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Articles Of Interest

US Apparel Group Criticizes Import Monitoring
Page 1

UK Online January 
Sales UP
Page 1

Nanoparticles Raise Concerns
Page 1

Triumph Cuts 226 Workers
Page 2

East Coast Halloween Show
Page 2

 McPete Sez
Page 2

Sanitized Silver Developed for Delicate Fabrics
Page 3

East Coast Halloween Show
Page 3

Ask Kevin
Page 3

Ask Andy
Page 3

Bra Recycling for Research
Page 4

Fraternity Underwear Walk 
Page 4

Model Sues Over Catwalk Fall
Page 4

Thief Caught
Page 5

The Buzz
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Reps Corner
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  March 1, 2009                                           Issue #236
     The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's Wear Journal           

                              Intimate Apparel

US Apparel Group Criticizes
      Import Monitoring 
A US apparel group has condemned a clause in the 2009 appropriations bill that could lead to monitoring of apparel imports from China and Vietnam. 
The bill, which the House of Representatives approved February 25, and the Senate is expected to consider imminently, includes language that allows the Commerce Department "to undertake apparel import monitoring, focusing on prices of imports from China and Vietnam and whether their state-run industries are illegally pricing products and dumping in the US market."
However, the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel, which represents US importers and retailers, is calling on Congress to reject this clause.
"There is absolutely no factual basis for such monitoring," says its executive director Laura E Jones.
Similar language was included in a House appropriations report last year, at the request of US yarn and fabric makers seeking evidence that imports may be dumped. However, although this report came out last summer, it was never enacted.
It was followed, though, by a decision by the International Trade Commission (ITC) in November to monitor China's imports during the coming year in response to a request from Charles B Rangel, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
As a result, since January 1, 2009, the ITC has been providing statistical reports every two weeks on the volume, value, unit value, and import market share of some textile and apparel items shipped to the US from China. 
However, trade expert Brenda A Jacobs, an attorney at Sidley Austin LLP, believes the latest move may be opposed by the House Committee on Ways and Means since it appears to completely disregard their actions, 
which were instigated at the behest of the US textile industry. 
"Textile groups now seem to be saying they don't want objective data - they want the ability to exert political pressure," she said.
The Bush Administration monitored apparel imports from Vietnam for almost two years, but abandoned the scheme in January after finding no evidence of dumping.
Monitoring does, however, have significant implications for trade, not only adding uncertainties to sourcing from China and Vietnam, but also encouraging the movement of sourcing to other neighboring countries.
Jacobs warns the language in the current bill is particularly inflammatory because it includes the words "state-run industries." 
"That latter point is one with which many of the multinationals invested in China and Vietnam would take strong issue," she says.

UK Online January Sales Up
Online retail spending in the UK continued to rise during January, with the clothing, footwear and accessories sector out-performing the overall market. 
According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, spending in January was up 19% on last year, compared to the 15% growth figure seen during the second half of 2008. 
Monthly growth in online spending fell for the second month in a row, but the survey said this was in line with the traditional dip in spending after Christmas. 
Online sales of clothing, footwear and accessories were up 32% on last year, continuing the sector's trend of consistently out-performing the market during 2008. 
The sector also recorded the smallest fall in growth compared to December. 
"The strong performance of online points to a continued need to invest in the development of [retailers'] e-commerce propositions," said Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail for Capgemini UK. 
"The question is whether bricks and clicks retailers can prioritize this sufficiently above the defensive strategies needed to combat tough high street trading. 
"If not, the risk of widening the gap versus their pure play rivals will be inevitable."

8/24 Watch Tia Lyn's NY Fashion Show with beautiful models of ALL SIZES!

Cambodia's Temporary Work
       Contracts Criticized
Changes being proposed to Cambodia's labor law that would allow for unlimited temporary work contracts have been criticized by the global union representing workers in the textile and clothing sector.
The changes would mean temporary contracts could be extended indefinitely, replacing the current maximum of two years.
But Neil Kearney, general secretary of the Brussels-based International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF), says the use of temporary contracts in Cambodia "has had a very negative impact on worker rights in our sector."
Not only do such contracts enable employers to get rid of trade union leaders by simply failing to renew their temporary contracts, but contracts of less than one year enable employers to avoid benefits such as maternity and sick leave. 
The Ministry of Labor has responded to lobbying by the private sector by drafting proposed amendments to existing rules.
And already "a number of garment manufacturers have reportedly already began switching from permanent to temporary contracts," Kearney warns. 
The ITGLWF is calling on brands participating in the Better Factories Program to insist their suppliers refrain from short-term employment contracts - and is also considering a formal complaint to the International Labor Organization. 
The union also argues the changes would make Cambodia less competitive from an ethical viewpoint, since brands and retailers who are forced to cut back their orders are giving priority to suppliers that perform the best on both production criteria and social compliance.

Nanoparticles Raise Concerns
Health concerns are growing about the use of nanoparticles in consumer products, notably textiles and clothing, with the European Union scientific committee on emerging and newly identified health risks raising potential problems.
Its latest detailed paper represents a hardening of concerns. 
While the committee has previously highlighted the lack of knowledge about how nanoparticles could migrate from clothing and their dyes into consumers' bodies, it is now raising tangible fears.
Its latest paper especially focused on a common type of nanoparticle called nanotubes, noting when they have "similar characteristics as some types of 
hazardous asbestos…similar inflammatory reactions can be induced by the nanotubes as asbestos."
For this to happen, nanotubes need "long thin fibrous forms (length >20 micrometer), rigidity, and non-degradability (biopersistence)."
It added an inhalation risk was probably required for causing health problems, noting that "a risk for mesothelioma [the cancer usually caused by asbestos] cannot be excluded", a particular concern for workers processing or manufacturing nanotubes.
It also raised concern about nanosilver which has been developed for use as a biocide in products such as self-cleaning socks.
Here the report highlighted a toxicity study where an "accumulation of silver was observed in all organs examined, i.e. blood, brain, kidneys, liver, lungs, stomach and testes."

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UK's January Retail Sales 
              Up 0.7%
The volume of retail sales in a recession-hit UK rose 0.7% between December and January, driven by an increase in textiles, clothing and footwear stores.
According to latest figures by the Office for National Statistics, in the three months to January the seasonally adjusted index for the volume of retail sales increased 1.5% over the previous three months too.
Textiles, clothing and footwear stores boosted sales 1.8% during this three month period.
Total growth increased in the three months to January compared with the same three months a year ago by 3.2%, the ONS reported.

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