WAKEFIELD – The consolidation of supply chains appears to be a key theme in the global apparel industry as we enter 2015, with leading multi-national brands increasingly looking to work more closely with carefully selected suppliers which adhere to exacting sustainability standards – that's the conclusion of an investigation by Ecotextile News in which several global apparel brands outlined their sourcing strategies. Levi Strauss & Co told us it is currently in the process of consolidating its garment sourcing model. "We are moving to a new model of sustainable sourcing – focusing on building strategic sourcing relationships with key vendors, so we are doing business with a smaller number of world-class suppliers," a spokesperson from the US business told us. "The number of suppliers we work with and the number of countries has decreased as we have built these strategic relationships. This provides real business benefits to both us and them. Building these strategic vendor relationships enables us to work with vendors innovating on product development, sustainability and investments in their workers."