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Editorial: The Hidden Costs of Textile and Apparel Sourcing
published in Issue 146, August 2010
There was once a proud boast in the UK textile industry that, in their heyday, mills produced enough textiles before breakfast on a Monday morning to serve the needs of the domestic market and then spent the remainder of the week supplying the rest of the world—including low cost countries in Asia.
Even a few decades ago, the textile and apparel industries in Western developed countries were essentially “manufacturing-centric”.
But today this business model is not even recognisable. As Andrew Dalziel notes on page 57 of this issue of Textile Outlook International, more and more companies have turned to outsourcing and brand development as strategies for survival and growth, as low cost manufacturing locations have emerged and economic pressures have made manufacturing in Western countries less viable.
Apart from high-tech textiles, manufacturing in developed countries has become the exception rather than the rule—except for sample making and production on a limited scale to meet retailers’ requirements for in-season replenishment.
The final blow to the mass manufacture of basic textiles and apparel in advanced economies was dealt on December 31, 2004, when a ten-year process for phasing out quotas under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) came to an end.
- Editorial: The Hidden Costs of Textile and Apparel Sourcing
- Changing Business Models
- Outsourcing Has Brought New Challenges