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Beyond the Bale : June August 2009
June – August 2009 BEYOND THE BALE WOOL PIPELINE Apparel forum predicts industry rationalisation O ut of the global financial crisis, a newstyle apparel industry may emerge, offering opportunities to fibres including wool, a recent international forum for apparel retailers and manufacturers was told. AWI was able to gauge the changing challenges and opportunities in the global apparel industry by participating in the Hong Kong-held Prime Source Forum, where it was also a sponsor and presenter. AWI’s manager supply chain integrity Ben Lyons, who is based in the China office, attended the forum and reports that the hot topic, unsurprisingly, was the global financial crisis. Keynote speaker Nicholas Kwan, the regional head of research at Standard Chartered Bank Asia, predicted that by the end of 2009 the situation should begin to improve, though many in the audience remained sceptical. Ben’s summation from the forum is that the textile and apparel industry will rationalise over the coming 12 months, with many companies changing the way they do business. “Manufacturers feel the textile supply chain has deteriorated in its efficiency, owing to the way retailers and brands organise their companies,” Ben says. “For example, key decisions are made in head offices, whereas sourcing is done in regional offices such as Hong Kong. “There is a lot of waste in terms of samples being expressed around the world and brands being overly strict on things such as colour and dyeing shades. Conversely, good suppliers are like gold for retailers and brands and they guard them and look after them.” Workshops focusing on sustainability in the apparel industry revealed there is confusion and frustration about what impacts most on retailers and their customers. Regarding emissions, Ben says participants were all for reducing their carbon footprint, but bemoaned the AN INTERNATIONAL CELEBRATION OF NATURAL FIBRES Australian wool and cotton have been recognised for the natural part they play in clothing the world – and providing tens of thousands of jobs – at an event in Sydney to mark 2009 as the United Nations International Year of Natural Fibres. Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Dr Jacques Diouf attended the event as a guest of the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Tony Burke. They were joined by Regional Representative for the UN, High Commissioner Richard Towle, Assistant FAO Representative for the Pacific Islands Paul Tomane, key stakeholder groups, and wool and cotton growers. Dr Diouf said the UN International Year of Natural Fibres was raising global awareness of the importance of natural fibres not only to producers and industry, but also to consumers and the environment. Mr Burke paid tribute to Australian wool and cotton producers, saying they were world leaders in innovation and productivity. He said the wool and cotton industries have helped shape communities in regional Australia and have underpinned the growth of the national economy. “Producers in these industries have learnt to farm smarter and are globally competitive, which is more important than ever as we deal with the global recession,” Mr Burke said. “Families will always need quality clothing, textiles and homewares and Australian producers will remain world leaders in delivering these goods from the farm to consumers.” 23 difficulties inherent in calculating their carbon and CO2 emissions. It was also felt that there are now too many eco labels confusing the marketplace. The annual Prime Source Forum brings together more than 400 senior managers from the international textiles industry to discuss the challenges facing and opportunities available to textile manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. Senior executives from 25 countries attended including representatives from Adidas, Ann Taylor, Bossini, Cortefiel, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Eddie Bauer, Fila, G2000, Guess, H&M, Jockey, JC Penney, KarstadtQuelle, Li Ning, Liz Claiborne, lululemon athletica, New Balance, Orchard Brands, Orsay, Otto Intl, Pacific Brands, Polo Ralph Lauren, Quiksilver, s.Oliver, Target, Triumph, VF and William E. Connor & Associates. More information: www.primesourceforum.com A UN International Year of Natural Fibres pre-stamped envelope from Australia Post. Mr Burke launched a commemorative pre-stamped envelope produced by Australia Post to recognise Australian natural fibre industries, particularly wool and cotton. AWI CEO Brenda McGahan said the UN International Year of Natural Fibres will help raise awareness of the importance of sustainably produced natural fibres. “Australian woolgrowers produce around 80 per cent of the world’s fine apparel wool using natural grazing systems,” she said. “It was woolgrowers who helped begin the Landcare movement over 20 years ago and now lead the world in animal welfare initiatives.” More information: www.naturalfibres2009.org THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION OF THE AUSTRALIAN POSTAL CORPORATION. THE ORIGINALWORK IS HELD IN THE NATIONAL PHILATELIC COLLECTION
April May 2009
September November 2009