|There is no denying that production of apparel has seen a downslide in China over the last few years since the Chinese Government took a strategic decision to move up the value chain in manufacturing. The move was motivated by many factors, the most critical being a steady increase in the cost of production, as wages and other input cost surged.
|As a result, so-called basic industries like garmenting have taken a hit in favour of IT, automobiles and other value-added products. The industry should now therefore take up the smart route moving towards automation and smart production through technological innovation.
|There is no denying that China has been a major sourcing base for all fashion retail markets for decades and there are many buyers, both retailers and brands, who depend heavily on the country for their lines. Though the country will take time to exit the segment, as the volumes are huge, the exodus has begun. As per WTO data, China’s market shares in world apparel exports fell from its peak- 38.8 per cent in 2014 to a record low of 34.9 per cent in 2017. In 2018, total exports in textile and apparel together from the country accounted for 36 per cent.
|Creating further uncertainty in China are the cold vibes being exchanged with the US, often referred to as a trade war since America imposed additional import duties on Chinese products in 2018. The situation could further escalate as tension continues. Global experts are of the opinion that with its high efficiency, research and development capacity as well as mature transport and logistics services, China's textile and apparel industry remains the most reliable supplier of global fashion brands despite potential supply chain disturbances occurring because of the ongoing US-China trade tensions.
|Yet, a China plus one sourcing strategy has become critical for all buyers of apparel. What this means in real terms is that buyers sourcing their products from China are now looking at new options, as China is no longer the most attractive sourcing destination. A question that is undoubtedly playing in the minds of buyers looking for exit from China is - where next? Finding a good partner in the global apparel value chain is a real challenge. There are so many criteria that have to be met, from basics like good products and competitive price to more current concerns like worker safety and sustainable initiatives.
|While one factory in a certain country may have very good quality products, another factory may be highly competitive on price and a third may be efficient and responsive to fashion needs… the permutation and computation of a preferred supplier are many, changing from buyer to buyer.
|So as of now, where is the buyer going? Though it is still too early to say, import data indicate that Vietnam and to a smaller extent Bangladesh have got a piece of the cake, but the cake is large and many more countries including India stand chances of getting a share of this. As of now, China has around 33 per cent market share in the US garment import industry while India’s share hovers around 4 per cent.
|A recent report by Credit Suisse has suggested that in overall trade that also includes textiles and apparel, the four major countries that can logically get the biggest shares of business moving out of China are Vietnam, India, Mexico and Taiwan. The US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who was in India recently for the 'India Economic Summit', also asserted that India has a ‘wonderful opportunity right now, to take advantage of trade dissension elsewhere’.
|As buyers search out ways to touch base with manufacturers in countries that are expected to boom, Apparel Sourcing Week (ASW) presents them the much-needed platform to explore over 80 garment manufacturers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India displaying their latest collections that are in line with trends and fashion requirements of different markets.
|To be held at Sheraton Grand Hotel in Bengaluru from 20-22 February 2020, ASW is a sourcing show like never before. Each of its exhibitors are hand-picked and have a strong reputation in the international market, ready and keen to expand their buyer base. The event will provide a conducive environment not only to build a long-term relationship, but also to understand manufacturing capabilities, the quality and timely delivery standards and identify ways by which the manufacturers can address one’s growing needs. The event will also have many fun and knowledge activities and platforms to engage all visitors and participants for impactful networking!
Apparel Sourcing Week 2023, a two-days Sourcing Show not only provides the Asian manufacturers a platform to showcase their products & manufacturing capabilities to the Brands & Retailers from all over the world including India, but also extends them a chance to attend the multiple seminars (headed by industry experts), workshops, open-house discussions and networking opportunities organised during these three days, which would help the manufacturers get a better understanding of Indian and International Retail and evolving dynamics of sourcing in various markets and retail formats.
Apparel Resources is well known for its benchmark publications – Apparel Online, StitchWorld and Resource Guide published from India, Bangladesh & Vietnam. These publications have been around in the industry for over 35 years, supporting, guiding and standing by garment exporters and the retail industry globally, providing them a platform to source better.