of Hollywood Specials
The Underfashion Club
Quick Commerce Credit Cards
Articles Of Interest
Rally to Save NYC Garment Center
Cotton Prices Continue To Climb
Textile Groups Claim India Broke WTO Rules
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Psychology Behind Lingerie Colors
Business and Technology
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November 1, 2010
The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's
Textile Groups Claim India
Broke WTO Rules
Textile groups in the US, EU, Turkey and Mexico are calling for action against the Indian government
for restricting cotton exports and contributing to global shortages and rocketing prices of the
The groups, who between them employ more than one million workers, claim India has broken WTO rules
and say it must be held to account after its "anti-trade actions on cotton have caused turmoil
in world markets."
The concerns are outlined in a joint letter sent to the European Commission (EC) and their
The groups - NCTO, Eurocoton, Canaintex, TTEA and ITKIB - cited an illegal pattern of export
restraints on cotton that the Indian government has
imposed since April. And they say the Indian restraints have contributed to an enormous increase
in the price of cotton for non-Indian textile producers around the globe.
Since India began restricting its cotton exports in April, the price of cotton has increased by nearly
100%, from 62 cents per pound to $1.20 per pound - hitting all-time highs in recent weeks.
The Indian action has coincided with tightening world supplies of cotton amid increasing demand and
disappointing cotton crops in several large
As the second largest exporter of cotton, India is enjoying one of its largest cotton crops in history
but has dramatically restricted its exports over the last six months, the groups say.
"Under these circumstances, competition is seriously distorted," notes Mr Hacoit Benoit, the
president of Eurocoton. "As a result, our European textile customers are faced with difficult options.
"They are forced either accept to pay prohibitive prices for their cotton and suffer increased
competition on processed products imported into the
EU at lower price, or they must reduce their own costs by relocating their production facilities and
jobs outside of Europe, or they must simply close
Mr David Garcia, president of the Cámara Nacional de la Industria Textil (Canaintex) in Mexico, adds:
"The Indian government has clearly broken WTO rules and must be held to account. Textile producers in
Mexico should not be forced to pay ruinous prices for cotton because India is illegally
subsidizing its domestic industry through its export bans and restrictions."
Concerns for Mr Halit Narin, president of the Turkish Textile Employers Association (TTEA) and
ITKIB presidents Ismail Gulle and Hikmet Tanriverdi, are that "that the recovery in the
Turkish textile sector will be cut short by the Indian actions which have caused the price of
cotton to sky- rocket."
They also note that while the Indian government has pledged repeatedly that its actions are "short
term," they have continued to interrupt supply to export markets for over six months.
And Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of the Textile Organizations (NCTO), believes that:
"For the first time in history, US mills are worried about running out of cotton because India's
actions have constricted the worldwide supply and
have caused panic buying.
"Large state-owned Chinese textile producers are now paying any price to secure cotton. These
actions are imperiling what had been a robust recovery for US textile mills."
The groups note in the letter that their mills "face the prospect of extremely high prices for
cotton or having no supply of cotton at all."
Adding that "either way, our mills cannot survive such a scenario for an extended length of time,"
they are urging their respective governments "to
send the strongest message to India that it must not restrict or delay export of its cotton to world
Rally to Save NYC Garment
Politicians, designers, students, union workers and factory owners took to the streets of Manhattan on
October 19, to fight for the future of New York City's Garment Center district.
The rally, which took place in front of the area’s famous button and needle statue, called for
measures to protect the outsourcing of local jobs
overseas. It also wants to see an end to plans to ease zoning laws that protect apparel businesses
and would allow more offices in the neighborhood.
There are also fears that the Garment Center is slowly becoming just another commercial district,
with real estate pressures emptying apparel businesses out the Midtown home they've occupied
for almost a century.
“Fashion is an essential economic engine, and a chief employer at a time
when what New York needs
more than anything is jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer. “As our
city economy rebounds, we must double our efforts to protect local manufacturing – especially
creative industries, which are the treasures of this unique city.”
A report earlier this year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Municipal Arts
Society found the area is still home to over 800 fashion firms, including company headquarters, fabric and trim suppliers and factories.
The ‘Made in Midtown’ study found designers still rely on the Garment District for research and
development, and that it has an important role as a launch pad for young designers and new labels. It is
also home to designers including Jason Wu, Nanette Lepore, Shelly Steffee, and Anna
Paula & Virginia
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Cotton Prices Continue
Cotton prices are expected to continue to rise despite experiencing huge volatility on US
exchanges at the end of last week, according to the Rabobank Group.
Following record gains on Thursday and early Friday and a high not seen since the US Civil War, prices
plummeted by the maximum amount permitted under exchange rules later in the day.
But they believe that continuing demand from China, the world’s biggest importer of cotton, coupled
with low stock levels at leading exporter the US, will lead to continuing price rises in the near
However, the upward curve may be interrupted by further dips thanks to continued concerns over
global economic growth and the instability of foreign exchange markets.
Calling the upward trend in pricing “more sustainable” than other recent increases, Rabobank
said price increases were necessary to encourage
farmers in the US and Brazil to plant more cotton and ease the current shortages.
And demand is likely to be boosted further by shortages in flood-hit Pakistan, as well as in
China, where this year’s crop levels have been lower than expected.
Rising prices are sure to mean increased prices for clothing in major markets like the US and the UK,
particularly in the low-margin, budget clothing sector, which is more exposed to such price
US Lawmakers Push for
Changes to KORUS FTA
US lawmakers are again calling for “substantive
changes” to the pending trade pact with Korea ahead of the upcoming G-20 summit in November.
Their concerns are outlined in a letter sent October 18 to President Obama and South Korean
President Lee. They were prompted by comments made by the US President in June that he planned to
address the outstanding issues in the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) before the G-20 meeting
and send the agreement to Congress for approval in the following months.
The lawmakers’ action also comes after five textile industry trade associations and the
labor union representing textile and apparel workers in August urged the US government to make changes to the
textile portions of the free trade agreement with South Korea in order to avoid large scale job
“President Obama and President Lee must take this opportunity to establish a new 21st century
standard for free trade agreements,” wrote
Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME), chairman of the House Trade Working Group.
“Even beyond the market access issues for textiles, autos and beef, the current free trade agreement is
based on the same failed NAFTA model and promises to ship US jobs overseas.”
In August, opponents outlined three critical errors they claim the legislation contains:
Large and competitive Korean producers were given immediate and sometimes asymmetric duty free access
to the US market in sensitive textile categories; The customs enforcement text is weak and will
encourage massive fraud, and The rule of origin for textiles and apparel gives
benefits to China and other countries for a number of important products.
However, with US politicians and the administration now caught up in the country's upcoming mid-term
elections in early November, it seems unlikely the legislation will feature high on their list of
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Unifi Expands Repreve
Yarn maker Unifi Inc has expanded the range of Repreve recycled products available in Asia with
the launch of Repreve FDY, a 100% recycled fully drawn yarn.
The yarn is supplied through its wholly-owned subsidiary based in Suzhou, China, called Unifi
Textiles Suzhou Co Ltd (UTSC).
The Repreve line-up from UTSC now includes recycled staple polyester, recycled filament polyester,
recycled filament nylon 6.6, and recycled
performance fibers. They are also available with flame retardant, moisture wicking, stretch and
“This new product addition will create opportunities that allow us to penetrate new and
emerging market segments for UTSC,” notes president
The new yarn can be used for wovens and warp and circular knit production. It gives fabrics a silky,
smooth drape, making it suitable for various types of apparel, as well as performance products like
casual and outdoor apparel, the company says.
EU Retailers Break REACH
European retailers including Tesco, Galeria Kaufhof
and Co-Op are breaching the EU’s flagship chemical regulation by selling items like children’s
flip-flops and sports shoes without providing shoppers with details of the potentially harmful
substances they contain, new research claims.
According to the Brussels-based European Environmental Bureau, under the REACH (Registration
Evaluation Authorization and restriction of Chemicals) regulations, retailers are legally
obliged to provide information on harmful chemicals in everyday products.
Shoppers also have the right to contact a retailer to find out whether a SVHC is on a ‘candidate list’
of chemicals to be phased out in the future.
However, the EEB reveals in its report ‘The Fight to Know?’ that half of the 158 information requests
sent to European retailers between April-August 2010 received no response. And just 22% of the
requests received satisfactory answers that meet REACH requirements.
Its research found many products – including children’s flip-flops and sports shoes – contain
high concentrations of phthalates, plasticisers used to make plastic more flexible. These chemicals
are listed as substances of very high concern (SVHC) and recognized to be toxic for reproduction.
Frederick's of Hollywood
Sells Wholesale Division
US intimate apparel firm Frederick's of Hollywood
Group has completed the sale of its wholesale division Movie Star to Dolce Vita Intimates.
Frederick's of Hollywood previously announced plans to explore strategic alternatives for its wholesale
business last month.
The assets were purchased for an aggregate purchase price of approximately US$4.5m, according to a
report on Form 8-K filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"The divestiture of the wholesale division is another major step forward in our strategy to
streamline operations and grow our retail business.
We are focused on transforming Frederick's of Hollywood into a complete sexy lifestyle brand
through domestic and international licensing
agreements to support our entrance into new product categories and markets," said Frederick's of
Hollywood CEO Thomas Lynch.
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