Today, the Sri Lankan apparel industry has made its mark in the world as the globe’s premier innovative and cutting-edge apparel manufacturer. Boasting a very long history of apparel manufacturing and facing numerous challenges to this day, the garment manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka stands much stronger than it has ever been before.
In comparison to some of the industry giants like India, Bangladesh and China, as well as up and coming countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, the Sri Lankan apparel sector is quite small. But with countries like China and India moving on to bigger and more lucrative industries like IT, automobiles and pharmaceuticals, Sri Lanka has gained a significant edge in the industry.
The Sri Lankan apparel industry has always upheld quality in their products, commitments, state-of-the-art manufacturing practices, skilled workforce and, most importantly, a safe and stable environment for any global retailer to have a strong footing and work together.
Changing fortunes of industry competitors
Bangladesh was Sri Lanka’s biggest competitor but Bangladesh has also proven to be expensive because of quality issues, underperformances and unethical terms of trade. The saturated media follow-up after the recent fires in Bangladesh which killed hundreds of workers has also hit the industry very hard. It also meant that global customers had to protect their branding and business in the long run. Sri Lanka emerged as a safe haven to set up strong commitments and this has led to the boom of the apparel industry in the island.
Sri Lanka in a better position
The Sri Lankan garment industry is strongly committed to sustainable development and ethical manufacturing practices, further assuring the industry’s dedication to decent working conditions that is free of forced labor, child labor and of any sort of discrimination. Furthermore, the apparel industry’s efforts to provide employments opportunities and harness rural talents by setting up factories all across the island has had a momentous impact on the economy and this has also been recognized and acknowledged by global apparel chains.
Consequently, with China and India moving on from garment exports, countries like Cambodia and Vietnam being new to the trade and the Bangladeshi apparel industry facing serious issues and concerns, the one country that can meet the requirements of global brands and apparel chains on the platforms they require is Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is perfectly positioned to assertively take advantage. As good capacity becomes progressively shorter, global customers and apparel businesses will be compelled to pay premium prices for the island’s apparel capacities.
With this change in the apparel environment, the Sri Lankan apparel industry is able to give more employment opportunities as well as bring in a higher foreign exchange to the country, sealing a place on the apparel map for years to come.