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Around the Web: Kid’s Apparel, Bankruptcy Comebacks and “Made in China’s” New Face

This week, consumers called for better children’s apparel, retailers turned internally to remedy their financial woes and apparel incubators improved China’s manufacturing sector.

“Made in China” is shifting to a more positive connotation. Fast Company discussed how a group of new fashion startups, including Les Lunes and Grana, are conducting business at factories that promote better ethics and generate quality products. This new wave of Chinese manufacturing is compensating workers fairly, providing workers with a safe environment and crafting goods for the eco-conscious consumer.

(Related on SJ: Better Work Partners with Fair Wear Foundation on Factory Compliance Initiatives)

Once losing ground to competitors, including Michael Kors, Coach is making a fierce comeback. Fortune reported how, under the leadership of Coach CEO Victor Luis, the handbag label is prioritizing heritage and high-quality craftsmanship to appeal to the modern consumer. What’s more, Coach’s strong quarterly results and successful acquisition of Kate Spade could further elevate its market presence this year.

(Related on SJ: At Coach, Reinvention Meant Thinking Outside the Bag)

Despite the push to bring apparel manufacturing back to the U.S., there remains uncertainty about the creation of jobs, employees co-existing with automation and if consumers are willing to pay more for their garments. The Fashion Law noted how reshoring production could affect consumers’ ability to afford apparel given the higher costs likely to be associated with domestically made goods.

(Related on SJ: BAT Battles on but Leaders Still Divided Over the Tax and its Impact)

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With retailers falling into the bankruptcy rut and still others like Gymboree nearing the brink, there has been much questioning about the state of children’s apparel. Racked analyzed the demands of today’s millennial parents and the ways in which retailers have failed to meet their needs. Find out what tops Gen Y’s wish list when shopping for their kids.

(Related on SJ: Report: Gymboree to Close Stores as Bankruptcy Looms)

Amazon is climbing to the top of fashion e-commerce. The Verge takes a look at the ways in which Amazon’s latest moves, including revamping its apparel offering with in-house labels and collaborating with influencers like Chicago Bulls player Dwyane Wade, are strengthening its hold on the online clothing market.

(Related on SJ: Amazon Takes Aim at Etsy with New Handmade Bridal Shop)

Bankruptcy has taken a toll on retailers lately, but it doesn’t always result in a bad ending. The Commercial Observer noted how retailers that emerge from Chapter 11, including New York-based Gracious Home, have revived by remedying their business models and revamping their product offering to meet consumer needs.

(Related on SJ: How a Lack of Liquidity is Tanking Retail—And Who’s to Blame)

Sales-and-income-tax revenues are taking a hit from nationwide store closures. The Atlantic explained how retail’s decline, the popularity of e-commerce and consumers’ purchasing habits are hurting local government sales-tax collections and states’ tax revenues. Considering some counties depend on brick-and-mortar outposts to boost economic outlook, vacant malls cause damage beyond the industry.

(Related on SJ: Infographic: The Accelerating Pace of Apparel Retail Bankruptcies)

Research could be the answer for retailers that want to produce relevant products. USA Today explored how in-depth data helped Ikea develop furniture for today’s high-demanding and busy consumers. By analyzing consumers’ living spaces and lifestyle preferences, Ikea has created millions of products that enable consumers to control lighting and utilize rooms for their high-tech lives.

(Related on SJ: These Retail Tech Companies Are Actually Elevating the Brick-and-Mortar Experience)