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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Growth of the U.S & Global Apparel Industry

Did you know that the Carbon Footprints for apparel products can be analyzed?

Carbon Footprints are the greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by an organization, event, person or a product.

Numerous firms have life-cycle inventory databases for analyzing clothing and accessory products to determine how much carbon dioxide they emit. There are life-cycle assessment software tools to carry out the research faster.

Assessing carbon footprints could be helpful for apparel companies to find turn-key solutions and produce more environment-friendly products. These organizations can also specify carbon labels in their products to make consumers aware of this issue.

The Large and Innovative Apparel Industry

Experiments like the one mentioned above are an integral part of the global apparel industry. These lead to innovation and production of apparel items by adding unique and useful elements.

Not just for people, leading apparel corporations like American Apparel has even launched hoodies for dogs! We can find numerous such instances of creative concepts developed by organizations in an endeavor to reach out to untapped markets.


Apparel Updates – U.S and Global

According to the latest update, the growth of U.S. apparel import has been increasing since March of 2014. The U.S. Department of Commerce has recently released data, which says the total apparel imports amounted to $6.7 billion during March this year. It’s a rise of 9% from March 2013.

The website predicted that the US retail sales will reach $4.732 trillion in 2014, in which the ecommerce sales will be at a greater-than-ever share of the total sales. The retail ecommerce businesses will have a steady and sustained growth.

From a global perspective, the apparel industry is likely to grow at a steady pace. As per the value forecast made by the market research website, the value of this industry will be around $ 1,162.8 billion with a growth rate of 2.2%.

In terms of apparel product segmentation, the market for global children’s wear is expected to go beyond $186 billion in 2014. Out of which, American companies will hold close to 40% of the market share.

In 2014, the global menswear industry is likely to hit beyond the $402 billion mark. Here too, the U.S. companies will have 35% of the total market share.

Finally, for women’s wear, this industry is expected to do maximum business by exceeding $621 billion in 2014. The widespread apparel industry around the globe is fragmented and highly competitive as even local companies are coming up to tap the regional market and establish their niche.

Setting up an apparel business does not require a large capital expenditure. Many individuals run such businesses successfully with a single, independent retail store. Such convenience is accelerating the growth process, especially in countries like India and China, where the average income is much lower than the western countries.

Leading retail stores such as GAP, H&M, Levis and TJX have their outlets in many countries across the world. They are collaborating with the popular local brands to increase their products’ appeal to consumers. The growth process of this industry is expected to continue with innovative and flexible business strategies.

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Is the US Textile Industry on Course for Revival?

USA Today published an article in February of 2014 where it talked about the revival of the US textile industry. It says that businesses are trending upward in the Southern States of America such as Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. This news may come as a surprise to many people, and they might ask why we are talking about revival. Was the US textile industry dead earlier? The answer is if it wasn’t dead, the industry was definitely reeling.

The days of glory of the US textile industry faded off during the 1990s and 2000s when the production dropped substantially. Adding to the woes, downsizing of over 200,000 took place due to automation. The turnaround of this industry started recently in 2012, when the industry generated $54 billion as revenues, and employed approximately 233,000 workers. Subsequently, in 2013 companies from various countries such as Canada, China, India, Great Britain and Korea announced the opening of factories.

Some positive trending that has been observed in the following areas:

Cotton Industry
In the cotton textile industry, China is emerging as the dominant nation. According to the case study published in the May/June 2013 issue of Journal of Business Case Studies, by 2015, China will be importing 47% of the world's cotton production. The United States is now third in terms of the total cotton production in the world. It’s currently the leading exporter of cotton.
The US cotton industry is thriving because of the following reasons:
  • Increasing consumer interest in cotton consumption that is leading to more production.
  • Influence of international trade on the US Textile industry and its contribution to the economy.
  • Impact of innovative technology that is accelerating cotton manufacturing.

Home Textile
This is another area that is thriving in recent times. Home Textiles industry is going through an exciting phase as new styles, colors and textures are invented frequently. It has created an encouraging trend in the world of fashion and apparel. Designers are experimenting in bold colors and prints to have a mass appeal. Also, the affordability and quality of these products have also gone up a few notches.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

AAFA Releases Twin Reports on Apparel and Footwear for 2012

Reconfirming its status not only as a major trade association and lobbying group but also as a leading source of industry information, the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) just released twin reports “serving as snapshots of the U.S. apparel and footwear industry market trends for 2012.”

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Textile Recycling: An Important Concept

The recycling of textiles means the reusing or reprocessing of used apparel, clothing scraps and fibers that are left over in the manufacturing process. Apart from discarded clothing and textiles, other sources for recycling of textiles include- carpets, upholstery, sheets towels, footwear, and other soft goods.

Some data:

As per US EPA, about 5% of all landfill space is occupied by textile wastes.  The EPA also says that the textile recycling industry recycles nearly 3.8 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) annually, which is just 15% of the total PCTW. 85% of PCTW goes to the landfills. 

52% of the clothing purchased annually in the UK, or 1,081,000 tons of clothing, is thrown away in landfills. Likewise, in many countries, textile recycling has a great scope of improvement.

Why recycle?
Textile recycling is a need for a better future; the concept has both ecological and economic advantages. Recycling textiles reduces the use of many polluting and energy-using processes that go into the making of textile manufacturing using fresh raw materials.

  • Usage of chemicals like dyes and fixing agents is greatly reduced
  •  Landfill space requirement is reduced. Synthetic fibers in landfills do not decompose, woolen garments produce methane gas on decomposition. Thus, landfills can create ecological problems as well.
  • Recycled textiles mean less buying of fresh material
  • Fibers, when recycled lead to cost savings involved in importing from other countries. This saves time, money and energy resources.
  • The manufacturing of new products is easier as recycled material does not need dyeing or scouring.
  • Wastage of water is reduced as extensive washing is not required.
  • The stress for producing fresh textile resources is also reduced to an extent.

Major textile sources for recycling: There are two major types of resources- post-consumer and pre-consumer. Post-consumer resources include clothing, upholstery, and household goods. Pre-consumer resources include by-products or scraps left over during the textile manufacturing process and scrap textiles left over from other industries.

  • Used clothing
  • Used footwear
  • Leather goods
  • Cotton, wool, silk, polyester, nylon fiber recycling
  • Polyurethane foam
  • Carpets, rugs and wipers
  • Used bags

Textile recycling process:

Textiles are generally either natural or may contain synthetic fibers. The textile recycling method is broadly defined by its durability and composition.

Firstly, all collected textile material is sorted and classified by skilled and experienced labors who have the expertise to differentiate between various types of fibers –synthetics, natural and blended fibers. After this initial sorting, all items are sent to various destinations.

At fiber reclamation mills, all material is graded as per type and color. Textiles are shredded into smaller fibers to be blended with other selected fibers. Next, carding of the blended mixture is done to clean the fibers and make them ready for spinning. Finally, weaving or knitting is done. For the manufacturing of mattresses, the fibers may also be compressed. To send to the flocking industry, fibers may be shredded to make fillers for use in cars as roofing felts, car insulation fillers, furniture padding and panel linings.

In the case of specialized synthetic materials, firstly, fasteners such as zippers and buttons are removed, followed by shredding the textile material into bits. The shredded stuff is granulated and small pellets are formed. The pellets are polymerized into polyester chips. The chips are melted and spun to filament fibers to produce new polyester fabrics.

With better awareness and facilities in textile recycling, the textile industry can benefit from the concept to a large extent, saving time, energy and the environment in the long run.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday season: Impact on the World Textile Industry

As the holiday season rolls in, speculations about its success or failure are at their peak.  Most experts suspect a sluggish state of affairs in the textile industry, one of the worst in the last four to five years.
Based on an extensive statistical evaluation of more than 60,000 locations, it is estimated that retail sales for December, 2013 will increase marginally as compared to a 3% increase in December, 2012. There was a 4% increase in retail sales in the years 2010 and 2011. 

Some challenges to the textile industry: Currently, people are feeling a bit shaky about shopping this holiday season. Rising interest rates, infighting over the national budget by Congressional bodies, the lack of certainty over US involvement in Syria and various other macroeconomic factors affect consumer behavior. People are spending more of their income on cars, homes and insurance, and are curtailing other expenses, including apparel, textiles and footwear. The holiday season impact on world textile industry is being speculated upon a lot.

Consumers are fast realizing that interest rates have been showing a steady upward trend in the recent past. As a result, they are focusing on larger purchases that may require a loan, in order to gain better interest rates at present. They believe that financial products will cost more in the future with rising interest rates. Until the interest rates stabilize, even the holiday season impact on world textile industry will continue to be subdued.

A ray of hope: In spite of all the speculated downtrend, ShopperTrak suggests that this holiday season, days from December 20th to December 24th could be the busiest shopping days across the USA. They advise that retailers should look forward to a narrower time-window for spending by consumers. They also suggest that although store visits will be fewer, the spending will not be reduced. ShopperTrak hopes to see a rise in retail sales by about 2.4%, as compared to the year 2012.

Market research experts predict that “Super Saturday”, the Saturday before Christmas will be this holiday season’s strongest revenue grosser for shoppers in terms of sales.

Holidays are associated with a great focus on celebrations and gifting traditions. Across the world, apparel and textile manufacturers, buyers and retailers plan their Christmas shipments well in advance to meet the growing demand by consumers. The consumers, on their part, may wait till weekends to hit the stores. They will definitely plan their purchases, well in advance. It is for the store owners to foresee the trend and offer stocks accordingly.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Shopping Season Forecast Looks Grim

As the holiday shopping season fast approaches, predictions abound regarding its success or failure. At least one major forecaster expects disappointment, potentially the worst season since 2009. 

ShopperTrak predicts that retail sales for this coming November and December will inch up a meager 2.4%, a drop from last year’s 3 percent increase and the 4 percent increases of both 2010 and 2011. These conclusions are based on a wide-ranging statistical analysis of store traffic at more than 60,000 locations.
ShopperTrak’s founder Bill Martin cited a number of factors for the forthcoming malaise, including rising interest rates, congressional infighting over the national budget, uncertainty regarding U.S. involvement in Syria and a bevy of macroeconomic indicators. “It’s got people feeling more tenuous about the holiday season, “ said Martin.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

China’s Textile Industry Leans Green

Speaking at the Texworld USA show in midtown Manhattan, Zhang Yankai, vice president of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, promised an increased commitment by the Chinese textile industry to environmental progress. ‘In the next four years, we are going to work very hard to create a green environment so [the industry] continues growth in the future.”
In a rare moment of candid self-criticism last week,  China issued a report card on the nation’s environmental conditions, describing them as “grim.” The report also noted a “marked deterioration in China’s air, water and land quality.” A shockingly low twenty-seven out of 113 cities evaluated satisfied the bare minimum quality standards, set by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. More than 30 percent of China’s major rivers were labeled either “polluted” or “seriously polluted” while more than 57 percent of the groundwater assessed in 198 cities was “bad or “extremely bad.”

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