For many garment manufacturers in the EuroMed zone, the business climate is complex and the season has kicked off somewhat slowly. “It was hot, and long-legged pants were not much in demand,” says Wadjdi Saidane, head of collections at Tunisia’s Texpro, specialized in the manufacture of men’s jeans. “The nice weather has impacted business, but it’s consumers’ purchasing power that is the difficulty, and encourages brands to lower their prices ever further,” said Mouhcine Lemseffer, director of CM3 Shirts Limited, whose workshops are located in Morocco. Margarida Oliveira, in charge of the UK market for Portugal’s Triwool, notes that some factories in the EuroMed zone are offering even lower prices than China. “That throws everything off,” she regretted.
In light of this, all eyes are on the devaluation of the Turkish currency. It would make the country more competitive, especially for everything related to the production of pants and shirts. “But for how long?” wonders a Moroccan business professional. Indeed, the Association of Exporters of the Aegean region of Turkey acknowledges that a monetary change has a positive effect at the moment, but may cause uncertainties in the future.
In this context, specialists in the EuroMed zone continue to be as competitive as possible, offering order writers ever more “full package” services. “We try to win them over with our diversity, competitive prices and quick turn-around times. For example, there’s a major call right now for navy blue and red clothing. We can supply that now, ready-to-go, unlike Asia, whose delivery times are too long to guarantee that kind of reactivity,” said Sophie Lesueur, head of Up Consulting, which supports manufacturers in the EuroMed zone. “We have to be the best, accept orders in small quantities, deliver as quickly as we can,” adds Eser Yaratan, Sales and Marketing Manager of the Turkish company Seyfeli.
Environmental and social eco-responsibility is another means of standing out. Texpro has just acquired a new washing unit for its Global Organic Textile (GOT) certified denims. “The sector is becoming more and more aware of the issue… Plastic waste in the oceans has had an impact on everyone,” says Wadjdi Saidane. In the same way, for French exhibitors at Manufacturing, “made in France” is part of a citizen-based approach that should be capitalised on. “Consumers are increasingly aware that, by dressing in French apparel, they are participating somehow in the safeguarding of national jobs. Our company can use this as a way to grow,” says Stéphane Marseille, head of the Mod Passion manufacturing atelier. Another way of saying that a company’s added value can hinge on ethics too, and not just prices.
PREMIERE VISION MANUFACTURING, Hall 6