International Observation

  • 2017-07-21
    Nike’s Latest Sports Bra Gets The Flyknit Treatment
    The new FE/NOM Flyknit Bra is a game-changer; this marks Nike's premiere venture into apparel using flyknit technology. The FE/NOM was designed with cooling, breathability, and support in mind, resulting in an ultra-soft nylon-spandex product that is 30% lighter than the company's other sports bras. The FE/NOM also features separate cups for each breast to assure high level support and a sleek design — peep that geometric patterning and lowkey grey and black colorway. 

    source: http://www.thefader.com/2017/07/12/nike-flyknit-sports-bra
  • 2017-07-17
    Lululemon Sues Under Armour Over Sports Bra Design
    Lululemon has sued Under Armour for allegedly copycatting patented designs belonging to Lululemon without its permission.
    According to the lawsuit filed Friday in US District Court for the District of Delaware, the patented bra designs features four interwoven segments of fabric, two of which extend from each shoulder. The two patents and trade dress protection cover its popular and “innovative” Energy Bra.
    Lululemon said in the complaint, “An ordinary observer will perceive the overall appearance of the designs of the infringing products to be substantially the same as the overall appearance of the designs of the patent-in-suit.”
    It added, “The infringing products are so similar in design to the trade dress that they are likely to cause confusion, mistake, and deception as to the source of origin of the infringing goods among consumers.”
    Lululemon is seeking a permanent injunction preventing Under Armour from selling the allegedly infringing products, an award of damages, and a jury trial.

    source: https://sgbonline.com/lululemon-sues-under-armour-over-sports-bra-design/
  • 2017-07-10
    Under Armour Announces Patrik Frisk As President And Chief Operating Officer
    Under Armour, Inc. announced Patrik Frisk will become the company's President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective July 10. In conjunction with Mr. Frisk's appointment, the company also announced strategic executive changes to align its organizational structure to better leverage its digital business, support its move toward category management, and drive greater operational efficiency across the organization.
    As President and COO of Under Armour, Mr. Frisk will have responsibility for the company's go-to-market strategy and the successful execution of its long-term growth plan. He will report directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank. The following executives will report to Mr. Frisk: Charlie Maurath, Chief Revenue Officer; Kevin Eskridge, Chief Product Officer; Andy Donkin, Chief Marketing Officer; Colin Browne, Chief Supply Chain officer; and, Kevin Haley, President of Strategy.

    source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/under-armour-announces-patrik-frisk-as-president-and-chief-operating-officer-300480116.html
  • 2017-06-20
    Amazon Prime Wardrobe Lets You Try On and Return Clothes Free
    For many people, buying clothing online is not worth the hassle of getting a pair of pants or a shirt that does not fit. Many retailers have sought to eliminate that risk by offering free returns on clothing, but now Amazon is going even further.
    On Tuesday morning, the company revealed a new program called Prime Wardrobe that allows people to order clothing — from three to 15 items at a time — without actually buying it. Amazon will charge them only for the items they keep. Customers can return the items they don’t want in a resealable box with the preprinted shipping label that the order came in.
    The service will be an option only for members of Amazon Prime, the company’s membership service, which, for $99 a year, gives customers fast shipping at no extra charge, a streaming video service and other benefits. The company did not say when Prime Wardrobe would be available.
    With Prime Wardrobe, Amazon will actually discourage clothing returns in a subtle way. The retailer will cut 10 percent off the purchase price of an order for anyone who keeps three to four items, and 20 percent off for anyone who keeps five or more items.

    source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/business/amazon-shopping-retail-fashion.html

     
  • 2017-05-19
    Gap Outlines Five-Year Goal for Sustainable Fibers Use Textiles
    By the year 2021, Gap Inc. wants its Gap brand to be getting all its cotton from more sustainable sources.
    For its Athleta activewear brand, it wants the label to source 80 percent of its technical fabrics from sustainable fibers.“We believe in actively protecting the planet we all share,” said Wendi Goldman, Gap’s chief product officer, who serves on the Gap Foundation Board of Trustees and Gap Inc.’s Sustainability Board. “With our new sustainable cotton goal, we have the opportunity to make a big impact on the global cotton community and bring to light what’s so incredibly important to the future of garment manufacturing, what matters to us as a brand and what matters to our customers.”
    To achieve its goal, the San Francisco–based Gap will continue to partner with the Better Cotton Initiative, which works with farmers around the world to improve cotton production for the people who cultivate it, the environment and the cotton sector’s future. Cotton is a water-intensive crop.
    For Spring 2017, the Gap brand sourced 3.8 million pounds of Better Cotton. Gap also plans to use other sustainable cotton such as organic, recycled and American-grown.
    In 2016, 7 million plastic water bottles were diverted from landfills because of Athleta’s use of recycled polyester.
    The brand hopes to meet its 2020 goal by partnering with fiber and manufacturing suppliers on innovative solutions. It also plans to use more efficient fabric dyeing and finishing techniques to save water as well as reduce waste at the brand’s stores and headquarters.
    By the end of 2020, Gap has committed to a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions in its owned and operated facilities worldwide from a 2015 baseline and to divert 80 percent of its waste in the United States.

    source:https://www.apparelnews.net/news/2017/apr/20/gap-outlines-five-year-goal-sustainable-fibers-use/?print
  • 2017-04-19
    Asics Seeks to Expand Boston Presence with Product Creation Lab
    Japanese sports apparel and footwear company Asics is joining the rush of shoemakers looking to expand their footprints in Boston.
    Asics America Corp., the Irvine, California-based subsidiary of Kobe, Japan-based Asics Corp., has plans to lease an office near South Station to house what it’s calling a “product creation lab.”
    While the Asics’ existing global digital hub houses apparel and digital teams, the new product creation lab will house teams focused on key business drivers such as footwear merchandising, apparel design, sales leadership and global performance footwear, said Gene McCarthy, president and CEO of Asics America.
    “The intersection of sport and technology is playing a significant role in the future of our industry and Boston represents that dynamic crossroads perfectly,” McCarthy said via email. “The Boston area is the ideal location for this new hub given how fast the digital industry is growing. We look forward to tapping into the deep talent pool the market has to offer as we recruit for key leadership positions across several disciplines.”
    McCarthy said that Asics aims to employ product designers, e-commerce managers, app developers and digital marketers “working on projects not only for the America, but for the world.”
    “Many of these functions would have historically been housed in Kobe, Japan or Irvine, California, but we felt that positioning these teams in Boston would help us better compete in the global marketplace,” McCarthy said via email.

    source: https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2017/03/29/asics-seeks-to-expand-boston-presence-with-product.html
  • 2016-09-13
    Under Armour has hired executives from Amazon and VF Corp.
    Under Armour Inc. has appointed longtime executive Kip Fulks as chief product officer and hired two retail veterans for top-level roles.
    The Baltimore sportswear maker named Andy Donkin, head of worldwide mass and brand marketing at Amazon.com Inc., (NASDAQ: AMZN) as chief marketing officer. Donkin will begin the role Aug. 22.
  • 2014-08-26
    Nike created revamped sock with Elite Digital Ink printing
    Nike Basketball has created a revamped sock design with the new Nike Elite Digital Ink printing process. The printing process is a trademark system that allows Nike designers to adorn Nike Elite socks with high-definition graphics and a vibrant colors while preserving the performance features the product is known for: sweat-wicking, support and impact protection.

    On June 21, Nike will release the “First Edition” colorway that will be presented in various printing styles, including drip effects, distortions, geometric patterns and typeface.

    Source:    http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/launch/c/2014-06/nike-elite-digital-ink-crew
  • 2014-08-23
    Gap will open stores in India in 2015
    Arvind Ltd will open Gap stores in India by April of next year, chairman and managing director Sanjay Lalbhai told NDTV. The first store will either be in Mumbai or Delhi, he said.

    "It (first Gap store) will either be in Bombay or Delhi, which is the first one I don't know. The discussions are on, and I think it should happen by April of next year," Mr Lalbhai said. (Watch)

    Gap is a popular American apparel brand. It has partnered with Arvind Lifestyle Brand Ltd, a unit of textile manufacturer Arvind Ltd to come to India.

    The Arvind stable already boasts of popular brands like Arrow, US Polo, Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica. It has 16 international brand licenses in all, in its kitty.

    The Gap stores in India will be owned and operated by Arvind through a licensing agreement.

    Gap is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It operates five primary brands- Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Intermix, and Athleta.

    "It (Gap) has given us a license to bring the entire Gap lifestyle to this country. So we'll be opening the Gap stores. All the merchandise will be bought from Gap, so it will be the international merchandise which will be available to the Indian consumers and we'll be paying them (Gap) a royalty," Mr Lalbhai said.
     
  • 2014-08-01
    H&M launches clothing collection made from recycled denim
    With an objective of eliminating waste and reducing environmental impact of the fashion industry Swedish multinational retail-clothing company, H&M has unveiled a new line of clothing made out of recycled textile fibers. The company announced the first collection of products made from the fibers of used clothing which were gathered as a part of its Garment Collecting Initiative. The yearlong recycling initiative was launched by Hennes & Mauritz AB back in February 2013 encouraging customers to donate their unwanted clothes for recycling at any of the company’s retail stores.

    The collection will be composed of five classic denim pieces for men and women and will be using up to 20 percent of recycled cotton. According to the company’s statement this is the maximum amount of recycled fiber that can be incorporated in a new fabric without compromising its quality. As the trend of using recycled products is increasing rapidly, the company looks forward to use more recycled materials in the manufacturing of its products. The clothing line made from recycled textile fibers will available for purchase at the end of February in H&M’s selected stores.
     
  • 2014-06-08
    GAP To Be 1st US Retailer to Enter Myanmar Market Retailer to Enter Myanmar Market
    Gap Inc. has announced plans to produce clothing in Myanmar, the first American retailer to enter the market since the country began its transition to democracy three years ago.

    Two factories in the commercial capital, Yangon, are reportedly producing garments for the company’s Old Navy and Banana Republic brands.

    A statement released by the U.S. Embassy on Saturday said the clothing would be ready for sale in the U.S. by this summer.

    While Asian nations have long had a strong presence in Myanmar, it’s only in the last few years that companies from the U.S. and Europe have started returning, thanks to the easing of sanctions imposed on the country during its half-century of military rule.

    The retail market is especially attractive because of Myanmar’s abundant and cheap labor force.
  • 2014-06-04
    Under Armour Opens New York's First "Brand House" Specialty Retail Store
    Under Armour opened the doors of its newest specialty retail location in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. With a focus on cutting-edge products and design, the SoHo Brand House is Under Armour's largest retail store to date and a stunning example of the brand's commitment to offering customers a superior shopping experience.

    Featuring men's, women's and youth apparel, footwear and equipment, the SoHo Brand House will be New York City's premiere.

    Under Armour retail destination to shop a full line of Under Armour products that make athletes look, feel and perform their best. The Under Armour Brand House will be staffed with highly-trained product category experts to ensure that all customers receive guidance and recommendations that are tailored to their unique training needs, with the end-goal of outfitting them in the perfect head-to-toe looks. To take the customized shopping experience to the next level, the SoHo Brand House will be the first store to feature Under Armour's Rowhouse Basement shop, where staff will provide private consultations to athletes, celebrities and VIP clientele in an intimate setting.

    The Under Armour Brand House will feature nearly 10,000 square feet of interactive retail space that creates a fully immersive brand experience. Through the use of innovative technology, the Brand House will tell the brand story through digital displays that act as points of information, as well as inspiration. The store boasts an impressive marquee video wall made up of over two million LED lights as well as an athlete wall of fame that will feature some of the brand's most authentic and powerful ambassadors. The specialty retail concept for the Brand House has been successfully executed in other locations, including the brand's hometown in Baltimore, MD and Tysons Corner in McLean, VA.

    Under Armour's newest location will be a destination for customers to experience the brand's latest innovations, including the UA SpeedForm™ Apollo running shoe, the first-of-its-kind Armour39™ performance monitoring system and new ArmourVent™ mesh technology. The SoHo Brand House will also be the first retail location to shop Under Armour's new men's elevated lifestyle collection, 35th & O™. Localized New York products will be offered exclusively at the SoHo Brand House, celebrating the iconic legacy of the city in both sport and style.
     
  • 2014-04-28
    Adidas, Pharrell to Turn Ocean Plastic, Recycled Bottles Into Sneakers
    G-Star Raw isn't the only fashion firm clapping along to Pharrell Williams's beat. The award-winning musician-songwriter-producer has inked a long-term deal with Adidas's "Originals" brand to create a series of products set to launch this summer. In addition, the sportswear-maker is collaborating with Bionic Yarn, Williams' eco-textile company, and Project Vortex to spin plastic debris from the oceans into yarn and fabric, both of which will be incorporated in several of the upcoming products.
  • 2014-02-18
    TPP, TTIP could alter US textile & apparel trade
    The ongoing negotiations for two major free trade agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), once materialized, could alter the US textile and apparel trade to a large extent, according to experts.
    Once signed and implemented, the two agreements would increase the number of countries with which the US has free-trade agreements from the current 20 to 54.
    Besides the US, the TPP encompasses 11 other countries—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. These countries together have nearly 800 million consumers.
    From the view of textiles and apparel industry, all eyes in the final document would be on whether a yarn-forward provision has been included or not. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) generally follow yarn-forward principle, wherein tax benefit is applicable only on those products that are made from yarn sourced from the free-trade region.
    However, the TPP would be different as it includes countries like Vietnam, a major garment producer and exporter which depends on yarn and fabric from other countries like China and South Korea, which are not part of the TPP negotiations.
    The elimination of yarn-forward principle would mean that Vietnam would be able to export its garments to the US at lower or zero taxes, although the clothing is made using fabric sourced from other countries. It would mean an indirect extension of the TPP benefits to those other countries for their yarn and fabric. It would also increase the share of Vietnamese apparel in the US market.
    The TTIP, once concluded, may further change the US textile and apparel trade, as the negotiations are with the 28-member European Union, the largest export market for the US. It is possible that the European retailers may opt to import denim from the US instead of from the Asian countries, once the treaty is in place.
    While the TPP is expected to conclude this year, the negotiations for TTIP are in the initial stages.
    - See more at: http://www.bilaterals.org/?tpp-ttip-could-alter-us-textile&lang=en#sthash.mO5zZlq3.dpuf
  • 2014-02-18
    JCPENNEY TO CUT 2,000 JOBS, CLOSE 33 STORES
    JCPenney is cutting 2,000 jobs and closing 33 stores as the battered department store seeks to revive revenue growth, the company announced Wednesday. 
    The move will save about $65 million annually beginning in 2014, the company said.
    JCPenney, which has about 1,100 stores, has struggled to turn a profit since former CEO Ron Johnson was fired in April.
    The firings and closings are the latest effort by the retailer to reverse Johnson's aggressive reinvention plan, which alienated millions of customers.
    The decision will enable the company to focus resources on the highest growth opportunities while shedding underperforming stores that have been a drag on revenues, JCPenney said in a press release.
    "While it's always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success," JCPenney CEO Mike Ullman said in a statement.
    In another effort to boost a turnaround, the company will overturn Johnson's decision to end sales commissions, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The change, which will affect 3,000 employees, is meant to spur sales growth, especially in jewelry and home furnishings.
  • 2014-02-18
    Court Ruling in NRDC’s Favor Should Limit Pesticide Nanosilver in Textiles
    WASHINGTON (November 7, 2013) – The campaign by the Natural Resources Defense Council to remove potentially harmful nanosilver from textiles such as baby blankets scored a significant victory in a ruling today by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
    In a decision handed down today, the court said the EPA had improperly approved the use of nanosilver by one U.S. textile manufacturer. The court vacated the approval and sent it back to the agency for reevaluation. The lawsuit has been closely watched as a test case for the growing use of nanotechnology in consumer products.
    “The court’s ruling puts us a step closer toward removing nanosilver from textiles,” said Mae Wu, an attorney in NRDC’s Health Program. “EPA shouldn’t have approved nanosilver in the first place. This is just one of a long line of decisions by the agency treating people and our environment as guinea pigs and laboratories for these untested pesticides.”
    NRDC sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in early 2012 to limit the use of nanosilver out of a concern for public health. Today the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a key point NRDC raised: that the EPA didn’t follow its own rules for determining whether the pesticide’s use in products would be safe.
    Beginning in December 2011, EPA approved the company HeiQ Materials to sell nanosilver used in fabrics for the next four years and required the company to provide data on toxicity for human health and aquatic organisms. In early 2012, NRDC filed a lawsuit against EPA seeking to block nanosilver’s use, contending, among several points, that the agency had ignored its own rules for determining the safety of nanosilver.
    The key part of today’s Ninth Circuit ruling addressed EPA’s determination that there is no risk concern for toddlers exposed to nanosilver-treated textiles. The agency’s rules state that if there’s an aggregate exposure to the skin or through ingestion at or below a specific level, there is a risk of health concerns. But the Ninth Circuit found that the EPA had data showing that nanosilver was right at the level that should have triggered a finding of potential risk, but approved the pesticide anyway. That led to the Ninth Circuit vacating EPA’s approval and sending it back down to the agency for reevaluation.
    Silver, a well-recognized antimicrobial, is highly toxic and kills both harmful and beneficial bacteria. Nanosilver is engineered from silver and marketed as an even stronger antimicrobial than silver. Its use in fabrics, food storage containers, hair dryers and other products continues to grow, despite potential dangerous health effects.