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Sri Lanka Loses Trade Benefit
Innovation Drives Lingerie
Plus 1 for Haiti
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Hanesbrands Sees Strong Growth
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EBI Acquires Ballet Lingerie
Scientists Study Fears Over
Non-slip Lingerie Tape
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March 1, 2010
The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's
Sri Lanka Loses Trade
Months of uncertainty over sourcing apparel from Sri Lanka have come to an end after the European Union (EU) this week
set a deadline for withdrawing the country's GSP+ trade benefits - a move that could also lead to higher prices on
Indeed, UK retail giant Marks & Spencer said it is keeping a close eye on the situation.
"Sri Lanka is one of over 70 countries where we source our products from internationally. We are aware of the
suspension and are monitoring this closely with our suppliers," it said.
The response comes after the EU on Monday February 15, revealed its member states had voted to temporarily
withdraw the preferential trade terms over Sri Lanka's poor human-rights record, with the loss of benefits coming into
force in six months' time.
The vote supports recommendations by the European Commission (EC) in December, and means that from mid-August
the country will lose its GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences) benefits, which have given apparel exports
zero duty access to the EU since 2005.
The EU continues to hint, however, that the suspension of GSP+ benefits for Sri Lanka is "temporary," and that the
six-month delay in removing the preferences will give the country "extra time to address the problems identified."
But if the Sri Lankan government does concede to EU demands to address its human rights issues by August 15, it's not
immediately clear when the GSP+ benefit would be reinstated.
"They'll have to show they've made some significant changes, and I don't see that happening in time," Emma
Ormond, international trade consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers said.
The end of preferences would mean exports revert to a duty of up to 9.6% - effectively a 9.6% price hike - as they
fall back to GSP levels.
This is still lower than the full rate of 12% for most clothing imported into the EU, and puts Sri Lanka's imports
on the same duty as countries like India and Pakistan.
While the delay in implementing new duties means that no garments currently in production or under negotiation will
have their concessions withdrawn, the situation is less clear-cut for the latter part of 2010 and beyond.
Many retailers and exporters are "tearing their hair out" over the situation Ormond says, after investing heavily in
the country due to its combination of duty-free benefits, skilled workers, and good track record on ethical trading.
"I don't think any of them will pull out completely," she said, "but I do think a lot of them will reduce their
Sri Lankan manufacturers also say some international buyers are asking local factories to absorb the loss of the
GSP+ by reducing their prices.
That said, while the loss of the EU concession will clearly hurt many Sri Lankan exporters and lose many Sri Lankan
jobs - the thriving garment industry has other strings in its bow.
For many firms Sri Lanka's strengths lie in garments like bras, on which the EU will only charge 5.2% duty. And
around a third of the garments it sends to Europe don't qualify for duty-free entry in the first place.
Also, nearly half of the country's garment exports don't go to the EU at all, with 40-45% of sales heading to the US.
Innovation Drives Lingerie
Innovation and increasingly risqué designs will help the UK
lingerie market to grow by more than 15% over the next five years, according to a new report.
Meanwhile, the sector’s essential status has helped it to weather the recession better than many other retail areas,
says market intelligence provider Key Note in its 2010 Market Report, Lingerie.
The total UK lingerie market, including corsetry, lingerie and hosiery, reached a value of GBP2.8bn (US$4.3bn) in
2009, 16.1% up on 2005, the report says.
It expects the market to grow by 15.3% over the next five years, reaching a value of GBP3.35bn by the end of 2014.
Among major trends, the report pinpoints an increasing blurring of the lines between underwear and outerwear,
driven by “female icons” such as Madonna, Dita von Teese and Lady GaGa.
“Key Note expects that designs are likely to become even more risqué and erotic in their appeal to women, and this
trend will become even more mainstream,” the organization said.
But despite increasing sophistication, price will remain crucial, the report says, a trend fuelled by the growing
significance of online sales.
Tia Lyn's NY Fashion Show with beautiful models of ALL SIZES!
Chinese January Exports
The value of China's textiles and garment exports rose 2.2%
in January, new data shows, with a drop in clothing exports offset by rising overseas fabric shipments.
According to the General Administration of Customs, total export value rose to $15.57bn in the first month of 2010
compared with the same period last year.
But while textile exports surged 18.2% to $5.58bn, garment and accessories shipments were down 5% to $9.99bn.
January’s figures also fell behind those posted in December, when exports of textiles and garments rose to
$16.79bn – the first gain since April 2009.
For full-year 2009, the total value of textile and garment exports from China fell 10.1% to $167.02bn.
Analysts, however, are hopeful that demand for textiles and apparel in the EU and US markets will help Chinese exports
return to growth this year.
Plus 1 for Haiti
US brands and retailers are being urged to source at least
1% of their total apparel production from Haiti in an effort to aid reconstruction in the earthquake-torn
The program, entitled Plus 1 for Haiti, was launched at the Magic Marketplace trade fair in Las Vegas by Ambassador
Ron Kirk and representatives of companies including Hanesbrands and Gap.
"To continue to grow Haitian apparel exports and help Haiti's economy for the long term, additional investment in
and sourcing from Haiti is critical," said Kirk.
"One per cent may seem small - but it means new jobs and new opportunities for the Haitian people who so desperately
need forward-looking solutions in the wake of January's devastating earthquake."
Backing the scheme, Jerry Cook, vice president of government and trade relations for Hanesbrands, said: "We
remain very hopeful that the combined effort will encourage others to invest in the opportunities and development of
critical infrastructure badly needed for sustained
Meanwhile, Gap senior director Mark D'Sa said the company had been sourcing apparel from Haiti for some time.
"The earthquake has not changed our direction and we continue to work with our vendors in Haiti as they
recover," he added. "We believe in doing good while doing well."
The initiative aims to build on the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity Partnership Encouragement Act, known as HOPE
II, which allows duty-free access to the US for Haitian-made apparel and other articles.
Pakistani Workers Protest
Hundreds of textile staff in Pakistan have staged protests
calling for better workers' rights.
They want the authorities to provide labor rights including social security cards, residential facilities and
education for children.
They are also seeking a 20% increase in minimum wages, and to make sure this is widely implemented.
The protestors gathered in front of Pakistan's District Coordination Officers Jhang office and chanted slogans
against the government authorities.
Labor leader Latif Ansari said that the prices of all goods have increased in Pakistan this year, and textile
mill owners are paying the workers even less than the Government-imposed minimum wage of PKR6000 (US$70) per
Ansari added that if the Government intends to increase textile export earnings it should also focus on improving
working conditions in textile plants.
There are around 3.5m textile workers in Pakistan, most of whom work on daily wages and without any job security or
social security benefits.
Debenhams's Size 16
UK department store chain Debenhams has launched a trial
using size 16 mannequins in its shop windows.
The company, which currently uses size 10 models for garment displays, said the majority of women in the UK are
a size 14 or 16.
Signage next to the mannequins will ask customers 'I’m a size 16, do you want to see more of me?', a statement said.
Debenhams stocks up to size 26 in its women's wear department, and 42% of its sales come from size 14 and 16
Debenhams head of creative, Mark Stevens, said: "We are proud to offer a broad and varied choice for women of all
ages, shapes and sizes in store.
"So we thought we should reflect this in our window displays. If it’s popular with customers we would love to
roll it out."
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