The threads of Industry 4.0 continue to weave their way through the clothing supply chain – including artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, automation and 'batches of one.' And in this issue of just-style magazine we turn our focus on its potential impact and implications.

How Industry 4.0 can help boost productivity by providing a single, connected platform for all supply chain processes. Ways to transform an existing factory into an “intelligent factory” using Industry 4.0 technologies, and the priorities to help achieve this shift. And the changing role of the creative designer amid a growing range of new digital solutions. All are covered in a series of specially-commissioned articles.

Elsewhere, we also take a look at Vidalia Mills, a new denim mill taking shape with a vision to build a cutting-edge, transparent and sustainable denim manufacturing chain in the United States.

And new supply chain disruptors are shaking up the fashion industry with their innovative concepts for on-demand apparel assembly, local-for-local production, manufacturer-matching and transparency mapping. Not surprisingly, investors appear tuned in to their potential too, with millions of dollars in funding set to scale them up.

Finally, a sobering report on how suppliers in low cost locations such as Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam are being squeezed hardest on price, with poor buyer purchasing practices potentially leading to subcontracting and precarious labour.

Leonie Barrie, Editor