And as such it is well positioned to take a leading role in the industry’s challenge to further improve its performance and image in the field of working conditions. This issue has of course been brought to the fore by the recent horrifying magnitude of the factory collapse in Bangladesh, Van Dalfsen said. He also stressed the importance of an internationally coordinated action on this, which IAF will initiate.
Van Dalfsen further mentioned the importance of education for the clothing industry, especially as a way to keep improving the industry’s social and environmental performance. In the IAF’s Board Meeting that preceded the Fashion Retail Summit it was decided that the IAF and the International Federation of Fashion Technology Institutes, in effect the world’s top fashion business schools, will formally and structurally work together.
Finally Mr. van Dalfsen commented on the economic situation in the fashion market worldwide. Where growth is seen in Asia and Latin America and the US market is catching up, the market conditions in Europe are still very tough. He indicated though that there are signs of small growth on the horizon in Europe.
The contrast with the retail situation in India, which is seeing continuous growth, is large. Nevertheless, starting a retail business in India is not easy, as a panel consisting of top executives of Marks and Spencer India, Bestseller India and Shoppers Stop explained, adding that a window of 5 to 7 years to reach a 100 million US$ turnover for a global fashion brand or retailer is realistic.
The IAF will hold its own World Fashion Convention this year in Shanghai from September 23-27, 2013.
International Apparel Federation
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