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Haiti Apparel Industry
Pakistan's Customs Blocked Cotton Yarn Shipments
Retailers Warned of
Saudi Women Boycott
"Manned" Lingerie Stores
Buyers' Best Sellers
Brazilian Underwear Day
American Olympians Launch
Underwear Is No Longer "Under"
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February 15, 2010
The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's
Bill Proposed to Rebuild
Haiti Apparel Industry
Legislation has been put forward to try to rebuild Haiti's apparel and footwear industry by speeding up the renewal of
Haiti's trade benefits and reassuring potential investors of its long-term stability, after it was decimated by a
magnitude 7 earthquake that hit the country last month.
Supporters of the bill also hope it will send a clear signal to US retailers that they do not need to look to
China and other Asian countries to fill orders, but will instead be able to continue doing business with Haitian
The clothing industry is Haiti's key export earner, accounting for three-quarters of the nation's exports and
more than 25,000 jobs before the earthquake hit the capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, January 12.
Since then Haiti's apparel industry - once the seventeenth largest supplier of apparel to the US - has seen capacity
drop by nearly 50%.
One of the worst-affected producers was Palm Apparel Group where more than 500 workers lost their lives when one of
its factories collapsed in the quake, the country's worst in two hundred years.
Now US Senators Ron Wyden and Bill Nelson have put forward the "Renewing Hope for Haiti Act," which aims to guarantee
the industry's future by providing a framework to get the apparel sector up and running again.
"Haiti's long-term survival depends on immediate steps being taken to protect its economic future," said
Wyden, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness.
The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere has benefited from the HOPE II Act (Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity
through Partnership Engagement) of 2008, which provides Haitian apparel exports duty-free access to the US market.
Clothing exports to the US are also duty free under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), which is due
to expire in September.
The new bill wants to extend the CBTPA for three years, as well as extend by two years a key HOPE provision set to
expire in December 2011.
The legislation also creates a task force led by the Department of Treasury to identify obstacles to foreign
investment in Haiti.
And it wants to deploy resources and personnel from the US Customs and Border Patrol to fast-track exports between
Haiti, the US and the Dominican Republic.
"By renewing pro-Haitian provisions in US trade law, streamlining customs processes and opening up avenues for
foreign investment, the US can have a significant impact on this fragile economy and restore a much-needed sense of
normalcy," Wyden says.
The bill's co-author Bill Nelson also points out: "Economic assistance for Haiti is critical right now. That's because
long-term stability there will be determined in large part by Haiti rebuilding a viable economy."
Separately, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) also said it has set up a task force manned by its
members to help the Haitian industry.
Karina Eiland wears
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Beauty and Ah-Bee
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Pakistan's Customs Blocked Cotton Yarn Shipments
Customs authorities in Pakistan have blocked the shipments
of five types of unrestricted value-added cotton yarns from the country leaving dozens of export containers stuck at
The yarns include Lycra, dyed, heather grey or melange, slub and bleached or singed.
The authorities are asking the shippers to obtain appropriate No Objection Certificates (NOC) from the
ministry of textile industries.
Last month the ministry of textiles imposed an export ceiling of 50,000
tons of yarn per month in a bid to improve availability of raw materials for the domestic
A spokesperson for the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association said that this is a clear violation of rules of
trade. And this will hinder achieving the export targets of the country.
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Pakistan Textile Firms
Exempt From Power Cuts
Pakistan’s electricity supply company has decided to exempt
the textile industry from the power cuts in the country, as pledged by the government in its first-ever five-year
The country's textile industry had experienced six to eight hour electricity cuts during the past few months, prompting
textile owners and laborers to hold large scale demonstrations in different parts of the country against
the power cuts.
The textile industry contributes more than 50% of the country's total export earnings and provides jobs to 3.5m
workers. Power cuts in the country had badly affected the production and export of textile products, with many
textile exporters unable to meet their shipment schedules.
Pakistan’s textile and clothing exports dropped by around 1% during the first half of the current fiscal year.
EU Grants Fund Lithuania
The European Commission has unveiled plans to plough
EUR523,481 (US$728,117) into retraining and career advice for 491 recently laid-off former Lithuanian clothing and
textile sector workers.
Its request to raid the European Union's European Globalization Adjustment Fund
for this purpose comes after Lithuania's textile and clothing industry suffered
gravely in the recession.
Clothing production declined in the country by 85% in 2008, and 70% in the first half of 2009.
There were "redundancies as a consequence," noted a Commission communiqué. The Lithuanian government wanted the
fund to help retrain 1,154 workers losing their jobs in 45 clothing businesses.
The EU Council of Ministers will make the final decision about using the fund, which would help the "most
disadvantaged" of the jobless workers, with spending boosted by about EUR300,000 from the Lithuanian government.
Lithuania's apparel industry lost 21.1% of its jobs between June 2007 and June 2008 alone.
Retailers Warned of
Retailers including Wal-Mart, The Gap, JC Penney and Land's
End are among 78 companies who have been warned by US regulators they may be breaking the law by selling clothing
labeled as being made from "bamboo" when it is actually manufactured from rayon fiber.
Letters sent by the Federal Trade Commission advise the retailers to modify their labels to ensure their claims are
not misleading or deceptive in their efforts to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.
"Rayon is rayon, even if bamboo has been used somewhere along the line in the manufacturing process," explains
David C Vladeck, director of the agency's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Rayon is a man-made fiber created from the cellulose found in plants and trees and processed with harsh chemicals that
release hazardous air pollution.
Any plant or tree - including bamboo - could be used as the cellulose
source, but the fiber that is created is rayon.
"Our hope is that these warning letters will serve as a wake-up call to all companies, regardless of their size,"
Under the FTC Act, any company that receives this information but fails to correct its advertising and
labeling can be fined up to $16,000 per violation.
The FTC sued several companies last year for allegedly selling products labeled
as "bamboo" that were in reality made of rayon.
The complaints also challenged a number of other deceptive "green" claims, including that the products retained the
bamboo plant's antimicrobial properties, were made using environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, and are
Last week Canada's Competition Bureau also claimed more than 450,000 clothing and textile articles had been
re-labeled as rayon or viscose after companies misled consumers into thinking they were made from bamboo
The changes were made after the Bureau last year contacted retailers, importers, manufacturers, processors and
finishers to tell them of its concerns over the labeling and advertising of textile articles derived from bamboo.
January Retail Sales Show
US retail sales growth in January beat expectations according to the latest figures, boosting hopes that economic recovery is underway.
New data from the Commerce Department and the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows retail sales in January were 0.5% higher than December.
But they point to a 1.7% drop in sales at clothing and clothing accessory stores as shoppers took advantage of special clearance deals on popular apparel items.
"We continue to see the economy show subtle signs of improvement," said Rosalind Wells, chief economist for NRF.
"While the recovery still has a long way to go, we remain encouraged by the latest retail sales figures."
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