As most creative landscapes at the moment, the global textile map is also on the change. In response to exactly where these deviants are taking this source, Fast Fashion London decided to research sourcing trends in The Worldwide Sourcing Study, carried out by Fédération de la Maille (Knitting Federation) and its international manager, Anne Laure Linget, which they then presented to key buyers and press at the end of last month, at a central London location.
Providing valuable insight into tomorrow’s emerging manufacturing countries as well as analysing main sourcing trends in Europe and America and identifying new sourcing alternatives, the study also looked at new production zones in global textiles and sourcing trends for the future.
Key to the UK market is the importance of sourcing closer to home, which not only tackles the rising cost of materials from far afield, but helps with the country’s carbon footprint, creates job opportunities and ultimately results in faster production and delivery. Results show that China remains the UK’s number one sourcing country, with Nicaragua, Turkey and Bangladesh developing fast as contenders. China is an efficient source because of its easy access to raw materials and energy supplies, straightforward custom procedures and reliable, timely delivery. However, "It will become increasingly difficult to work with China," said one of the study's authors, Anne-Laure LINGET. Increasing the cost of the Chinese labor force is the key reason.
Major UK players in the apparel sector, including leading high-street and supermarket chains, are responding to this, by planning to bring back part of their apparel production to the UK or at least in zones closer to home such as Europe and the Middle East for faster turnaround of high demand products. On the back of Philip Green’s call to bring manufacturing back to home turf, last year, high street regulars such as River Island, Asda and Marks and spencer are all following suit. In fact
John Lewis has put 'Made in the UK' labeling on 4000 products including its menswear range.
Looking ahead and to sourcing diversification, there are many countries which provide an alternative to China. The Study explores Eastern Europe and South East Asian countries which are developing important new production capacity at an astonishing rate.
At a time when the fashion industry is in flux and sources ever changing, it looks like this worldwide study will be key reference material across the industry. Fast Fashion London promotes Quality, Proximity and Reactivity. The aim of the event is to provide UK fashion retailers an introduction to Euro-Mediterranean suppliers (such as weavers, sub- and co-contractors and private label manufacturers) and their knowledge and new technology.