Issue 416 | May 5, 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.

The WRAP Up
Last week we certified 40 factories in 16 countries:
Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Dominican Republic, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam.

As of the sending of this newsletter, there are 2,374 factories with current WRAP certificates around the world employing 2,139,078 workers.  
This Week's Headlines
Ethiopia sets major export goal as report questions stability 
Bangladesh announces jobs plan for young people
Bestseller says it will publicize supplier information
UK-China trade train completes its inaugural journey
8,000 new jobs coming to Haiti
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Australia
A group of scientists from Australia's Deakin University have been given an innovation award from H&M for prototyping a new process that uses old jeans to color new denim. The process involves pulverizing used denim products into an ultrafine powder that can be used to color new undyed fabric. Denim is one of the most resource-intensive products to produce requiring up to 50 gallons of water for a single pair of jeans. ( Rivet and Jeans)

Bangladesh
bangladeshThe government of Bangladesh says that it will put 2.6 million young people to work in an effort to achieve a target set forth in the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Government representatives say that they will also work to reinforce the rights of over 56 million current workers in the country in an effort to promote sustainable growth. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Cambodia
Cambodia's garment and footwear sectors continue to grow despite growing competition from other Asian nations, according to the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC). The group notes that growth has indeed slowed thanks to growing competition, but sales continue to be strong. GMAC says that its 600 member producers exported nearly US$7 billion in goods last year. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Denmark
Young leaders in the fashion industry will draft the first-ever United Nations resolution on fashion at this year's Copenhagen Fashion Summit. Participants will engage in discussions looking at the issues facing the global fashion industry and work on proposals to improve manufacturing and consumption. The resolution will be presented at the United Nations later this year. ( Fibre2Fashion)

bestsellerDanish fashion retailer Bestseller says it will begin publicizing information about its suppliers this year. In a statement, the company's Sustainability Manager said that Bestseller continuously strives to achieve transparency in its supply chain and aims for constant positive changes. It's estimated that the company buys from some 800 facilities in Europe and Asia. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Ethiopia
ethiopiaEthiopia has set an ambitious goal of exporting US$30 billion in garments and textiles by 2025. In an interview with Just Style,  government minister Dr. Arkebe Oqubay admitted that while achieving the goal would indeed test the limits of the country's abilities as exports sit at just US$115 million, just 0.3% of the intended goal, the momentum and support are in place to at least make the attempt. He also pointed to the tremendous growth experienced in other major garment producers like Vietnam and Bangladesh as evidence of Ethiopia's ability to do the same. ( Just Style)
*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

A new report from risk management firm Verisk Maplecroft says that security and human rights concerns in Ethiopia could undermine the prospects for future growth in the country's apparel and textile sector. The report says that growing political instability and disputes over land rights for cotton farmers are a key factor behind their findings as droughts continue to put pressure on growers. Last year, dozens of people were killed during a violent clash between protesters and police in the country's Oromia region. ( Sourcing Journal
*NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

Ghana
A textile factory in Ghana says it will be forced to lay off over 600 workers next month if the government does not take steps to curb the importation of pirated textile products. Union representatives say that the flood of phony products into the country has already cos hundreds of jobs, a trend which will continue if authorities do not intervene. ( 3 News)

Haiti
haitiApproximately 8,000 new jobs will be coming to Haiti later this year after a new apparel factory funded by Taiwanese company Reliable Source International opens. The project represents a US$50 million investment by the company following an agreement last year reached with a local Haitian industrial zone. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Myanmar
Myanmar's cutting, making, and packaging (CMP) industry earned over US$1.8 billion during FY2016-17, according to the country's commerce ministry. Japan is the country's top export market followed by Europe, though South Korea, China, and the United States also represent important markets for the country. CMP exports accounted for about 16% of the country's total export earnings for this period. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Sweden
Global fashion retailer H&M has been recognized by U.S. watchdog group Freedom House for its leadership in advancing global supply chain transparency. The company was one of five recipients of the group's Corporate Leadership Awards, which the organization says was given in recognition of H&M's efforts to advance global supply chain transparency. ( Just Style / Freedom House) *NOTICE: Just Style article requires a paid subscription

Thailand
Laid-off workers from a shuttered Thailand garment factory are demanding that their former employer speed up the compensation payments promised to them. A total of 107 workers were let go in March after the company announced a sudden closure citing financial issues. While the company promised to begin making compensation payments by October 1, workers say that timeline is too long and are demanding payments begin sooner. ( Bangkok Post)

United Kingdom
trainThe first direct freight train between the U.K. and China has completed its inaugural 7,500 mile trip to China. The rail link has been touted by British officials as a way to strengthen the U.K.'s global trading ties as it proceeds with its departure from the European Union. While the train does not yet carry apparel and textile products, officials say this may change in the near future. ( Sourcing Journal) *NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

United States
Over 70% of consumers still prefer to shop in stores as opposed to online, according to a new report released by software company TimeTrade. The report says notes that while many consumers still prefer traditional "brick and mortar" retailers, customer service is still an important factor and half of respondents said they would leave a store if they did not receive good customer service. ( Fibre2Fashion)

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) says that its membership grew significantly last year, reaching 4,642 facilities as compared to 3,814 facilities in 2015. The group says the growth shows that more and more decisions makers in the garment industry are willing to drive change by subjecting their sustainability practices to independent third-party certifications like GOTS. Bangladesh showed the largest growth by adding 121 new facilities, followed by China and Italy. ( Sourcing Journal) *NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

Vietnam
Nearly 1,000 workers at a footwear factory in the Ninh Binh province staged a strike on April 26 pushing for a better holiday and leave policy and for better conditions in the factory. Workers said they did not get enough time off to observe Liberation Day and May Day. They also claim that their facility is chronically hot with little airflow and that they have to suffer with noxious fumes from the manufacturing process. Workers representatives say they have scheduled a meeting with factory managers to discuss the workers' concerns. ( DTI News)
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  www.wrapcompliance.org .

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