What Do You Take Away from FASH455?

I encourage everyone to watch the video above, which provides an excellent wrap-up for FASH455 and reminds us of the meaning and significance of our course. BTW, the names of several experts featured in the video should sound familiar to you, such as David Spooner (former U.S. Chief Textile Negotiator and Assistant Secretary of Commerce), Julia Hughes (president of the US Fashion Industry Association, USFIA) and Auggie Tantillo (former president of the National Council of TextileOrganizations, NCTO).

First of all, I hope students can take away essential knowledge about textile and apparel (T&A) trade & sourcing from FASH455. As you may recall from the video, in FASH455, we’ve examined the phenomenon of globalization and its profound social, economic and political implications. We also discussed various trade theories and the general evolution pattern of a country’s T&A industry and its close relationship with that country’s overall industrialization process. We further explored three primary T&A supply chains in the world (namely the Western-Hemisphere supply chain, the flying geese model in Asia and the phenomenon of intra-region T&A trade in Europe). Last but not least, we looked at unique and critical trade policies that matter significantly to the T&A sector (e.g., U.S.-China tariff war, and the yarn-forward rules of origin) as well as the complicated factors behind the making of these trade policies. No matter your dream job is to be a fashion designer, buyer, merchandiser, sourcing specialist or marketing analyst, understanding how trade and sourcing work will be highly relevant and beneficial to your future career given the global nature of today’s fashion industry.

Second, I hope FASH455 helps students shape a big-picture vision of the T&A industry in the 21st-century world economy and provides students a fresh new way of looking at the world. Throughout the semester, we’ve examined many critical, timely and pressing global agendas that are highly relevant to the T&A industry, from apparel companies’ social responsibility practices, the debate on the textile and apparel provisions in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA or NAFTA2.0) and Trump Administration’s trade policy agenda to the controversy of used clothing trade. It is critical to keep in mind that we wear more than clothes: We also wear the global economy, international business, public policy and trade politics that make affordable, fashionable, and safe clothes possible and available for hardworking families. This is also the message from many of our distinguished guest speakers this semester, and I do hope you find these special learning events enlightening and inspiring.

Likewise, I hopeFASH455 can put students into thinking about the meaning of being a FASH major/minor (as well as a college graduate) and how to contribute to the world we are living in today positively. A popular misconception is that T&A is just about “sewing,” “fashion magazine,” “shopping” and “Project Runway.” In fact, as one of the largest and most economically influential sectors in the world today, T&A industry plays a critical and unique role in creating jobs, promoting economic development, enhancing human development and reducing poverty. As we mentioned in the class, globally over 120 million people remain directly employed in the T&A industry and a good proportion of them are females living in poor rural areas. For most developing countries, T&A typically accounts for 70%–90% of their total merchandise exports and provides one of the very few opportunities for these countries to participate in globalization. The spread of COVID-19, in particular, reveals the enormous social and economic impacts of the apparel sector and many problems that need our continuous efforts to make an improvement. 

Last but not least, I hope from taking FASH455, students will take away meaningful questions that can inspire their future study and even life’s pursuit. For example:

  • How will COVID-19 fundamentally change the pattern of apparel sourcing and trade, particularly regarding China?
  • How to make the growth of global textile and apparel trade more inclusive and equal?
  • How to make sure tragedies like the Rana Plaza building collapse will never happen again?
  • How will automation, AI and digital technologies change the future landscape of apparel sourcing, trade, and job opportunities?
  • How to use trade policy as a tool to solve tough global issues such as labor practices and environmental standards?
  • Is inequality a problem caused by global trade? If global trade is the problem, what can be the alternative?

These questions have no good answers yet. But they are waiting for you, the young professional and the new generation of leaders, to write the history, based on your knowledge, wisdom, responsibility, courage, and creativity!

So what do you take away from FASH455? Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Dr. Sheng Lu

Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

90 thoughts on “What Do You Take Away from FASH455?”

  1. FASH455 definitely broadened the horizon of my thinking, especially when it comes to the Textile and Apparel Industries. As we have discussed thoroughly in class, nothing about policy making is simple, as there are always implications that go further than expected. I think that upon discussing this and looking at all possible angles has instilled in me to continue to do this when I am thinking about the Textile and Apparel Industry or anything that has a global implication. This has been my favorite part of the semester, as I know it has instilled in me the push to apply this to other aspects of my life and of my studies.

  2. FASH455 allowed me to truly understand the tariff war that is going on between China and the U.S., it taught me the difference between the U.S. textile and apparel industry and the U.S. fashion and apparel brands and the reasons they have different viewpoints on exports and it taught me history of companies that I would not have known before. I feel as if this class gave me a true insight on the textile’s trading world and all that really goes into it. I really never knew how complicated it all was until this class. Every case study taught me new information in which I know I can use in my future and even when making decisions with politics. It allowed me to think differently than I had before on the way the U.S. and other countries trade.

  3. FASH455 has certainly given me a new perspective of the textile and apparel industry. Before taking FASH455, I did not understand the implications that the T&A Industry has on other aspects of the world we live in. For example, after learning about the Rana Plaza tragedy, I was able to understand that manufacturing textiles and apparel does not simply impact companies producing it or consumers purchasing it, but also workers manufacturing it in developing countries. I learned that the T&A industry does not only affect our economies but also calls attention to issues surrounding social responsibility, trade agreements and globalization.

  4. How to make sure tragedies like the Rana Plaza building collapse will never happen again?
    In order to ensure tragedies like Rana Plaza do not occur again, it is vital to ensure that strict regulations to enforce these rules. Factories much be under a watchful eye from corporations who are assigned to specifically ensure that companies are abiding by rules for their employees. Another precaution I learned this semester was anonymous surveys employees partake in which gives a more helpful way for companies to make alterations, if they are contributing to poor working conditions. Furthermore, regular check-in’s for companies premises must occur to make sure facilities are in order and in good stable condition. Most importantly it is vital to get feedback from employees as their opinions are most relevant regarding this issue, and can be used to make the most change.

  5. Fash-455 has taught me so much about the global nature of the fashion industry. As illustrated in the video, cotton is often grown in one country, spun into yarn in another country, sent to a different country to be sewn and assembled, and then ultimately shipped somewhere else to be sold. This class has provided me with a much better understanding of trade policy and how government decisions play a critical role in shaping the future of our industry. As someone who is very passionate about sustainability, I enjoyed learning more about social responsibility through completing various case studies that had to do with sourcing and supply chains. Through taking this course, I have become much more knowledgeable about trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA, and I have stayed more updated on fashion industry current events than ever before. What I take away from this class is the importance of keeping myself updated on news in the industry. With the next election coming up, I will certainly be paying more attention to trade-related issues and will be able to use my knowledge from this class to take a stronger stance.

    1. great to learn this! Indeed, I hope next time when you listen to the presidential debate on trade, you can think of this class 🙂

  6. Fash 455 has thoroughly expanded my knowledge about global policy and trade. Trade policy and regulations were not something I ever thought about, when I bought an item from China I simply believed it was packaged up and shipped off. I had no idea about all of the tariffs and trade regulations on apparel. It is interesting for me to realize that as a fashion student I had never really thought about the process of bringing and apparel piece to market. Since my goal is to be a buyer, I thought the focus on a garment was after it was brought to market and determining whether or not to buy it. However after this class I can see a lot more time, money, and resources are devoted to textiles before they even become apparel. While I may get my shirt that I ordered online from China in a week, policy makers have spent years on creating the trade regulations that allow me to buy that shirt from China. I am slightly embarrassed on how little I knew about trade but am also glad I was exposed to it in so many ways. Watching the news about the China Trade war I always dismissed it as Trump being stubborn and ignorant for there not already being a resolution. Although this may be a large part of the case, I learned that trade negotiations last a very long time. There not only has to be an agreement between both countries, the textile and apparel industries must also both be satisfied. Although profit and increased exports may seem like the goal of everyone, it is not. There is a fine line where a balance can be achieved in trade negotiations, and this is what policy makers spend so long working towards. Now when I order something from a different country I won’t just wonder why my order is taking so long to come, I’ll think about where it started from where the fibers were sourced, to the cut and sew, and the final finishes.

  7. After taking FASH 455 I definitely have a better understanding of how trade works in the textile and apparel industry. Before this class I never really thought about the global trade aspect of buying clothes, I just thought the clothes were designed and made and then we went to the store and bought them. This class has given me knowledge on very important topics in the industry such as the U.S. China Tariff War, Brexit, trade agreements, and labor conditions in other countries. These will all be very important topics to know about when I get a job in the fashion industry. Even though I most likely will never work with trade or textiles, it will still be a part of my job in some way. I also liked the way the class was taught by encouraging us to discuss and read about these topics rather than being constantly tested on this material, I think I was able to absorb the information much better this way.

  8. FASH455 has taught me to understand that not every question has an answer. A professor Lu says often “Sometimes the question itself is more important than the answer”. Understanding and evaluating the big picture allows you to keep questioning yourself on how to improve and to see other people’s perspectives. By answering one question you might develop a whole other question that is still just as important. It was great to see the politics involved in the fashion industry because it’s not as commonly talked about as it should be. I never understood the impact fashion really does have around the world. So many jobs it creates as well as how difficult it is to manage. Globalization absolutely impacts everyone, sometimes good sometimes bad just like everything else. It was great to get a bigger picture of how jobs are affected, how people are affected, and how communities can be affected. There is never a quick answer to globalization but I believe that is what makes it so unique and why professor Lu strives to push his students to think of new solutions. He is truly passionate about this course and his students. So glad I was able to have this class with such an impressive and hardworking professional.

  9. As a business major, I decided to take FASH455 to satisfy my breadth requirements and am happy that I decided to. As someone who has always been interested fashion, I found this course interesting to explore the many issues plaguing the fashion industry today. In my other international business course, I had learned about the dangers of fast fashion but never in the depth and width that we studied it in this class. Going forward, I feel that I am more educated on our current events, and the complexity of many of the issues plaguing the fashion industry. I also will do my best to continue to be educated on these issues after class, and more mindful about the companies I shop and support.

  10. Since taking FASH455, I have become more aware of how the apparel and textile industry is intertwined with politics. Before taking this class, I thought the main issues of fashion were centered around sustainability. However, as we discussed trade, tariffs, and quotas, I realized the textile and apparel industry is a major topic of discussion for our government.

  11. FASH455 has certainly been the most influential course I’ve taken this semester. As a business major with a fashion minor, I didn’t always quite know where I fit in with the fashion department but this course demonstrated just how interconnected these two disciplines are. Before this class, I never realized just how global the T&A industry truly is in nature, from the spinning of the yarn to the sewing of the garment to the marketing of the garment. The impact of this industry on the global economy is so interesting to me because it is so significant, yet most people aren’t even aware of it. This industry is capable of influencing trade policies, creating employment, and driving economic growth, in addition to impacting communities in a negative way, such as Rana Plaza. This course has demonstrated just how complex textile and apparel truly is, from social responsibility to sustainability to making trade policies. FASH455 has opened up a new curiosity for finding solutions to global issues in the T&A industry and I am excited to continue to explore these topics in the future.

  12. Throughout my four years at Delaware, I think FASH455 is one of the most important fashion classes I have taken. The way the textile and apparel industry interconnects with so many regions is something that makes the field affect so many from cotton farmer, to labor worker, to apparel wearer. I wish that the idea of learning about global apparel and textile trade and sourcing could be incorporated into a freshman level course so by the time students are seniors they can understand the way the industry changes so quickly. FASH455 has helped me to understand that tariffs and trade policies are an extremely important part of the fashion world. Merchandising, buying, and design seem to be the occupations that fashion majors are often led to, but learning about the possibilities to help move the industry in a positive direction with trade and sourcing excites me.

  13. Before FASH455, I was very in the dark about the textile and apparel industries involvement in trade and sourcing. This class was extremely out of my comfort zone but by having such a great professor, I was able to gain a lot of knowledge I can now use towards the future in my career. I learned about the large impact globalization has on the textile and apparel industry and how it is nearly impossible to stop it. In this class, we analyzed many case studies which was a new learning skill for me to adapt to. Through these case studies, we learned about trade theories, real life events that happened around the world, like the Rana Plaza Tragedy, that impacted the textile and apparel industry as a whole and we got to read many examples that explained what we could do in the future to help our industry. One of our biggest topics was the trade war happening between the United States and China. One of my favorite things about this class is that we talk about current events like this trade war. If it wasn’t for this class, I probably wouldn’t have known what was happening around the world. This class makes you critically think about the future and how we, as future fashion industry leaders, can avoid these issues in the future.

  14. FASH455 was an eye opening class where we learned about many aspects of the Textile and Apparel industry, and how much this industry impacts the entire world. Through the use of case studies, lectures, and readings, as a class we discussed important issues such as globalization, trade agreements, trade theories and other topics related to the T&A industry. Looking at the textile and apparel industry requires a broader global perspective as there are so many factors that play a role in getting a product to the final consumer. One major lesson that stood out to me from this class is the importance of politics and the economy on the T&A industry. There is so much that goes on in Washington and around the world that impacts the price of the clothes that consumers purchase, and these impacts reach as far as China, Vietnam, Mexico, and many other places around the globe. Another lesson that resonated with me are the distinct differences of the US textile industry and the apparel industry. Before taking FASH455, I had always heard textile and apparel linked together, however this is simply not always the case. The textile industry and the apparel industry are vastly different in the ways their products are produced, where they are produced, their capabilities, and how their industry leaders view trade policy. Overall I believe that this class showcases the importance of trade and sourcing in the T&A industry, and that this field is critical to understanding the T&A industry as a whole.

  15. FASH455 definitely gained me more knowledge on the global textile and apparel industry and how important the fashion industry is to the world. I would say the most fascinating thing I learned about this industry is that it is so connected globally and every single change in one country may leads to different impacts on other countries or even the whole supply chain. I also was not aware of the fact that trade agreements and policies play such an influential role in the global fashion industry overall. Globalization truly has changed this industry a lot and we are expecting more changes to take place as policies and relationships between countries changes over time. FASH455 helped me gain more industry knowledge and make me realize that as a potential fashion industry professional, there are things I need to do to help this industry grow and prosper.

  16. My biggest takeaway from FASH455 was the value of understanding global trade and economics for their relevance in other areas of fashion. For example, social responsibility and trade are tightly connected and to effectively make a changes in the ethics of the industry requires precise knowledge of the more numbers and business side. Without understanding the business impacts of an action that you might think is ethical, you could end up negatively impacting far more people. For example, when we talk about automating there is often a negative connotation. We think that automation steals jobs from many workers. While this is true, the workers who are able to remain are given a much better quality of life. Conversely, avoiding automation could end up with workers being forced into unfair and unsafe working conditions to achieve comparable rates of production. What was once cut and dry has many more outcomes, and each of them has their own pros and cons.

  17. The T&A industry is a fascinating sector as it has numerous aspects of intrigue. In my opinion, trends in the economy such as globalization and technological reforms affect the T&A industry. For example, globalization has enabled various designs and techniques to be shared across great geographic distances. It is good strategizing to remain up to date with industry trends, and topics such as politics are likely to affect he sector. While a lot of people may not think T&A, I believe it was good that DR. Lu emphasized that this industry is more than just sewing, fashion shows, and magazine spreads.

  18. Personally, the biggest help from Fash455 for me is that I begin to follow the political news and trade news, and also started to get used to watching the global news in daily life. I’ve never been interested before because I felt they were far away from my life. However, as a student in the fashion industry, and also will work in this field in the future, I know I should learn about more trade and sourcing because any policy in any country probably has an impact on apparel prices in another country. For example, Market uncertainties caused by Brexit. The US-China trade tariffs increase U.S. clothing prices. In addition, due to the globalization, T&A industry affects the work and life of each of us, and even our lives. We need to improve the transparency of the supply chain to ensure the safety of every worker in the T&A industry. We need to provide equal employment opportunities to keep social stability. The fashion industry is not just producing and merchandising clothes, we could change a lot because of our contribution.

  19. FASH455 is a course completely unique to the curriculum that we as fashion students take at UD. It takes current events such as the U.S.-China trade war, and applies it to how we would actually see it affect us in our careers. My biggest takeaway from this class is that there is very rarely a completely correct answer to solving any problem that will please everyone when it comes to global trade, and that compromise is a valuable tool. I am eager to see the future of this industry, as we are clearly on the brink of a lot of big changes especially in regards to sourcing and manufacturing.

  20. By taking FASH455, I have gained a whole new perspective of the textile and apparel industry. I have learned so much relating to how globalization affects both the textile industry as well as fashion brands and retailers but in a completely different way. I was also able to takeaway knowledge on current events, such as the U.S.-China trade war and learn how fashion companies plan to cope with the negative implications it will have on U.S. retailers. Lastly, this class has shown me how globalization can not only affect the T&A industry, but it also affects consumers like me. This class has majorly broaden my horizon when it comes to understanding the fashion industry, as it is not always as glamorous as it may seem. I definitely am curious to see what happens in the future for this industry, especially after we elect a new president.

  21. As a fashion major I have always understood that the fashion industry is a global one. I have always noticed that many of my apparel items are tagged with the markings of their origins in other countries, however until this class, I never realized just how global the T&A industry is. It was extremely eye opening for me to learn how every step of the making of an apparel item can happen in a different country, but the finished item is only marked with the country that it is assembled in. It was also eye opening to learn the specifics of trade agreements and to learn the amount of people that are involved in making them. Through the case studies I was better able to experience what decision making is like in the industry and I was able to find my stance on important issues facing the T&A industry today. Going forth in my career I will be able to use these learnings in various aspects of my job. This course has given me a great foundation to grow from and I am excited to see where this information will help me in the future.

  22. The course, FASH455, has not only managed to provide me with a more globalized approach to the industry but it has opened my mind to the countless international relations that affect our industry daily. In my opinion, the most influential topic we have discussed and deliberated is that of the China-US Tarif War. Unfortunately, this was something I had slim to no understanding of prior to this course. I am so grateful to have not only developed a deep-rooted understanding of this policy but a newfound appreciation for the immensely difficult process in which policy reformation truly is. There have been countless other economic and societal events ranging from Rana Plaza all the way to expanding domestic production that this course has educated us students. I am beyond appreciative to have learned the long-standing history and economic grounds of the fashion industry (both internationally and domestically) and glad that I am more well-informed on the field in which I am pursuing a career in.

  23. After taking 455, I have gained so much knowledge on the globalization of the fashion industry. Within the industry, globalization is so critical, allowing production of apparel to be dispersed throughout various countries across the world. Throughout the semester, we discussed current issues such as trade theories and agreements through the use of case studies, lectures, and guest speakers. Prior to this course, I lacked knowledge on political and trade news, however, I have a gained a new perspective on the textile and apparel industry. I have been able to develop a much better understanding of how trade policies and government decisions play a critical role in shaping the T&A industry. Moving forward, I believe this course has allowed to become well informed as I pursue a career in the fashion industry. I highly suggest University of Delaware students majoring in Fashion Merchandising or not to take this course!

  24. FASH455 has taught me so much about the global aspect of trade and sourcing. Before taking this course, I was definitely not up to speed on the current trade war with China. This topic has been brought up in so many of my other business classes, as I am a marketing major. Since this course has tied into so many of my other major-specific courses, I would definitely recommend anyone to take this course. FASH455 has also helped me realize the importance of regulating clothing factories around the world and made me much more conscious about the impacts of trade on a global scale.

  25. I can honestly say I have enjoyed taking FASH455, I have learned so much to where I want to continue to be informed about macro issues around the world and how everything affects everyone. This class really help expand my knowledge in trade policies overall, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to have a legit conversation about world issues and state your opinion with solid information to back up your opinion. I 100% recommend taking FASH455, I have enjoyed learning about trade policies, global sourcing, tariffs, and even government decisions something I thought I would never enjoy. Amazing class to take! You literally have fun learning, the topics are too intriguing to not pay attention, you are learning without even realizing you are.

  26. After taking FASH455, I am truly inspired and I have 3 major takeaways. First one is that apparel and textile are actually two very different sectors within the fashion industry. Textile is capital-intensive and occur mostly in developed countries whereas apparel is labor-intensive and mostly in developing countries. Secondly, there are three major trading zones in the world (American, Asia, EU) and their trade pattern are very different due to the nature of the region.Lastly, trade agreements and policy create winners and losers at the same time, it is true for all things as well that there are always merits and demerits at the same time relating to one thing.

  27. I felt as though FASH455 opened my eyes to a lot of things that I didn’t previously know or fully understand. It’s extremely interesting to learn about the issues that are currently going on and how they have an affect all around the world rather than just to those directly involved. I took a lot from what we learned about the evolution of the Textile and Apparel industry and where it might be headed or where some people want it to head. Specifically, how some believe it should circle back to the U.S. which is ideal to become more self-sufficient. I also felt as though no one vocalizes just how helpful tariffs can be for underdeveloped countries and after reading our article that it made sense to me that they began to doubt supporting a change in removal of tariffs. Finally, I saw a benefit to tariffs & quotas and while they may difficult to navigate they seem to help the underdeveloped countries further themselves and get their foot in the door. I would recommend this class to anyone that has an interest in the current state of the fashion industry and would say that I have learned more than I anticipated.

  28. As an apparel design student, this class was both interesting and slightly challenging for me. We spend most of our four years only doing hands on assignments, rather than reading/research the merchandising side of the apparel industry. This class was insightful because it was 100% new information for me. I think I learned more in this class than any other in my four years here. I remember the first week of the course I didn’t even know what an overhead cost was, and now I’m reciting trade policies over the phone to my dad. I have really enjoyed my time in this course. Thank you!

    As my parting gift I will answer one last blog question,
    “How will automation, AI and digital technologies change the future landscape of apparel sourcing, trade, and job opportunities?”

    As automation and technology advance, this will increase the output rate of products within the T&A industry. Unfortunately it will always steadily decrease the need for manual labor, thus eliminating jobs for many people. More labor intensive facilities will suffer, as capital intensive facilities will prosper. It creates a sticky situation with many pros and cons for both sides. For example, a pro to automation is increased productivity but a con is that this encourages fast fashion/bad sustainability practices. I believe there needs to be a happy medium between technology and keep fashion practices rooted in its origins of manual labor. However, I don’t entirely have a solution right now. Hopefully my future career will allow me to research this!

  29. To my surprise Fash455 held more real world application than any of my other fashion classes. Before taking this course this semester, I had heard about the tariff war in China but had no clue how impactful and how complicated the issue really was. It was fascinating to learn how companies can adapt in response to so many changes and how they anticipate future changes. I always knew that the industry was constantly changing, but one must truly be adaptable when working in fashion business. I also learned just how dependent certain developing countries are on the apparel industry and how subtle changes in sourcing and tariffs can make or break an entire economy. This course has caused me to really pay attention to where my clothes were made and who it was likely made by, and taught me that the fashion industry has truly globalized our world and connected us all through apparel.

  30. FASH455 has been one of my favorite fashion classes that I have taken at UD. During this class I was able to learn about/ truly appreciate the global nature of the fashion industry. It would not be possible to have fashion without the whole world being involved, and that is why it is important to learn about the barriers to trading that are faced. I had heard a lot about the US-China tariff war in passing but I was not exactly sure what it all meant. I thought it was very interesting to hear from industry professionals about their opinion on the whole situation. Additionally, I had never really thought about how fashion companies will just find somewhere else to source cheaply from- and Vietnam was mentioned frequently which was not really a place I thought about as a producer of garments. Lastly, I had heard about the Rana Plaza incident on other classes but had not gone into detail. For me, I was most interested to hear that the factory manager was aware that there was something fundamentally wrong with the building but continued to have workers come into work because of the pressure to meet certain demands.

  31. Prior to taking FASH455, when I thought about fashion, all that really came to mind was fashion designers, luxury brands, fast fashion brands, and trends. Before this course I thought fashion was a pretty straight forward industry. Little did I know that fashion is really a huge global industry that involves strategic and critical thinking in terms of trade, sourcing, policy, and relations with other countries. In addition, I had no idea how many problems arise in the fashion industry and how the effects of such issues truly has a GLOBAL impact. I honestly didn’t know the fashion industry was that influential. Furthermore, I’ve always loved fashion and have always felt drawn to / fascinated by the study of economics. With economics being my major and fashion management being my minor, I was always worried about finding some way to connect the two when pursuing my career. However, this course made me realize how the two are truly integrated through trade policies, theories of international trade, and more. I have learned more valuable information in this course than any other course at UD.

  32. Fash455 has taught me about how connected our world is, and how complex globalization has made our world. From trade policies to balancing labor costs with promoting safety and worker wellbeing, there are so many sides to each story. I think the biggest takeaway for me, has been the realization that our world is so far from black and white. Learning more about the Rana Plaza disaster was eye- opening, as it showed how flawed many supply chains are- but it also leaves so much room for improvement. Each time that I have online shopped since being in this class, I think so much more about where the product started, how it was fully fashioned, and how it ended up in my home. From the first step to the last, so many different countries and people are always involved. I have become much more conscious of my footprint, as I have realized that I want to be a part of the change to better the fashion industry. I used to view clothing as just something that would satisfy my wants and needs, without considering the impact that they really have on the world. Being in Fash455 has made me realize how much each piece of clothing that I own really matters, and how people all over the world worked to make it come to life.

    1. great reflection! Indeed, improving CSR and sustainability in apparel sourcing calls for our continuous efforts. You and your fellow classmates will be the future leaders of the fashion industry. With you guys having more knowledge and passion for sustainability, I feel positive and confident about the future of our industry…

  33. FASH455 has taught me so much about globalization trade and sourcing that I will never forget. BI was always super interested in learning more about the trade/sourcing industry just because beforehand I did not a lot about the complexity and logistics that are involved within these processes. As I reflect upon my learnings, my biggest takeaway was the recent news concerning trade agreements that are currently being revised and established. To me, I was very interested to learn about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada. Even though it was one of the newest trade agreements, I had never heard of before this class. I think it will be vital in moving sourcing productions back to the Northern Hemisphere. Not only that, but it will help to add stabilization to globalized trade that has always been dominated by China. Another thing I found interesting was the affect that COVID-19 had on sourcing within multiple countries. I think it’s crazy how this virus is completely changing every aspect of how humans and countries interact with one another. It’ll also be interesting to see what happens after the pandemic is over. This class definitely helped me to stay current and up-to-date with what was happening not just in the United States, but around the world. There are lessons that have been taught in this class that I will carry on with me as I graduate and go into the real-world. Not only that, but Professor Sheng Lu was always so enthusiastic in communicating lectures and information to the students even through these unprecedented times.

    1. Thank you for the thoughtful reflection and glad to learn. It is truly a very special time to study the subject of trade and sourcing—if you follow the news, countries around the world continue to actively negotiate new trade agreements (for example, the US-UK free trade agreement: https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2020/may/statement-ustr-robert-lighthizer-launch-us-uk-trade-negotiations), which could shape new supply chains and change existing ones. The spread of Covid-19 also has significantly disrupted the apparel supply chain with lasting impacts on a wide range of stakeholders, from retailers, factories to consumers.
      I do hope after taking FASH455, students will have a more in-depth understanding of the fashion industry and will continue to follow these topics in the future.

  34. To me, after taking FASH 455 I have learnt so much about the logistic and global supply chain process within the fashion industry. With the videos played during class, I have a deeper understanding of what happened in the field and developed more interest to explore more about some of the issues at times. The reading pack of this course also provides useful and up-to-date information for me to understand what is going on especially in the U.S. T&A industry, which is precious. I could also know more about how American actually think towards the trade war with China during the discussions in class and be able to share my point of view with others which trigger me to think more about the effects brought by the trade war. The atmosphere during class is chill and free which I enjoyed it a lot and would like to take this kind of course again in the future!

  35. FASH455 has given me a new and improved perspective on the T&A industry. Before taking FASH455, I never thought about all of the global trading aspects and details that go into buying clothes from overseas or anywhere for that matter. Having to learn virtually for this class has not stopped me or my classmates from gaining knowledge on extraordinarily important topics like the U.S. China Tariff War, Rana Plaza, labor conditions in other countries and many more issues. This course has analyzed and exposed how complex the textile and apparel industry really is. As a Fashion Merchandising major I have taken many fashion courses over the past four years at Delaware, I believe that FASH 455 is one of the most vital courses that students can take to broaden their knowledge about the fashion industry. This class makes you genuinely think about the future of the industry and how we can make it better!

  36. FASH455 has opened my mind to the real globalization of the fashion industry. I never truly understood how expansive the industry is or that one singular garment could not only be made in one or two countries but multiple to provide the end product. Trade is such an integral piece in the supply chain, without trade majority of garments could not be produced. There is a heavy reliance on trade and globalization in the fashion industry. This reliance can be a good thing and open up other countries markets to benefit economically, but some might also see it as an unequal trade agreement depending on the countries and markets involved. Some may think that because United States is such a developed country that when we open our market in free trade agreements to less developed countries we are agreeing to an unequal deal. It could also be argued that the United States is taking advantage of the less developed countries social benefits such as massive amounts of laborers and a cheaper price. In these situations if a system of proper human rights regulations are put in the United States can support the less developed country while benefiting from the trade agreement. Some may also feel that this agreement takes jobs away from the United States. This is just a brief example how one situation can have many different many different outcomes and opinions. Understanding trade is an important part of being apart of the fashion industry. It is very complex and does not have one simple answer that solves all of its issues.

  37. Before this course I had a very narrow idea of the behind the scenes of the fashion industry. As a Fashion Merchandising student it is very important to be aware of the complexity of the apparel and textile industry so that we can be prepared and help to make a better future. I can proudly say that I have a better understanding on things such as globalization, labor conditions, and tariffs, which are all relevant topics in today’s news. The largest takeaway from this class is how interconnected our world is. When we purchase goods it goes through so many steps through many different countries. I now view my clothing much more different, especially because I see how I have the ability to make an impact based off of where I choose to shop. If retailers didn’t feel such pressure to produce in large quantities as fast as possible, then suppliers wouldn’t feel pressure to work under stressful and unsafe conditions in order to make a living. This is exactly what happened with the Rana Plaza incident since the manager was aware that the factory was breaking restriction but still conducted business anyway. Overall, I highly recommend this course in order to grasp the ways that the textile and apparel industry affects our daily lives.

    1. I agree that this class definitely causes you to think more about where you are getting your clothing and how it came to be. This class really emphasizes how enormous the fashion industry is and how many people are actually involved in the processes leading up to consumers getting their clothing. Knowing more about the insane pressure that fast fashion puts on garment factories and their workers has really made me reconsider if cheap garments are worth it in the end.

  38. Prior to FASH455, I had only ever heard about the tariff war or the Rana Plaza tragedy. Until this class, I never dived in deep to these topics to realize and understand their severity. FASH455 encompassed many issues in todays fashion industry but allowed us to creatively think of ways to mitigate these issues. As students we were made aware of many ethical and sustainable issues in the fashion industry prior to entering the field which made us both aware and knowledgeable prior to being exposed. Fashion to me is no longer Chanel, french bulldogs, red bottoms and damier print. It is so much more than just “making clothes” as many people presume when you tell them you are a fashion major. It is an industry that is relevant to every single person. Everyone needs apparel or linens and this is a direct product of the T&A industry. What my classmates and I learned in FASH455 is universally applicable to everyone in the world and encourages consumers to think differently about every garment they own.

  39. FASH455 has taught me to keep questioning the way we do things in the fashion industry. It is extremely important to not stuck in the same old ways for too long as the industry and world as a whole are constantly changing and advancing. Not only is it important to know the basics of how the fashion industry runs, one must also think deeply about how it could run and how it is likely to have changed in coming years, maybe even months considering the speed at which technology is advancing. In this time especially it is clear that industry representatives must remain flexible as the whole world can change in an instant and if you do not adapt, your business will fail. This class has emphasized how completely global this industry is, which only further drives the idea that we all need to work and change together, meaning there has to be constant communication and cooperation between representatives around the world in order to keep the industry afloat. It is not just clothing that is at stake if this industry does not constantly grow and adjust, it also has millions of working people that depend on it in order to feed their families.

  40. I think this video was very interesting. I see both sides of the argument when it comes to domestic textile manufacturing vs. domestic apparel design manufacturing. U.S. textile manufacturing is a big part of the economy because we are a highly developed country, so we have the technology and infrastructure to manufacture high technical goods such as textiles. However, under developed countries are more well versed to manufacture apparel because it takes less skilled workers and technology. U.S. textile manufacturers want to keep tariffs on imported goods such as other textiles because they want the advantage. Apparel retailers want more freedom with choices of textiles around the world, that also may be cheaper cost to them. With tariffs, they feel forced to stay with domestic suppliers. Also, their finished goods are being taxed if they sent domestic textiles to be sewn into apparel items overseas. There is a constant battle of what goods should be tariffed and what should be exempt from the tariffs. Personally, I believe that there should be a tariff on foreign made goods, but there should be a certain amount of foreign goods that are excused from tariffs, and once the limit is reached than all amounts after are taxed. I believe this is a good compromise for both industry players.

  41. I am so happy that I took this class this semester of all the others I was a student at UD. It was so timely with everything happening right now with the trade war with China, and the pandemic disrupting trade and production all over the world. I have been able to use my knowledge and what I learned from this class in conversations outside of school. This class has taught me not only that the fashion industry is more than history or clothing, it is intricate and uses economics and business and more. This industry is a global industry, and one country would not survive without others. The US as an example, there is no way our apparel and textile industry could have grown to be this large without China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. And vice versa. This class has also opened by eyes even more to the issues our industry is facing, and how important it is to work with our governments to fix these issues.

  42. After taking FASH455, I have a much better understanding of the global retail supply chain and forces that drive each major player involved in it. Prior to this class, I used to wonder why retailers and fashion brands relied so heavily on China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam for T&A exports when there are so many other viable options across the globe, but I now recognize the vastly different offerings and challenges associated with each region that can complicate trade relationships. I also knew very little about the EU retail environment and trade theories/policies prior to our online modules- topics that I now feel very well-versed in. This class was extremely timely given the recent impacts of COVID-19 and Chinese tariffs on the retail industry and I am very glad that I have been able to keep up with current happenings through course resources. As a buyer post-graduation, I know that this acquired knowledge will be essential to the development of proprietary product and collaboration with cross-functional teams, so I look forward to utilizing all of this new information in my future career!

    1. what a great reflection! Indeed, apparel sourcing is always evolving and changing, which both creates new research questions for scholars like me and challenges for industry practitioners. You may still recall one of our readings earlier this semester about fashion companies’ using of “Tariff engineering” in response to the US-China tariff war. While Covid-19 dominates the discussion these days, the shadow of tariff war is coming back quickly: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/09/us-china-trade-trump-torn-over-phase-one-deal.html

      The bottom line is I hope after taking the course, students will be able to have your own viewpoints/make your own judgment about the situation. Those theories and concepts we learned provide can provide a useful framework and perspective to analyze the current events.

  43. Coming to the end of the semester and the end of FASH455, I have learned so much that will not only help me in my future career but made me realize how greatly it affects the entire world. Globalization was not a term I knew much about before taking this course, however now I feel I have a good grasp on the conception. Globalization has helped make the textile and fashion industries the huge industries that they are today. Globalization has also helped countless countries to be able to compete with bigger & more economically advanced countries. I don’t think they T&A industry would be where it is today without globalization. Taking this class has helped me realized how dependent counties are on each other for different products and without working altogether, we wouldn’t have some of the great things that we have today. I have learned so much from the class and I look forward to putting all this new information to use in my future career.

  44. After taking FASH455 I feel like I know and understand more about government policies and current events. Whenever my parents would talk about the news and updates on trade policies I could not really participate in the conversation. Now through the articles we were assigned to read for this class I know a lot more of what is going on in the world. I feel empowered by this knowledge. I am now able to take this knowledge into the workforce. I currently work for a hunting gear brand as an assistant to the Textile Sourcing Manager. Before when my boss would discuss in meetings about our supply chain shifting to Vietnam versus China or explain how we can save money through duty drawback I would not fully understand the gravity of what she was saying. Now I can understand why the company I work for is making certain adjustments and participate in this dialogue.

  45. I want to start of by saying that FASH455 has by far been one of the best and most informative courses that I have taken thus far! I have learned so many valuable things pertaining to sourcing and trade policies that I certainly foresee myself utilizing in my career. Prior to taking this class I had little knowledge as to why apparel retailers conducted business with and source materials from the countries that they do. Upon taking this course I am well aware that the nature and presence or lack or thereof trade policies is the driving factor behind the countries chosen for sourcing. Overall, this course has made me aware that sourcing and trade is much more complex than what media outlets make it out to be.

  46. Before FASH455, I knew nothing about the tariff wars with China, the size of the supply chains, and how the government plays a role in the textile and apparel industry. I’m not a fashion major, so my knowledge was limited. I found that taking this course has been really beneficial for me, especially during this time of the COIVD-19 pandemic. After taking this course, I’m able to see how much of an impact COVID-19 will have on the textile and apparel industry, government regulations, and future trade. I think because of COVID-19, AI and digital technologies increase in this industry and further take away job opportunities from people. Factories have been shut down and employees have been laid off because of this, but with AI and other machines, factories could have potentially continued production. As a capitalistic country, it’s difficult for the US to focus on trade policies that will solve global issues. Many companies will lobby for what they want, no matter how poor the labor practices are and their negative impacts on the environment. I think it’s our job as consumers and push companies and the government to focus on these serious global issues. Especially after taking this course, I plan to be more aware of purchasing from companies that care about fair labor practices and sustainability.

    1. It is said that if you understand textile and apparel trade and trade policy, you can deal with any other sectors (except maybe agriculture, whose rules are even more complicated). Many issues we discussed in FASH455 can be extended to other sectors, such as the regional production and trade network, specialization of trade based on comparative advantage and the debate on trade policies—how to protect workers, whether trade restrictions are effective in bringing in production and jobs back. I am excited that FASH455 is now a general education course that opens to the entire UD campus and hope to see more non-FASH students take the course in the near future. A more diversified classroom will enrich the class discussion and benefit everyone’s learning experience.

  47. FASH455 has definitely given me a whole new image of the fashion industry. This course has provided informative knowledge and showed how different perspective sees different issues. The topic of how the political factor will affect the world fashion market really allows me to learn a lot. I used to think that the American fashion industry is suffering from the impacts driven by the US-China trade war. In fact, the American fashion industry has found an alternative way to survive and expand their business as some US fashion retailers are sourcing not only from China but also from other South Asia countries, and some US fashion factories have found their business opportunities as some US fashion retailers are moving their factories back to US. After taking this course, I think differently. I think with a different perspective and consider more about different impacts (SWOT). I am also more willing to search the news about the fashion industry.

  48. Before taking this course, I rarely thought about trade and the global supply chain in the fashion industry. I never considered the importance of being so well informed in these areas because I felt it did not relate to the career path I wanted to take in the industry. After taking FASH455 I can now say that having a great deal of knowledge in this particular section of the industry is very important. This particular course is one of the few courses I have taken that really broadened my perspective on the operations in the fashion industry. The weekly assignments really pushed me to expand my thinking by having to come up with discussion questions. At first, it was very difficult to do, though, over time these assignments became less of a hard task and more of a learning moment for me. It allowed me to understand the context of each reading better. The lectures provided gave a great deal of insight into the trade and global aspect as well. I now understand the impact that high tariffs have on companies and why companies source from different countries. Trade is critical to America, it can ensure better quality clothing for customers, lower cost for companies, employment for garment workers, raise living standards, and lastly help provide Americans the ability to give their families affordable goods and services. I am very happy I was given the ability to take FASH455.

  49. Fash455 was definitely one of my favorite class at UD. Professor Lu made this class engaging, interesting, and extremely informative. We did multiple case studies and essays, and really learned in depth about global trade in the fashion industry, a topic I wasn’t that familiar with prior. This class educated me on relevant topics in today’s society and taught me how trade policies affect various segments of the industry including manufacturing and retailing, as well as the competitive status of the US textile and apparel sectors. I knew very little about trade but now I feel well informed and can’t wait to apply this is the real world.

  50. Fash455 has been a very eye opening class for me and I would consider it one of the most beneficial courses I have taken over my past four years here at UD. Before this course, I knew very little about textile and apparel trade and sourcing. This course has taught me so much about the fashion industry on a global scale. It forced me to think about a lot of different possibilities and consequences of the industry. I never realized how difficult it could be to make policies that are favored by everyone. This course was especially relevant this semester because of everything happening with Covid-19. I now realize how important it is to be educated on global industry. I am grateful that I was able to take this course my senior year because now I can go into interviews more educated about the industry.

  51. I really enjoyed taking Fash455 this semester because it was very educational, enlightening, and extremely relevant. This course completely changed my perspective on the world, the fashion industry, and my place in it. I learned so much that I did not know prior to taking this course, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity. One of my main takeaways from the course is the phenomenon of globalization and how the world has become a global supply chain. Learning about globalization completely made me rethink the process of creating apparel and how every step can be done in a different part of the world, but it is all still crucial to the final product. I also really enjoyed learning about the different trade theories and how trade has evolved over time. Learning about these theories has helped me have meaningful conversations with people in politics and led me to learn even more about how trade is done globally and the reasons for it. The most important takeaway I have from this course is that I feel much more important as a fashion merchandising major. A lot of our fashion classes at the university are extremely creative and I enjoy them a lot, but this class was more of a reality check and relevant to the real world. This course made me realize that the textile and apparel industry plays a critical role in the world, and in so many different people’s lives. I am so glad that I learned so much information in this course to positively contribute to the world while also using my knowledge of fashion merchandising.

  52. I can say that prior to fash455 I did not pay much attention to wear things came from, I knew that most of my products were made in China, but that was really it. Fash455 completely opened my eyes to topics that I had not much prior knowledge. I had not spent much time learning about issues that the fashion industry faced and Fash455 made me realize how important it is to learn about them. I learned more in depth about the tariff wars and the impact they have on everyone. I learned about so many topics and issues that have allowed me to not only think of ways to eliminate these issues, but allow me to recognize potential issues before they arise. My main takeaway from the class was the importance of globalization. The world is so connected, everything comes from something that came from somewhere, and trade is so important to our economy. This class has given me such a better understanding of the global supply chain and has definitely been one of the most beneficial classes I have taken in my 4 years. It has completely helped to prepare me for the business world upon graduation.

  53. Professor Sheng Lu,
    You have opened up insights and global views for me that I had yet to encounter. Originally, my views coming into this course were jaded by how easily I saw like-minded people developing brands and expressing their creativity through news and media coverage. I held false expectations on how the textile and apparel industries have been and would be evolving over my years of young adulthood, but now more than ever I have a firmer grasp on how interconnected our world is and the role each of its players (countries, markets) play in it. I have learned more about the concepts, business strategies, and mistakes over the years of the fashion and global textile industry. Trade wars with China and several other global issues arising in the textile industries involving awful conditions and historic events that have changed factory situations forever. Most importantly though, I’ve found my sweet spot in the global supply chain between the textile and apparel industries, where I hope to one day display my creativity through my own brand, or assist in the growth of a greater one. Especially as a business major, this eye opening course has given me many of the tools I need to become a valuable player in the business-fashion landscape.

  54. This course has definitely expanded my knowledge on globalization, trade, and sourcing. I came into this course vaguely knowing much about these topics and was really excited to learn more. Not only has this course given me the basic knowledge of these topics but Its helped me see the bigger picture in applying these concepts. Im proud to be an APD major and be getting my degree in this field. Although I dont know when/where I will be getting a job yet due to everything going on, I hope one day I will be able to impact the industry just half as much as its impacted me during my entire life.

  55. 2. Prior to FASH455, I had very little knowledge on globalization, trade, or sourcing. In addition to these topics, it was eye-opening to learn the social, economic, and political implications of them. I enjoyed watching the video in this post because it encapsulates the entirety of globalization, trade, and sourcing perfectly. The fact that parts of a garment can be sourced from places across the world and come into one garment, is amazing to me. Before learning about global trade theories and tariffs, I didn’t realize how much went into sourcing and production overseas. It now makes sense to me how countries are able to use their competitive advantages to offer products at a lower cost. “Fashion is made possible by trade” and “some of the least developed countries in the world use fashion as a way of economic development” are quotes from the video that I think perfectly summarize my learnings in FASH455. Information on these topics can be useful in any industry and I am excited to apply it to my roles in the future!

  56. After taking this course I can truly say I have a better understanding of a garment’s life cycle and what it takes for it to reach a consumer. I have a better understanding of what it takes for there to be a closer fair game in the fashion industry after learning about the different restrictions and agreements implemented between countries. After learning about the negative effects such as the Rana Plaza tragedy and the struggles certain countries face, I am now more conscious of where I am buying from. I now question retailers’ lack of sustainability practices and have in mind if their practices are unethical. After learning the effects of globalization, social issues, and political involvement in the fashion industry I am able to understand global news and create my own well-rounded ideas, opinions and questions surrounding not only the fashion industry but the business industry as well.

  57. Before taking FASH455 I honestly never thought about the global supply chain and all of its factors, I had little knowledge of globalization. I now have a better understanding of the fashion industry as a whole. I always thought of China and the United States when it came to the textile and apparel industry. Throughout this class, I gained knowledge on so many other key factors that contribute to the supply chain. I also gained more knowledge on the unsafe working conditions that many people are forced to work in. I now have a better understanding of international trade, and why it is so important. This class made me rethink fashion as a whole, especially where I purchase my garments from. I now find myself looking at a garment and checking the tag to see where it was from, which plays a key factor in whether or not I will purchase it.

  58. I think this is one of the most valuable classes that we have to take in the fashion department. This course brings current events that are happening in the industry and outside the industry to our attention. We may not realize the severity of many events as college students and may not fully understand what exactly is going on. Before FASH 455 I did not pay attention to the trade war because it bored me and I had zero clue what was going on however this class was able to explain to me what is was and how it’s impacting the fashion industry and other countries. It ultimately changed my perspective on the fashion industry. I think something that changed my outlook was learning about globalization. Before this class, I was so oblivious to the different countries and all the different jobs that were needed to create just one garment. It made me look at my clothing and belongings completely different. Learning about the essential knowledge in textile and apparel trade and sourcing has fully prepared me for the workforce regardless of what my job may be. It is important to understand the global nature of the industry today in order to be successful.

  59. Prior to this course, I had little knowledge of the impacts of globalization, and how countries affected one another. I can honestly say that I knew nearly nothing about trading and sourcing, but the assignments in this class have definitely helped to expand my awareness. The most impactful assignment was the Bangladesh case study. Not only did this educate me about the working conditions in impoverished countries, but it informed me about the negative affects the U.S. has on these countries, that I had never known. International trade as a whole, is extremely thorough and intricate, and I would have never expected it to come with such complications. I can confidently say that not only am I aware of these issues, but I am now prone to noticing them outside the classroom. Lastly, COVID-19 has opened my eyes to the importance of globalization and the problems it has created around the world. Without this course, I would not be so in tune to worldwide suffrage and surrounding controversies, and I am excited to use this insight in the future.

  60. Throughout this entire semester and this course I have learned a lot about the fashion industry and specifically textile and apparel on a global scale, which I really enjoyed. One of my favorite things to learn about was globalization and how we are all connected through the use and advancements in technology. Another important take away was about the unethical practices in developing countries that US brands use for cheap labor, but only result in unfair treatment. The Rana Plaza building collapse was something I had learned about for the first time freshman year, but a tragedy like this is one that people need to constantly hear about because when things like this get ignored than history repeats itself. It is brands that need to step up to change the unethical treatment, but it is also the consumers who need to not buy merchandise that is made in factories that are unsafe or made without being given the full supply chain the product goes through. Brands need to be held accountable or else there will never be change.

  61. This course was very meaningful for me as a Fashion Merchandising major. It was fascinating to learn about globalization and the large impact that it has had on both the supply chain and product assortment. Because of globalization, we can wear a garment that was designed in one country and made in another country with materials from all over the world. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to globalization but I think it has changed our world for the better. Also, learning about both trade agreements and wars was very interesting. Not only was this material interesting, but it is also necessary to be aware of these trade issues in order to be a well-rounded merchant. It is important to understand which countries you can source goods from and which countries are impacted by tariffs. This class also called attention to issues that I am passionate about and have learned more about through my Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation minor. For example, the Rana Plaza factory collapse and your blog post highlighting retailers cancelling orders. This class covered a broad range of topics that are all interconnected and I am glad to have learned from an expert!

  62. This class has certainly given me a fresh perspective of the fashion world. There are many misconceptions that fashion is an “easy” career, but it is definitely a complex industry with many layers. The lessons and concepts throughout this course, specifically the lesson on Bangladesh’s ethical issues, have showed me how many individual lives around the world are affected by the fashion industry, and I am definitely going to keep that in mind when I start my career.

  63. FASH 455 has opened my eyes to the bigger and more concerning things that we should be aware of in the T&A industry. From learning about the collapse in Rana Plaza, to the US-China trade dispute, to “The Flying Geese Model” etc, these concepts have strengthened my view on how much more this industry requires to be educated on. The idea of globalization is being crushed due to COVID-19 and how its going to make a comeback is an unanswered question. It’s important to know where your clothes are being sourced from and how they were produced. It’s crucial to be aware that the women who made your clothes might be working long hours and in threatening conditions just to make a living. This class has really taught me in depth concepts that I will take with me into the fashion world.

  64. Fash 455 has made me realize that there is so much more to the fashion world than just fashion. There are so many practices that go into making sure you are doing practices and making clothes ethically for your business and their people. This has helped me put more emphasize on my minor which is sustainability and how things are needing to be fixed in terms if factories and the need for fast fashion needs to slow down. It also showed me how important other countries are to making the fashion industry run smoothly each day. We need one another the issues facing the United States issues are facing the whole world if we want to find a solution it needs to be a global effort to save the planet countries around the world need to work together and learning about globalization and how it creates both winners we are becoming interdependent there will be both winners and losers in this world. Lastly it was also super interesting learning about current times and how COVID is changing the industry whether brands are stepping up or being hurt more they ever have. These are all facts that we need to keep up with and an eye on and this class opened my eyes to that.

    1. Happy to learn this! Again, I hope FASH455 will open many “new doors” for students interested in pursuing a career in the fashion industry (i.e., sourcing, compliance and supply chain). I also hope FASH455 provides students with some new perspectives to look at our industry and the world we are living in.

  65. FASH455 has given me a much clearer picture of how the fashion industry is globally interconnected especially in relation to trading. It’s so true that people put fashion into a box containing just shopping, designing, modeling, and trends but that’s really the smallest part of it. The biggest parts of the fashion industry includes the business, political, technological, social, environmental, and overall global aspects that no one understands other than the hangtag on their clothes. All of these global aspects would not have been possible if trading didn’t exist. I also really enjoyed learning about the different regional supply chains including the flying geese model in Asia, the Wester Hemisphere in North and Central America, and the Intra-regional supply chain in the EU. I especially enjoyed learning how Covid-19 has impacted these supply chains as well as the global supply chains and how these countries are pivoting to the changes in demand and attitudes by restructuring their industries to be more accurate and fast. I’m excited to see how this impacts the social and environmental aspects of the industry and hope that things will change for the better.

  66. As mentioned in the post, FASH455 has taught me the true importance of the T&A industry to the global economy. Since the fashion industry is such a globalized one, the manufacturing of one garment may involve multiple different countries. This international division of labor provides jobs for impoverished women, and helps to improve the national economies of less developed countries. The globalized nature of the T&A industry allows for the establishment of free trade agreements, which creates peace and prosperity and brings countries together.

    The topics that were touched upon in this course are valuable for anyone who wishes to work in the fashion industry, as it is very important to understand the fundamentals of international trade in order to make sourcing and buying decisions for an apparel company. This class was especially beneficial to my learning, as it focused heavily on the various affects of COVID-19 on the global T&A sector. When applying for internships and jobs post COVID-19, I can utilize my understanding of the virus’s long lasting impacts, and my knowledge of the possible future of globalization, in order to prove my ability to make decisions regarding sourcing of materials or buying of garments.

  67. FASH 455 has given me a wider scope of worldly knowledge than I expected coming into the course. I feel a more thorough understanding of the global textile and apparel industry in all aspects; sourcing, trade, trade policies and agreements, and so much more. I now understand the utmost importance that trade agreements hold for the T&A industry and the logistics that go into their creation and maintenance. I also have a fuller understanding of different countries’ trade and sourcing practices, such as the flying geese model or intra-region trade. All of this will be important knowledge for me to carry into my senior year of college here with a minor of fashion management. The fashion industry is so much more than the company you are working for or the country you live in; it is constantly changing and influenced/affected by other countries involved in sourcing, trade and production.

  68. I appreciate Fash455 for many different reasons, but there are some that I find to be especially important and beneficial. For starters, this class has definitely opened up my eyes to the F&A industries on a global scale, as it’s easy to focus on the industry that’s happening where you are familiar. I now understand the importance of being educated on the ways other countries are run, and the trade they are involved in, as every trade route is connected in some way, shape, or form. I think this class not only opened my eyes through a business perspective, but it also made me realize the importance of ethical issues, and all of the ways that one small decision a company makes can impact people’s livelihood. After learning of the ways the fashion industry both helps and harms people and other countries altogether, really made me change my consumer behavior when I shop, and I now consider standards that I want my future place of work to adhere by in order to keep people safe, healthy, and to be compensated fairly. Overall, I feel this course benefitted me in many ways that are applicable to everyday life, and they are things that I can already see beginning to change my opinions and behavior.

  69. I can honestly say FASH455 has been one of my favorite and most beneficial classes that I have taken at Delaware. Studying the things we have in this course makes me proud to be a fashion minor as it has given a greater understanding of how vital the fashion industry is to the global economy. Every singular person on the planet is effected by the fashion industry. A lot of the time, people assume fashion majors are not important or simple and about shopping. This course is a very clear example for how this could not be farther from the truth. We have learn many valuable about the way the fashion industry influences each country and their people. I know have a better comprehension of how policies like NAFTA and organizations like WTO and ASEAN affect not only their member countries, but the entire fashion industry and the global economy. I am truly grateful for this course and can confidently say that I will be using the information I have learned in FASH455 in the future, regardless of my career after college.

  70. FASH455 was a very interesting class to take, I am surprised by how much I learned and how interesting each topic that we learned were. I always use to hear about tariffs and trades in the news but never bothered to learn about it or pay attention to what they actually meant, they play a very important role in the economy and the overall globalization aspect. Everything we own, wear and eat is a part of the globalization process and we are only able to enjoy it because of globalization. What really struck with me was the flying geese model in Asia, I never thought about how the phenomenon of intra-region T&A worked, I always looked at China as only being a manufacturer of apparel because of the cheap labor but the flying geese model allowed me to see beyond just the apparel manufacturing, China is an economy that is growing and becoming more industrialized day by day. The idea that we wear a global economy is making more sense now that we are coming to an end with the course, it really does take a whole global economy to move goods around the world and bring them to the consumers.

    1. Hi Mandy,

      I feel very similar to use. Before this class I was pretty unaware of the depth of trade, tariffs and the world globalization didn’t even make sense to me. I am glad I was able to take this class now, in such an unique and truly historic period of time. I now feel I have a better understanding of how the who supply chain works. I would go as far to say we are all independent on one another. Although regions have their own efficient t&a industry, trading goes far beyond that and one country will always need something from the other. I too did not know how far Asia’s market has come. I have learned previously shifts were moving to different countries but I did not know but what means. Now I know that shifting is due to economic advancements and labor vs. capital intensive. I am excited to bring my new findings forward and apply them to how the fashion industry adapts to the pandemic and economic collapse.

  71. I truly enjoyed my time in FASH 455. The findings from this class have led me to so many new topics I didn’t know existed. I am fascinated with the globalization of today’s market and how it coexists with regional trade networks as well. I find all the topics of the class so intriguing and a gateway to a whole new set of rules and regulations. It has been really eye opening taking this class amid a pandemic and one of the biggest economic downfalls to date. Everything in the world seems unknown, learning about patterns and trends of how trading and economics work has helped me shape my own view of what is to come and how to be in front of it.
    Here are my reflections from the course:
    The ultimate dilemma I have taken away from this class is between bargain deals and social responsibility, the two have a hard time cosisting. The hidden cost of what you buy is not exposed to consumers, therefore most consumers are just concerned for the best price possible. Little do they know that the low prices are felt down the supply chain ultimately sacrificing the social responsibility of production. Issues of such concern low wages, sub contradicting, environmental harm, poor factory conditions- just not meeting the standards we are accountable for in 2020. The uproar effect of COVID may be the period of change and a way to fix the supply chain. Right now many are hurting from the economic failure, yet this may be the time to reshape and adjust practices.
    To go in more specifically and look at the tragedy of Rana Plaza, it is clear there is still much more progress to be made. The downfall of the building in Bangladesh in 2013 had taken more than 1,000 factory workers life. Unacceptable for any practice, yet it is shocking how little people are aware of this tragedy. It is more commonly known in the fashion industry yet when I asked 5 family members not one of them knew what this event was. When I asked a group of friends, 1 was able to identify the collapsion. I think these results echo the consciousness of consumers. Consumers are unaware and they are what drives business. We must look to consumers to create a change to prevent another tragedy from taking place in the T&A industry.

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