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October 1, 2010
The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's
Cotton Prices Break $1
Per Pound Barrier
Cotton prices have broken through the US$1 per pound barrier for only the
second time in history amid escalating worries of a potential global shortage.
Cotton futures set for December delivery have soared by as much as 30% since July, reaching their highest level since 1995.
The rising prices have come as a result of a combination of factors, most notably supply issues caused by the floods in Pakistan, plus heavy rain
potentially reducing the crop in China.
The situation has been worsened by doubts surrounding the ending of restrictions on exporting raw cotton from India, which were due to be
lifted on October 1– a step opposed by many domestic textile and apparel companies.
Now investors and hedge funds are also being drawn into the cotton futures market by the rising prices and increases in shipments to key
production centers like China and Mexico, sending prices up even further.
Cambodia's Strike Cost $14M
Mass strikes in Cambodia last month are to cost the local textile and
garment industry around US$14m, according to the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC).
The strike involved over 75,000 workers who were demanding increased
In addition to the financial damage, the strikes could shake confidence
in the future and affect orders, it says.
"The losses resulted from the suspension of production, discounts granted
to buyers due to delays, expedited shipments by air, as well as damage by
strikers," Ken Loo, secretary general of GMAC said.
The strikes involved more than half of garment workers from 30 factories
in the country, and were led by Ath Thun, president of the Coalition of
Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union. It wants to increase the
minimum wage for garment workers to $93 per month, from the current rate of $61.
The Cambodian government brought an end to protests by announcing a
meeting to discuss issues including the the minimum wage. GMAC is due to release an official statement on the negotiations.
A minimum wage deal in the country had previously been determined on July 8, 2010 by the country's
Labor Advisory Committee.
Murray is wearing AFAP - As FIT As Possible
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Calzedonia Invests in Lingerie
Italian hosiery, underwear and swimwear maker Calzedonia is investing
EUR16m (US$21.8m) in a new lingerie plant in Sombor, around 150 km north west of the Serbian capital Belgrade.
The new Fiorano facility, which covers an area of 12,000 square meters,
will employ 600 workers by May 2011. Serbian president Boris Tadic,
Gruppo Calzedonia president Sandro Veronesi, and Armando Varricchio, the Italian ambassador in Serbia, attended the inauguration ceremony.
Founded in 1987, Calzedonia has a network or more than 1250 shops around the world and brands that include Intimissimi, Tezenis, Falconeri and
Tia Lyn's NY Fashion Show with beautiful models of ALL SIZES!
I'm sorry to report, but Joan Pass passed away on August 11 after a long battle with
Joan was born in Hong Kong, but moved to the US to attend college. She worked in department stores, for
Eagle Shirtmaker, Male Power and Sedgefield before starting her own business - Fantastic Jewelry and
working with her husband, Franz Pass at Pass Distributing Company.
Joan and Franz celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary the day before she died.
Joan was a familiar face at the trade shows and she will be missed.
Cotton Exports from India
The resumption of raw cotton exports from India is being delayed by one
month, in a move that means the first shipments will now be pushed back to November 1, instead of October 1 as exporters had been expecting.
The delay is being blamed on recent heavy rains in major cotton-producing areas such as Punjab and Andhra Pradesh that have delayed this year’s
Current restrictions only allow exports of raw cotton if licensed by India’s directorate general of foreign trade, but after 1 November,
exports need only be pre-registered with the Textile Commission.
Registration for the new cotton exports is now due to start from
India, the world's second-biggest producer and exporter of cotton, introduced a ban on raw cotton exports in April in an attempt to halt
soaring price hikes and exports. It also imposed monthly limits on the amount of cotton, even under registered contracts, that could be
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Lejaby Staff Protest
Around 100 staff at French lingerie maker Lejaby protest at the planned
closure of three of its manufacturing plants in France and the potential
loss of 197 jobs.
They have occupied the firm’s HQ in Rillieux-la-Pape, near Lyon, for an
The closure of the plants, a consequence of management moves to relocate more production abroad in order to cut costs, was first announced in
April this year and confirmed earlier this week.
The staff staging the occupation have called for the merger of two of the
plants to be closed in order to safeguard some jobs. They are demanding
severance bonuses of up to EUR70,000 for workers made redundant and for finishing wage levels to be maintained during training periods for new
Founded in 1930, Lejaby was sold in 2008 by US group Warnaco to Austria's Palmers Textil AG, in a deal which valued the business at a total of
China Sells Cotton From
China is to sell more cotton from government stockpiles to try to satisfy
rising domestic demand for the fiber and offset rising domestic prices.
According to a notice from the China Cotton Association, the government
has approved a plan to release 400,000 tons of cotton from state
stockpiles. The move follows a similar decision in June, when an extra
600,000 tons of cotton were made available.
Cotton prices have surged through a combination of rising demand from
textile companies whose orders are growing as retailers and brands
recover from the recession, as well as lower domestic production of the
The US Department of Agriculture has already calculated China’s cotton
consumption is estimated at 10.34m tons in the 2009-2010 season, while
production is likely to be just 7.1m tons.
Flax a Substitute For Cotton?
A technology that converts hemp-based fibers into yarns and fabrics
suitable for apparel is being expanded to use flax as its raw material –
offering a cost-effective alternative to cotton, its developers say.
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc is behind the Crailar process, which
turns straw-like hemp fibers into white fibers similar to organic cotton
using a patented enzyme bath. It has now turned its attention to the use
of flax fibers as the foundation for the technology – including planting
300 acres of fiber-variety flax in Kingstree, South Carolina as part of
“This is an industry first,” said CEO Ken Barker. “With cotton prices
currently at 90 to 93 cents per pound, flax is a cost-effective raw
material for fiber production. The productivity of our process using flax
is twice as efficient as it is with hemp, yielding nearly twice as much
usable fiber after going through the Crailar process.
“Our recent spinning trials with Crailar-processed flax have been highly
successful, which further validates the feasibility of flax as a
practical, economically viable complement to cotton.”
Flax is easy to grow with minimal use of herbicides, pesticides and
engineered irrigation and is abundant in the US and Canada, which
significantly reduces costs from a supply-chain perspective as compared
to other natural fibers.
The Crailar process can also be used with the stalk portion of the
oilseed flax plant – traditionally cultivated for food and industrial
applications – which would normally be discarded during processing.
It bathes bast fibers in a proprietary enzyme wash to remove the binding
agents from flax that contribute to its stiff texture. This process
transforms them into soft, yet strong and durable textile fibers, which
can be used in both fashion and industrial applications.
The resulting fibers are said to have the comfort and breathability of
cotton, with the strength, moisture-wicking properties and
shrink-resistance of sturdy bast fibers. Flax can be spun on existing
machinery to produce a yarn that can be used alone or blended with other
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