Fourth issue of FIBER is available online
A designer for Wal-Mart in India shows a garment that blends Indian and Western styles. Photo by Martha Carper
Martha Carper
Kelly Cobb
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8:15 a.m., Aug. 4, 2009----The latest issue of FIBER, the online journal for the global fashion and apparel industry produced by the University of Delaware, focuses on India, a country where ancient artisanal textile production methods and traditional styles coexist with modern manufacturing and gleaming malls filled with Western fashions.

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A highlight of this issue is the extensive slide show of photographs taken by UD fashion and apparel studies faculty Kelly Cobb and Martha Carper that accompanies their articles about a recent study trip to India.

“Ninety percent of Indian women still wear saris, at least on some occasions,” said Carper, “but there is a growing demand for Western styles, as well, particularly among the younger generation and the middle class, which has expanded from 35 million families to 80 million families in just 10 years.”

“On our trip, I was interested in looking at traditional methods of fabric and apparel design and exploring their movement into mainstream retail,” Cobb added. “It will be up to the current generation emerging now into their 20s in India to decide whether the old hand-crafted methods will survive and how they will be meshed together with modern designs and manufacturing from around the world.”

Other authors featured in this issue profile Indian consumers and highlight some of the barriers to foreign direct investment in India and the strategies international brands have used to gain entry into the Indian market. Still others explore the effects of the global economic recession on the apparel industry in general and Indian garment workers in particular.

In other articles, Huantian Cao, associate professor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at UD, applies the 12 principles of green engineering to the textile and apparel industry in order to illustrate ways of making the industry more sustainable. Kevin M. Burke, president and CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, describes the resources available through that organization.

FIBER stands for the Fashion International Business Education Response project. Now in its second year, the two-year project is funded by a $165,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

It is led by Hye-Shin Kim, project director, Marsha Dickson, professor and chairperson of the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, Sharron Lennon, the Irma Ayers Professor of Fashion and Apparel Studies, and George Irvine, program specialist in Professional and Continuing Studies.

The FIBER journal's mission is to showcase fashion and apparel markets around the globe, share the insights of leaders in the industry and the latest academic research on critical issues, highlight opportunities for further education, and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, connecting members of the fashion and apparel community around the globe.

It is produced semiannually with the assistance of the University of Delaware's Office of Communications and Marketing.

Previous issues of the journal have highlighted the apparel industries in Guatemala, Thailand, and China.

Subscribe to the journal at this Web site.

Article by Beth Chajes