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Viscose has emerged as a sustainable alternative to oil-based synthetic textiles such as polyester, acrylic, nylon and spandex.

Introduced in the late 1800s as an alternative to silk, the plant-based fiber, also known as rayon, is inexpensive to make and applicable in many ways, including for casual wear items, denim, socks, bed linen, towels, face masks and wet wipes. Viscose fabric wrinkles easily and may shrink when washed, but it boasts great qualities as well, including being soft, smooth, lightweight and breathable, featuring excellent color retention and absorbency, draping well and being versatile by blending nicely with other fibers.

Said to be the second largest polluter in the world, right behind the oil industry, the harmful impacts of the fashion industry, which employs more than 75 million people worldwide, are staggering. The industry is not only the second biggest consumer of water, but also responsible for eight per cent to ten per cent of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Fashion consumers on an average buy 60 per cent more pieces of clothing than 15 years ago, generating up to 92 million tons of waste, equivalent to four per cent of the world’s waste each year.

The United States and China have reached a tentative trade deal. This would push back any decision to roll out new tariffs.

US and Chinese negotiators have been working on for weeks and President Trump is reportedly prepared to sign the phase one trade deal. The president and top advisors met to review an outline of the deal, which they expect to confirm with Beijing.

Earlier reports, which likely came amid negotiations, said U.S. negotiators have offered to cut existing tariffs by as much as half on $360 billion worth of China-made goods, plus cancel the List 4B tariffs scheduled to take effect on December 15.

The debate over a potential tariff slash has been ongoing for the past month as the U.S. and China wrestled over whether a rollback was ever on the table. Now it seems the offer stands, and in exchange, the U.S. is reportedly seeking firm commitments from Beijing with regard to buying large quantities of U.S. agricultural products, plus the intellectual property protections that set the trade war in motion.

If Beijing doesn’t stick to the commitments that could finally see this phase one deal established, there’s a “snapback” clause that would take punitive tariffs back to their original elevated rates.

If Beijing OKs the deal, the industry could see the impending tariffs officially come off the table.

 

Fashion brand Tibi has created an eco-friendly philanthropy tote inspired by ants as drawn by preschoolers from the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education.

Tibi has generously donated 1,000 exclusive totes, available just in time for the holidays. Proceeds will benefit the center and its work to raise the quality of early care and education in Miami and beyond. It all started with an ant. One of the smallest creatures inspired a classroom of preschoolers and that classroom inspired a fashion powerhouse. Tibi founder and creative director Amy Smilovic took a tour of the Center after having launched her nature-inspired Pre-Fall 2019 collection last year, featuring cheeky takes on ants. She quickly realized the children were also fascinated by powerful, tiny ants – and that's when the idea for the Tibi for United Way tote was born.

The philanthropy tote, made of 100 per cent cotton canvas, features an illustration by four-year-old Emily, a preschool student at the Center. Amy and her team at Tibi mixed fashion expertise with the imagination of children to create a unique product that drives awareness and philanthropy. The partnership is meant to ignite holiday shoppers to give a gift with a purpose - a gift that will empower innovative young minds for years to come.

 

Stäubli presented a selection of latest products from its range of textile machinery for weaving and knitting at ITMACH India. Visitors experienced the new Tiepro warp tying machine and saw Stäubli’s S1692 cam motion and S3260 electronic rotary dobby in action. A collection of latest technical fabrics woven on Stäubli TF weaving systems enticed many visitors. 

With core competencies in shedding machinery (cam motions, rotary dobbies, Jacquard machines) and weaving preparation (drawing-in, leasing and warp tying), Stäubli plays an important role in the design and quality of woven end-products. Based on over a century of experience in the traditional textile industry and its continuous R&D activities, Stäubli constantly offers new and improved high-performance systems and solutions for processing fabrics for fashion, home textiles, automotive, protection and carpet solutions, as well as highly complex technical textiles.

Stäubli India offers in-house training for machine operators and support for customers’ production teams as part of change management. 

During the exhibition, weavers discussed and learned more about Stäubli’s broad range of Jacquard weaving machinery, which is renowned worldwide for top reliability and very high weaving speeds. 

ITMACH India 2019 was another ideal platform for Stäubli experts and customers to discuss the benefits and potential of automation in high-speed weaving and to learn the latest details about machinery and solutions that can enhance the overall efficiency of weaving mills.

 

The Philippines has prepared a roadmap for the garment and textile industry.

The plan covers the period 2020 to 2029. In the short term, the hope is to be among the top 20 garment exporters with an annual growth of 12.3 per cent in garment exports and a 3 per cent -5 per cent increase in textile exports. This will be made through the utilisation of natural and synthetic textile fibers by five per cent to ten per cent. In the medium term, the roadmap forecasts the Philippines to improve its world ranking in garment exports into the top 15 largest globally. It is expected to increase its garment exports by 21.7 per cent annually and natural and synthetic textile fiber exports by ten per cent. Infrastructure gaps and logistical bottlenecks will be addressed. High-quality infrastructure and logistical services will enhance production efficiency, transportation, communication and distribution. In the long term, the roadmap expects the Philippines to be among the top ten of the world’s garment exporters with an annual 45.8 per cent annual increase in the exports of garments. 

The Philippines is already known for everyday wear global brands as the industry has already upgraded to original brand manufacturer with homegrown Filipino labels.

Marks & Spencer, the British department stores group has appointed Paul Babbs as the new chief supply chain officer. He was formerly associated with Adidas. Marks & Spencer aims to strengthen its fashion division after suffering several inventory issues during the last year.

The group, which employs a thousand people in its clothing division, announced in May that it will close around one hundred stores before 2020, speeding its closure plan scheduled for 2022. At the same time, the group reorganized its fashion team by simplifying its structure and announcing 47 layoffs.  

 In July, British executive Jill McDonald, head of the clothing and home division, left the company after four years in the position. After his departure, it was the current chief executive officer of the group, Steve Rowe, who took this position. Marks & Spencer reached a revenue of 3 billion euros (3.3 million dollars) in the third quarter of its fiscal year, down 3.9% compared to the same period the previous year. 

 

Some 7,000 licensed retail establishments out of 64,000 in Hong Kong may close down in the next six months.

Social unrest and sometimes violent anti-China protests are deterring tourists, threatening the survival of smaller operators. Retail sales fell by a quarter in October from a year earlier, the steepest drop on record, while tourist arrivals fell by a whopping 43.7 per cent in the same month, squeezing malls and restaurants. 

Hong Kong ranks among the world’s top five luxury destinations. It has long been a magnet for brands attracted by the flow of visitors from mainland China and accounts for between five per cent and ten per cent of the annual global sales of luxury goods. Watchmakers in particular are likely to be hurt – Hong Kong is a major centre for high-end timepieces. Hermes has been forced to temporarily shut some of its five stores as well as an airport shop in Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong, which once accounted for around five per cent of global luxury sales, is now closer to two per cent. While the demonstrations might be a temporary disruption, a more structural shift is at play in the shopping habits of well-off customers from the Chinese mainland whose Hong Kong spending have long been buttressed sector sales.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has opened up multiple opportunities for Vietnam’s export industries.

Markets of the eleven economies participating in the agreement offer great opportunities for many Vietnamese export items. This includes furniture, garments and footwear. Specifically, with zero import tax tariff, the CPTPP is expected to bring great opportunities for the lumber industry, as once the CPTPP is implemented, 95 tariff lines will be reduced to zero. For that reason, timber enterprises will benefit from importing raw materials from markets such as Canada and Japan which are in the CPTPP. And while exporting products within the bloc they will also enjoy the zero per cent tax rate. In addition, the benefit of zero import tax is also a great opportunity for businesses to cut their costs for renewing machinery and equipment by 20 per cent to 30 per cent. Growth opportunities await the textile sector too.

However, there are challenges. The CPTPP with commitments on market opening can also result in considerable competitive pressure for enterprises. The detailed and complex conditions of CPTPP’s rules of origin would be another obstacle for businesses. The CPTPP includes commitments on labor, environment, intellectual property, etc. that could increase the cost for businesses.

Azerbaijan recorded a cotton harvest of 293,880 tonne according to the agriculture ministry, which is a 31.9 per cent increase over the figures during same period last year, when production was 222,748 tonne. This is the result of the agrarian reforms, include measures to increase cotton harvesting, carried out in the country.

Cotton production in the country is most developed in Saatli, Bilasuvar, Barda, Aghjabadi and Sabirabad regions.

The country’s State Program for 2017-2022, approved in early 2017, aims at strengthening measures to develop cotton growing, increase export potential in the field, ensure employment of the rural population and increase cotton production.The new goal of the government is to boost cotton production to 500,000 tonnes by 2022 from the current 260,000 tonnes. 

There are 23 cotton processing plants, seven yarn factories and three cotton oil enterprises in Azerbaijan.

 

"RICOH shared its Digital Micro Factory (DMF) concept workflow at the 19th International Textile Industry Exhibition (ShanghaiTex 2019), held from November 25-28 at the Shanghai Expo Center. Ramp up-RICOH’s partnership by Universal Platform was officially launched at the M2 Conference Hall on Nov 26 with a ceremony and press conference marking the new alliance and its fashion manufacturers"

 

RICOH shares DMF concept workflow at ShanghaiTex 19RICOH shared its Digital Micro Factory (DMF) concept workflow at the 19th International Textile Industry Exhibition (ShanghaiTex 2019), held from November 25-28 at the Shanghai Expo Center. Ramp up-RICOH’s partnership by Universal Platform was officially launched at the M2 Conference Hall on Nov 26 with a ceremony and press conference marking the new alliance and its fashion manufacturers. Tetsuya Morita, Corporate Vice President of Ricoh Co and General Manager of Industrial Printing, Koji Miyao, Chairman and General Manager of Ricoh China Co and others of the Ricoh Group maintained a unified presence throughout the exhibition and conference.

Koji Miyao said Ricoh aims to expand its China business into a core market, as Europe and the Americas, following impetus from this year's China International Import Expo and 83 years of comprehensive market deployment. The Ricoh Group would continue to develop technologies and experience in Commercial Printing, but incorporating sustainable development and opening greater possibilities in Industrial Printing, with comprehensive and new, innovative technologies.

Tetsuya Morita, General Manager of Industrial Printing, announced that digital micro-factory DMF, a very important concept to the Group, and RAMP-UP the apparel consortium had officially launched, answering to social issues in the future such as environmentalism and safety within the apparel ecosystem. Ricoh would strive to create an open global business environment, so as to push forward social problems such as water pollution, electricity consumption and excess inventory, maintaining a comfortable and safe living environment, a common issue for all human beings.RICOH shares DMF concept workflow at ShanghaiTex 2019

Morita elaborated the proof of concept and the positive steps to be taken in testing from the first and second quarter 2020, with details on the company's website. His next remarks were given to the Ricoh Group's unremitting contribution to achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) advocated by the United Nations, and to the role the DMF digital micro-factory so vigorously launched will play in solving various social problems and providing new customer value to more and more people in the garment and related markets.

Three additional companies including Hangzhou Dianshi Clothing Co also confirmed joining the consortium, while many companies were in the process of joining the consortium as well.

Morita acknowledged the highly developed nature of the Chinese apparel industry, but suggested the DMF concept was for the world market, including China. Ricoh hopes to expand sales of DMF workflow cloud solutions and textile printers, with a goal of JPY10 billion in revenue by the year 2025. DMF will produce significant social benefits using the advantages of industrial inkjet technology, such as diversity, customization, differentiation, multi-type small lot production and leading the industry trend.

Stepping up efforts to deploy the DMF concept itself, Ricoh entered a collaboration with Sweden's Coloreel (March 2019) to develop an on-demand thread dye and inkjet printer. Ricoh also acquired LAC Corporation (2018, renamed Ricoh Digital Painting Company, Ltd.) and ColorGate Digital Output Solutions GmbH, (2018) a leading software provider with strength in color management. The ColorGate acquisition marked an important first step in active capital cooperation, eliminating self-efficiency, and permitting Ricoh to RAMP-UP its partnership programs.

 

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