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  • Fruit of the Loom Kentucky closure shows limits to benefits from new investment

    When a company that’s part of a campaign called “Stop Exporting American Jobs” exports 600 of precisely the jobs the campaign says America needs desperately, it’s tempting to point out the hypocrisy. We can’t avoid the temptation in the case of Fruit of the Loom’s moving its Kentucky knitting operation to Honduras – but there are bigger lessons.

  • Political disputes underpin most current developing world violence

    Disturbingly similar, deep rooted, tensions – seldom directly linked to garment industry issues – are at the root of most violence recently disturbing Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, Thailand, Egypt, and Malaysia. There are interesting questions about why similar problems have not hit other major garment manufacturing centres – but at the end of 2013, political violence was probably looking a greater risk for many garment buyers than risks from bad weather, ethical concerns or unpredictable shifts in input prices.

  • The three key changes we didn’t spot till the last few weeks of 2013

    Events in the last few weeks of December and the first week of January showed how easy it is to miss the really important changes in the industry. The unpredictability of the damage political strife can do to an entire industry, the miracle of Chinese garment-making productivity and the reasons for  the sudden flight of spinners and weavers, especially Chinese, to the US, all became clear within a few weeks.

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