The global clothing production system: commodity chains and business networks

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The global organization of the clothing industry has been the prime example of buyer-driven commodity chains. However, previous empirical studies to substantiate Gereffi's assertion have been highly Western centric and predominantly based on the empirical evidence of American retailers and brand name companies. In this article I demonstrate that any clothing commodity chain has various influential factors, such as the national and global regulatory framework, the societal context of the leading firm, the fashion context of the products, as well as the actual brand ownership. Thus, the organization of clothing firms in the global economy can develop diverse intra-sectoral commodity chain coordinations. Using a hypothetical clothing commodity chain as an example, I attempt to identify the individual commodity chains within which Indonesian clothing firms are embedded. Furthermore, I outline the ways in which Indonesian clothing firms were affected by the economic crisis of the late 1990s.