The spreading of COVID-19 is having an impact on the global textile industry. SI has asked some of its players their opinions about how the business is changing. Read their statements here:

Amy Wang, Advance Denim
Photo: Advance Denim
Amy Wang, Advance Denim
Amy Wang, general manager, Advance Denim, China:
“Among consequences coronavirus will bring in the jeanswear and fashion market there will be an impact on new fabric requirements, styles and sales models. For instance, we have introduced bio-antibacterial and environmentally safe denim fabrics. Meanwhile, brands will implement a variety of online sales methods. In terms of quantity, especially in China, the traditional offline sales or the sales without features will be bleak in the first half of 2020, while the influence on online sales will be much less, and will gradually improve in the second half of 2020.

Some dynamics, timings and deliveries may change in the fashion, garment and jeanswear production according to single factories’ situation. Wuhan will be mostly affected, while there has been less impact on the fashion, clothing and denim clothing in China’s Guangdong and Zhejiang. Most of the non-Hubei-registered large enterprises have resumed production and maintained their delivery plans as very few people got sick in many other areas with the exception of Hubei, but the restrictions on logistics in some countries or places have affected the delivery.”

 

Francesca Polato, marketing manager, Berto, Italy:
“Unfortunately the coronavirus is having a devastating impact on the market in general, from small shops to big multinational companies. Of course the fashion market is also involved in this really bad situation. Before the problem was bounded in China. Since the end of February, Italy is heavily involved.

This condition will bring all of us to ‘new balances,’ for example between online and offline, and between local and global. And these new balances will expand in all the everyday situations of our lives, from the private purchasing to the industrial supply chain. The only certainty is that this crisis situation will not be short-lived.”



Onur Duru, general manager, Bossa, Turkey:

“It’s a very sad situation. We hope this coronavirus situation will be solved as soon as possible. For the market we think that because of this virus 3-4% of production of fast fashion, small quantities and premium fabrics will move to Turkey.

For the market we think that trade shows, presentations and shopping will go on digitally while for the orders we are waiting 15% decrease because of this situation. 

We are reviewing our growth plans now in terms of purchasing, hiring people and similar aspects and think this situation will continue for one or two months.”



Tolga Ozkurt, deputy general manager, sales & marketing, Calik, Turkey:
“Due to millions of people stuck indoors, a huge decrease of sales negatively affects all rings of the chain in the textile industry. Sales are decreasing, production slows down, platforms with crowded masses like exhibitions and events are canceling and so on. But everybody should stop for a moment and realize that this is a crisis that can be managed and business has to continue as usual.

Digitization, which has a wide place in our lives in recent years, is gaining serious importance today. We are using technology-based solutions such as video and teleconferencing to mitigate the effects of this pandemic. We stopped our domestic and international travels for a while. We conduct all of our meetings through digital platforms.”

Simone Canclini, Canclini 1925
Photo: Canclini 1925
Simone Canclini, Canclini 1925
Simone Canclini, CEO, Canclini 1925, Italy:
“The severe sanitary scenario required immediate changes in our organization.

We already organized and implemented all procedures necessary to safeguard the health of our workers and, at the same time, guarantee the respect of planned deliveries: we shared with all our clients these new guidelines and reassured them that we will be able to meet their industrial and production plans, and deliveries.

We all hope to come back to normal life as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will take advantage of all tools that technology provides us, in order to constantly closely communicate with our clients, about orders update, delivery tracking and details, and updates disclosed by government and sanitary authorities, when necessary.”

Alberto Candiani, Candiani
Photo: Candiani
Alberto Candiani, Candiani
Alberto Candiani, Candiani Denim, Italy:
“We do not know yet how much will corona impact on our business and supply chain. It's now officially a pandemic issue and unfortunately this is going to continue in the next few weeks. Everything will be somehow impacted by this unforeseen and unprecedented situation. At Candiani we follow the instructions, restrictions and measures issued by the Italian government.

For our workers health is the first priority. We are still able to operate following very specific rules and precautions, but frankly speaking even if none of our workers or family members have been affected by the virus we are facing an increasing absence of workers. This is obviously going to affect our production and partially impact on some deliveries.

We are trying to keep up with our service and we are fully transparent about the current situation because we need our customers to know what is happening and how we can deal with this together. It’s too early to speak about the eventual consequences of this situation.”

James Shen, Foison Denim, China:
“Coronavirus is seriously hurting the Asian local brands and also moving a lot of production from China to Africa and Eastern Europe.”

Burcu Almali, Isko
Photo: Isko
Burcu Almali, Isko
Burcu Almali, senior digital marketing and communications executive, Isko, Turkey:
“This scenario represents a problem as much as an opportunity, pushing companies to find alternatives to carry out their daily activities by using today’s advanced technology.

We prioritize our employees’ safety, which is what matters to us the most. Given the evolving nature of this situation, for now our production has not been impacted directly and given that the transportation of goods is guaranteed, as things stand, we feel confident that our delivery of merchandise will be timely.

More generally, this outbreak will definitely make all players reconsider their perspective on the supply chain.”

Paolo Gnutti, PG Denim
Photo: PG Denim
Paolo Gnutti, PG Denim
Paolo Gnutti, R&D head, PG Denim, Italy:
“This global issue will have an effect for everyone. Surely this season’s sales in the textile world will be most entirely lost; shops are closed so they can’t sell, showrooms aren’t offering new collections; closed textile companies don’t produce; people don’t go out and don’t shop clothing. This situation will be a hard lesson for everyone.

I hope that once all this will be over everyone need to reflect on what we have, what are our priorities, what we really need and what is superfluous; what it means to produce with care and responsibility and not only aimed at quantity and price.

We will return to re-evaluate small local shops, we will also return to produce domestic to take care of the quality control of our products without depending on just number/volumes nor prices.”

Andy Zhong, Prosperity Textile
Photo: Prosperity Textile
Andy Zhong, Prosperity Textile
Andy Zhong, marketing director, Prosperity Textile, China:
“Coronavirus has brought a pretty tough start for 2020 especially for the Chinese market as spring sales dropped significantly. Similarly the supply chain has been hurt as lots of factories have not been able to resume production because enough workers have been available. Logistics has been a big issue too, as it has been hard getting raw materials and shipping finished goods out. So, for many Chinese manufacturers the order lead time would be two weeks later than expected and the capacity be might only run at 50-60%. But we see recovery signs in recent weeks and think that in April our industry will be fully back in business. For Prosperity, till today that 95% of our workers are back to work at our China mill, and, more important, our Vietnam factory is running at full hA helped a lot improving our delivery.”


Aydan Tüzün, executive director of global sales and marketing, Naveena Group, Pakistan:
“The expansion of global epidemic has caused the temporary closing of factories, stores and borders; fashion weeks, trade fairs and other industry events postponed or cancelled in Asia, Europe and America. This outbreak is heavily disrupting the global supply chain, taking a toll in particular on China's economy, which produces one-third of the world's apparel. The outbreak has also started to disrupt supply chains for more mid-market apparel, with retailers and fashion brands expressing concern about whether Chinese factories will be able to deliver f/w collections as planned. We are all hoping that this will be a ‘short-lived’ damage and that a solution can be found soon, for the whole planet, but especially for our friends in effected countries.”
Aryan Mahbub, Square Denims
Photo: Square Denims
Aryan Mahbub, Square Denims
Aryan Mahbub, designer, Square Denims Limited, Bangladesh:
The spread of coronavirus has created a fresh opportunity for Bangladesh's apparel exporters as many global retailers want to shift their orders from China to Bangladesh. As their spring season draws closer, retailers who depend heavily on China for sourcing their garments and other fashion products are desperately looking for alternative sources, which include Bangladesh. We are already receiving requests from Western buyers to create some space for additional orders.

But we the manufacturers depend too much on China for raw material such as fabrics, yarn, accessories and some basic chemicals for the garment and textile industry. We have already placed some orders to buy raw material from other countries to cut our dependence on China. But we have to pay more for that.

European apparel retailers may see their profits affected by the coronavirus outbreak ahead of the spring-collection launches if Chinese factories, especially in key apparel-producing provinces Guangdong and Zhejiang, are forced to remain closed for longer.”



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