Summary of News 2021 (Part 4 continued)

Dear Readers,

This is the end of the total upwash of the selected news to keep you informed during the time our publishing was halted. Tomorrow, January 19, 2021 we resume our editorial work with the Newsletter and continue our daily news. Thank you for continuing to trust TextileFuture! If you would like to support us due to the pandemic, we would appreciate you would adhere to our paid subscription, because we don’t have any other support, except some limited banner advertising. This means, that as a publisher who serves you, is paying for you out of his personal pocket. However, this has to come to an end soon. Thus, please make an effort that the existence of TextileFuture remains intact. We feel sure that you would miss our efforts to keep you informed on a global basis, and on all aspects.

Best regards, Virginia F. Bodmer-Altura, Publisher

Fashion

Burberry’s future archive

Captions courtesy by Burberry

Burberry’s Future Archive is a limited-edition capsule collection inspired by the brand’s rich heritage.

Designed by Riccardo Tisci, Burberry’s Future Archive is a unique capsule of modern Burberry signatures. The collection is limited edition and each piece has been designed exclusively, drawing on the rich heritage of outerwear, reinterpreted from classics within the Burberry archive. Classic yet modern, timeless and perennial – a modern reflection of the storied history of the house. A small selection of pieces are available with an edition number, a piece with everlasting appeal, a part of Burberry’s new heritage.

The collection is rooted in outerwear, from diamond-quilted coats to bomber and field jackets – hallmarks of the house. The capsule also includes tailored jackets and trousers, as well as accessories from bucket hats to backpacks, scarves to Cube bags – for men and women.

The campaign, captured by Alessio Bolzoni, is set in a contemporary space which celebrates the dualistic contrast between modernity and timelessness and features models Jourdan Dunn and Adrian Chabada.

The collection will be sold in a selection of Burberry stores, burberry.com and exclusively through Mytheresa from January, 5 2021.

OUTERWEAR

For women and men, diamond-quilted ramie cotton parka remastered with a trenchinspired back panel in cotton gabardine. An olive green and black, diamond-quilted nylon coat styled with a cut-out hem and trenchinspired back panel in cotton gabardine and both with check lining.

Diamond-quilted nylon bomber jackets spliced with a cotton-gabardine back panel and finished with logo appliqué in black and dark carbon blue. Black and bright red Biker jackets in logo-apliqued neoprene.

For women, a black diamond-quilted, transformed with a cotton-gabardine back panel and Vintage check undercollar. For men, a timeless, reimagined field jacket diamond-quilted nylon with a trench-inspired back panel in cotton gabardine.

BAGS

An updated take on the runway bowling bag, in a compact size in smooth tan leather wrapped with a diamond-quilted corduroy panel and a polished chain strap. A larger style is available in a quilted yellow nylon wrapped with a contrasting logo-print cotton canvas and a polished chain shoulder strap. Cotton canvas backpacks in medium and large with canary yellow contrasting back panels and finished with a logo print and leather zip pulls.

ACCESSORIES

Runway sneakers for men and women in leather and suede, reconstructed with a Cuban heel, in black and beige. Bucket hats in a nylon and twill, featuring utilitarian pocket and belt details inspired by the bomber jacket and the signature Burberry trench. A reconstructed bucket hat in nylon and cotton twill which unzips to become a visor. Tactile knitted mohair silk and cashmere scarves with hand-knotted tasselled fringing in soft fawn, dark green, blue and black.

More on Burberry’s history can be had here

www.burberryplc.com

Thinking outside the fashion box

By guest author from Vogue Business’s editorial associate Bella Webb.

Utopian fantasies or recipes for change? Their ideas are radical, their solutions even more so. Three manifestos reimagine the fashion system.

The unsustainable practices of the fashion industry are under fire as never before. Over the past two years alone, mainstream players have called for significant changes: luxury brands such as Gucci cut back on the fashion show schedule, designers led by Dries Van Noten penned open letters to the industry, and over 60 signatories — representing more than 200 global brands — signed up to the G7 Fashion Pact.

But on the fringes of fashion, some academics say this isn’t enough. They are more interested in an idealistic question: if we could rebuild the fashion industry from scratch, what would it look like?

Vogue Business spoke to three UK-based radical thinkers about their manifestos for a sustainable fashion industry. They are not step-by-step guides to systems change, nor do they have static endpoints to be completed and filed away. They are intentionally abstract and agile routes to change, ready to be further developed by brands and the people working within them.

Earth Logic

The Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan is a shareable document developed by academics Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham, co-founders of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, which released its own manifesto in 2018 and has over 400 members. The plan advocates for an “Earth-first” approach, built around the idea that “without a healthy planet, all activities will cease”.

Swapping the economic growth logic for earth logic means making decisions based on environmental and ecological sustainability rather than profitability. It envisages a system built on six core values: multiple centres, diverse ways of knowing, co-creation, grounded imagination, care of world and care of self. The idea is to transform the industry and our relationship to it with those values in mind, focusing on six areas or learnings: less, local, plural, learning, language and governance.

Since its release in December 2019, the Earth Logic plan has been adopted by multiple universities as a framework text for teaching, facilitated conversations with multinational businesses and become the foundation of three PhDs. “People are keeping us in the loop, but we want people to make it their own,” says Fletcher.

The events of 2020 have thrown the need for such a plan into sharp relief. “The intersecting crises around Covid-19, racism and others like sexism are part of the same mega-crisis as climate change and biodiversity loss,” says Fletcher. “Covid-19 has exposed the structures and biases that were always there, but were hidden by culture and normality.” She adds that the pandemic was merely a “dress rehearsal” for the impending effects of the climate crisis, if the world doesn’t act within the decade allotted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Fletcher and Tham encourage people to “stay with the trouble”, not shying away from difficult changes. Their plan includes practical advice and poses ideological questions to guide action. One suggestion, for example, includes the creation of a “language ombudsperson” to help create and disseminate earth logic language. This person would examine how journalism, photography and other communication tools such as marketing can become more sustainable.

Fletcher envisions fashion industries that are more locally focused, where mending is taught in schools and designers work in service of their communities, sharing skills and knowledge instead of producing endless disposable garments. “Industry will remain part of our lives, but it won’t be the most dominant part and it will be much more diversified,” she says. “You can’t sell more stuff to be successful anymore.”

The Slow Grind

When multidisciplinary creative Georgina Johnson released her manifesto Slow Fashion to Save Minds as an online document in 2018, conversations about sustainability and mental illness were still on the sidelines of fashion. By the time she published an extended book version in May 2020, we were in the throes of a global pandemic and those conversations had developed into rallying cries for a new system.

View on Instagram

The Slow Grind: Finding Our Way Back to Creative Balance is an anthology with wide-ranging contributions. Stylist Ib Kamara reflects on the impact of fame on creativity. Fashion Revolution co-founder Orsola de Castro implores readers to find sentimental value in their clothing. Fashion historian Kimberly Jenkins discusses the importance of education in dismantling inequalities.

Johnson advocates for a more humane approach to fashion, with an emphasis on mental health and wellbeing rather than productivity. Through workshops, lectures and creative projects, she hopes to put the manifesto into practice. “You implement something like this through ongoing intention and practice,” she says. “This year especially, we’ve seen the loud applause for people saying they want to do things differently, but we’ve also seen people default back to the status quo when that creates friction. Doing things differently always creates a gap between what is possible and what we can see has been done before.”

To create a working environment where employees are empowered to challenge systems, organisations need to rethink productivity goals. “Labour has been mechanised to a ridiculous point where it’s impossible to do everything an organisation wants you to do in a day or a job role,” says Johnson.

Caption courtesy by Vogue Business

Including outside voices is crucial. Brands can embrace radical thought leaders and share resources to help them create better systems, Johnson says. “Don’t be afraid to say you don’t have the knowledge or education you need. Brands can identify the grassroots people changing things on a micro level and scale up those ideas,” she says. “The responsibility shouldn’t be on people pouring from an empty cup.”

As part of these efforts to include diverse perspectives, Johnson advocates for larger organisations running mentorship programmes that offer both financial and practical support. “If you give a scholarship, show people how to spend it wisely, and how to balance the books, how to build relationships with suppliers and producers,” she says. “If you’re hiring in your image, you’ll just perpetuate the same problems over and over.”

And Beyond

Co-founders Amy Foster-Taylor and Will Bull describe And Beyond as a “participatory systems design lab”. Through intimate workshops where CEOs sit alongside interns and garment workers, they help individuals and organisations to envision and create more expansive futures and realise their role within them.

According to And Beyond, fashion is the playground of many oppressive systems, which also makes it the perfect playground for change. “Colonialism is evident in the linear model of take, make, use and dispose. It’s the idea that garment workers in the Global South are lucky to have jobs in fashion, despite the horrific conditions they often have to endure. And the way fashion outsources problems like clothing waste to other countries,” explains Foster-Taylor, an alumna of London College of Fashion’s MA Fashion Futures course. She points to a report by the Sustainable Fashion Initiative that connects unpaid internships to patriarchy, shame and trauma. “It’s about healing internalised oppression so you don’t oppress others.”

Existing approaches to racism are similarly surface-level, continues Bull. “Inclusion still involves someone holding the power to include someone else. Putting anti-racist policies into an inherently racist system is a pragmatic but short-term solution.”

Going forward, And Beyond believes fashion needs systems that mirror nature. “Nature is a cycle of birth, growth and decay. It’s a perfect template,” says Foster-Taylor. She suggests that the industry could borrow nature’s decentralised approach to loosen the grip of fashion capitals and champion a “glocal” system with diverse visions emerging in different localities. It could adopt nature’s wholehearted utilisation of resources, so nothing is wasted and everything is valued. Some brands are already doing this, such as London-based independents Trashion Factory and Birdsong London, which exist to create living wage jobs for the local women they employ.

It may seem utopian, but And Beyond is more about provocation than dogma. Their vision of the future won’t be dictated by one or two people. “It’s not about having one radical CEO at the top,” says Foster-Taylor. “We want to create systems that are agile, regenerative and decentralised, so dreams can be revisited and adapted as needed.” The idea is to acknowledge the systems we have internalised and imagine a world beyond them. “It might sound complex, but it’s really just about what is working for us and what isn’t?”

www.voguebusiness.com

Burberry reveals Chinese New Year 2021 campaign

Burberry has revealed its Chinese New Year 2021 campaign. The campaign stars models Liu Wen and Wang Xiangguo, and is captured by photographer Feng Li.

The capsule collection is presented in a series of images that celebrate the majesty of the natural world. The campaign highlights the collection in classic Burberry check, featuring heritage Burberry trench coats and sports-influenced pieces, as well as new a new colour way of the Olympia bag.

A limited-edition Thomas Burberry Monogram Motif, inspired by the Chinese zodiac and animated with an original illustration in honour of the Year of the Ox – a sign associated with the earth: powerful and calm.

The limited-edition collection is available to purchase now.

BAGS

The Iconic Pocket Bag, an archive-inspired check tote woven with a bio-based nylon yarn created from castor oil. The design features topstitched leather trims and a contrasting front pocket embossed with. The Olympia bag, a runway shoulder bag sculpted from tri-tone topstitched leather, with a curved silhouette‚ inspired by the architecture of our show venue, Olympia London.

The slim, structured style features gold-plated hardware and exterior slip and zip pockets for easy access. Introducing a new Beach Tote in check nylon lined with a refreshed Monogram motif pattern featuring a zip pouch for smaller essentials.

WOMENS

Outerwear includes, a raglan-sleeved trench coat in Italian-woven check nylon, cut to a relaxed Waterloo fit. A bomber jacket cut from check nylon, patterned with striped rib-knit trims in a textured towelling. Tailoring in a boxy fit jacket cut from Italian-woven check technical wool.

Straight-fit tailored trousers cut from Italian-woven check technical wool. A form-fitting turtleneck top in stretch jersey, a pussy-bow blouse in Italian-woven silk crepe de chine, a column skirt cut from lightweight check all with the Monogram motif.

Technical knitwear in a Merino wool cardigan in jacquard-woven check, detailed with rib-knit trims, oversized polo shirt in check wool and a jacquard-woven check polo shirt dress cut to a relaxed fit.

Loop-back cotton sweatshirt printed with our logo and a montage of motifs, a T-shirt in cotton jersey and high-waisted leggings cut from Italian-knitted stretch jersey.

MENS

A clean-lined car coat crafted in Italy from yarn-dyed check nylon, reversing to a contrast check.

Merino wool polo shirt in jacquard-woven check, topped with a contrasting collar and placket and a cardigan in jacquard-woven check, cut to a relaxed fit and finished with rib-knit trims. A long-sleeved top in Italian-knitted check stretch jersey, styled with a zipped funnel neck.

Classic-fit long sleeve shirts in Italian-woven check cotton poplin, a short-sleeved shirt in check silk with contrasting collar detail. Straight-fit cropped trousers cut from Italian-woven check technical wool.

T-shirt’s and hoodies printed with the Burberry logo and a montage of motifs. Polo shirts animated with a patchwork of checks, topped with a contrasting cotton collar.

Classic drawcord swim shorts in check-print nylon, with breathable mesh lining lends comfort and a Velcro-fastening pockets.

ACCESSORIES

Shoes for women include Point-toe pumps in yarn-dyed check nylon, patterned with a refreshed Monogram motif. For men an Arthur sneaker crafted in check nylon and capped with a polished overshoe inspired by rain boots with cross-detailed tread referencing our iconic check. An Italian-made baseball cap in cotton twill accented with horns and scarves containing organic wool, jacquard-woven with stripes.

LIU WEN, MODEL

‘My first ever international show was Burberry, so it feels surreal to have life come full circle and to collaborate with the brand again for the Year of the Ox. Burberry’s campaigns are always so creative and surprising, and this time was no different. The shoot took place in a beautiful park and as soon as I encounter nature, my entire being revitalises – I absorb not just its beauty but also a kind of energy. It inspires me to continue my passion towards my work and my desire to always keep exploring.’

WANG XIANGGUO, MODEL

‘This Burberry campaign shoot was very inspiring, really feeling the essence of nature and the creativity of the brand. There was an amazing energy on set and it was incredible to work with the photographer, Feng Li.’

FENG LI, PHOTOGRAPHER

‘This campaign is celebrating the Year of the Ox and being a big admirer of nature myself, it was amazing to be able to shoot with the real animals as well as the iconic Liu Wen and Wang Xiangguo. This was a truly unforgettable collaboration for me.’

www.burberryplc.com

Jewellery

LVMH and Tiffany to Have Short Honeymoon

Tiffany shareholders voted in favor of new terms to the USD 16 billion union; French luxury giant won’t delay in sprucing up its latest purchase.

By guest author Carol Ryan from Wall Street Journal,

Tiffany TIF & Co. executives will be happy that the final hurdle to the jeweler’s bumpy union with LVMH LVMUY Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has been removed. The French buyer might be more preoccupied with how to make the pricey deal pay off.

On Wednesday, December 30, 2020, Tiffany’s shareholders gave their approval for a slight discount to the original merger terms. The jeweler now has a sticker price of USD 15.8 billion, down from USD 16.2 billion. It is still a good result for investors who at one stage feared the deal could collapse. They cash out at a 33 % premium to the value of the shares before news of talks between the two sides first leaked in October of 2019, even though the pandemic has shrunk the brand’s revenue.

After the deal closes in early January, five top executives at Tiffany will receive golden parachutes worth USD 100 million in total, and LVMH will begin an overhaul.

Jewellery has performed better than other luxury products during the pandemic. Global sales will be down 15 % in 2020 compared with last year’s levels based on Bain & Company estimates. By comparison, high-end watches and clothing will decline at double that rate.

Tiffany might still underperform the global jewellery market, though. The company’s sales were down by one-quarter over the nine months through October. It relies on tourists for a chunk of sales, particularly at its Fifth Avenue flagship in New York, and its engagement-ring business is suffering as couples delay marriage.

Strong demand in mainland China this year suggests the brand still has plenty of room to grow in Asia. The share of its e-commerce business—now an important focus for luxury companies—has doubled to 12% of group sales from last year’s level. And Tiffany only has one-sixth of its stores based in Europe, giving it the option to expand if, and when tourist spending recovers in the region.

LVMH has a good record in taking jewellery brands upmarket. When it bought Bulgari back in 2011, the Italian brand had an operating margin of just 8 %. By 2018, that number had roughly tripled to 25 % according to Jefferies estimates. Now that the drama of this merger is over, the work needed to polish up Tiffany can begin.

www.tiffany.com

www.wsj.com

LVMH completes the acquisition of Tiffany & Co.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s leading luxury products group, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF), the global luxury jeweler. The acquisition of this iconic US jeweler will deeply transform LVMH’s Watches & Jewelry division and complement LVMH’s 75 distinguished Maisons.

Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH, commented: “I am pleased to welcome Tiffany and all their talented employees in our Group. Tiffany is an iconic brand and a quintessential emblem of the global jewelry sector. We are committed to supporting Tiffany, a brand that is synonymous with love and whose Blue Box is revered around the world, with the same dedication and passion that we have applied to each of our prestigious Maisons over the years. We are optimistic about Tiffany’s ability to accelerate its growth, innovate and remain at the forefront of our discerning customers’ most cherished life achievements and memories. I would like to thank Alessandro Bogliolo and his team for their dedication to Tiffany and their work over the past three years, especially during this challenging period.”

Tiffany Executive Leadership

In conjunction with the closing of the transaction, LVMH has announced several leadership appointments at Tiffany:

  • Anthony Ledru, previously Executive Vice President, Global Commercial Activities at Louis Vuitton and formerly Senior Vice President of North America at Tiffany, becomes Chief Executive Officer of Tiffany, effective immediately.
  • Alexandre Arnault, previously Chief Executive Officer of high-quality luggage company RIMOWA, becomes Executive Vice President, Product and Communications of Tiffany, effective immediately.
  • Michael Burke, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Louis Vuitton, will become Chairman of Tiffany Board of Directors.

Leadership Transitions

  • Alessandro Bogliolo, the current Chief Executive Officer of Tiffany, has agreed to remain with the company to facilitate the transition through January 22, 2021, after which time he will depart the company.
  • Reed Krakoff, Chief Artistic Director, and Daniella Vitale, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of Tiffany, will depart Tiffany after a short transition of responsibilities.

Anthony Ledru, Chief Executive Officer of Tiffany, said: “I am delighted to re-join Tiffany, the most iconic American luxury brand which I have long admired. The inclusiveness and optimism upon which Tiffany was founded resonate now more than ever. I also come back to a Maison that is at the forefront of the environmental and sourcing standards in its industry. Going forward, I have deep confidence in LVMH’s commitment to protect the brand, drive its growth strategy and apply the highest standards of retail excellence to Tiffany. The potential ahead is limitless, and I look forward to writing this next deeply promising chapter, along with the 14,000 Tiffany employees around the world.”

Alessandro Bogliolo, former Chief Executive Officer of Tiffany, commented: “I am honored to have led Tiffany as a public company and contributed with such a talented team to further strengthening Tiffany’s iconic standing. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of all our team members, Tiffany is ideally positioned to continue its growth. I would also like to take this moment to thank Reed and Daniella for having led the creative vision, digital and marketing direction for the company. We can all be proud of what we achieved together over the past three years and, I am convinced that Tiffany will thrive under LVMH leadership. I look forward to ensuring a smooth transition to Anthony and his team and wish him and all the Tiffany community continued success in the years to come.”

Leadership Biographies

  • Anthony Ledru has more than 20 years of experience in the luxury industry. He was the Executive Vice President of Global Commercial Activities at Louis Vuitton since 2017, which he joined three years before as President & Chief Executive Officer of Louis Vuitton Americas. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of North America at Tiffany & Co. between 2013 and 2014 and served as Global Vice President of Sales for Harry Winston International. He started his career in the luxury sector working for Cartier between 1999 and 2011, first in Latin America and then in the United States. where he was Vice President of Retail for the company’s North American business. Anthony Ledru holds a master’s degree from SKEMA Business School.
  • Alexandre Arnault has led RIMOWA since January 2017, after initiating and leading its acquisition by LVMH. His professional career began in the United States in strategic consulting, at McKinsey & Company, then in private equity at KKR in New York. He then joined LVMH and Groupe Arnault to focus on digital innovation. In this capacity, Alexandre Arnault participated in the definition and implementation of a strategy to address the challenges of the development of e-commerce in the high-quality products sector. Over the past four years, he has successfully repositioned RIMOWA and elevated its brand image. Alexandre Arnault graduated from École Telecom ParisTech and holds a master’s degree from École Polytechnique.

www.lvmh.com

McKinsey’s weeks in Charts

Working parents’ worries go way beyond childcare when the pandemic closes schools

Parents are finding work more challenging than nonparents are—and it’s not just about childcare and homeschooling. They are feeling threats to their physical health, mental health, and job security.

To read the article, see “Diverse employees are struggling the most during COVID-19—here’s how companies can respond,” November 17, 2020.

China’s executives: The world’s most optimistic during the COVID-19 crisis

Since June, we have surveyed thousands of global executives on what the COVID-19 crisis’s impact would be on domestic GDP based on the likelihood of nine economic scenarios. Throughout that time, respondents in China have reported a consistent—and consistently more optimistic—outlook.

To explore the interactive, see “Nine scenarios for the COVID-19 economy,” December 18, 2020.

Global banks steel themselves against larger potential loan losses than seen in the Great Recession

In anticipation of a sharp increase in personal and corporate defaults due to the COVID-19 crisis, global banks have provisioned USD 1.15 trillion for loan losses through the third quarter of 2020—more than they did in all of 2019. We project that loan-loss provisions in the coming years will exceed those of the global financial crisis.

To read the report, see “McKinsey’s Global Banking Annual Review,” December 9, 2020.

Curb your crisis: Preparing for risk today can prevent disaster tomorrow

We looked at three potential crisis scenarios across three sectors and found that pairs of companies with much—but not everything—in common could view the same risk differently. Brand identity and supply-chain resilience are most affected across the grid.

To read the article, see “The disaster you could have stopped: Preparing for extraordinary risks,” December 15, 2020.

Tokyo in trouble: Physical assets face double damage from climate change

If nothing’s done to adapt to and mitigate climate change, Tokyo would face severe costs if a one-in-100-year rainfall coincides with other major flooding events—raising the stakes from around USD 6 billion in damage to real estate and infrastructure today to about USD 13 billion in 2050.

To read the article, see “Climate risk and response in Asia,” November 24, 2020.

Fashion

Fashion industry’s profits hemmed in by the COVID-19 pandemic

The fashion industry’s economic profit rose year-on-year by 4 %  in 2019. Our calculations suggest that it will fall by 93 %  this year, according to our latest State of Fashion report, written in partnership with the Business of Fashion.

To read the report, see “The State of Fashion 2021: In search of promise in perilous times,” December 1, 2020.

Be bold: Here’s how 30 top US companies are prepping for the future

We asked the top three US companies in ten different industries where they’re making the boldest moves. They were most clearly making moves in three areas: purpose (83 % of the companies we studied), establishing ecosystems (83 %), and creating data-rich tech platforms (73 %).

To read the article, see “Organizing for the future: Nine keys to becoming a future-ready company,” January 11, 2021.

For new federal cabinet nominees, so much to do in so little time

The average time between cabinet nomination and confirmation is about 40 days. And once appointed, most cabinet members spend less than four years in their roles.

To read the article, see “Navigating the first 100 days: Lessons from former US cabinet members,” January 14, 2021.

In a time of crisis, investors flocked to the familiar

During the first two quarters of 2020, investors placed their faith and their dollars with large, diversified, and well-established firms. Although these high performers comprised a seemingly representative sample of 25 % of all firms in the industry, 80 % of the flows to this group went to just ten asset managers, generating USD 183 billion in net inflows.

To read the report, see “North American asset management: A year of shocks but few surprises,” December 14, 2020.

How will you be getting around in 2030? It depends on where you live

There won’t be much of a shift away from private vehicles in North America over the coming decade—largely because there aren’t many incentives for drivers to change their behavior. But Europeans may ditch private vehicles for robo-shuttles and robo-taxis, and in Greater China, people may increasingly change to bus and rail.

To read the article, see “From no mobility to future mobility: Where COVID-19 has accelerated change,” December 15, 2020.

From start-up to world-beater: HDFC Bank’s steady rise

Twenty-six years ago, Aditya Puri took charge of a new bank in Mumbai. Under his leadership, HDFC Bank became the highest-valued financial institution in India and the tenth-most-valuable bank in the world, with a record of market-beating performance.

To read the interview, see “‘Keep it simple’: Aditya Puri on HDFC Bank’s path to market leadership,” December 14, 2020.

Low stakes: USD 12 billion to reduce Americans’ vaccine scepticism could add USD 1 trillion to economy

The US government has already spent considerable sums to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, a modest new investment of around $12 billion to educate and encourage vaccine skeptics could hasten the pandemic’s end and add around $1 trillion to US GDP.

To read the article, see “COVID-19 vaccines meet 100 million uncertain Americans,” December 18, 2020.

The cost of basic necessities rose much faster than inflation this century

Housing, healthcare, and education costs have risen sharply, while discretionary costs such as communications, clothing, and furnishings have fallen.

To read the article, see “COVID-19 has revived the social contract in advanced economies—for now. What will stick once the crisis abates?,” December 10, 2020.

What’s your (corporate-purpose) sweet spot?

When companies find that sweet spot where the “we” overlaps with the “me,” they, their employees, and even society greatly benefit. But that’s happening only 44 percent of the time right now.

To read the article, see “Purpose, not platitudes: A personal challenge for top executives,” December 3, 2020.

Mortuary

Sad announcement by Textile Exchange

Ryan Young, Former COO of Textile Exchange Devoted Husband, Father, Son and Climate Pioneer

Pierre Cardin, couturier and businessman, dies at 98 on December 29, 2020

By guest author Laure Guilbault from Vogue Business

The fashion industry remembers his avant-garde style and ubiquitous licensing of his brand name, and his nephew — and company chairman — talks about the future.

Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin, the space-age couturier who invented a unique geometrical and colourful style and was among the first to widely license his brand name, died at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris on Tuesday, aged 98.

Cardin turned the namesake brand that he founded in 1950 into an empire. “He had up to 800 licenses at some point and 200,000 persons working directly or indirectly for Pierre Cardin products including pens, chocolate, aeroplanes, cars, curtains [and] kitchens,” says Pierre Pelegry, a longtime collaborator of the couturier. “You could literally live in Pierre Cardin. All these licenses allowed him to be free to design his avant-garde creations.”

Born in 1922 in Italy’s Veneto region, he fled Benito Mussolini’s Italy as a young boy with his family and moved to France. He worked for Elsa Schiaparelli and joined Christian Dior at the creation of the house in 1946. As Dior’s premier tailleur (first tailor), he contributed to the birth of the New Look. He left Dior in 1949 and collaborated with the renowned costume designer Marcel Escoffier before creating his house in 1950. Like contemporary André Courreges, he was decidedly modern, creating sculptural silhouettes.

“The 1950s and 1960s were marked by the development of a brilliant couture house,” says Didier Grumbach, former president of French fashion’s top organising body. He dressed The Beatles in these years and later started developing licenses for men’s suits. “No other designer developed the licenses system the way Pierre Cardin did,” says Grumbach. Indeed, while licensing took off amongst the larger fashion houses like LVMH and Kering in the 1980s and 1990s, it was largely abandoned in order to maintain control and protect brand equity. Today, large luxury brands typically only license beauty, eyewear and fragrances to businesses like Puig and Coty, but Pierre Cardin still retains hundreds of licences.

Cardin’s ability to attach his name to so many items helped him amass a huge fortune. French weekly magazine Challenges estimated his worth at €525 million in July 2020, including ownership of Château de Lacoste and Palais Bulles, one of the most expensive properties in Europe known for its sculptural bubble-like structure overlooking Cannes.

“Combining inventiveness, business sense and communication skills, Pierre Cardin captured all his life long the Zeitgeist, its opportunities and all its revolutions,” says Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.

“Pierre Cardin was the last designer of this miraculous generation that sprang up in the immediate post-war period,” said Bernard Arnault, LVMH chairman and chief executive. “I pay tribute to a man of immense talent, who knew how to build a magnificent dialogue between Italy and France and who always tried to draw a bold future through a futuristic and inspired aesthetic. He himself reminded me, not so long ago, that he was at Christian Dior’s side on the first day of the opening of the House and that he had been his first tailor for the first four years. What an extraordinary life!”

Cardin went to Japan in the 1960s and saw very early on China’s potential as a luxury hub, entering the market just as the door was opening to the West in 1979. Following his landmark show at the Great Wall of China, he designed outfits for Chinese government officials. In 1981, Cardin bought Parisian restaurant Maxim’s and also exported the restaurant concept globally.

Cardin inspired generations of designers, including Jean Paul Gaultier who paid tribute to his mentor in his couture show in January 2018, and thanked him “opening the doors of fashion to me” on Instagram. “Couturier, designer, French ambassador, academician, mécène, throughout his life, Pierre Cardin carried out a beautiful work,” he posted.

Simon Porte Jacquemus, 30, says Cardin “made [him] love fashion from a very young age. I have always been fascinated by his lifestyle and by his already futuristic idea of seeing his brand beyond clothing, the designer I have great admiration for his independence, freedom and career path.”

“He had this vision that creativity and marketing were intertwined,” says 71-year-old French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.

The Pierre Cardin brand currently consists of “prêt-à-couture”, plus hundreds of licenses. He would sketch and go to his atelier and boutique on Place Beauvau in Paris every day including Saturdays and Sundays except during the lockdown and would check every single creation before they went out. Pierre Cardin asked the nurses at the hospital to give him paper and pencils to sketch, says his nephew Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin.

Cardin made his nephew chief executive officer of Pierre Cardin Group in 2018 and chairman in October 2020. Basilicati Cardin plans on “rationalising the licenses just a little bit” and keeping the atelier in the spirit of his uncle. Annual turnover including all the licenses is roughly around €500 million.

Pierre Cardin was also a patron of the arts, inviting artists to his cultural space Espace Cardin that he acquired in 1969. He has continued to be a patron until very recently. “He wanted to discover talents,” says Basilicati Cardin.

www.voguebusiness.com

Pandemic

6th ITMF Corona- Survey – Improved Turnover Expectations for 2020 and beyond

Between November 20th and December 14th, 2020, ITMF has conducted its 6th ITMF Corona-Survey among ITMF members and affiliated companies and associations about the impact the Corona-pandemic has on the global textile value chain. In total, 159 companies from around the world participated.

In comparison to the 5th ITMF Corona-Survey (September 5th – 25th, 2020), the turnover expectations have improved in the 6th survey by 4 % age points from -16% to now -12% compared to 2019 (Graph 1).

ITMF 1 AA

For 2021 and the following years, turnover expectations have overall improved slightly (see Graph 2). On average, the companies are expecting a small improvement from -1 % (5th survey) to +3 % (6th survey) compared to 2019. Also, for 2022 and 2023 the outlook has improved slightly from +9 % (5th survey) to +11 % (6th survey) and from +14 % (5th survey) to +15 % (6th survey), respectively. The turnover expectations for 2024 – compared to the 2019 levels – have not changed (+18 % in the 5th and 6th survey).

The latest survey reveals that in the medium- and long-term turnover expectations have not changed significantly. Nevertheless, due to the reduced turnover drop of -10 % in 2020, the industry is expecting to recover the losses incurred in 2020 by the end of 2022.

ITMF 2 AA

www.itmf.org

South Asia

2020: South Asia sees cancelled orders, supply disruptions

The textile and garment sectors in South Asia had their share of problems arising out of the pandemic-induced crisis.

That included factory closures, restrictions on staffing, job losses, export decline and a scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) followed by an exponential increase in domestic PPE production and a temporary ban on its exports.

In India, dozens of apparel and textile companies ventured into producing PPE to cater to the rising demand during the pandemic.

Many faced order cancellations from the West and disruptions in raw material supply chain from China. As the country kept waiting for a new textile policy, the year witnessed a slew of policy amendments and announcements, initially for the textile and apparel sector, and later to handle the severe impact of the pandemic on the industry in general, writes assistant editor Dipesh Satapathy in the January 2021 edition of Fibre2Fashion as he looks back at the year that was.

As a country where the readymade garment (RMG) sector is one of the lifelines of the economy, Bangladesh was immensely hit by lockdowns, halted shipments and order cancellations by US- and Europe-based retailers. However, RMG exporters heaved a sigh of relief in April when Spain’s Inditex, British retailer Marks and Spencer, France’s Kiabi and US firms PVH and Target assured the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) that they would accept the ready goods along with the goods in production.

Sri Lanka’s earnings from textiles and apparel exports decreased by 21.5 % year-on-year to USD 3.286 billion during the first nine months of 2020. Exports of textiles dropped by 13.7 %  to USD 181.6 million, while garment exports declined 25.1 %  to USD 2.919 billion.

www.kohantextilejounal.com

SABIC’s global footprint meets local demand for protective products to help combat COVID-19

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, is making a significant contribution to the battle against COVID-19 through increased production within its LEXAN polycarbonate portfolio. The focus of the production increase has been on innovative polycarbonate sheets and films for a wide variety of high-performance products to help improving sanitation control and preventing infections.

SABIC’s efforts in combatting COVID-19 are boosted by the company having production facilities across Europe, Asia and North and South America. This provides the company’s Functional Forms business with the ability to manufacture and swiftly distribute its sheet and film products across every region around the world.

SABIC and its predecessors have a long history as an innovator in polycarbonate technology, having invented polycarbonate resin in 1953, and initiated production of high-performance sheets and films in 1968. Since then, SABIC excels in polycarbonate development with a portfolio of over 350 material grades. SABIC’s Functional Forms business spearheads materials innovation, enabling applications in industries where there is a need for safety, high optical quality, durability, anti-bacterial properties and flame, chemical and impact resistance products.

LEXAN protective sheets and films have applications across an extensive range of sectors that are experiencing particular hygiene and social distancing challenges during the pandemic. These include hospitals and medical clinics, care homes, dental practices, schools and kindergartens, retail and hospitality outlets, sports centers, reception areas and mass transportation, among many others.

“There is an urgent and ongoing need around the world for protective equipment, not only to fight against this current pandemic, but also to improve safety and hygiene standards in the future ”, said Sandeep Dhawan, Global Business Director Functional Forms, SABIC. “As a company that excels in ground-breaking materials, we are driven by the ambition to innovate and are committed to providing the latest technology and expertise to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help mitigate further infection.”

Market takes action against pandemic with LEXAN film and sheet solutions

As testament to its global reach, SABIC has supplied innovative polycarbonate sheet and film solutions to some of the world’s leading organizations, for some of the most demanding applications aimed at providing increased protection against COVID-19. Examples include:

Brillant BusGlas, Germany

Helping bus operators cope with distancing regulations in the combat of COVID-19, Brillant BusGlas is offering transparent partition panels for separating bus drivers from passengers in public transportation. The ECE-R43 certified and TÜV approved panels are made from virtually unbreakable, coated 8 mm MARGARD™ MR5E sheet and available in kits for installation on-site and/or by Brillant’s retrofit service.

“Thanks to the freedom of design and ease of conversion of SABIC’s polycarbonate sheet products, we can customize and supply these partition panels for virtually any public bus brand. The rigidity, outstanding impact strength, double-sided abrasion-resistant coating, and long-term transparency of the material make them an ideal solution providing permanent professional driver protection as well as compliance with current anti-pandemic contact restrictions.”

Image Labels PVT. LTD., India

Image Labels supplies face shields to government bodies, police departments, hospital groups and leading OEMs such as Schneider, as well as partitions for taxis and other modes of transportation.

“Through our association with SABIC we are now into our 25th year of successfully supplying leading polycarbonate solutions for a wide range of applications,” said Sujan Nailady, Managing Director, Image Labels. “We are particularly appreciative of the support SABIC has provided in helping to overcome some of the challenges posed by the COVD-19 pandemic.”

Krüger Aviation GmbH, Germany

For the aviation industry to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, airlines must in still confidence in passengers using their aircraft, without the costly need to implement an empty seat policy. Krüger Aviation has taken up the challenge by developing seat dividers, made from SABIC’s LEXAN F2000A polycarbonate sheet, which provide passengers with a high level of protection from any aerosols produced by neighbors. The seat divider, which is attached to the middle seat in rows with three seats, is constructed for easy mounting without need of any modification of the seat itself, with a full aircraft being equipped within a few hours.

“While facemasks may be still required, seat dividers will establish an additional layer of protection and significantly reduce risk of infection” said Florian Ehinger, Head of Customer Service. “We believe this will be a highly cost-effective way to help restore passenger trust in airline travel.”

Focaccia Group, Italy

Using SABIC’s LEXAN MARGARD MR5E polycarbonate sheet, Focaccia has designed and manufactured the first “L”-shaped anti-COVID partition, which can be installed in vehicles to separate the driver from passengers. Called the “Elle Corona Stopper”, the partition does not obstruct the driver and does not interfere with airbags, mirror view, seat belts or safety systems. It can be installed in minutes, removed without damaging the car interior and can be completely disinfected.

“SABIC’s LEXAN sheet has enabled us to deliver the desired characteristics of resilience and creativity in manufacturing for which we are known”, said Mr. Riccardo Focaccia, General Manager, Focaccia Group. “Even in challenging times, our ideas never stop, and a flexible polycarbonate solution enables some of our other creative ideas come to life.”

SABIC products to enable better protection against viruses

SABIC’s next generation LEXAN sheet and film solutions have all been developed to bring Chemistry that Matters to the marketplace. Our clear understanding of product needs and performance attributes supports application success for our customers. The journey of innovation will be highlighted with technology which supports anti-bacterial performance to assist in the fight against COVID-19 across its portfolio. SABIC LEXAN polycarbonate solutions are available through a large network of localized distribution centres globally. v

To learn more about SABIC’s efforts to help combat COVID-19, please visit www.sabic.com/sfs

www.busglasdirect.de

www.focaccia-group.com

www.imagelabels.in

www.krueger-aviation.de

4 Fotos

Partnering

Ascend Performance Materials has announced a commercial agreement with The S Group, a globally recognised provider of apparel design

Ascend Performance Materials has announced a commercial agreement with The S Group, a globally recognised provider of apparel design, development and manufacturing. The alliance will focus on commercialization of Acteev Protect™ antimicrobial yarns, fibres and fabrics, offering customers full-scale supply chain service from garment design to delivery.

The agreement pairs Ascend’s world-class manufacturing operations with The S Group’s track record of success in the wholesale and direct-to-consumer apparel industry. “Our customers will now benefit from a revolutionary antimicrobial material combined with end-to-end support to guide a product from ideation to actualization,” said Lu Zhang, vice president of Acteev.

The S Group offers complete supply chain management for apparel brands, including product development, manufacturing, logistics, quality assurance, packaging and order fulfillment. The company lists some of the world’s most recognized brands among its partners, including Lululemon, New Balance and Mack Weldon. Athleisure, performance, scrubs, and seamless products such as intimates, leggings, active wear, socks and gaiters will be available.

Gary Peck, CEO of The S Group, says his team is excited about the commercial potential of Acteev, especially given the new reality of global health concerns. “Garment design has primarily focused on functionality, sustainability and comfort,” said Peck. “The past year has made us all aware that safety can be a valuable feature of fabrics as well, and Acteev checks all those boxes.”

Acteev is Ascend’s patent-pending technology that embeds zinc ions in a polymer to create fibres with long-lasting antimicrobial properties. The result is a fabric that destroys odor-causing bacteria and fungi. Acteev technology is available in a wide range of textiles featuring the flexibility, softness and durability of nylon 6,6.

Recent testing on knit fabric completed at the University of Cambridge has demonstrated that Acteev technology deactivates the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, with 99.9% efficacy on contact1. Ascend is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other governmental agencies to obtain the appropriate regulatory clearances to make specific claims regarding the technology’s antiviral properties.

Product availability can be found at www.acteev.com

Ascend Performance Materials is a global premium provider of high-quality plastics, fibres and chemicals and is the world’s largest integrated producer of PA66 resin. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Ascend has nine global locations, including five fully-integrated manufacturing facilities located in the southeastern United States and an engineering plastics compounding facility in Europe, all dedicated to the innovation and safe production of nylon 6,6. With three of the world’s largest chemical processing facilities, Ascend’s materials form the building blocks for products used in everyday applications from apparel to airbags, cable ties to circuit boards and carpets to car parts. Ascend’s 2500-person global workforce is committed to making a difference in the communities we serve and leading the development of nylon 6,6 solutions that inspire everyone, everywhere, every day.

Acteev

– Tests show >99 % antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal efficacy

– EPA-registered zinc ions embedded in the polymer

– Hygroscopic nylon 6,6 fabric attracts moisture, which activates the zinc ions

– Not a topical treatment or coating

– Not dependent on silver, copper

– Proven efficacy in many end forms:

–  Knit and woven fabrics for consumer textiles, upholstery, uniforms, face masks

– Nanofibre, meltblown and spunbond nonwovens for filtration

– Fibres for carpets

– Engineered plastics for high-touch surfaces

Acteev™ technology has been shown in laboratory tests to destroy SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and other pathogens including H1N1, coronavirus 229E and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria such as staphylococcus and E. coli. All data presented on this page comes from testing performed by independent third-party laboratories following the protocols of ISO, ASTM or other international standards organizations. Not all claims are permitted in all jurisdictions, including in the United States. Some device designs currently under review with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — submission number K201714. Ascend has more than 15 patent families pending on Acteev technology.

Portuguese company produces anti-stress blankets

A Portuguese company founded during the pandemic has begun to produce weighted blankets in Guimarães made up of grains of treated glass sand that “reduce stress” and help “fight muscle pain”.

Speaking to Lusa, Ricardo Parreira, one of the founders of Blanky, explained that the idea of exploring the market for weighted blankets, “visually similar to a duvet”, came after Pedro Caseiro, also the founder of the company had difficulty sleeping.

“Pedro worked in London (United Kingdom), had some back pain and difficulty falling asleep due to anxiety and stress ’.

n January, Ricardo Parreira and Pedro Caseiro started exploring the weighted blankets market, a product that is still relatively new to the market, as well as their development and manufacturing process and realised that “there was no unit in Europe with the knowledge and production capacity to develop this textile ”.

“We realised that there was nothing like this in Portugal or Spain and started to research more about the topic. In June, when we had most of the exhaustive research done, we started to develop the company. Fundamentally, we believe in our idea and it worked ”, he said.

After the consolidated research, the founders faced “extra challenges”, not only because they launched a new product in times of pandemic, but also because the textile industry “was not familiar with the product”.

According to Ricardo Parreira, weighted blankets are “visually very similar to duvets”, and in the case of Blanky they consist of 300-thread cotton and grains of sand from treated glass, a material that gives this textile additional weight.

“From the beginning, we wanted to produce in Portugal, but none of the factories we visited were familiar with either the product or with the production process. Right then, it was a challenge”, said Ricardo, adding that it was at the LEIPER factory, in Guimarães, that they found the answer they needed.

Despite some “challenges” in terms of production, the company from Guimarães “manages to produce six blankets per day, with a minimum of 120 units per month”.

The objective of the founders of Blanky is now to “optimise the production process” so that, “in the near future, the efficiency of the plant increases”.

www.blanky.pt

www.kohantextilejournal.com

Protection

JOSPHERE launches New Eco-Friendly Cork T80 Ski Helmet

Driven by a passion for skiing, as well a mission to protect the environment, JOSPHERE is a boutique ski-brand originally from London. As a brand we strive to protect the earth and produce with environmentally friendly materials and processes.

In the development of our products we are focused on Green Tech materials that are friendly to the environment. The DASH T80- Cork is built from co-molded eps and recycled wine bottle corks, using cutting edge technology to make a durable and lightweight helmet. The recycled liner combined with eco fabrics and plastics creates the benchmark for an eco-friendly safety product.

This model with cork infused eps corks and green tech materials and fabrics leads JOSPHERE into a new era of fashion, safety and environmental protection.

JOSPHERE Enjoy Collection

Based on years research with skiers and snowboarders from all over Asia, we developed a series of professional and fashionable ski helmets that fit the Asian head form and colour tone. The EnJOy collection was officially launched in the world in early 2020.

Environmental protection and love of the Earth have always been the core of JOSPHERE’s brand, so of course in the research and development of helmet materials we have chosen Green Tech materials that are friendly to the environment. The EnJOy eco-friendly ski collection, highlights cork infused eps corks and green tech materials and fabrics with special technology and production processes that lead JOSPHERE into a new era of fashion, safety and environmental protection.

Just like the brand manifesto we gave the EnJOy Snow collection: Enjoy life with JOSPHERE, Love the earth, Love yourself. Enjoy The Moment, Enjoy LIFE.

www.josphere.com

Research

When damaged ropes change colour  – Hanging by a coloured thread

By  guest author Cornelia Zogg from Swiss Empa

High-performance fibres that have been exposed to high temperatures usually lose their mechanical properties undetected and, in the worst case, can tear precisely when lives depend on them. For example, safety ropes used by fire brigades or suspension ropes for heavy loads on construction sites. Empa researchers have now developed a coating that changes colour when exposed to high temperatures through friction or fire.

The firefighter runs into the burning building and systematically searches room by room for people in need of rescue. Attached to him is a safety rope at the other end of which his colleagues are waiting outside in front of the building. In an emergency – should he lose consciousness for any reason – they can pull him out of the building or follow him into the building for rescue. However, if this rope has been exposed to excessive heat during previous operations, it may tear apart. This means danger to life! And up to now there has been no way of noticing this damage to the rope. A team of researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich has now developed a coating which changes color due to the physical reaction with heat, thus clearly indicating whether a rope will continue to provide the safety it promises in the future.

Researchers from ETH Zurich and Empa developed a coating system in 2018 as part of a Master’s thesis, which the Empa team was now able to apply to fibers. “It was a process involving several steps,” says Dirk Hegemann from Empa’s Advances Fibers lab. The first coatings only worked on smooth surfaces, so the method first had to be adapted so that it would also work on curved surfaces. Empa has extensive know-how in the coating of fibers – Hegemann and his team have already developed electrically conductive fibers in the past (see links). The so-called sputtering process has now also been successfully applied to the latest coating.

Wafer-thin layers with great effect

Ropes left mini

Three layers are required to ensure that the fiber actually changes color when heated. The researchers apply silver to the fibre itself, in this case PET (i.e. polyester) and VectranTM, a high-tech fibre. This serves as a reflector – in other words, as a metallic base layer. This is followed by an intermediate layer of titanium nitrogen oxide, which ensures that the silver remains stable. And only then follows the amorphous layer that causes the color change: Germanium-antimony tellurium (GST), which is just 20 nanometers thick. When this layer is exposed to elevated temperatures, it crystallizes, changing the color from blue to white. The colour change is based on a physical phenomenon known as interference. Two different waves (e.g. light) meet and amplify or weaken each other. Depending on the chemical composition of the temperature-sensitive layer, this color change can be adjusted to a temperature range between 100 and 400 degrees and thus adapted to the mechanical properties of the fiber type.

Tailor-made solutions

The possible areas of application for the colour-changing fibres are still open, and Hegemann is currently looking for possible project partners. In addition to safety equipment for firefighters or mountaineers, the fibres can also be used for load ropes in production facilities, on construction sites, etc. In any case, research on the subject is far from complete. At present, it is not yet possible to store the fibers for long periods of time without losing their functionality. “Unfortunately, the phase-change materials oxidize over the course of a few months,” says Hegemann. This means that the corresponding phase change – crystallization – no longer takes place, even with heat, and the rope thus loses its “warning signal”. In any case, it has been proven that the principle works, and durability is a topic for future research, says Hegemann. “As soon as the first partners from industry register their interest in our own products, the fibers can be further optimized according to their needs”.

www.empa.ch

Retailing

Retailers are betting on bricks-and-mortar

New flagships, new concepts, new stores and new partnerships from Dollar General, Lidl, Target and more.

Bx guest author Peter Johnston NRF Contributor.

Photo Brick & Motar

2020 has been a tough year. The global pandemic continues to rage. Shoppers have stayed home. Ecommerce volume has skyrocketed. Famous retail names have declared bankruptcy, among them Lord & Taylor, Century 21, Brooks Brothers, GNC and Neiman Marcus.

In other words, it doesn’t seem like a good time to be expanding a brand in a bricks-and-mortar environment. However, a number of retailers are doing just that.

While the categories, plans and activities of these retailers differ significantly, they seem to have one thing in common: They’re working hard to understand exactly what they expect from their stores in terms of performance, and also to understand — and strengthen — the ways online and bricks-and-mortar operations complement each other.

Concepts and openings

Not content to stay the course, several brands have opened new flagships. UGG just opened a store at 530 Fifth Avenue in the heart of midtown Manhattan’s shopping zone. The new 12,000-square-foot space aims to reflect the changes in UGG’s products over the years, from its classic fuzzy boot to clothing, accessories and home goods.

A little further south, Swiss running shoe brand On recently opened its first owned retail property in New York’s NoHo neighborhood. The store is built around a central thematic and technological concept: a wall fitted with hundreds of depth cameras and sensors that can accurately gauge a user’s running style and scan their foot shape.

In a somewhat similar vein, Men’s Wearhouse has unveiled a new store concept that features enhanced digital and interactive technology such as hands-free fitting and measurement. The new concept debuted in Shenandoah, Texas, north of Houston.

Foot Locker is expanding its community-based “power store” concept with two new Canadian locations, one in Vancouver and one in Toronto. The three-story Vancouver location features a second-floor dedicated space for local community events, pending health and safety restrictions.

Thousands of miles to the east, specialty foods and home goods producer Stonewall Kitchen has opened a store next door to the Boston Children’s Museum. The 3,000-square-foot location features a curated assortment of the brand’s offerings along with a PB&J Café.

In October, Dollar General announced a new concept called “Popshelf,” focused on seasonal, home décor and beauty products, as well as cleaning supplies and party goods; most products are USD 5 or less. Plans called for the retailer to open two stores under the concept this fall in Nashville, with some 30 more in the works by the end of 2021.

Grocery expansions

Earlier this year, German discount grocer Aldi announced plans to open 70 new stores this year in the United States. Aldi did not announce where the stores would be, except to say that it has now expanded into its 37th state, Arizona.

The company is also opening stores in the Gulf Coast area, to be serviced out of a new regional distribution center, in Loxley, Ala. In the ecommerce area, the company has expanded curbside grocery pickup service to nearly 700 stores, and has grocery delivery available in 10,000 ZIP codes.

Not to be outdone, archrival Lidl, also a German discount grocer, had eight new stores opening over two weeks in December. The stores are in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, furthering the grocer’s expansion along the East Coast.

Future plans and partnerships

In October, Kohl’s announced a new strategic corporate framework designed to increase gross volume through a focus on active and casual wear, increased personalization of its loyalty and rewards programs, and enhanced omnichannel capabilities.

One of these is leveraging the stores as part of Kohl’s omnichannel operation. Between ship-from-store and buy online, pick up in store, nearly 40 % of the company’s digital sales are now fulfilled by its stores.

On December 1, Kohl’s and Sephora announced a long-term strategic partnership through which 2500-square-foot “Sephora at Kohl’s” beauty departments will be placed at the front of selected Kohl’s stores. The first 200 locations are scheduled to open in fall 2021, expanding to at least 850 stores by 2023.

A similar arrangement has been announced by Target and Ulta Beauty. “Ulta Beauty at Target,” approximately 1,000 square feet next to the existing beauty department, will debut at over 100 Target stores in 2021, with plans to scale to hundreds more over time. Both of these agreements will be reflected not only in stores, but on each partner’s website.

One business

All of these examples suggest that the announcements of the death of bricks-and-mortar have been somewhat exaggerated. But what isn’t exaggerated is that there’s no longer any separation between the ecommerce side of a retail business and the stores. It’s all one business.

www.nrf.org

Sleep wear

Better sleep with MEY nightwear and energear™-technology from Swiss schoeller®

Underwear and loungewear specialist MEY announces the launch of its product series “Zzzleepwear,” developed to improve the quality of sleep for men and women. Setting new standards in the sleepwear category, functionality and technical innovation are the focus of the product styles that also offer stylish looks and wearer comfort.

People who sleep well recharge their batteries and can start the next day full of energy. However, many people suffer from sleep problems that can have a long-term negative impact on health and well-being. MEY’s Zzzleepwear was built to address that.

„Zzzleepwear“ reflects far-infrared rays

Fabrics of the “Zzzleepwear” series are equipped with energear™ technology from schoeller®. They reflect the body’s own energy, which is emitted in the form of far-infrared rays. The textile finish is based on a titanium-mineral matrix, which reflects far-infrared rays back to the body. This effect can have a positive impact on the body and its energy balance. The understanding of far infrared rays and their positive properties has its origin in Asian healing medicine. Far Eastern medicine has incorporated life energy, “Qi” in Chinese, for centuries. More and more people are discovering that their performance increases when energy balance and energy flow are in harmony. schoeller® is transferring this function to textiles, and MEY is using the finish for the first time in nightwear.

Further fabric properties and design features

For the new “Zzzleepwear” series, the energear™ coating is applied to the inside of the fabric in a honeycomb-like form. It thus represents the core of the series. In addition, the fabric with melange structure is made of natural cotton and thermoregulating fibres that provide high breathability. The large proportion of natural cotton fibres increases the wearing comfort of this special nightwear. The “Zzzleepwear” series offers different color variations, as well as outstanding design features like flat seams and an interior print in the neck area.

Podcast with soporific effect

MEY wants to lull its customers to sleep in a particularly original way: A Spotify code is printed on every item in the series. By scanning this code, customers can listen to a sleep podcast created especially for the selected pair of pyjamas. In the eleven-part good night story, the products tell their own manufacturing story, from the cotton field to the fabric production in Albstadt to the store – so boring, it will have customers nodding off in no time.

More: www.mey.com/en/zzzleepwear-series

Founded in 1868 with headquarters in Switzerland, Schoeller Textil AG is a global leader in high-performance textile manufacturing specializing in the sustainable development and production of innovative textiles and textile technologies. As a system supplier of solution-oriented products, Schoeller addresses specific customer requirements and supplies its customers and partners with tangible added value. Schoeller Technologies AG is a subsidiary of Schoeller Textil AG and was founded in 2000 as a global licensing company. It markets textile finishing technologies developed by its parent company. The products are available to production partners in the form of patents and trademarks.

www.schoeller-tech.com

Mey is one of the leading brands for high-quality ladies’ and men’s underwear. All products are designed, produced and marketed with creativity, passion and attention to detail. For Mey, innovation means not only creating something new but also constantly developing the company, its products and its processes. In addition to modern design, the German family-owned company, which was founded in 1928, attaches great importance to premium quality. To ensure that the high quality requirements can be consistently met, more than 50 % of Mey’s total value creation is generated in Germany. Mey products give women and men the good feeling of having made the right decision because nothing comes closer to the skin than the underwear you wear.

www.mey.com

Bilder Schoeller AG

Gap’s Athleta Enters New Category with Sleep Collection

Athleta today unveiled its first-ever sleep collection, furthering its growth and reinforcing its position as a true lifestyle brand. Available today, the sleep collection aims to support women holistically and recognizes the importance of rest and recovery in her active life.

The entry into sleep was inspired by listening sessions with Athleta customers to learn more about their sleepwear interests and nighttime routines. Athleta resident sleep expert, Dr. Michael Grandner, who is board-certified in behavioral sleep medicine, collaborated with the brand to share insights into the importance of recovery and sleep in balancing an active lifestyle.

Athleta

According to a poll released by the National Sleep Foundation, 67 % of women age 18-64 experience sleep problems at least a few nights each week and 46% experience sleep problems every night. This can negatively affect health, well-being and ability to perform everyday activities. Rest and recovery play a vital role in improving daily performance, which is why sleepwear is a natural extension for Athleta, a purpose driven brand focused on empowering women. Athleta is uniquely positioned to bring this to market, as it continues to ignite a community of active, healthy, and confident women by supporting her throughout her entire day.

“More and more women are focusing on self-care and holistic wellness, and by offering sleepwear we are able to support her full lifestyle—from active performance to rest,” said Mary Beth Laughton, President and CEO of Athleta. “We know from our masks launch this spring, that new category additions can be a great way to introduce more customers to our Athleta brand. We are excited about the possibility of reaching even more women while providing them an opportunity to make recovery a key component of their daily activities.”

Fabrics are an important component of restful sleep, and each style in the 14-piece collection provides comfort for recovery. The sustainable and natural fabrics are ultra-soft and light weight, including a cloud-like rib knit, buttery TENCEL(TM) Modal jersey and cozy organic cotton. Designed with breathability, the collection provides a gentle, easy fit to aid in uninterrupted sleep.

The sleep collection is available now on www.Athleta.com . New styles will be added seasonally. Visit Athleta’s Instagram Stories for resident sleep expert Dr. Grandner’s tips for a great night’s sleep.

A certified B Corporation, Athleta creates versatile premium performance apparel designed by women athletes to inspire a community of active, confident women and girls to reach their limitless potential. Founded in 1998, Athleta integrates performance and technical features across its collection to carry a woman through her life in motion – from yoga and training to commute and travel. In 2016 the company launched Athleta Girl mirroring its signature performance in styles for the next generation. Based in San Francisco, CA and a Gap Inc. brand (NYSE: GPS), Athleta apparel is available at its about 200 retail stores across the country, through its catalog, and at www.Athleta.com

Vietnam

RILA warns against US tariffs on Vietnam goods

Blake Harden, Vice President, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), is concerned the Trump administration may impose punitive tariffs on Vietnam as one of its last actions before its influence expires on January 20. As per a Sourcing Journal report, the Trump administration and USTR imposed tariffs against China under Section 301 violations and have threatened to do the same against Vietnam.

American businesses and families have acquired over USD 72 billion in additional tariffs against China, says Harden. These tariffs have resulted in less money in the pockets of American families, a slowdown in US manufacturing, and decreased competitiveness for American businesses vis-à-vis their European and Asian counterparts. In addition, tariffs on goods from Vietnam will harm the ability of US retailers to compete globally. Meanwhile, David French, Senior Vice President-Government Relations, National Retail Federation also urged the USTR not to place tariffs on Vietnamese imports at the illegal timber and currency practices hearings this week.

French estimated tariffs on import of apparel, footwear and other goods from Vietnam would result in American consumers paying USD 4 billion to USD 9 billion more in higher prices. Furthermore, he noted that placing tariffs on imports from Vietnam would punish these companies and may result in sourcing shifting back to China.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association is the US trade association for leading retailers. RILA partners with leading retailers to meet the challenges of a dynamic economy. Through collaboration and thought leadership, we advance ideas that foster free markets, competition, economic growth, and sustainability.

www.rila.org

Real Wool News

Dear Members and Friends,

What a year it has been! We hope this final newsletter for 2020 finds you safe and in good spirits.

In the countdown to the end of 2021, we are pleased to have been able to end on a positive note with our recent Wool Round Table. No part of the wool industry pipeline has been spared from the impact of this pandemic, but the conversations around the table proved that together, we are a very resilient group. See our note about the event, below.

As we send this, the first Covid-19 vaccines are being approved and roll-out is beginning. Pharmaceutical transport issues are now a matter of public discourse, and to this end, we look at how wool solves a number of them – check out our latest blog post on how wool works wonders for insulating and protecting pharmaceutical and other products.

In case you missed it, we also offer you five ways to care for wool textiles, and a round-up of the trade fairs that took place in the last half of the year.

Elsewhere, US-based eco-fashion-journalist Alden Wicker takes on the Higg Index in a must-read for wool sustainability supporters. Independent analyst Veronica Bates Kessalty, who writes for Apparel Insider magazine, is also worth a long-read over the holidays (Was it polyester all along?, 1 October; Statement on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s response to the leather industry, 20 October).

Finally, the newTwist magazine is now online. In it you’ll find a report on the Wool Round Table, plus our article on “Getting into bed with wool”– all about the latest developments in wool’s benefits for health and well-being.

The IWTO office will be closed as of Thursday, 24 December, and reopens again on Monday, 4 January. What will 2021 bring us? We will know soon enough.

Wool’s Role in Insulating Packaging

Due to the nature of pharmaceutical products, shipments need to be packed securely and at the optimum temperature for safe delivery.

This means that any packaging material needs to be a dependable insulator – and we’ve all learned how one of the vaccines against Covid-19 needs to be stored at -70/-80 degrees Celsius.

Even for the vaccines that require more moderate refrigeration, packaging material will be crucial in Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

Wool is becoming a more popular choice for packaging material due to its wealth of environmental benefits, and thanks to the work of companies like WoolCool.

Read more: iwto.org/the-use-of-wool-insulating-packing-material-for-pharmaceuticals/

Trade fairs in the Age of Covid

Covid-19 transformed Europe’s trade shows. After an upbeat start in January, by mid-year they were either fully digital or hybrid.

From Pitti Connect to Première Vision, Milano Unica and Filo, efforts to stage exhibitions during the pandemic, whether completely digital or hybrid, forced full-speed acceleration of e-commerce.

Online visits to virtual showrooms led to contacts and real sampling enlivened by new designs. Growing usage of social media for information and contact down the supply-chain proved game-changing.

Wool made its presence felt throughout as a sustainable and technical fibre.

Keep reading: iwto.org/covid-19-transforms-trade-shows/

Wool Features in Twist

The latest Twist magazine has a whole section devoted to wool. Check out the report on the Wool Round Table, “Wool textile industry targets a sustainable future in a post-Covid world”.

Then head over to our own article on wool for health and wellbeing, “Getting into bed with wool.”

www.wtin.com/media/mags/Twist/December_January_2020_2021/0910171220/index.html

Wool Care Tips to Share

When it comes to caring for wool, many people do not know the best practices for keeping it in good condition and for ensuring its longevity.

We have put together a list of 5 key ways to increase the life of wool garments, and take away some of the (mis)perception that wool is hard to care for.

Read and then share our wool care tips at www.iwto.org/increase-the-life-of-your-wool-textiles-5-ways-to-care-for-wool/    

Wool Features in Twist

The latest Twist magazine has a whole section devoted to wool. Check out the report on the Wool Round Table, “Wool textile industry targets a sustainable future in a post-Covid world”.

Then head over to our own article on wool for health and wellbeing, “Getting into bed with wool.”

http://www.wtin.com/media/mags/Twist/December_January_2020_2021/0910171220/index.html

www.iwto.org

Fashion

Burberry’s future archive

Burb 1

Burberry’s Future Archive is a limited-edition capsule collection inspired by the brand’s rich heritage.

Designed by Riccardo Tisci, Burberry’s Future Archive is a unique capsule of modern Burberry signatures. The collection is limited edition and each piece has been designed exclusively, drawing on the rich heritage of outerwear, reinterpreted from classics within the Burberry archive. Classic yet modern, timeless and perennial – a modern reflection of the storied history of the house. A small selection of pieces are available with an edition number, a piece with everlasting appeal, a part of Burberry’s new heritage.

The collection is rooted in outerwear, from diamond-quilted coats to bomber and field jackets – hallmarks of the house. The capsule also includes tailored jackets and trousers, as well as accessories from bucket hats to backpacks, scarves to Cube bags – for men and women.

The campaign, captured by Alessio Bolzoni, is set in a contemporary space which celebrates the dualistic contrast between modernity and timelessness and features models Jourdan Dunn and Adrian Chabada.

The collection will be sold in a selection of Burberry stores, burberry.com and exclusively through Mytheresa from January, 5 2021.

Burb 2

OUTERWEAR

For women and men, diamond-quilted ramie cotton parka remastered with a trenchinspired back panel in cotton gabardine. An olive green and black, diamond-quilted nylon coat styled with a cut-out hem and trenchinspired back panel in cotton gabardine and both with check lining.

Diamond-quilted nylon bomber jackets spliced with a cotton-gabardine back panel and finished with logo appliqué in black and dark carbon blue. Black and bright red Biker jackets in logo-apliqued neoprene.

For women, a black diamond-quilted, transformed with a cotton-gabardine back panel and Vintage check undercollar. For men, a timeless, reimagined field jacket diamond-quilted nylon with a trench-inspired back panel in cotton gabardine.

BAGS

An updated take on the runway bowling bag, in a compact size in smooth tan leather wrapped with a diamond-quilted corduroy panel and a polished chain strap. A larger style is available in a quilted yellow nylon wrapped with a contrasting logo-print cotton canvas and a polished chain shoulder strap. Cotton canvas backpacks in medium and large with canary yellow contrasting back panels and finished with a logo print and leather zip pulls.

ACCESSORIES

Runway sneakers for men and women in leather and suede, reconstructed with a Cuban heel, in black and beige. Bucket hats in a nylon and twill, featuring utilitarian pocket and belt details inspired by the bomber jacket and the signature Burberry trench. A reconstructed bucket hat in nylon and cotton twill which unzips to become a visor. Tactile knitted mohair silk and cashmere scarves with hand-knotted tasselled fringing in soft fawn, dark green, blue and black.

More on Burberry’s history can be had here

Thinking outside the fashion box

By guest author from Vogue Business’s editorial associate Bella Webb.

Utopian fantasies or recipes for change? Their ideas are radical, their solutions even more so. Three manifestos reimagine the fashion system.

https://media.voguebusiness.com/photos/5ff46b235e879a279adb0d35/2:3/w_1920%2cc_limit/fashion-systems-voguebus-all-credits-jan-20-story.gif

The unsustainable practices of the fashion industry are under fire as never before. Over the past two years alone, mainstream players have called for significant changes: luxury brands such as Gucci cut back on the fashion show schedule, designers led by Dries Van Noten penned open letters to the industry, and over 60 signatories — representing more than 200 global brands — signed up to the G7 Fashion Pact.

But on the fringes of fashion, some academics say this isn’t enough. They are more interested in an idealistic question: if we could rebuild the fashion industry from scratch, what would it look like?

Vogue Business spoke to three UK-based radical thinkers about their manifestos for a sustainable fashion industry. They are not step-by-step guides to systems change, nor do they have static endpoints to be completed and filed away. They are intentionally abstract and agile routes to change, ready to be further developed by brands and the people working within them.

Earth Logic

The Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan is a shareable document developed by academics Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham, co-founders of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, which released its own manifesto in 2018 and has over 400 members. The plan advocates for an “Earth-first” approach, built around the idea that “without a healthy planet, all activities will cease”.

Swapping the economic growth logic for earth logic means making decisions based on environmental and ecological sustainability rather than profitability. It envisages a system built on six core values: multiple centres, diverse ways of knowing, co-creation, grounded imagination, care of world and care of self. The idea is to transform the industry and our relationship to it with those values in mind, focusing on six areas or learnings: less, local, plural, learning, language and governance.

Since its release in December 2019, the Earth Logic plan has been adopted by multiple universities as a framework text for teaching, facilitated conversations with multinational businesses and become the foundation of three PhDs. “People are keeping us in the loop, but we want people to make it their own,” says Fletcher.

The events of 2020 have thrown the need for such a plan into sharp relief. “The intersecting crises around Covid-19, racism and others like sexism are part of the same mega-crisis as climate change and biodiversity loss,” says Fletcher. “Covid-19 has exposed the structures and biases that were always there, but were hidden by culture and normality.” She adds that the pandemic was merely a “dress rehearsal” for the impending effects of the climate crisis, if the world doesn’t act within the decade allotted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Fletcher and Tham encourage people to “stay with the trouble”, not shying away from difficult changes. Their plan includes practical advice and poses ideological questions to guide action. One suggestion, for example, includes the creation of a “language ombudsperson” to help create and disseminate earth logic language. This person would examine how journalism, photography and other communication tools such as marketing can become more sustainable.

Fletcher envisions fashion industries that are more locally focused, where mending is taught in schools and designers work in service of their communities, sharing skills and knowledge instead of producing endless disposable garments. “Industry will remain part of our lives, but it won’t be the most dominant part and it will be much more diversified,” she says. “You can’t sell more stuff to be successful anymore.”

The Slow Grind

When multidisciplinary creative Georgina Johnson released her manifesto Slow Fashion to Save Minds as an online document in 2018, conversations about sustainability and mental illness were still on the sidelines of fashion. By the time she published an extended book version in May 2020, we were in the throes of a global pandemic and those conversations had developed into rallying cries for a new system.

View on Instagram

The Slow Grind: Finding Our Way Back to Creative Balance is an anthology with wide-ranging contributions. Stylist Ib Kamara reflects on the impact of fame on creativity. Fashion Revolution co-founder Orsola de Castro implores readers to find sentimental value in their clothing. Fashion historian Kimberly Jenkins discusses the importance of education in dismantling inequalities.

Johnson advocates for a more humane approach to fashion, with an emphasis on mental health and wellbeing rather than productivity. Through workshops, lectures and creative projects, she hopes to put the manifesto into practice. “You implement something like this through ongoing intention and practice,” she says. “This year especially, we’ve seen the loud applause for people saying they want to do things differently, but we’ve also seen people default back to the status quo when that creates friction. Doing things differently always creates a gap between what is possible and what we can see has been done before.”

To create a working environment where employees are empowered to challenge systems, organisations need to rethink productivity goals. “Labour has been mechanised to a ridiculous point where it’s impossible to do everything an organisation wants you to do in a day or a job role,” says Johnson.

Show Grind

Including outside voices is crucial. Brands can embrace radical thought leaders and share resources to help them create better systems, Johnson says. “Don’t be afraid to say you don’t have the knowledge or education you need. Brands can identify the grassroots people changing things on a micro level and scale up those ideas,” she says. “The responsibility shouldn’t be on people pouring from an empty cup.”

As part of these efforts to include diverse perspectives, Johnson advocates for larger organisations running mentorship programmes that offer both financial and practical support. “If you give a scholarship, show people how to spend it wisely, and how to balance the books, how to build relationships with suppliers and producers,” she says. “If you’re hiring in your image, you’ll just perpetuate the same problems over and over.”

And Beyond

Co-founders Amy Foster-Taylor and Will Bull describe And Beyond as a “participatory systems design lab”. Through intimate workshops where CEOs sit alongside interns and garment workers, they help individuals and organisations to envision and create more expansive futures and realise their role within them.

According to And Beyond, fashion is the playground of many oppressive systems, which also makes it the perfect playground for change. “Colonialism is evident in the linear model of take, make, use and dispose. It’s the idea that garment workers in the Global South are lucky to have jobs in fashion, despite the horrific conditions they often have to endure. And the way fashion outsources problems like clothing waste to other countries,” explains Foster-Taylor, an alumna of London College of Fashion’s MA Fashion Futures course. She points to a report by the Sustainable Fashion Initiative that connects unpaid internships to patriarchy, shame and trauma. “It’s about healing internalised oppression so you don’t oppress others.”

Existing approaches to racism are similarly surface-level, continues Bull. “Inclusion still involves someone holding the power to include someone else. Putting anti-racist policies into an inherently racist system is a pragmatic but short-term solution.”

And Beyond

Going forward, And Beyond believes fashion needs systems that mirror nature. “Nature is a cycle of birth, growth and decay. It’s a perfect template,” says Foster-Taylor. She suggests that the industry could borrow nature’s decentralised approach to loosen the grip of fashion capitals and champion a “glocal” system with diverse visions emerging in different localities. It could adopt nature’s wholehearted utilisation of resources, so nothing is wasted and everything is valued. Some brands are already doing this, such as London-based independents Trashion Factory and Birdsong London, which exist to create living wage jobs for the local women they employ.

It may seem utopian, but And Beyond is more about provocation than dogma. Their vision of the future won’t be dictated by one or two people. “It’s not about having one radical CEO at the top,” says Foster-Taylor. “We want to create systems that are agile, regenerative and decentralised, so dreams can be revisited and adapted as needed.” The idea is to acknowledge the systems we have internalised and imagine a world beyond them. “It might sound complex, but it’s really just about what is working for us and what isn’t?”

www.voguebusiness.com

Jewellery

LVMH and Tiffany to have Short Honeymoon

Tiffany shareholders voted in favor of new terms to the USD 16 billion union; French luxury giant won’t delay in sprucing up its latest purchase.

By guest author Carol Ryan from Wall Street Journal,

Photo Tiffany

Tiffany TIF 0.08% & Co. executives will be happy that the final hurdle to the jeweler’s bumpy union with LVMH LVMUY -0.91% Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has been removed. The French buyer might be more preoccupied with how to make the pricey deal pay off.

On Wednesday, December 30, 2020, Tiffany’s shareholders gave their approval for a slight discount to the original merger terms. The jeweler now has a sticker price of USD 15.8 billion, down from USD 16.2 billion. It is still a good result for investors who at one stage feared the deal could collapse. They cash out at a 33 % premium to the value of the shares before news of talks between the two sides first leaked in October of 2019, even though the pandemic has shrunk the brand’s revenue.

Durable

After the deal closes in early January, five top executives at Tiffany will receive golden parachutes worth USD 100 million in total, and LVMH will begin an overhaul.

Jewellery has performed better than other luxury products during the pandemic. Global sales will be down 15 % in 2020 compared with last year’s levels based on Bain & Company estimates. By comparison, high-end watches and clothing will decline at double that rate.

Tiffany might still underperform the global jewellery market, though. The company’s sales were down by one-quarter over the nine months through October. It relies on tourists for a chunk of sales, particularly at its Fifth Avenue flagship in New York, and its engagement-ring business is suffering as couples delay marriage.

Strong demand in mainland China this year suggests the brand still has plenty of room to grow in Asia. The share of its e-commerce business—now an important focus for luxury companies—has doubled to 12% of group sales from last year’s level. And Tiffany only has one-sixth of its stores based in Europe, giving it the option to expand if, and when tourist spending recovers in the region.

LVMH has a good record in taking jewellery brands upmarket. When it bought Bulgari back in 2011, the Italian brand had an operating margin of just 8 %. By 2018, that number had roughly tripled to 25 % according to Jefferies estimates. Now that the drama of this merger is over, the work needed to polish up Tiffany can begin.

www.tiffany.com

www.wsj.com

McKinsey’s week in Charts

Working parents’ worries go way beyond childcare when the pandemic closes schools

Parents are finding work more challenging than nonparents are—and it’s not just about childcare and homeschooling. They are feeling threats to their physical health, mental health, and job security.

Parents 1-2

To read the article, see “Diverse employees are struggling the most during COVID-19—here’s how companies can respond,” November 17, 2020.

China’s executives: The world’s most optimistic during the COVID-19 crisis

Since June, we have surveyed thousands of global executives on what the COVID-19 crisis’s impact would be on domestic GDP based on the likelihood of nine economic scenarios. Throughout that time, respondents in China have reported a consistent—and consistently more optimistic—outlook.

Chin Executives

To explore the interactive, see “Nine scenarios for the COVID-19 economy,” December 18, 2020.

Global banks steel themselves against larger potential loan losses than seen in the Great Recession

In anticipation of a sharp increase in personal and corporate defaults due to the COVID-19 crisis, global banks have provisioned USD 1.15 trillion for loan losses through the third quarter of 2020—more than they did in all of 2019. We project that loan-loss provisions in the coming years will exceed those of the global financial crisis.

Globally

To read the report, see “McKinsey’s Global Banking Annual Review,” December 9, 2020.

Curb your crisis: Preparing for risk today can prevent disaster tomorrow

We looked at three potential crisis scenarios across three sectors and found that pairs of companies with much—but not everything—in common could view the same risk differently. Brand identity and supply-chain resilience are most affected across the grid.

Risk

To read the article, see “The disaster you could have stopped: Preparing for extraordinary risks,” December 15, 2020.

Tokyo in trouble: Physical assets face double damage from climate change

If nothing’s done to adapt to and mitigate climate change, Tokyo would face severe costs if a one-in-100-year rainfall coincides with other major flooding events—raising the stakes from around USD 6 billion in damage to real estate and infrastructure today to about USD 13 billion in 2050.

Tokyo

To read the article, see “Climate risk and response in Asia,” November 24, 2020.

Fashion

Fashion industry’s profits hemmed in by the COVID-19 pandemic

The fashion industry’s economic profit rose year-on-year by 4 %  in 2019. Our calculations suggest that it will fall by 93 %  this year, according to our latest State of Fashion report, written in partnership with the Business of Fashion.

Global  Fashion

To read the report, see “The State of Fashion 2021: In search of promise in perilous times,” December 1, 2020.

Mortuary

Sad announcement by Textile Exchange

Ryan Young, Former COO of Textile Exchange Devoted Husband, Father, Son and Climate Pioneer

Pierre Cardin, couturier and businessman, dies at 98 on December 29, 2020

By guest author Laure Guilbault from Vogue Business

The fashion industry remembers his avant-garde style and ubiquitous licensing of his brand name, and his nephew — and company chairman — talks about the future.

Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin, the space-age couturier who invented a unique geometrical and colourful style and was among the first to widely license his brand name, died at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris on Tuesday, aged 98.

Cardin turned the namesake brand that he founded in 1950 into an empire. “He had up to 800 licenses at some point and 200,000 persons working directly or indirectly for Pierre Cardin products including pens, chocolate, aeroplanes, cars, curtains [and] kitchens,” says Pierre Pelegry, a longtime collaborator of the couturier. “You could literally live in Pierre Cardin. All these licenses allowed him to be free to design his avant-garde creations.”

Born in 1922 in Italy’s Veneto region, he fled Benito Mussolini’s Italy as a young boy with his family and moved to France. He worked for Elsa Schiaparelli and joined Christian Dior at the creation of the house in 1946. As Dior’s premier tailleur (first tailor), he contributed to the birth of the New Look. He left Dior in 1949 and collaborated with the renowned costume designer Marcel Escoffier before creating his house in 1950. Like contemporary André Courreges, he was decidedly modern, creating sculptural silhouettes.

“The 1950s and 1960s were marked by the development of a brilliant couture house,” says Didier Grumbach, former president of French fashion’s top organising body. He dressed The Beatles in these years and later started developing licenses for men’s suits. “No other designer developed the licenses system the way Pierre Cardin did,” says Grumbach. Indeed, while licensing took off amongst the larger fashion houses like LVMH and Kering in the 1980s and 1990s, it was largely abandoned in order to maintain control and protect brand equity. Today, large luxury brands typically only license beauty, eyewear and fragrances to businesses like Puig and Coty, but Pierre Cardin still retains hundreds of licences.

Cardin’s ability to attach his name to so many items helped him amass a huge fortune. French weekly magazine Challenges estimated his worth at €525 million in July 2020, including ownership of Château de Lacoste and Palais Bulles, one of the most expensive properties in Europe known for its sculptural bubble-like structure overlooking Cannes.

“Combining inventiveness, business sense and communication skills, Pierre Cardin captured all his life long the Zeitgeist, its opportunities and all its revolutions,” says Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.

“Pierre Cardin was the last designer of this miraculous generation that sprang up in the immediate post-war period,” said Bernard Arnault, LVMH chairman and chief executive. “I pay tribute to a man of immense talent, who knew how to build a magnificent dialogue between Italy and France and who always tried to draw a bold future through a futuristic and inspired aesthetic. He himself reminded me, not so long ago, that he was at Christian Dior’s side on the first day of the opening of the House and that he had been his first tailor for the first four years. What an extraordinary life!”

Cardin went to Japan in the 1960s and saw very early on China’s potential as a luxury hub, entering the market just as the door was opening to the West in 1979. Following his landmark show at the Great Wall of China, he designed outfits for Chinese government officials. In 1981, Cardin bought Parisian restaurant Maxim’s and also exported the restaurant concept globally.

Cardin inspired generations of designers, including Jean Paul Gaultier who paid tribute to his mentor in his couture show in January 2018, and thanked him “opening the doors of fashion to me” on Instagram. “Couturier, designer, French ambassador, academician, mécène, throughout his life, Pierre Cardin carried out a beautiful work,” he posted.

Simon Porte Jacquemus, 30, says Cardin “made [him] love fashion from a very young age. I have always been fascinated by his lifestyle and by his already futuristic idea of seeing his brand beyond clothing, the designer I have great admiration for his independence, freedom and career path.”

“He had this vision that creativity and marketing were intertwined,” says 71-year-old French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.

The Pierre Cardin brand currently consists of “prêt-à-couture”, plus hundreds of licenses. He would sketch and go to his atelier and boutique on Place Beauvau in Paris every day including Saturdays and Sundays except during the lockdown and would check every single creation before they went out. Pierre Cardin asked the nurses at the hospital to give him paper and pencils to sketch, says his nephew Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin.

Cardin made his nephew chief executive officer of Pierre Cardin Group in 2018 and chairman in October 2020. Basilicati Cardin plans on “rationalising the licenses just a little bit” and keeping the atelier in the spirit of his uncle. Annual turnover including all the licenses is roughly around €500 million.

Pierre Cardin was also a patron of the arts, inviting artists to his cultural space Espace Cardin that he acquired in 1969. He has continued to be a patron until very recently. “He wanted to discover talents,” says Basilicati Cardin.

www.voguebusiness.com

Pandemic

6th ITMF Corona- Survey – Improved Turnover Expectations for 2020 and beyond

Between November 20th and December 14th, 2020, ITMF has conducted its 6th ITMF Corona-Survey among ITMF members and affiliated companies and associations about the impact the Corona-pandemic has on the global textile value chain. In total, 159 companies from around the world participated.

In comparison to the 5th ITMF Corona-Survey (September 5th – 25th, 2020), the turnover expectations have improved in the 6th survey by 4 % age points from -16% to now -12% compared to 2019 (Graph 1).

ITMF 1 AA

For 2021 and the following years, turnover expectations have overall improved slightly (see Graph 2). On average, the companies are expecting a small improvement from -1 % (5th survey) to +3 % (6th survey) compared to 2019. Also, for 2022 and 2023 the outlook has improved slightly from +9 % (5th survey) to +11 % (6th survey) and from +14 % (5th survey) to +15 % (6th survey), respectively. The turnover expectations for 2024 – compared to the 2019 levels – have not changed (+18 % in the 5th and 6th survey).

The latest survey reveals that in the medium- and long-term turnover expectations have not changed significantly. Nevertheless, due to the reduced turnover drop of -10 % in 2020, the industry is expecting to recover the losses incurred in 2020 by the end of 2022.

ITMF 2 AA

www.itmf.org

2020: South Asia sees cancelled orders, supply disruptions

The textile and garment sectors in South Asia had their share of problems arising out of the pandemic-induced crisis.

That included factory closures, restrictions on staffing, job losses, export decline and a scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) followed by an exponential increase in domestic PPE production and a temporary ban on its exports.

In India, dozens of apparel and textile companies ventured into producing PPE to cater to the rising demand during the pandemic.

Many faced order cancellations from the West and disruptions in raw material supply chain from China. As the country kept waiting for a new textile policy, the year witnessed a slew of policy amendments and announcements, initially for the textile and apparel sector, and later to handle the severe impact of the pandemic on the industry in general, writes assistant editor Dipesh Satapathy in the January 2021 edition of Fibre2Fashion as he looks back at the year that was.

As a country where the readymade garment (RMG) sector is one of the lifelines of the economy, Bangladesh was immensely hit by lockdowns, halted shipments and order cancellations by US- and Europe-based retailers. However, RMG exporters heaved a sigh of relief in April when Spain’s Inditex, British retailer Marks and Spencer, France’s Kiabi and US firms PVH and Target assured the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) that they would accept the ready goods along with the goods in production.

Sri Lanka’s earnings from textiles and apparel exports decreased by 21.5 % year-on-year to USD 3.286 billion during the first nine months of 2020. Exports of textiles dropped by 13.7 %  to USD 181.6 million, while garment exports declined 25.1 %  to USD 2.919 billion.

www.kohantextilejounal.com

SABIC’s global footprint meets local demand for protective products to help combat COVID-19

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, is making a significant contribution to the battle against COVID-19 through increased production within its LEXAN polycarbonate portfolio. The focus of the production increase has been on innovative polycarbonate sheets and films for a wide variety of high-performance products to help improving sanitation control and preventing infections.

SABIC’s efforts in combatting COVID-19 are boosted by the company having production facilities across Europe, Asia and North and South America. This provides the company’s Functional Forms business with the ability to manufacture and swiftly distribute its sheet and film products across every region around the world.

SABIC and its predecessors have a long history as an innovator in polycarbonate technology, having invented polycarbonate resin in 1953, and initiated production of high-performance sheets and films in 1968. Since then, SABIC excels in polycarbonate development with a portfolio of over 350 material grades. SABIC’s Functional Forms business spearheads materials innovation, enabling applications in industries where there is a need for safety, high optical quality, durability, anti-bacterial properties and flame, chemical and impact resistance products.

LEXAN protective sheets and films have applications across an extensive range of sectors that are experiencing particular hygiene and social distancing challenges during the pandemic. These include hospitals and medical clinics, care homes, dental practices, schools and kindergartens, retail and hospitality outlets, sports centers, reception areas and mass transportation, among many others.

“There is an urgent and ongoing need around the world for protective equipment, not only to fight against this current pandemic, but also to improve safety and hygiene standards in the future ”, said Sandeep Dhawan, Global Business Director Functional Forms, SABIC. “As a company that excels in ground-breaking materials, we are driven by the ambition to innovate and are committed to providing the latest technology and expertise to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help mitigate further infection.”

Market takes action against pandemic with LEXAN film and sheet solutions

As testament to its global reach, SABIC has supplied innovative polycarbonate sheet and film solutions to some of the world’s leading organizations, for some of the most demanding applications aimed at providing increased protection against COVID-19. Examples include:

Brillant BusGlas, Germany

Helping bus operators cope with distancing regulations in the combat of COVID-19, Brillant BusGlas is offering transparent partition panels for separating bus drivers from passengers in public transportation. The ECE-R43 certified and TÜV approved panels are made from virtually unbreakable, coated 8 mm MARGARD™ MR5E sheet and available in kits for installation on-site and/or by Brillant’s retrofit service.

“Thanks to the freedom of design and ease of conversion of SABIC’s polycarbonate sheet products, we can customize and supply these partition panels for virtually any public bus brand. The rigidity, outstanding impact strength, double-sided abrasion-resistant coating, and long-term transparency of the material make them an ideal solution providing permanent professional driver protection as well as compliance with current anti-pandemic contact restrictions.”

Image Labels PVT. LTD., India

Image Labels supplies face shields to government bodies, police departments, hospital groups and leading OEMs such as Schneider, as well as partitions for taxis and other modes of transportation.

“Through our association with SABIC we are now into our 25th year of successfully supplying leading polycarbonate solutions for a wide range of applications,” said Sujan Nailady, Managing Director, Image Labels. “We are particularly appreciative of the support SABIC has provided in helping to overcome some of the challenges posed by the COVD-19 pandemic.”

Krüger Aviation GmbH, Germany

For the aviation industry to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, airlines must in still confidence in passengers using their aircraft, without the costly need to implement an empty seat policy. Krüger Aviation has taken up the challenge by developing seat dividers, made from SABIC’s LEXAN F2000A polycarbonate sheet, which provide passengers with a high level of protection from any aerosols produced by neighbors. The seat divider, which is attached to the middle seat in rows with three seats, is constructed for easy mounting without need of any modification of the seat itself, with a full aircraft being equipped within a few hours.

“While facemasks may be still required, seat dividers will establish an additional layer of protection and significantly reduce risk of infection” said Florian Ehinger, Head of Customer Service. “We believe this will be a highly cost-effective way to help restore passenger trust in airline travel.”

Focaccia Group, Italy

Using SABIC’s LEXAN MARGARD MR5E polycarbonate sheet, Focaccia has designed and manufactured the first “L”-shaped anti-COVID partition, which can be installed in vehicles to separate the driver from passengers. Called the “Elle Corona Stopper”, the partition does not obstruct the driver and does not interfere with airbags, mirror view, seat belts or safety systems. It can be installed in minutes, removed without damaging the car interior and can be completely disinfected.

“SABIC’s LEXAN sheet has enabled us to deliver the desired characteristics of resilience and creativity in manufacturing for which we are known”, said Mr. Riccardo Focaccia, General Manager, Focaccia Group. “Even in challenging times, our ideas never stop, and a flexible polycarbonate solution enables some of our other creative ideas come to life.”

SABIC products to enable better protection against viruses

SABIC’s next generation LEXAN sheet and film solutions have all been developed to bring Chemistry that Matters to the marketplace. Our clear understanding of product needs and performance attributes supports application success for our customers. The journey of innovation will be highlighted with technology which supports anti-bacterial performance to assist in the fight against COVID-19 across its portfolio. SABIC LEXAN polycarbonate solutions are available through a large network of localized distribution centres globally. v

To learn more about SABIC’s efforts to help combat COVID-19, please visit www.sabic.com/sfs

www.busglasdirect.de

www.focaccia-group.com

www.imagelabels.in

www.krueger-aviation.de

4 Fotos

Partnering

Ascend Performance Materials has announced a commercial agreement with The S Group, a globally recognised provider of apparel design

Ascend Performance Materials has announced a commercial agreement with The S Group, a globally recognised provider of apparel design, development and manufacturing. The alliance will focus on commercialization of Acteev Protect™ antimicrobial yarns, fibres and fabrics, offering customers full-scale supply chain service from garment design to delivery.

The agreement pairs Ascend’s world-class manufacturing operations with The S Group’s track record of success in the wholesale and direct-to-consumer apparel industry. “Our customers will now benefit from a revolutionary antimicrobial material combined with end-to-end support to guide a product from ideation to actualization,” said Lu Zhang, vice president of Acteev.

The S Group offers complete supply chain management for apparel brands, including product development, manufacturing, logistics, quality assurance, packaging and order fulfillment. The company lists some of the world’s most recognized brands among its partners, including Lululemon, New Balance and Mack Weldon. Athleisure, performance, scrubs, and seamless products such as intimates, leggings, active wear, socks and gaiters will be available.

Gary Peck, CEO of The S Group, says his team is excited about the commercial potential of Acteev, especially given the new reality of global health concerns. “Garment design has primarily focused on functionality, sustainability and comfort,” said Peck. “The past year has made us all aware that safety can be a valuable feature of fabrics as well, and Acteev checks all those boxes.”

Acteev is Ascend’s patent-pending technology that embeds zinc ions in a polymer to create fibres with long-lasting antimicrobial properties. The result is a fabric that destroys odor-causing bacteria and fungi. Acteev technology is available in a wide range of textiles featuring the flexibility, softness and durability of nylon 6,6.

Recent testing on knit fabric completed at the University of Cambridge has demonstrated that Acteev technology deactivates the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, with 99.9% efficacy on contact1. Ascend is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other governmental agencies to obtain the appropriate regulatory clearances to make specific claims regarding the technology’s antiviral properties.

Product availability can be found at www.acteev.com

Ascend Performance Materials is a global premium provider of high-quality plastics, fibres and chemicals and is the world’s largest integrated producer of PA66 resin. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Ascend has nine global locations, including five fully-integrated manufacturing facilities located in the southeastern United States and an engineering plastics compounding facility in Europe, all dedicated to the innovation and safe production of nylon 6,6. With three of the world’s largest chemical processing facilities, Ascend’s materials form the building blocks for products used in everyday applications from apparel to airbags, cable ties to circuit boards and carpets to car parts. Ascend’s 2500-person global workforce is committed to making a difference in the communities we serve and leading the development of nylon 6,6 solutions that inspire everyone, everywhere, every day.

Acteev

– Tests show >99 % antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal efficacy

– EPA-registered zinc ions embedded in the polymer

– Hygroscopic nylon 6,6 fabric attracts moisture, which activates the zinc ions

– Not a topical treatment or coating

– Not dependent on silver, copper

– Proven efficacy in many end forms:

–  Knit and woven fabrics for consumer textiles, upholstery, uniforms, face masks

– Nanofibre, meltblown and spunbond nonwovens for filtration

– Fibres for carpets

– Engineered plastics for high-touch surfaces

Acteev™ technology has been shown in laboratory tests to destroy SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and other pathogens including H1N1, coronavirus 229E and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria such as staphylococcus and E. coli. All data presented on this page comes from testing performed by independent third-party laboratories following the protocols of ISO, ASTM or other international standards organizations. Not all claims are permitted in all jurisdictions, including in the United States. Some device designs currently under review with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — submission number K201714. Ascend has more than 15 patent families pending on Acteev technology.

Portuguese company produces anti-stress blankets

A Portuguese company founded during the pandemic has begun to produce weighted blankets in Guimarães made up of grains of treated glass sand that “reduce stress” and help “fight muscle pain”.

Speaking to Lusa, Ricardo Parreira, one of the founders of Blanky, explained that the idea of exploring the market for weighted blankets, “visually similar to a duvet”, came after Pedro Caseiro, also the founder of the company had difficulty sleeping.

“Pedro worked in London (United Kingdom), had some back pain and difficulty falling asleep due to anxiety and stress ’.

n January, Ricardo Parreira and Pedro Caseiro started exploring the weighted blankets market, a product that is still relatively new to the market, as well as their development and manufacturing process and realised that “there was no unit in Europe with the knowledge and production capacity to develop this textile ”.

“We realised that there was nothing like this in Portugal or Spain and started to research more about the topic. In June, when we had most of the exhaustive research done, we started to develop the company. Fundamentally, we believe in our idea and it worked ”, he said.

After the consolidated research, the founders faced “extra challenges”, not only because they launched a new product in times of pandemic, but also because the textile industry “was not familiar with the product”.

According to Ricardo Parreira, weighted blankets are “visually very similar to duvets”, and in the case of Blanky they consist of 300-thread cotton and grains of sand from treated glass, a material that gives this textile additional weight.

“From the beginning, we wanted to produce in Portugal, but none of the factories we visited were familiar with either the product or with the production process. Right then, it was a challenge”, said Ricardo, adding that it was at the LEIPER factory, in Guimarães, that they found the answer they needed.

Despite some “challenges” in terms of production, the company from Guimarães “manages to produce six blankets per day, with a minimum of 120 units per month”.

The objective of the founders of Blanky is now to “optimise the production process” so that, “in the near future, the efficiency of the plant increases”.

www.blanky.pt

www.kohantextilejournal.com

Protection

JOSPHERE launches New Eco-Friendly Cork T80 Ski Helmet

Driven by a passion for skiing, as well a mission to protect the environment, JOSPHERE is a boutique ski-brand originally from London. As a brand we strive to protect the earth and produce with environmentally friendly materials and processes.

In the development of our products we are focused on Green Tech materials that are friendly to the environment. The DASH T80- Cork is built from co-molded eps and recycled wine bottle corks, using cutting edge technology to make a durable and lightweight helmet. The recycled liner combined with eco fabrics and plastics creates the benchmark for an eco-friendly safety product.

This model with cork infused eps corks and green tech materials and fabrics leads JOSPHERE into a new era of fashion, safety and environmental protection.

JOSPHERE Enjoy Collection

Based on years research with skiers and snowboarders from all over Asia, we developed a series of professional and fashionable ski helmets that fit the Asian head form and colour tone. The EnJOy collection was officially launched in the world in early 2020.

Environmental protection and love of the Earth have always been the core of JOSPHERE’s brand, so of course in the research and development of helmet materials we have chosen Green Tech materials that are friendly to the environment. The EnJOy eco-friendly ski collection, highlights cork infused eps corks and green tech materials and fabrics with special technology and production processes that lead JOSPHERE into a new era of fashion, safety and environmental protection.

Just like the brand manifesto we gave the EnJOy Snow collection: Enjoy life with JOSPHERE, Love the earth, Love yourself. Enjoy The Moment, Enjoy LIFE.

www.josphere.com

Research

When damaged ropes change colour  – Hanging by a coloured thread

By  guest author Cornelia Zogg from Swiss Empa

High-performance fibres that have been exposed to high temperatures usually lose their mechanical properties undetected and, in the worst case, can tear precisely when lives depend on them. For example, safety ropes used by fire brigades or suspension ropes for heavy loads on construction sites. Empa researchers have now developed a coating that changes colour when exposed to high temperatures through friction or fire.

The firefighter runs into the burning building and systematically searches room by room for people in need of rescue. Attached to him is a safety rope at the other end of which his colleagues are waiting outside in front of the building. In an emergency – should he lose consciousness for any reason – they can pull him out of the building or follow him into the building for rescue. However, if this rope has been exposed to excessive heat during previous operations, it may tear apart. This means danger to life! And up to now there has been no way of noticing this damage to the rope. A team of researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich has now developed a coating which changes color due to the physical reaction with heat, thus clearly indicating whether a rope will continue to provide the safety it promises in the future.

Researchers from ETH Zurich and Empa developed a coating system in 2018 as part of a Master’s thesis, which the Empa team was now able to apply to fibers. “It was a process involving several steps,” says Dirk Hegemann from Empa’s Advances Fibers lab. The first coatings only worked on smooth surfaces, so the method first had to be adapted so that it would also work on curved surfaces. Empa has extensive know-how in the coating of fibers – Hegemann and his team have already developed electrically conductive fibers in the past (see links). The so-called sputtering process has now also been successfully applied to the latest coating.

Wafer-thin layers with great effect

Ropes left mini

Three layers are required to ensure that the fiber actually changes color when heated. The researchers apply silver to the fibre itself, in this case PET (i.e. polyester) and VectranTM, a high-tech fibre. This serves as a reflector – in other words, as a metallic base layer. This is followed by an intermediate layer of titanium nitrogen oxide, which ensures that the silver remains stable. And only then follows the amorphous layer that causes the color change: Germanium-antimony tellurium (GST), which is just 20 nanometers thick. When this layer is exposed to elevated temperatures, it crystallizes, changing the color from blue to white. The colour change is based on a physical phenomenon known as interference. Two different waves (e.g. light) meet and amplify or weaken each other. Depending on the chemical composition of the temperature-sensitive layer, this color change can be adjusted to a temperature range between 100 and 400 degrees and thus adapted to the mechanical properties of the fiber type.

Tailor-made solutions

The possible areas of application for the colour-changing fibres are still open, and Hegemann is currently looking for possible project partners. In addition to safety equipment for firefighters or mountaineers, the fibres can also be used for load ropes in production facilities, on construction sites, etc. In any case, research on the subject is far from complete. At present, it is not yet possible to store the fibers for long periods of time without losing their functionality. “Unfortunately, the phase-change materials oxidize over the course of a few months,” says Hegemann. This means that the corresponding phase change – crystallization – no longer takes place, even with heat, and the rope thus loses its “warning signal”. In any case, it has been proven that the principle works, and durability is a topic for future research, says Hegemann. “As soon as the first partners from industry register their interest in our own products, the fibers can be further optimized according to their needs”.

www.empa.ch

Retailing

Retailers are betting on bricks-and-mortar

New flagships, new concepts, new stores and new partnerships from Dollar General, Lidl, Target and more.

Bx guest author Peter Johnston NRF Contributor.

Photo Brick & Motar

2020 has been a tough year. The global pandemic continues to rage. Shoppers have stayed home. Ecommerce volume has skyrocketed. Famous retail names have declared bankruptcy, among them Lord & Taylor, Century 21, Brooks Brothers, GNC and Neiman Marcus.

In other words, it doesn’t seem like a good time to be expanding a brand in a bricks-and-mortar environment. However, a number of retailers are doing just that.

While the categories, plans and activities of these retailers differ significantly, they seem to have one thing in common: They’re working hard to understand exactly what they expect from their stores in terms of performance, and also to understand — and strengthen — the ways online and bricks-and-mortar operations complement each other.

Concepts and openings

Not content to stay the course, several brands have opened new flagships. UGG just opened a store at 530 Fifth Avenue in the heart of midtown Manhattan’s shopping zone. The new 12,000-square-foot space aims to reflect the changes in UGG’s products over the years, from its classic fuzzy boot to clothing, accessories and home goods.

A little further south, Swiss running shoe brand On recently opened its first owned retail property in New York’s NoHo neighborhood. The store is built around a central thematic and technological concept: a wall fitted with hundreds of depth cameras and sensors that can accurately gauge a user’s running style and scan their foot shape.

In a somewhat similar vein, Men’s Wearhouse has unveiled a new store concept that features enhanced digital and interactive technology such as hands-free fitting and measurement. The new concept debuted in Shenandoah, Texas, north of Houston.

Foot Locker is expanding its community-based “power store” concept with two new Canadian locations, one in Vancouver and one in Toronto. The three-story Vancouver location features a second-floor dedicated space for local community events, pending health and safety restrictions.

Thousands of miles to the east, specialty foods and home goods producer Stonewall Kitchen has opened a store next door to the Boston Children’s Museum. The 3,000-square-foot location features a curated assortment of the brand’s offerings along with a PB&J Café.

In October, Dollar General announced a new concept called “Popshelf,” focused on seasonal, home décor and beauty products, as well as cleaning supplies and party goods; most products are USD 5 or less. Plans called for the retailer to open two stores under the concept this fall in Nashville, with some 30 more in the works by the end of 2021.

Grocery expansions

Earlier this year, German discount grocer Aldi announced plans to open 70 new stores this year in the United States. Aldi did not announce where the stores would be, except to say that it has now expanded into its 37th state, Arizona.

The company is also opening stores in the Gulf Coast area, to be serviced out of a new regional distribution center, in Loxley, Ala. In the ecommerce area, the company has expanded curbside grocery pickup service to nearly 700 stores, and has grocery delivery available in 10,000 ZIP codes.

Not to be outdone, archrival Lidl, also a German discount grocer, had eight new stores opening over two weeks in December. The stores are in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, furthering the grocer’s expansion along the East Coast.

Future plans and partnerships

In October, Kohl’s announced a new strategic corporate framework designed to increase gross volume through a focus on active and casual wear, increased personalization of its loyalty and rewards programs, and enhanced omnichannel capabilities.

One of these is leveraging the stores as part of Kohl’s omnichannel operation. Between ship-from-store and buy online, pick up in store, nearly 40 % of the company’s digital sales are now fulfilled by its stores.

On December 1, Kohl’s and Sephora announced a long-term strategic partnership through which 2500-square-foot “Sephora at Kohl’s” beauty departments will be placed at the front of selected Kohl’s stores. The first 200 locations are scheduled to open in fall 2021, expanding to at least 850 stores by 2023.

A similar arrangement has been announced by Target and Ulta Beauty. “Ulta Beauty at Target,” approximately 1,000 square feet next to the existing beauty department, will debut at over 100 Target stores in 2021, with plans to scale to hundreds more over time. Both of these agreements will be reflected not only in stores, but on each partner’s website.

One business

All of these examples suggest that the announcements of the death of bricks-and-mortar have been somewhat exaggerated. But what isn’t exaggerated is that there’s no longer any separation between the ecommerce side of a retail business and the stores. It’s all one business.

www.nrf.org

Sleep wear

Better sleep with MEY nightwear and energear™-technology from Swiss schoeller®

Underwear and loungewear specialist MEY announces the launch of its product series “Zzzleepwear,” developed to improve the quality of sleep for men and women. Setting new standards in the sleepwear category, functionality and technical innovation are the focus of the product styles that also offer stylish looks and wearer comfort.

People who sleep well recharge their batteries and can start the next day full of energy. However, many people suffer from sleep problems that can have a long-term negative impact on health and well-being. MEY’s Zzzleepwear was built to address that.

„Zzzleepwear“ reflects far-infrared rays

Fabrics of the “Zzzleepwear” series are equipped with energear™ technology from schoeller®. They reflect the body’s own energy, which is emitted in the form of far-infrared rays. The textile finish is based on a titanium-mineral matrix, which reflects far-infrared rays back to the body. This effect can have a positive impact on the body and its energy balance. The understanding of far infrared rays and their positive properties has its origin in Asian healing medicine. Far Eastern medicine has incorporated life energy, “Qi” in Chinese, for centuries. More and more people are discovering that their performance increases when energy balance and energy flow are in harmony. schoeller® is transferring this function to textiles, and MEY is using the finish for the first time in nightwear.

Further fabric properties and design features

For the new “Zzzleepwear” series, the energear™ coating is applied to the inside of the fabric in a honeycomb-like form. It thus represents the core of the series. In addition, the fabric with melange structure is made of natural cotton and thermoregulating fibres that provide high breathability. The large proportion of natural cotton fibres increases the wearing comfort of this special nightwear. The “Zzzleepwear” series offers different color variations, as well as outstanding design features like flat seams and an interior print in the neck area.

Podcast with soporific effect

MEY wants to lull its customers to sleep in a particularly original way: A Spotify code is printed on every item in the series. By scanning this code, customers can listen to a sleep podcast created especially for the selected pair of pyjamas. In the eleven-part good night story, the products tell their own manufacturing story, from the cotton field to the fabric production in Albstadt to the store – so boring, it will have customers nodding off in no time.

More: www.mey.com/en/zzzleepwear-series

Founded in 1868 with headquarters in Switzerland, Schoeller Textil AG is a global leader in high-performance textile manufacturing specializing in the sustainable development and production of innovative textiles and textile technologies. As a system supplier of solution-oriented products, Schoeller addresses specific customer requirements and supplies its customers and partners with tangible added value. Schoeller Technologies AG is a subsidiary of Schoeller Textil AG and was founded in 2000 as a global licensing company. It markets textile finishing technologies developed by its parent company. The products are available to production partners in the form of patents and trademarks.

www.schoeller-tech.com

Mey is one of the leading brands for high-quality ladies’ and men’s underwear. All products are designed, produced and marketed with creativity, passion and attention to detail. For Mey, innovation means not only creating something new but also constantly developing the company, its products and its processes. In addition to modern design, the German family-owned company, which was founded in 1928, attaches great importance to premium quality. To ensure that the high quality requirements can be consistently met, more than 50 % of Mey’s total value creation is generated in Germany. Mey products give women and men the good feeling of having made the right decision because nothing comes closer to the skin than the underwear you wear.

www.mey.com

Bilder Schoeller AG

Gap’s Athleta Enters New Category with Sleep Collection

Athleta today unveiled its first-ever sleep collection, furthering its growth and reinforcing its position as a true lifestyle brand. Available today, the sleep collection aims to support women holistically and recognizes the importance of rest and recovery in her active life.

The entry into sleep was inspired by listening sessions with Athleta customers to learn more about their sleepwear interests and nighttime routines. Athleta resident sleep expert, Dr. Michael Grandner, who is board-certified in behavioral sleep medicine, collaborated with the brand to share insights into the importance of recovery and sleep in balancing an active lifestyle.

Athleta

According to a poll released by the National Sleep Foundation, 67 % of women age 18-64 experience sleep problems at least a few nights each week and 46% experience sleep problems every night. This can negatively affect health, well-being and ability to perform everyday activities. Rest and recovery play a vital role in improving daily performance, which is why sleepwear is a natural extension for Athleta, a purpose driven brand focused on empowering women. Athleta is uniquely positioned to bring this to market, as it continues to ignite a community of active, healthy, and confident women by supporting her throughout her entire day.

“More and more women are focusing on self-care and holistic wellness, and by offering sleepwear we are able to support her full lifestyle—from active performance to rest,” said Mary Beth Laughton, President and CEO of Athleta. “We know from our masks launch this spring, that new category additions can be a great way to introduce more customers to our Athleta brand. We are excited about the possibility of reaching even more women while providing them an opportunity to make recovery a key component of their daily activities.”

Fabrics are an important component of restful sleep, and each style in the 14-piece collection provides comfort for recovery. The sustainable and natural fabrics are ultra-soft and light weight, including a cloud-like rib knit, buttery TENCEL(TM) Modal jersey and cozy organic cotton. Designed with breathability, the collection provides a gentle, easy fit to aid in uninterrupted sleep.

The sleep collection is available now on www.Athleta.com . New styles will be added seasonally. Visit Athleta’s Instagram Stories for resident sleep expert Dr. Grandner’s tips for a great night’s sleep.

A certified B Corporation, Athleta creates versatile premium performance apparel designed by women athletes to inspire a community of active, confident women and girls to reach their limitless potential. Founded in 1998, Athleta integrates performance and technical features across its collection to carry a woman through her life in motion – from yoga and training to commute and travel. In 2016 the company launched Athleta Girl mirroring its signature performance in styles for the next generation. Based in San Francisco, CA and a Gap Inc. brand (NYSE: GPS), Athleta apparel is available at its about 200 retail stores across the country, through its catalog, and at www.Athleta.com

Success Story

EFI Reggiani’s Great Textile Success in Russia: New Opportunities and Prospects of the Russian Textile Market

EFI™ Reggiani, together with its partner in Russia, Nissa Distribution™, have completed three new sales contracts for the supply and installation of industrial solutions for direct-to-fabric and sublimation industrial textile printing. The new sales bring EFI Reggiani’s productive and sustainable digital solutions to three leading Russian textile producers – D-TEX Digital Textile Printing, MIRtex and Sima-Land.  

Having more than 70 years of experience and competence developing textile technologies and machinery, EFI Reggiani is a world leader in the implementation of innovative solutions. The EFI Reggiani product portfolio includes the Reggiani and Mezzera brands – a broad range of solutions for textile manufacturing. EFI Reggiani has had a long-lasting presence in Russia serving key customers with digital printers using water-based inks, analogue printers, and pre- and post-treatment equipment. EFI Reggiani has further enhanced its presence with Nissa Distribution, a valuable local partner.  

Greater sustainability and productivity for the Russian market
EFI Reggiani develops, manufactures, sells, installs and services advanced industrial textile machinery solutions worldwide, working closely with partners such as Nissa. Customers, including many of the world’s leading textile manufacturers, benefit from high efficiency in their manufacturing process, optimised productivity, reduced energy and water costs, and a reduced environmental impact.

The network of EFI Reggiani agent partners, technical specialists and service engineers worldwide provides customers with high-quality service and effective before- and after-sales support, while also offering consultations on effective technology use.

Nissa Distribution, and its subsidiary Nissa Stensart™, became distributors of EFI Reggiani products in Russia in 2018. The Stensart product portfolio is comprised of the widest range of equipment for preparation, printing and finishing of textiles, meeting the demanding requirements for successful production in different textile market segments.  

EFI Reggiani’s success in the Russian market comes from well-coordinated, concerted efforts with Nissa Distribution and Nissa Stensart, ensuring full sales and technical support for customers. The most recent results of EFI Reggiani’s activities with Nissa Distribution and Nissa Stensart are the finalisation of three contracts for EFI Reggiani POWER and EFI Reggiani NEXT digital textile printers.

New POWER installations
Russia’s first EFI Reggiani POWER 180 and POWER 240 digital printers were recently sold to D-TEX Digital Textile Printing, located in Stupino, in the Moscow Oblast, and to MIRtex, in Furnmanov, Russia. The companies, which print and manufacture products using natural fibres and knitwear, are among the largest comprehensive textile manufacturers serving Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The EFI Reggiani POWER 180 and POWER 240 are industrial digital printing machines for direct printing on fabric, knitwear and textiles in widths of 1.8 and 2.4 metres, respectively. They are equipped with a high-precision continuous transportation belt for reliable, accurate fabric feeding without wrinkles. Both machines can use EFI Reggiani’s water-based, eco-friendly inks, including popular EFI Reggiani BDR Diamond reactive inks. 

EFI Reggiani POWER printers combine unparalleled reliability from EFI Reggiani’s long history of manufacturing excellence with new cutting-edge innovations that make production faster, smoother and more efficient. The printers’ ink recirculation system and electronics make the POWER line the top seller in its category worldwide. With EFI Reggiani POWER printers, users benefit from:
•     Superior versatility to manage a wider variety of inks
•     Dramatic reduction in maintenance needs and stoppages •     Increased tolerance to environmental conditions.  

Sima-Land’s NEXT digital innovation
Russia’s first EFI Reggiani NEXT 340 printer is being installed at the largest wholesale textile company in Russia, Sima-Land. The Yekaterinburg-based company offers more than 1 million different products, including décor textiles for the home and office and men’s, women’s and children’s clothing.

The EFI Reggiani NEXT 340 is a 3.4-metre-wide, beltless industrial digital printing machine for direct and sublimation printing. Sima-Land’s printer is equipped with four Kyocera® industrial printheads and will give the wholesaler productivity running in a CMYK x 2 configuration or in an eight-colour configuration for superior quality. Using eco-friendly, water-based EFI Reggiani IRIS inks will give Sima-Land the ability to print bright vivid shades and colours and ensure an extraordinary level of print durability.

The Reggiani NEXT printer is the digital solution for sublimation printing on paper and non-elastic fabrics, designed to revolutionise fashion, sportswear and home décor markets with its combination of cost-saving features, speed and quality. Reggiani NEXT users worldwide benefit from reliable, industrial printing with a limited initial investment on a printer offering exceptional ease of use and the lowest cost per metre production in its category.

Nissa Distribution will handle future technical service and maintenance of the new printers sold to D-TEX, MIRtex and Sima-Land, as well as supply spare parts and consumables.

“We are very excited about the success working with Nissa Distribution and Nissa Stensart to grow EFI Reggiani’s presence in the important Russian market,” said EFI Reggiani Senior Vice President and General Manager Adele Genoni. “The installation of high-performance EFI Reggiani industrial digital textile printers at three of the largest textile companies in Russia, and the ability to help these customers grow in the midst of a pandemic, reflect the serious commitment EFI Reggiani and our partners have in helping customers thrive and grow with efficient, productive and green digital printing solutions.”

In the future, EFI Reggiani, Nissa Distribution and Nissa Stensart will continue to collaborate to reinforce their joint, effective efforts to provide customers with the highest level of support and technical assistance, furthering promotion of EFI Reggiani digital printing solutions in Russia and the CIS.  

To learn more about of EFI Reggiani products and services for the textile and apparel industries, visit www.efi.com/reggiani

EFI™ is a global technology company, based in Silicon Valley, and is leading the worldwide transformation from analogue to digital imaging. We are passionate about fuelling customer success with products that increase competitiveness and boost productivity. To do that, we develop breakthrough technologies for the manufacturing of signage, packaging, textiles, ceramic tiles, building materials and personalised documents, with a wide range of printers, inks, digital front ends, and a comprehensive business and production workflow suite that transforms and streamlines the entire production process.

www.efi.com      

Trade

U.S- Trade Chief Lighthizer urges Biden to Keep Tariffs on China

In his nearly four years in office, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer helped move protectionism from the fringes of American policy-making to the core. His advice to the Biden administration: Stay the course.

Keep tariffs on China—all of them—even if that raises prices for U.S. businesses and consumers, he said. Weaken the World Trade Organization so that it can’t overrule U.S. policies, and make it harder for American companies to move overseas despite the cost to their competitiveness.

In an interview, Mr. Lighthizer credited the Trump administration with taking a tough approach toward Chinese trade practices that benefited U.S. workers—ending years of accommodation by previous administrations fearful of angering Beijing.

Should President-elect Biden adjust U.S. dealings with China on trade issues, and, if so, how? Join the conversation below.

“We changed the way people think about China,” Mr. Lighthizer said. “We want a China policy that thinks about the geopolitical competition between the United States and an adversary—an economic adversary.”

The 73-year-old Mr. Lighthizer—tall, gravelly voiced and pugnacious—was the engineer who helped steer the Trump administration’s economic confrontation with China. He turned President Trump’s anger at Beijing into a two-year trade war where he deployed tariffs on a scale not seen since the 1930s.

Facing USD 370 billion in annual U.S. tariffs, China signed a deal a year ago to increase its purchases of U.S. goods and services by USD 200 billion over two years, open its financial markets and ease pressure on U.S. firms to hand over technology.

The battle had its costs—it rattled global markets, soured Americans’ views toward China and pushed the two economies apart, a cleavage that has deepened as a virus that surfaced in China spread across the U.S., killing more than 370000. Still the tariffs didn’t lead to the economic disaster that some economists had predicted, although they did increase prices that Americans had to pay for many imported goods.

“We transformed the way people think about trade, and we transformed the way the models are,” Mr. Lighthizer said in an interview. “My hope is that that will continue.”

Mr. Lighthizer’s free-trade critics acknowledge his influence. “He is the most consequential trade representative” since President Kennedy created the position in 1963, said Gary Hufbauer, a Peterson Institute for International Economics senior fellow. “He reversed the disposition toward globalisation.”

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Mr. Lighthizer’s influence on U.S. economic policy was hardly a given. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office has just 200 employees, compared with the Treasury’s 100,000, and operates essentially as the president’s trade law firm. The trade representative’s power stems directly from his or her relationship with the president.

All captions courtesy by Wall Street Journal

His Senate background, he said, made it especially painful to watch the recent storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. While he didn’t criticize the president’s role, he said, “For the rest of his administration and for the many months after that [Mr. Trump] has to be an agent of healing.”

President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team shares Mr. Lighthizer’s view of China. But Mr. Biden’s advisers point out that the Trump administration failed to get Beijing to adopt the longer-term reforms it sought, including reducing government support of industry and protecting trade secrets of U.S. companies, in part because it picked fights with U.S. allies at the same time.

In the year since the trade pact was signed, China has fallen far behind on its purchase commitments to the Phase One trade agreement and has doubled down on its statist economic policies.

Mr. Biden plans to shuck unilateral action and sign up allies for what he calls a “united front” against Beijing. That includes leaving the decision on tariffs until consultations with European and Asian partners.

Mr. Lighthizer views the Biden plan with alarm, saying it could let other nations slow or veto U.S. actions and tie up the U.S. in endless, pointless discussions with China. The U.S. and China “started dialogues in the ’90s,” he said. “That did nothing. All of them were just a waste of time.”

Mr. Trump made trade a priority and Mr. Lighthizer worked hard to cement his ties to his boss. He hitched rides back to Florida on Air Force One, where he has a home not far from Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and struck up a close relationship with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Most important, say Trump officials, Mr. Lighthizer was a persuasive advocate in White House debates and avoided the limelight. He learned the role of discreet staffer from his work decades earlier for Kansas Sen. Robert Dole, who was then the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

“I stay in the trade lane and out of the press,” Mr. Lighthizer remarked at one signing ceremony.

His Senate background, he said, made it especially painful to watch the recent storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. While he didn’t criticize the president’s role, he said, “For the rest of his administration and for the many months after that [Mr. Trump] has to be an agent of healing.”

President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team shares Mr. Lighthizer’s view of China. But Mr. Biden’s advisers point out that the Trump administration failed to get Beijing to adopt the longer-term reforms it sought, including reducing government support of industry and protecting trade secrets of U.S. companies, in part because it picked fights with U.S. allies at the same time.

In the year since the trade pact was signed, China has fallen far behind on its purchase commitments to the Phase One trade agreement and has doubled down on its statist economic policies.

Mr. Biden plans to shuck unilateral action and sign up allies for what he calls a “united front” against Beijing. That includes leaving the decision on tariffs until consultations with European and Asian partners.

Mr. Lighthizer views the Biden plan with alarm, saying it could let other nations slow or veto U.S. actions and tie up the U.S. in endless, pointless discussions with China. The U.S. and China “started dialogues in the ’90s,” he said. “That did nothing. All of them were just a waste of time.”

This is all part of what he calls a worker-oriented trade policy. Other parts include stripping the WTO of power to override U.S. trade actions and reworking trade deals so they require more manufacturing in the U.S.

Chinese officials argue that they have vastly liberalized their economy, helping U.S. firms and consumers. They also say that their state-led economic model is responsible for turning China into the world’s second-largest economy.

Since the Phase One deal was signed in January 2020, the lead on China policy has shifted to national security officials. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has looked to deepen relations with Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province, including starting talks for a bilateral trade deal.

But Mr. Lighthizer blocked that initiative, leading to criticism that he was coddling China in hopes of saving his trade deal. That isn’t the case, he said. There wasn’t enough time to go through the many legal hoops to get a trade agreement, he said. Besides, trade relations with Taiwan are fraught.

“We have a large and growing trade deficit with Taiwan,” he said, which totaled

USD 26.9 billion through November 2020. “We clearly have trade disputes with Taiwan [and] they haven’t been resolved.”

As a longtime steel-industry lawyer, Mr. Lighthizer often sued for tariffs. In office, he initially targeted $50 billion of Chinese goods for levies. That was supposed to equal the annual loss to U.S. companies from technology purloined by China.

Additional tariffs were meant to pressure China and would be largely rolled back when the U.S. was convinced China was carrying terms of the trade deal, Trump officials said.

Although Mr. Lighthizer said Beijing is complying, he still wants the Biden administration to keep tariffs on all $370 billion in Chinese goods—three-quarters of everything China sells to the U.S.

Tariffs get results, he argued, so there is no reason to drop them. The 25 % tariffs he slapped on Chinese car imports stopped China from potentially selling millions of vehicles in the U.S., he asserted.

“We’ve protected our automobile industry, our auto parts industry,” Mr. Lighthizer said.

This is all part of what he calls a worker-oriented trade policy. Other parts include stripping the WTO of power to override U.S. trade actions and reworking trade deals so they require more manufacturing in the U.S.

When he renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement, for instance, he greatly weakened special arbitration panels American companies use to sue foreign governments over investment disputes.

Those panels should be scrapped, he said, because they make moving factories overseas less risky. “If you’re going to invest in a shaky place, why should the United States basically insure you for free?” Mr. Lighthizer said.But these protectionist measures also raised the price of imported parts for a swath of American companies, making it more costly to manufacture in the U.S.

“In a globalized world, our companies need to be thinking of selling into other markets,” said Chad Bown, a Peterson Institute trade expert who has closely tracked Mr. Trump’s China policy. Mr. Lighthizer “made it harder.”

His successor as trade representative, House Ways and Means staffer Katherine Tai, has a challenge in shaping policy. Mr. Biden hasn’t put a priority on trade and will be surrounded by aides who have worked with him for decades. In many administrations, China policy is run out of the White House or Treasury with the U.S. Trade Representative playing a secondary role.

Ms. Tai, a Mandarin speaker, headed China enforcement policy at USTR during the Obama administration. A Biden spokesman said “she knows how to make the levers of government work” and she would work closely with the White House on trade, which he called “a key pillar” of Mr. Biden’s economic agenda.

Mr. Lighthizer credits her with helping corral Democratic support for the renegotiated Nafta, called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which passed Congress by a wide margin, unlike nearly all free-trade deals.

“She learned good skills on the Hill,” Mr. Lighthizer said. Those include “how to manage different people who have different objectives and still get things done.”

www.wsj.com

Vietnam

RILA warns against US tariffs on Vietnam goods

Blake Harden, Vice President, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), is concerned the Trump administration may impose punitive tariffs on Vietnam as one of its last actions before its influence expires on January 20. As per a Sourcing Journal report, the Trump administration and USTR imposed tariffs against China under Section 301 violations and have threatened to do the same against Vietnam.

American businesses and families have acquired over USD 72 billion in additional tariffs against China, says Harden. These tariffs have resulted in less money in the pockets of American families, a slowdown in US manufacturing, and decreased competitiveness for American businesses vis-à-vis their European and Asian counterparts. In addition, tariffs on goods from Vietnam will harm the ability of US retailers to compete globally. Meanwhile, David French, Senior Vice President-Government Relations, National Retail Federation also urged the USTR not to place tariffs on Vietnamese imports at the illegal timber and currency practices hearings this week.

French estimated tariffs on import of apparel, footwear and other goods from Vietnam would result in American consumers paying USD 4 billion to USD 9 billion more in higher prices. Furthermore, he noted that placing tariffs on imports from Vietnam would punish these companies and may result in sourcing shifting back to China.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association is the US trade association for leading retailers. RILA partners with leading retailers to meet the challenges of a dynamic economy. Through collaboration and thought leadership, we advance ideas that foster free markets, competition, economic growth, and sustainability.

www.rila.org

Real Wool News

Dear Members and Friends,

What a year it has been! We hope this final newsletter for 2020 finds you safe and in good spirits.

In the countdown to the end of 2021, we are pleased to have been able to end on a positive note with our recent Wool Round Table. No part of the wool industry pipeline has been spared from the impact of this pandemic, but the conversations around the table proved that together, we are a very resilient group. See our note about the event, below.

As we send this, the first Covid-19 vaccines are being approved and roll-out is beginning. Pharmaceutical transport issues are now a matter of public discourse, and to this end, we look at how wool solves a number of them – check out our latest blog post on how wool works wonders for insulating and protecting pharmaceutical and other products.

In case you missed it, we also offer you five ways to care for wool textiles, and a round-up of the trade fairs that took place in the last half of the year.

Elsewhere, US-based eco-fashion-journalist Alden Wicker takes on the Higg Index in a must-read for wool sustainability supporters. Independent analyst Veronica Bates Kessalty, who writes for Apparel Insider magazine, is also worth a long-read over the holidays (Was it polyester all along?, 1 October; Statement on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s response to the leather industry, 20 October).

Finally, the newTwist magazine is now online. In it you’ll find a report on the Wool Round Table, plus our article on “Getting into bed with wool”– all about the latest developments in wool’s benefits for health and well-being.

The IWTO office will be closed as of Thursday, 24 December, and reopens again on Monday, 4 January. What will 2021 bring us? We will know soon enough.

Wool’s Role in Insulating Packaging

Due to the nature of pharmaceutical products, shipments need to be packed securely and at the optimum temperature for safe delivery.

This means that any packaging material needs to be a dependable insulator – and we’ve all learned how one of the vaccines against Covid-19 needs to be stored at -70/-80 degrees Celsius.

Even for the vaccines that require more moderate refrigeration, packaging material will be crucial in Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

Wool is becoming a more popular choice for packaging material due to its wealth of environmental benefits, and thanks to the work of companies like WoolCool.

Read more: iwto.org/the-use-of-wool-insulating-packing-material-for-pharmaceuticals/

Trade fairs in the Age of Covid

Covid-19 transformed Europe’s trade shows. After an upbeat start in January, by mid-year they were either fully digital or hybrid.

From Pitti Connect to Première Vision, Milano Unica and Filo, efforts to stage exhibitions during the pandemic, whether completely digital or hybrid, forced full-speed acceleration of e-commerce.

Online visits to virtual showrooms led to contacts and real sampling enlivened by new designs. Growing usage of social media for information and contact down the supply-chain proved game-changing.

Wool made its presence felt throughout as a sustainable and technical fibre.

Keep reading: iwto.org/covid-19-transforms-trade-shows/

Wool Features in Twist

The latest Twist magazine has a whole section devoted to wool. Check out the report on the Wool Round Table, “Wool textile industry targets a sustainable future in a post-Covid world”.

Then head over to our own article on wool for health and wellbeing, “Getting into bed with wool.”

www.wtin.com/media/mags/Twist/December_January_2020_2021/0910171220/index.html

Wool Care Tips to Share

When it comes to caring for wool, many people do not know the best practices for keeping it in good condition and for ensuring its longevity.

We have put together a list of 5 key ways to increase the life of wool garments, and take away some of the (mis)perception that wool is hard to care for.

Read and then share our wool care tips at www.iwto.org/increase-the-life-of-your-wool-textiles-5-ways-to-care-for-wool/    

Wool Features in Twist

The latest Twist magazine has a whole section devoted to wool. Check out the report on the Wool Round Table, “Wool textile industry targets a sustainable future in a post-Covid world”.

Then head over to our own article on wool for health and wellbeing, “Getting into bed with wool.”

http://www.wtin.com/media/mags/Twist/December_January_2020_2021/0910171220/index.html

www.iwto.org