Sourcing Activities often take place abroad
Many clothing companies source their products from outside of Europe, especially Asia. In 2011, nearly 1400 manufacturers in over 40 countries worldwide manufactured more than 800 million items of clothing for Spanish clothing company Inditex. The German Otto Group sources its products via trading and sourcing organization Hermes-OTTO International from more than 5000 suppliers in 70 countries. The French Etam Group has a sourcing company in Shanghai, Etam International Sourcing, which coordinates all suppliers in Asia. Danish clothing firm Bestseller sources its products largely from Asia - China, India and Bangladesh - as well as from Turkey and Italy. The production of Russian firm Oodji/August OOO is also largely based in Asia: 24 million clothing items are manufactured in Asia each year for this company.
China loses Manufacturing Clients
Increasing Chinese labor costs have prompted some firms to transfer their production to other countries, including their own. A large number of companies, especially in Turkey and Russia, now manufacture their goods in their home country. In Turkey, the government provides incentives for national manufacturers. Encouraged by this development, Turkish clothing company Akygit, operator of the Collezione shops, plans to move its clothing production to Turkey. In 2012, British clothing chain River Island also plans to move part of its production from China back to Great Britain due to increased costs.
Sustainable Production, Social Justice and Health Protection increasingly important
The report "Profiles and Sourcing Activities of Clothing Retailers in Europe 2012" by yStats.com shows that more and more companies emphasize sustainable production of at least part of their goods. When sourcing products, OTTO-Group adheres to strict social standards and environmental regulations. British retail chain Marks&Spencer sources its products from Asia and Great Britain and aims to become the most sustainable clothing manufacturer in the world by 2015. Italian Benetton Group sources its products from Asia and Europe and also aims to ensure ethically-sound and sustainable production. Swedish company KappAhl sources all of its products from external partners and prioritizes protection of the environment:
Many clothing companies source their products internationally, but there is also an opposite trend towards sustainability and location loyalty.
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