walmart are joining forces to take on Amazon
    Starting in September, Google's commerce platform, Google Express, will count America's largest retailer among its list of vendors, the company announced Wednesday.
    Customers will be able to place orders with Walmart at, on the Google Express app, or through Google Assistant-enabled devices like Google Home.
    The coming integration with Walmart is expected to go deeper than that with any current Express retailer — Google's head of commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy, called the partnership "the first of its kind."
    Ramaswamy said customers could link their Walmart and Google accounts, allowing integrated features like a shortcut to reorder items frequently bought from Walmart through the Google Assistant voice software.
    Telling a Google Assistant to "add paper towels" to your cart, for instance, would add your most frequently purchased size and brand of paper towels. Walmart also plans to allow customers to pick up purchases in-store for a discount.
    The partnership puts Walmart further in competition with Amazon, which has a similar service in Alexa. Alexa integrates voice-control and speech-recognition technology to enable customers to place orders via voice using the retailer's Prime service.
  • 2017-07-21
    Nike’s Latest Sports Bra Gets The Flyknit Treatment
    The new FE/NOM Flyknit Bra is a game-changer; this marks Nike's premiere venture into apparel using flyknit technology. The FE/NOM was designed with cooling, breathability, and support in mind, resulting in an ultra-soft nylon-spandex product that is 30% lighter than the company's other sports bras. The FE/NOM also features separate cups for each breast to assure high level support and a sleek design — peep that geometric patterning and lowkey grey and black colorway. 

  • 2017-07-17
    Lululemon Sues Under Armour Over Sports Bra Design
    Lululemon has sued Under Armour for allegedly copycatting patented designs belonging to Lululemon without its permission.
    According to the lawsuit filed Friday in US District Court for the District of Delaware, the patented bra designs features four interwoven segments of fabric, two of which extend from each shoulder. The two patents and trade dress protection cover its popular and “innovative” Energy Bra.
    Lululemon said in the complaint, “An ordinary observer will perceive the overall appearance of the designs of the infringing products to be substantially the same as the overall appearance of the designs of the patent-in-suit.”
    It added, “The infringing products are so similar in design to the trade dress that they are likely to cause confusion, mistake, and deception as to the source of origin of the infringing goods among consumers.”
    Lululemon is seeking a permanent injunction preventing Under Armour from selling the allegedly infringing products, an award of damages, and a jury trial.

  • 2017-07-10
    Under Armour Announces Patrik Frisk As President And Chief Operating Officer
    Under Armour, Inc. announced Patrik Frisk will become the company's President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective July 10. In conjunction with Mr. Frisk's appointment, the company also announced strategic executive changes to align its organizational structure to better leverage its digital business, support its move toward category management, and drive greater operational efficiency across the organization.
    As President and COO of Under Armour, Mr. Frisk will have responsibility for the company's go-to-market strategy and the successful execution of its long-term growth plan. He will report directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank. The following executives will report to Mr. Frisk: Charlie Maurath, Chief Revenue Officer; Kevin Eskridge, Chief Product Officer; Andy Donkin, Chief Marketing Officer; Colin Browne, Chief Supply Chain officer; and, Kevin Haley, President of Strategy.

  • 2017-06-20
    Amazon Prime Wardrobe Lets You Try On and Return Clothes Free
    For many people, buying clothing online is not worth the hassle of getting a pair of pants or a shirt that does not fit. Many retailers have sought to eliminate that risk by offering free returns on clothing, but now Amazon is going even further.
    On Tuesday morning, the company revealed a new program called Prime Wardrobe that allows people to order clothing — from three to 15 items at a time — without actually buying it. Amazon will charge them only for the items they keep. Customers can return the items they don’t want in a resealable box with the preprinted shipping label that the order came in.
    The service will be an option only for members of Amazon Prime, the company’s membership service, which, for $99 a year, gives customers fast shipping at no extra charge, a streaming video service and other benefits. The company did not say when Prime Wardrobe would be available.
    With Prime Wardrobe, Amazon will actually discourage clothing returns in a subtle way. The retailer will cut 10 percent off the purchase price of an order for anyone who keeps three to four items, and 20 percent off for anyone who keeps five or more items.


  • 2017-05-19
    Gap Outlines Five-Year Goal for Sustainable Fibers Use Textiles
    By the year 2021, Gap Inc. wants its Gap brand to be getting all its cotton from more sustainable sources.
    For its Athleta activewear brand, it wants the label to source 80 percent of its technical fabrics from sustainable fibers.“We believe in actively protecting the planet we all share,” said Wendi Goldman, Gap’s chief product officer, who serves on the Gap Foundation Board of Trustees and Gap Inc.’s Sustainability Board. “With our new sustainable cotton goal, we have the opportunity to make a big impact on the global cotton community and bring to light what’s so incredibly important to the future of garment manufacturing, what matters to us as a brand and what matters to our customers.”
    To achieve its goal, the San Francisco–based Gap will continue to partner with the Better Cotton Initiative, which works with farmers around the world to improve cotton production for the people who cultivate it, the environment and the cotton sector’s future. Cotton is a water-intensive crop.
    For Spring 2017, the Gap brand sourced 3.8 million pounds of Better Cotton. Gap also plans to use other sustainable cotton such as organic, recycled and American-grown.
    In 2016, 7 million plastic water bottles were diverted from landfills because of Athleta’s use of recycled polyester.
    The brand hopes to meet its 2020 goal by partnering with fiber and manufacturing suppliers on innovative solutions. It also plans to use more efficient fabric dyeing and finishing techniques to save water as well as reduce waste at the brand’s stores and headquarters.
    By the end of 2020, Gap has committed to a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions in its owned and operated facilities worldwide from a 2015 baseline and to divert 80 percent of its waste in the United States.

  • 2017-04-19
    Asics Seeks to Expand Boston Presence with Product Creation Lab
    Japanese sports apparel and footwear company Asics is joining the rush of shoemakers looking to expand their footprints in Boston.
    Asics America Corp., the Irvine, California-based subsidiary of Kobe, Japan-based Asics Corp., has plans to lease an office near South Station to house what it’s calling a “product creation lab.”
    While the Asics’ existing global digital hub houses apparel and digital teams, the new product creation lab will house teams focused on key business drivers such as footwear merchandising, apparel design, sales leadership and global performance footwear, said Gene McCarthy, president and CEO of Asics America.
    “The intersection of sport and technology is playing a significant role in the future of our industry and Boston represents that dynamic crossroads perfectly,” McCarthy said via email. “The Boston area is the ideal location for this new hub given how fast the digital industry is growing. We look forward to tapping into the deep talent pool the market has to offer as we recruit for key leadership positions across several disciplines.”
    McCarthy said that Asics aims to employ product designers, e-commerce managers, app developers and digital marketers “working on projects not only for the America, but for the world.”
    “Many of these functions would have historically been housed in Kobe, Japan or Irvine, California, but we felt that positioning these teams in Boston would help us better compete in the global marketplace,” McCarthy said via email.

  • 2016-09-13
    Under Armour has hired executives from Amazon and VF Corp.
    Under Armour Inc. has appointed longtime executive Kip Fulks as chief product officer and hired two retail veterans for top-level roles.
    The Baltimore sportswear maker named Andy Donkin, head of worldwide mass and brand marketing at Inc., (NASDAQ: AMZN) as chief marketing officer. Donkin will begin the role Aug. 22.
  • 2014-08-26
    Nike created revamped sock with Elite Digital Ink printing
    Nike Basketball has created a revamped sock design with the new Nike Elite Digital Ink printing process. The printing process is a trademark system that allows Nike designers to adorn Nike Elite socks with high-definition graphics and a vibrant colors while preserving the performance features the product is known for: sweat-wicking, support and impact protection.

    On June 21, Nike will release the “First Edition” colorway that will be presented in various printing styles, including drip effects, distortions, geometric patterns and typeface.

  • 2014-08-23
    Gap will open stores in India in 2015
    Arvind Ltd will open Gap stores in India by April of next year, chairman and managing director Sanjay Lalbhai told NDTV. The first store will either be in Mumbai or Delhi, he said.

    "It (first Gap store) will either be in Bombay or Delhi, which is the first one I don't know. The discussions are on, and I think it should happen by April of next year," Mr Lalbhai said. (Watch)

    Gap is a popular American apparel brand. It has partnered with Arvind Lifestyle Brand Ltd, a unit of textile manufacturer Arvind Ltd to come to India.

    The Arvind stable already boasts of popular brands like Arrow, US Polo, Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica. It has 16 international brand licenses in all, in its kitty.

    The Gap stores in India will be owned and operated by Arvind through a licensing agreement.

    Gap is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It operates five primary brands- Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Intermix, and Athleta.

    "It (Gap) has given us a license to bring the entire Gap lifestyle to this country. So we'll be opening the Gap stores. All the merchandise will be bought from Gap, so it will be the international merchandise which will be available to the Indian consumers and we'll be paying them (Gap) a royalty," Mr Lalbhai said.
  • 2014-08-01
    H&M launches clothing collection made from recycled denim
    With an objective of eliminating waste and reducing environmental impact of the fashion industry Swedish multinational retail-clothing company, H&M has unveiled a new line of clothing made out of recycled textile fibers. The company announced the first collection of products made from the fibers of used clothing which were gathered as a part of its Garment Collecting Initiative. The yearlong recycling initiative was launched by Hennes & Mauritz AB back in February 2013 encouraging customers to donate their unwanted clothes for recycling at any of the company’s retail stores.

    The collection will be composed of five classic denim pieces for men and women and will be using up to 20 percent of recycled cotton. According to the company’s statement this is the maximum amount of recycled fiber that can be incorporated in a new fabric without compromising its quality. As the trend of using recycled products is increasing rapidly, the company looks forward to use more recycled materials in the manufacturing of its products. The clothing line made from recycled textile fibers will available for purchase at the end of February in H&M’s selected stores.
  • 2014-06-08
    GAP To Be 1st US Retailer to Enter Myanmar Market Retailer to Enter Myanmar Market
    Gap Inc. has announced plans to produce clothing in Myanmar, the first American retailer to enter the market since the country began its transition to democracy three years ago.

    Two factories in the commercial capital, Yangon, are reportedly producing garments for the company’s Old Navy and Banana Republic brands.

    A statement released by the U.S. Embassy on Saturday said the clothing would be ready for sale in the U.S. by this summer.

    While Asian nations have long had a strong presence in Myanmar, it’s only in the last few years that companies from the U.S. and Europe have started returning, thanks to the easing of sanctions imposed on the country during its half-century of military rule.

    The retail market is especially attractive because of Myanmar’s abundant and cheap labor force.
  • 2014-06-04
    Under Armour Opens New York's First "Brand House" Specialty Retail Store
    Under Armour opened the doors of its newest specialty retail location in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. With a focus on cutting-edge products and design, the SoHo Brand House is Under Armour's largest retail store to date and a stunning example of the brand's commitment to offering customers a superior shopping experience.

    Featuring men's, women's and youth apparel, footwear and equipment, the SoHo Brand House will be New York City's premiere.

    Under Armour retail destination to shop a full line of Under Armour products that make athletes look, feel and perform their best. The Under Armour Brand House will be staffed with highly-trained product category experts to ensure that all customers receive guidance and recommendations that are tailored to their unique training needs, with the end-goal of outfitting them in the perfect head-to-toe looks. To take the customized shopping experience to the next level, the SoHo Brand House will be the first store to feature Under Armour's Rowhouse Basement shop, where staff will provide private consultations to athletes, celebrities and VIP clientele in an intimate setting.

    The Under Armour Brand House will feature nearly 10,000 square feet of interactive retail space that creates a fully immersive brand experience. Through the use of innovative technology, the Brand House will tell the brand story through digital displays that act as points of information, as well as inspiration. The store boasts an impressive marquee video wall made up of over two million LED lights as well as an athlete wall of fame that will feature some of the brand's most authentic and powerful ambassadors. The specialty retail concept for the Brand House has been successfully executed in other locations, including the brand's hometown in Baltimore, MD and Tysons Corner in McLean, VA.

    Under Armour's newest location will be a destination for customers to experience the brand's latest innovations, including the UA SpeedForm™ Apollo running shoe, the first-of-its-kind Armour39™ performance monitoring system and new ArmourVent™ mesh technology. The SoHo Brand House will also be the first retail location to shop Under Armour's new men's elevated lifestyle collection, 35th & O™. Localized New York products will be offered exclusively at the SoHo Brand House, celebrating the iconic legacy of the city in both sport and style.
  • 2014-04-28
    Adidas, Pharrell to Turn Ocean Plastic, Recycled Bottles Into Sneakers
    G-Star Raw isn't the only fashion firm clapping along to Pharrell Williams's beat. The award-winning musician-songwriter-producer has inked a long-term deal with Adidas's "Originals" brand to create a series of products set to launch this summer. In addition, the sportswear-maker is collaborating with Bionic Yarn, Williams' eco-textile company, and Project Vortex to spin plastic debris from the oceans into yarn and fabric, both of which will be incorporated in several of the upcoming products.
  • 2014-02-18
    TPP, TTIP could alter US textile & apparel trade
    The ongoing negotiations for two major free trade agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), once materialized, could alter the US textile and apparel trade to a large extent, according to experts.
    Once signed and implemented, the two agreements would increase the number of countries with which the US has free-trade agreements from the current 20 to 54.
    Besides the US, the TPP encompasses 11 other countries—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. These countries together have nearly 800 million consumers.
    From the view of textiles and apparel industry, all eyes in the final document would be on whether a yarn-forward provision has been included or not. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) generally follow yarn-forward principle, wherein tax benefit is applicable only on those products that are made from yarn sourced from the free-trade region.
    However, the TPP would be different as it includes countries like Vietnam, a major garment producer and exporter which depends on yarn and fabric from other countries like China and South Korea, which are not part of the TPP negotiations.
    The elimination of yarn-forward principle would mean that Vietnam would be able to export its garments to the US at lower or zero taxes, although the clothing is made using fabric sourced from other countries. It would mean an indirect extension of the TPP benefits to those other countries for their yarn and fabric. It would also increase the share of Vietnamese apparel in the US market.
    The TTIP, once concluded, may further change the US textile and apparel trade, as the negotiations are with the 28-member European Union, the largest export market for the US. It is possible that the European retailers may opt to import denim from the US instead of from the Asian countries, once the treaty is in place.
    While the TPP is expected to conclude this year, the negotiations for TTIP are in the initial stages.
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  • 2014-02-18
    JCPenney is cutting 2,000 jobs and closing 33 stores as the battered department store seeks to revive revenue growth, the company announced Wednesday. 
    The move will save about $65 million annually beginning in 2014, the company said.
    JCPenney, which has about 1,100 stores, has struggled to turn a profit since former CEO Ron Johnson was fired in April.
    The firings and closings are the latest effort by the retailer to reverse Johnson's aggressive reinvention plan, which alienated millions of customers.
    The decision will enable the company to focus resources on the highest growth opportunities while shedding underperforming stores that have been a drag on revenues, JCPenney said in a press release.
    "While it's always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success," JCPenney CEO Mike Ullman said in a statement.
    In another effort to boost a turnaround, the company will overturn Johnson's decision to end sales commissions, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The change, which will affect 3,000 employees, is meant to spur sales growth, especially in jewelry and home furnishings.
  • 2014-02-18
    Court Ruling in NRDC’s Favor Should Limit Pesticide Nanosilver in Textiles
    WASHINGTON (November 7, 2013) – The campaign by the Natural Resources Defense Council to remove potentially harmful nanosilver from textiles such as baby blankets scored a significant victory in a ruling today by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
    In a decision handed down today, the court said the EPA had improperly approved the use of nanosilver by one U.S. textile manufacturer. The court vacated the approval and sent it back to the agency for reevaluation. The lawsuit has been closely watched as a test case for the growing use of nanotechnology in consumer products.
    “The court’s ruling puts us a step closer toward removing nanosilver from textiles,” said Mae Wu, an attorney in NRDC’s Health Program. “EPA shouldn’t have approved nanosilver in the first place. This is just one of a long line of decisions by the agency treating people and our environment as guinea pigs and laboratories for these untested pesticides.”
    NRDC sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in early 2012 to limit the use of nanosilver out of a concern for public health. Today the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a key point NRDC raised: that the EPA didn’t follow its own rules for determining whether the pesticide’s use in products would be safe.
    Beginning in December 2011, EPA approved the company HeiQ Materials to sell nanosilver used in fabrics for the next four years and required the company to provide data on toxicity for human health and aquatic organisms. In early 2012, NRDC filed a lawsuit against EPA seeking to block nanosilver’s use, contending, among several points, that the agency had ignored its own rules for determining the safety of nanosilver.
    The key part of today’s Ninth Circuit ruling addressed EPA’s determination that there is no risk concern for toddlers exposed to nanosilver-treated textiles. The agency’s rules state that if there’s an aggregate exposure to the skin or through ingestion at or below a specific level, there is a risk of health concerns. But the Ninth Circuit found that the EPA had data showing that nanosilver was right at the level that should have triggered a finding of potential risk, but approved the pesticide anyway. That led to the Ninth Circuit vacating EPA’s approval and sending it back down to the agency for reevaluation.
    Silver, a well-recognized antimicrobial, is highly toxic and kills both harmful and beneficial bacteria. Nanosilver is engineered from silver and marketed as an even stronger antimicrobial than silver. Its use in fabrics, food storage containers, hair dryers and other products continues to grow, despite potential dangerous health effects.