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Ethical Fashion in Demand
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Power Cuts in Pakistan
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Spain's Textile Sector Lost 11,500 Jobs
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  January 15, 2008                                        Issue #209


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Ethical Fashion In Demand
Online ethical fashion retailer Adili, which launched in September 2006, said that sales in the four weeks prior to the final shipping date for Christmas - December 21 - were up by 388% on those for the same period in 2006.
The company said that 2,357 items were shipped, arising from 1,050 orders during the same period. This compares to 835 items shipped from 376 orders in last year's lead up to Christmas.
The company also reported that strong trading continued into the sale period commencing December 21.
Adam Smith, chief executive, said: "Given the increasing share of the retail market being taken by ethical consumerism together with the continued rapid growth of online retail sales, we remain confident and excited about the prospects for Adili."

2000 Vietnamese Textile
     Workers Strike
Another strike has hit the Vietnamese textile industry after 2,000 workers at a Taiwan-owned textile plant in the south of the country walked out in protest at their low wages. 
According to the local press, the workers at the CCH Top company plant in Ho Chi Minh City claim their basic monthly salary of VND1.070m (US$67) is too low to keep pace with rising consumer prices.
The industrial action is the latest to take place in recent months in Vietnam.
In December, 240 workers at a plant owned by Vietnam's Hai Phong Footwear Company went on strike, calling for a rise in salary and an improved working environment.
And in November, around 10,000 workers at Tae Kwang Vina shoe plant, which makes shoes for Nike, also stopped work amid complaints that their wages were too low. 
Inflation in Vietnam topped 8% last year, and consumer prices jumped over 12% in December compared to the same month in 2006.

5/24              Photographed by Lawrence O. Brown

Argentina to Close Illegal
         Textile Mills
Argentina's government shut 700 illegal textile mills in the Buenos Aires region last year as it continued to crackdown on clandestine factories employing and exploiting illegal workers.
"The government continues to work to fight this activity but more needs to be done," a leading industry official said, requesting anonymity.
Illegal trade moved some US$700m during the year in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires and the Buenos Aires province.
Following several closures last month, the Government set up Planta Demostrativa Barracas, a new, 1,800 square meter factory that will absorb 400 jobs from the seized mills, the source said. The pilot project in Buenos Aires will make clothing for industrial and Government workers.
The Government is expected to launch more state-sponsored mills to provide legal work to immigrants and train them in new skills. Its 700 closures saw 2,500 people - mostly Bolivian and other immigrants - lose their jobs.
Argentina has been scrambling to accommodate rising numbers of illegal workers from neighboring Bolivia, South America's poorest nation. In April 2006, its Government pledged to shut 1,600 illegal sweatshops employing 4,000 Bolivian workers, coming under social pressure after six Bolivians where killed by a fire in an unregulated mill that month.      

Power Cuts in Pakistan
Pakistani textile mills have been asked to close their operations for five hours a day in an attempt to save electricity amid widening power cuts across the country.
The power shortages are blamed in part on damage to transmission systems during the riots following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on December 27.
The government has already shut down all steel melting units across the country for two weeks to conserve power.

    Warnaco's Swimwear 
   Brands Sold For $26M
US apparel group Warnaco has found a buyer for its Anne Cole, Cole of California and Catalina swimwear brands, selling them to In Mocean Group for about US$26m. 
Warnaco had signaled its intent to sell the businesses last year as part of a restructuring of the company's Swimwear Group. 
The deal consists of $21m in cash and $5m related to raw material and work in progress for the current swim season. 
The company also plans to exit its private label swimwear business, excluding Calvin Klein, by the end of June 2008. 
"The sale of these businesses is consistent with our prior announcement to realign the Swimwear Group to enhance its future growth and profitability," said Helen McCluskey, president of Warnaco's Intimate Apparel and Swimwear Groups. 
"While Anne Cole, Cole of California and Catalina are strong brands with important positions in their respective channels, their sale allows our team to focus its time and resources on those brands and businesses with the greatest long-term growth potential for Warnaco." 
In Mocean president Zvi Ben-Haim expressed his delight at the deal, adding that he believed the brands would "nicely complement" the company's existing swimwear businesses.
Warnaco has also been in talks over the disposal of its Lejaby intimate apparel arm as part of the company's restructuring plans. It plans to focus on the expansion of its direct-to-consumer and international businesses in the future. 
In November last year, the company recorded a 70% slump in third quarter earnings, due to restructuring costs and declining sales.

Spain's Textile Sector Lost
          11,500 Jobs

Spain's apparel and textiles industry lost 11,500 jobs in 2007, slashing the sector's headcount by 5.6% to just under 200,000 as it continued to struggle against a flood of Asian imports.
Imports increased 10% from January to October while exports rose 9.2%, trade statistics firm Centro de Informacion Textil y de la Confeccion (CITYC) said in a statement. 
Textiles production fell 2.3% while apparel declined 2.8%.
Since 2000, Spain's apparel and textiles industry has lost 60,000 jobs to Asian competition, CITYC said, adding that the industry continues to restructure.
According to other sources, textiles output has plunged 32% in the past eight years while the industry continued to scramble against rising fakes trade.
In related news, textiles and apparel sales are forecast to reach EUR4.3bn (US$6.3bn) during the sales season that began in Spain, down 5% from the year-ago period, leading trade lobby Asociacion Empresarial de Comercio Textil y Complementos (Acotex) said Monday.
The sector will suffer from rival retailers' fierce competition to woo increasingly frugal Spaniards, nervous about rising interest rates and a deepening mortgage crisis. 
Spanish consumers will spend EUR100 on average on textiles products, down slightly from last year, but per-item prices are expected to fall significantly, Acotex said.

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