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Volcanic Ash Hits Apparel Trade
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The International Lingerie Show
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May 1, 2010
The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's
Volcanic Ash Hits Apparel
As the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland made its way across northern Europe over the past week, the massive transportation gridlock that has already brought much of the region to a halt has had a ripple effect on the apparel industry too.
While businesses that rely on airfreight to move perishable goods such as flowers, fruit and vegetables have been hard hit, garment firms can take some comfort from the fact that the majority of clothing, fabrics and accessories are shipped around the world by boat.
But for fast fashion retailers who move product by air to ensure a regular flow of new designs into their stores there will be a "great impact" believes Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group Inc.
Samples, which may need to be moved several times between overseas factories and buying offices in Europe, are also flown for speed and "are now falling behind some deadlines," Cohen said.
"But most are not at a critical state yet."
He adds: "Much is moving. The issue is the ones [samples and designs] that got caught in transit. They, like passengers, are just sitting waiting."
Some manufacturers resort to air freight when delays mean they are in danger of missing buyers' deadlines, and there are reports that such Europe-bound garments are starting to pile up at factories and airports stretching from Bangladesh to China.
There are also signs that supply chains are starting to become more flexible, with logistics firm DHL saying it is adjusting its air and ground networks to process shipments in regions where airspace is closed.
A DHL spokesperson said the company has increased its trucking capacity to
minimize delays for shipments within Europe - and that a three to five day delay is expected for shipments moving between Europe and the rest of the world.
"Shipments between non-European destinations have not been affected," the spokesperson added.
It's likely though that the volcano will have less of an impact on the transportation of goods than on the standstill of shopping from tourists, or "shop-cations" as Cohen calls them.
"Those trying to get somewhere aren't," he says, "so there's less shopping from tourists. And those who are stuck are shopped and tapped out."
Cotton Price Increases Hurt
Increasing prices of imported cotton is threatening local textile and garment production in Vietnam, which relies heavily on imported cotton.
Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) reports that the price of imported cotton has been soaring since the beginning of April.
It estimates cotton prices at US$1.9-$1.92 per kg, a 35% increase from January and up to 50% in comparison with the same period 2009.
Furthermore, Vietnamese enterprises signed contracts with the international partners before the price surge, leading to the reduction in profit.
"High price of cotton causes us suffering the strong reduction of profit because our exporting contracts were signed two months ago." Nguyen Ngoc Binh, deputy general director of Hoa Tho Textile & Garment Joint Stock Corporation said.
The lack of cotton production for Vietnam's textile and garment industry has been an urgent issue for some time, despite Government attempts to intervene. Major projects have been thwarted by limited land area, lack of high quality cotton seed and limited financing.
According to Vietnam Cotton Company, total cotton planted area is now 8,000 ha with productivity - satisfying just 4-5% of local demand.
Tia Lyn's NY Fashion Show with beautiful models of ALL SIZES!
US lawmakers have introduced a bill to extend duty-free benefits for some knit and woven apparel products imported into the US from Haiti in an effort to aid reconstruction in the earthquake-torn country.
The Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act proposed April 28 would extend the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Engagement Act (HOPE Act) until September 30, 2020.
At the moment, the CBTPA is currently set to expire on September 30, 2010, while key provisions of the HOPE legislation expire at the end of next year.
The proposed legislation would also mean that 200m square meter equivalents (SMEs) of Haitian knit and woven clothing products would qualify for US duty-free treatment regardless of the origin of the inputs. This is nearly three times the 70m SMEs that currently benefit.
The increase will occur in any year that Haiti ships 52m SMEs of knit or woven apparel to the US. But it will also trigger
sub limits of 85m SMEs for knit clothing and 70m for woven apparel.
The bill also extends until December 30, 2015 the value-added rule that provides duty-free treatment for apparel made in Haiti with at least 50% value from that country, the US, a US free trade partner or preference program beneficiary, or a combination of these.
Duty-free treatment for Haitian apparel with at least 55% of value from qualifying countries is extended until December 20, 2017; and until December 20, 2018 for apparel with at least 60% of value from qualifying countries.
The American Apparel and Footwear Association, whose members include major US retailers and importers, described the proposed legislation as a "positive step forward toward a long lasting economic recovery for the people of Haiti."
By renewing soon-to-expire trade preference provisions and expanding existing programs, "this bill works to ensure that all facets of the US apparel and textile industry have the opportunity to participate in Haiti's short-term recovery and long-term growth," explains its president and CEO, Kevin Burke.
He also says the group will push for a quick vote in Congress on the trade legislation.
As the single largest sector of Haiti's economy, the apparel industry is seen as playing a leading role in the country's overall recovery from the magnitude 7 earthquake that devastated it early this year.
Clothing accounted 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
Since then Haiti's apparel industry - once the seventeenth largest supplier of apparel to the US with exports worth more than $513m in 2009 - has seen capacity drop by nearly 50%.
As well as helping Haiti through recovery, the bill new should create a predictable and certain environment for the US apparel and textile industry - and send a clear signal to US retailers that they do not need to look to China and other Asian countries to fill orders.
It would also help stimulate investment and create jobs.
The Obama administration has already called on US clothing brands and retailers to source at least 1% of their total apparel production from Haiti.
And companies including Hanesbrands and Gap Inc have pledged to continue sourcing from the country to help its long-term economic growth.
Organic Fiber Sales Up
Sales of organic products in the US continued to grow during 2009 despite the distressed state of the economy, new research has found.
The 2010 Organic Industry Survey from the Organic Trade Association says sales of organic
fiber (linen and clothing) totaled $521m in 2009 – up 10.4% on the previous year.
“These findings are indicative that even in tough times, consumers understand the benefits that organic products offer and will make other cuts before they give up products they value,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s executive director.
Revenues across the whole organic product market, which includes both food and non-food sales, grew by 5.3% overall in 2009 to reach $26.6bn the research found.
Cotton Shortage Hits
Pakistani Spinning Mills
Pakistan could see the closure of 70% of its spinning
plants by the end of May due to a cotton shortage, according to the chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills
Association Punjab, Gohar Ejaz.
The chairman said only 30% of the plants were covered with 90 days' worth of cotton stock, with 70% of plants carrying
30 days of stocks. The member mills of APTMA have already started reporting closures.
Gohar blamed the Ministry of Textile Industry for the cotton shortage in the country, which has reached to 4m
bales of 170 kg. The textile industry is unable to import cotton from international markets due to soaring prices.
He urged the ministry to resolve amicably the ongoing crisis in Pakistan's textile industry by taking a holistic
view of the situation in the larger economic interest of the country.
World's Oldest Push-up Bra
The 200-year-old breast enhancer was discovered in storage at the Science Museum in London.
The pads were designed to boost the cleavage like a modern Wonderbra, made famous by the 1990s "Hello Boys" ads featuring model Eva Herzigova.
The bra, dating from the 1800s, will go on show for the first time at The Science Museum.
The museum's assistant curator Selina Hurley said: "We think of body enhancement as a modern invention.
"But this object shows that women have been looking to boost their cleavage for hundreds of years.
"This bust enhancer is one-of-a-kind in our collection."
Van de Velde Acquires
Lingerie firm Van de Velde has acquired the Dutch store formula LinChérie, a cooperative of 42 independent retailers in the Netherlands. An acquisition price was not disclosed.
The cooperative is neither a chain or a franchising concept, Van de Velde explained in a release, but an
organization offering these independent retailers a number of centrally organized
services (such as marketing and accounting). The services are provided by a team of five people (based in Houten). ‘
Van de Velde acquires the brand, and will further develop the services to the network of independent retailers.
This acquisition will not have a significant impact on the consolidated figures of Van de Velde, the statement said.
"This acquisition underlines Van de Velde's belief in the specialty store in general. Supporting and strengthening all aspects of the independent specialty store is a key component of Van de Velde's retail strategy. Van de Velde will continue to dedicate efforts to all independent lingerie retailers through the existing support
programs," the statement said.
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