Issue 415 | April 28, 2017
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The WRAP Blog
by: Russell Jowell

Welcome to The WRAP Weekly newsletter.  Feel free to look around and thank you for being a loyal reader.

Last week we certified 46 factories in 9 countries:
Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru, USA, and Vietnam.

As of the sending of this newsletter, there are 2,365 factories with current WRAP certificates around the world employing 2,129,811 workers.  
This Week's Headlines
Trump selects NAFTA renegotiation over removal
Stronger Indian rupee could deliver blow to exporters
ILO conducts labor law training for judges in Bangladesh
Report: Secondhand industry thriving in U.S.
Europe approves funds for sustainable business
Austrian textile company Lenzing has initiated the "Sustainable Denim Wardrobe," a new denim collection aimed at encouraging ecologically conscious consumption. Developed in collaboration with a group of students, laundry specialists, and mills from around the world, the collection is coined as having "timeless styles made with long-lasting quality fiber." Lenzing executives say it is their most ambitious collection yet. ( Rivet and Jeans)

bangladeshThe International Labor Organization (ILO) recently conducted a 3-day training course to equip judges and judicial officials in Bangladesh with a greater understanding of international labor laws. The ILO says that a total of 30 judges and judicial officials were in attendance at the training which was also aimed at helping them to make appropriate use of international labor standards in the context of national judicial decisions. ( The Independent BD)

Quality assurance firm UL says it will host a sustainability seminar in Dhaka next month to help reduce the discharge of hazardous chemicals in the city. The event is slated to focus on a number of topics including detox methods, the ZDHC substance list, best practices in testing, and more sustainable production processes. The event will be held on May 16. ( Fibre2Fashion)

europeThe European Commission (EC) has approved 4 new projects worth an estimated US$49 million aimed at improving sustainable business practices in the garment industries of Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Pakistan. The announcement came just 2 days after the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 which claimed over 1,100 lives. ( Just Style) *NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

The European Commission (EC) has presented a set of focused actions aimed at making the value chains of European garment brands more sustainable. The actions, outlined in a new "Staff Working Document," are centered around three main themes: economic empowerment of women, fair wages, and transparency. EC leaders say that it is important for all member governments to commit to the plan in order for it to be successful. ( Fibre2Fashion)

German sportswear company Adidas says it has partnered with engineering company Siemens to create a "digital twin" of its "Speedfactory" fully automated production facility. Adidas says the effort will allow them to virtually simulate, test, and optimize the entire production process of the mechanism. Launched last year, "Speedfactory" is a fully-automated production concept designed to bring apparel products closer to their consumers. ( Just Style)
*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

indiaIn a new report, credit rating agency India Ratings and Research says that an appreciation of the rupee against the U.S. dollar and weak apparel imports could have a negative impact on the earnings of India's textile exporters. The group says that over 70% of Indian textile export transactions are carried out in U.S. dollars and the strengthening value of the rupee against the dollar will reduce the earnings exporters are able to make. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Several textile trade associations in India are calling for a uniform 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be levied on all textile and clothing products to ensure a smooth transition to the country's new tax structure. In a joint letter submitted to Textiles Minister Smitri Irani, a group of 20 textile associations noted that the move would be a "win-win" for all stakeholders involved in the transition and urged the government to implement the measure soon. ( Fibre2Fashion)

A new apparel trade association has been launched in Gujarat aimed at supporting growth and sustainability within the industry. At its launch event on April 21, the leaders of the Association of Apparel Manufacturers and Exporters of Gujarat (AAMEG) said that they hoped to develop the apparel industry across the state by organizing more trade shows and push the government for more incentives. ( Fibre2Fashion)

A new study from Fairtrade India says that the social and environmental costs of Fairtrade cotton farming are 5 times lower than those of conventional farming. The study found that Fairtrade farmers tend to have lower overall social costs and can provide more social benefits to their surrounding communities such as greater investments in schools. The study was released in conjunction with the recent anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy. ( Fibre2Fashion)

The government of Indonesia is taking steps to bolster the textile industry as exports continue to rise. National leaders say they are pushing to modernize the industry's equipment as well as provide economic incentives to manufacturers like tax discounts for business expansion. Indonesia's textile exports posted 3% year-on-year growth between January and February of this year.  ( Fibre2Fashion)

Nepal is being urged by the United States to make the most of the trade preference program granted by the U.S. government. The benefits were granted as part of the U.S. Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act introduced last year and include duty-free status for a range of products including scarves, carpets, and leather goods. Trade officials warn that Nepal's trade surplus with the United States is slowly eroding and steps need to be taken to reverse this course. ( Fibre2Fashion)

United Kingdom
The greater Manchester area is reportedly in the midst of a textile boom with 77 manufacturers investing over US$44 million into the industry over the past 4 years. Local leaders say the investments could lead to the creation of over 10,000 new jobs and a nearly US$650 million boost to the local economy by 2020. ( Fibre2Fashion)

United States
trumpU.S. President Donald Trump says he has decided to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico rather than simply pull out of it. Following a meeting between leaders of all 3 countries this week, Mr. Trump noted that terminating NAFTA would have been a "shock to the system" and that he would pursue renegotiation. He went on to say that termination would still be considered if a "fair deal" is unable to be reached. ( CNN)

threadupA new report from fashion resale website ThredUp says that while traditional "brick and mortar" retailers are no doubt struggling to survive, the apparel resale industry is growing at a record pace. In the company's latest "Annual Resale Report," they note that the resale industry is worth an estimated US$18 billion today and is projected to reach US$33 billion by 2021. The report says that a growing emphasis on sustainability and reuse is driving the trend.
( Sourcing Journal) *NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

The U.S. National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has released a statement praising U.S. President Donald Trump's recent executive order directing the federal government to refocus on buying American made goods. The NCTO said that the policy was "good for the country, good for American jobs, and good for the U.S. textile industry" and that they intend to work with the Trump administration to help support the policy. ( Fibre2Fashion)

U.S. small businesses continue to attract significant numbers of shoppers, according to the latest "Cox Business Consumer Pulse on Small Business" report. It notes that 92% of surveyed shoppers report visiting a small business each week, with 27% saying they visit more than once a week. Shoppers say local community support was their primary driver for choosing small businesses. ( Sourcing Journal)
*NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

Global retailer Walmart has released its 10th-annual Global Responsibility Report outlining the company's sustainability progress in FY 2017. The report discusses the company's efforts to increase economic opportunity in its retail supply chain by investing in its associates and helping to create more American jobs. It also looks at Walmart's efforts to reduce emissions and waste in its global operations. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Fashion company Gap Inc. says it will begin using more sustainable fiber production in its apparel within the next 5 years. The company announced that it hopes to get all of its cotton from sustainable sources by 2021 while its athletic wear subsidiary Athleta is aiming to use 80% sustainable fibers in its products by 2020. Gap executives say the move gives them an opportunity to make a "big impact" on the global cotton community. ( Fibre2Fashion)
About WRAP
Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, USA, with regional offices in Hong Kong, SAR, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, full-time staff in India and Southeast Asia (Thailand and Vietnam), and for Latin America, WRAP is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education. To learn more about WRAP, please visit .

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