|Costing, capacities, policies, tariffs, labour and circular economy… these factors make a huge impact on apparel sourcing and the scenario is becoming even more complicated. These complications and uncertainty in global trade are pushing brands and retailers to think beyond the countries they are already sourcing from in order to have alternatives in hand before it is too late. Even apparel manufacturing countries are feeling the heat and restructuring themselves according to the changing requirements of the brands. In Asia, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka are major garment manufacturing hubs that have strengths which make them favourites with buyers.
|China – Moving up the value scale
|It was in 2015 that the ‘Made in China 2025’ came into existence and since then, there has been no stopping to China, be it the high-end technology used in the country’s manufacturing industry to productivity improvement, and last but not the least, the elimination of all possible bottlenecks that are caused due to human intervention. ‘Made in China 2025’ engineers a shift for China from being a low-end manufacturer to becoming a high-end value-added producer of goods. Other factors that go in favour of China are order flexibility, competitive price points, manufacturing excellence, raw material availability and efficient logistics management. China can cater to low quantity orders as well as high volume orders keeping control over manufacturing cost with great availability of raw materials right from cotton, polyester fabrics to all kinds of trims and accessories.
|Bangladesh –Competitive price with quality
|Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment exporter and there are several factors that contribute to this. The biggest strength of the country is its adaptability to the changing global pace in the fashion industry including sustainability which is further boosted by the minimum wage that is lower than China, Cambodia, India and Vietnam, giving it an edge over the competitors. Moreover, Bangladesh qualifies for duty-free market access or reduced tariff facilities to 52 developed and developing nations including countries in the EU, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey, Russia, Norway, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and India. Additionally, Bangladeshi garment manufacturers and exporters have built excellent vertical capacities which help global brands to ensure more transparency and coordination in their supply chains. The country has set itself a target of achieving apparel exports worth US $ 50 billion by 2021. In FY ’19, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) states that Bangladesh’s RMG exports grew by 11.50 per cent, reaching US $ 34.13 billion.
|India – Place to source for value-added fashion garments
|If you want to source value-added and technologically superior garments, then India is the destination for you. India has high self-sufficiency in raw materials apart from the skilled labour present in its major clusters located in all parts of the country. India provides a complete supply chain and good infrastructure to the manufacturers who have the experience to make any kind of garments. Additionally, policies such as ‘Make in India’ are supporting the industry a lot which are not just strengthening the traditional regions like Ludhiana, Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Tirupur, Bengaluru but also assisting in upgradation of the Eastern states which will provide wider scope for the manufacturers. Logistics is another positive point in favour of India. With 13 sea ports, India forms one of the biggest peninsulas in the world and can handle huge volumes or shipment with ease.
|Vietnam – Riding high on infrastructure and trade agreements
|Vietnam’s growth as a sourcing destination in recent years is noteworthy! The third largest garment exporter in the world has an upper hand in value-added garment manufacturing. The industry has been seeing fresh investment in fibre production and fabric mills due to which the country is becoming less dependent on other countries for materials. As far as trade agreements are concerned, Vietnam has an edge over its competing countries. The South East Asian country has FTA with the USA as well as EU which gives a huge relaxation to the exporters based in the country. Besides, the garment units in Vietnam have easy accessibility to seaports and airports, which minimises logistics and transportation costs compared to that of China.
|Sri Lanka – Sustainability and high quality define production
|Worn by quality-conscious consumers all over the world, the products of top international brands of sportswear, lingerie and swimwear are sourced from and manufactured in Sri Lanka, South Asia's manufacturing hub of apparels. Sri Lanka’s apparel sector outperforms other South Asian countries in terms of quality in garments, short lead time, reliability, along with social compliance and sustainability. These factors have helped Sri Lankan apparel industry evolve from traditional exports and tailoring designs to one providing sophisticated solutions, creativity and experience. Automation and lean manufacturing have been core drivers for this surging industry in the last few years, the primary goal of which is to enable factories and employees to be more productive.
Apparel Sourcing Week 2023, a three-day 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, FashTech Journal and Resource Guide published from India, Bangladesh and 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