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By
Fibre2Fashion
Published
Jun 15, 2018
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2 minutes
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Apparel market growing at 2-3% since 2008 economic crisis

By
Fibre2Fashion
Published
Jun 15, 2018

The global apparel market has been experiencing a slowdown in growth to some 2-3 per cent per year, since 2009, as a result of the economic crisis that started in 2008. In the past few years, it has worked under volatile global macro-economic conditions. The fashion market has become a very competitive market with high pressure on margins.



“There are also positive signs. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicates that the growth of the world economy in 2018 and 2019 will be 3.9 per cent on an average. Economic growth in the European Union (EU) will be 2.4 per cent, Japan 1.2 per cent, and the US 2.9 per cent. The conclusion is that strong economic growth will be there in other parts of the world too like in India, China and Brazil,” said Han Bekke, president, International Apparel Federation, during a conversation with Fibre2Fashion.

The International Apparel Federation is the world's leading federation for apparel manufacturers, their associations, and the supporting industry. IAF's membership now includes apparel associations from more than 40 countries representing over 150,000 companies who provide products and services to the apparel industry - a membership that represents over 20 million employees.

He said that the major challenges currently being faced by the apparel sector include changing consumer behaviour. “According to the McKinsey survey 'State of Fashion 2018', consumers have become more demanding, more discerning and less predictable. This is challenging for companies in our sector who in my view have to reconsider their business models. Speed to market is key. Innovation is needed next to a sustainability approach.”

Talking about the image of the apparel industry, Bekke said, “The adverse impact of apparel on the environment-in some cases on workers-and also a deteriorating perception of value caused by price races to the bottom are creating image problems for the industry. A negative image of an industry is really the largest threat any industry can face collectively, and can also only improve collectively. Industry associations, industry initiatives and global federations such as IAF, ITMF and WFSGI are in a good position to play this collective role.”

“Through projects, we support better collaboration between buyers and suppliers, we help reduce audit and standard fatigue and to improve their effectiveness, we support global schemes to increase the share of circular fashion, and we strive to better connect the worlds of large brands and retailers to the millions of small and medium-sized businesses in our industry,” he added.

 

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