The stagnation seen in apparel imports by both the US and EU this year is severely impacting the manufacturers in south-east Asian countries. Players in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and to some extent India are now earnestly vying for the space being vacated by China in apparel manufacturing; this seems to be the only way to grow.
Interestingly, while manufacturing in India is now increasingly being safeguarded by the growing local market fuelled by rising consumption by both expected and unexpected markets, other countries have very little to back on.
Even as south-east Asian manufacturers try to find new markets and better penetration in older markets, they are hit by the growing preference for onshoring and nearshoring, both of which are faraway dreams for manufacturers in this region… The advantage is definitely going to places like Turkey, East Europe and Mexico.
The reflections of this trend were strongly visible at the recently concluded Texprocess in Germany, a must-visit fair for the sewing industry. The shift in technology is noticeably on digital interventions for operational flexibility and ease of operations.
Secondly, amidst all the focus centering around automation, robotics and 3D rendering, concepts like digital factories, micro-factories, on-demand manufacturing processes, additive technology and whole-garmenting etc.,are bound to shift the business back to the West, whether in the country of retail or near to it.
The interest that lies in these concepts is obvious, and at Texprocess, the micro-factory theme stole the show with at least five factories on display. Each demonstrated how companies can adopt this concept in order to transform their factories or retail stores, and embrace on-demand manufacturing.
The event also became a launching pad for new technologies in sewing with giants such as Vibemac, Vetron and Duerkopp Adler displaying their latest innovations, all for customers’ ease of operations.
Taking a drive towards new directions, this issue of StitchWorld looks at the cloud based solutions that are revolutionising the merchandising process to save ample amount of resources, money and time, resulting in higher efficiency and shorter lead time. The article highlights how global leaders like Tukatech, Gerber Technology, Lectra and Simbus are transforming the fashion industry with this innovative cloud based model.
Another interesting article for our readers this time is on sports bra, a challenging garment that demands support and shape of breasts in dynamic conditions (especially bouncing). The team analyses the Maaree Smart Sports Bra, delving deep into the innovative pattern of engineering and construction that goes behind it.