What’s changed for the manufacturers, subcontractors and garment manufacturers at Première Vision Manufacturing? Now, they’re sourcing fabrics, developing ideas, offering turnkey collections, and even printing labels in the name of brands… « We have to be able to do everything, » summed up many exhibitors. This is an underlying current in the mid-range sector, and the trend is gaining ground over outsourcing and co-contracting, though high-end customers continue to develop their own collections and select their own raw materials.
Their evolving role is due to a variety of factors. « There’s more and more competition, so we’ve got to offer innovative services to stand out. It helps us to stay in the game, » says Sanem Kavaklioglu of Turkey’s Larmatex. The same strategy holds for Jalil Rais, general manager of Morocco’s Marisa, specialized in making jeanswear. As he puts it, spotlighting shorter delivery times is no longer always a selling point. « Asia also delivers quickly, » he noted.
The indecisiveness of European consumers also makes order writing a more delicate task. As does the unpredictable weather, which complicates (or even cancels) restockings, while ordered quantities continue to decline. « For some brands in the launch phase, their needs are similar in quantity to the samplings we do for the large groups we work for… it’s a shame, but it’s a market trend, » said Daniela Xavier, director of marketing for Spain’s Fermir.
Pressure on prices is also extremely strong. According to Simonas Gedzius, CEO of LTM Garments, prices can’t keep lowering, especially as he finds that in his country, Lithuania, the workforce is getting harder and harder to find due to low wages. And this situation extends to other regions, including those in the Mediterranean basin.
Each country is looking for its own solutions. For Morocco, their proximity to Europe is an asset for small series and the short circuit. For the manufacturers in Mauritius, preferential trade agreements with the U.S. and Europe are a plus. « We are also focusing on luxury and technical clothing. And we’re also pursuing business in African countries where the garment-manufacturing demand is growing, » noted Nitish Gobin from Enterprise Mauritius, a promotional agency.
Portugal’s fashion manufacturers also remain very upbeat. « Many of our customers who had left came back because they appreciate our services. Portugal has also made significant investments. The road infrastructure is better… We’re once again competitive and our political stability is reassuring, » explained José Carlos Rodrigues, director of Unilopes. By specializing in niche markets such as seamless garments and cosmeto-textiles, Karim Rejeb Sfar, CEO of New Body Line, also expressed satisfaction. Even though he, like his colleagues, sees the changes in his business, adding: « Competition is everywhere, so you must know how to stand out!«
PREMIERE VISION MANUFACTURING