Sportswear Design, Development & Factory update – Coronavirus

Friday 20th March

Coronavirus is having a major impact on all of our lives and this virus has also affected and continues to affect the manufacture and supply of sportswear across the globe.

The situation is changing on a daily basis, however, below is an overview of where Blue Associates Sportswear and our factories are today, 20th March 2020.


The epicentre and start of the virus experienced a lock down for 9-10 weeks. Luckily, Chinese New Year meant factories were already closed for 4 of these weeks so the impact on supply was limited to 5-6 weeks.

Currently, the virus seems to have plateaued in China and factories are 100% back to normal and working to the capacity before the virus. We are therefore in daily communication with all of our factories and samples and bulk production are underway.

The net effect of the virus in China is all developments and production have already been delayed by around 5-6 weeks, however going forward and providing the virus is contained, we don’t expect to see further delays from China.

Global demand for production from established brands has significantly dropped since consumers have been in lockdown and unable to shop. Many orders have been cancelled and new orders are on hold that is freeing up capacity in China. This will hopefully help increase development and bulk production lead times until the virus plateaus and consumers start to spend again.

The good news is we are developing your sportswear in China. The worst is behind us and the production is back to normal.


Europe is now under attack from the virus and spreading fast across all countries, many borders and schools are now closed which has a massive effect on the factories that employ female machinists that need to look after their children for the coming weeks/months.

Some factories predict they will need to close completely in the coming days/weeks/months as their country goes into a more stringent lockdown.

Many European factories were struggling before the virus hit Europe as established brands switched production in January from China to Europe due to expected delays and that flooded instantly European capacity and created delays. Alongside the increase in demand, many factories were experiencing huge delays in fabrics and components supplied from China that further increased the delays.

Currently, our factories are working on skeleton staff but none the less, continuing to work as best they can. Many merchandisers are working from home; however, the factory floor and sample rooms are hit worse with many machinists not being able to continue work due to being at home.

We expect many established brands to repeat the cancellation of orders with their suppliers and hopefully, this drop in demand will help the factories recover faster once the virus and lockdowns end.

If you have any questions with regard to your particular development, please shout.

So far, our team have not been affected by the virus and we are still all healthy and working. Please, therefore, continue to communicate with us on your development as please stay safe and remain patient. The factories are committed to the programs we have with them and will process samples and bulk production as fast as they can.

Take care of yourselves.

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