Ross Rant | October 12, 2017


A t-shirt's tour: African countries Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Burundi are trying to phase out imports of secondhand clothing and shoes.

The foreign hand-me-downs are blamed by the governments of these nations for hampering the development of a textile industry in their respective countries. They have a point. 

The textile industry has long required a vast number of low-end, low-skilled, and low-paid workers but can serve a nation as a gateway to advanced manufacturing and assembly.

Africa has the ideal employment base to be a textile powerhouse. African leaders know full well that the textile industry is the perfect stepping stone to power an economy and have seen for themselves the success such a move has made for counties all over Asia. Not only Asia, but the United States in the early days of the republic used the same economic development strategy as America harnessed the power of the textile industry to move the up the manufacturing ladder.

Here's a great book to read on this very subject: The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli, a Professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

Faux-fur: Gucci will stop using fur in its products starting in 2018. The world-class fashion house added heft to a growing chorus of luxury companies going fur-free.

Independence for Scotland: It has been three years since Scotland’s unsuccessful independence referendum. However, the desire to leave the UK still burns with the nation's leaders. The outgoing leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Alex Salmond, stated at the party's annual conference this week, “for Scotland the campaign continues, and the dream will never die.” 

Salmond's dream of breaking away from the UK is not finished and will always be present with many across the highlands and lochs of Scotland, but the goal of independence has clearly moved to the back burner and is a little dimmer these days.

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

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