Fiji shows steady growth in custom clothing manufacturing
The garment industry has been active in Fiji for a long time, and Image Label Systems has been supporting the industry there since the mid 1990’s.
With Fiji growing in popularity as a viable alternative to China and Asia, we take pride in the fact that we were there far ahead of the curve.
As production methods and needs change, Fiji continues to grow and develop its garment industry which serves as a reliable near sourcing partner for designers and brand owners in both New Zealand and Australia.
Adeshni Pratap is Image label Systems’ Fiji based business manager and her insight and understanding of the industry is invaluable. In order to help new and emerging designers develop an understanding of what is possible for their garment production, we asked Adeshni some questions specific to manufacturing in Fiji.
What are the main advantages to manufacturing in Fiji?
Fitting seamlessly into an average working day is of significant importance to many of our clients. No one wants to factor in difficult time differences, language barriers or overwhelmingly strong cultural practises that are not compatible with their individual operating methods.
For these reasons Fiji shines above most; never more than an hour’s time difference with New Zealand and a two hour difference with Australia.
Fiji’s business environment is very closely compatible with those in Australia and New Zealand, and so doing business has a comfortable feel.
How does Fiji compare with manufacturing in China – what’s more attractive?
There are often times that businesses need something they can’t necessarily get out of China, for example, a low volume range with fast turn-around.
If you go to China with that exact need the answer will be… “you have to buy this many, you have to buy this many per SKU or size and style and your turnaround will be X”.
If you are a young designer, just starting out and still deciding on your range and volume this can make things more difficult, not to mention expensive. Fiji will manufacture any number of items per SKU right down to 1 unit, which, coupled with the fast turnaround, ensures the customer can hold less stock an therefore incur less end of season discounting.
Fiji has been able to secure a fantastic niche market with a particular focus on things like sports wear, active wear and work wear (HIVIS and overalls). When it comes to sportswear, sales and demand stem from a range with a large number of sizes, but not necessarily huge numbers per size, and resellers need to be able to order on a short lead time.
What Fiji offers is a flexible and local alternative to China and Asia that whilst it may not be cheaper is far more flexible, geographically close and culturally similar.
People are often surprised when we tell them that the Kookai garments are made in Fiji. We believe more brands will support Fiji based production as designers realise the benefits of proximity sourcing in Fiji.
Are more start-up businesses near sourcing in Fiji?
Mount Maunganui-based friends and entrepreneurs Nicola and Claire have just launched their new boutique lingerie, lounge and swimwear brand Surfclub that has a brand focus on ethical production, with the products made here in New Zealand and in Fiji. It is another example of local design looking to near source and a viable and fitting option is Fiji.
In recent times areas like Bangladesh and China have seen poor health and safety conditions for garment producing employees.
Fiji on the other hand maintains an enviable reputation for ethical and responsible production methods. In a time of social awareness and growing trends away form unethical producers, Fiji’s production methods will continue to shine.
If Fiji is looking like the path for you and you need labelling advice and expertise, Image Label Systems can help. We have a strong belief in the methods and practices of our Fiji partners and are more than happy to share our knowledge and skills with you.
Our team and Image Label Systems offer effective solutions for brand imagery through customised labels and packaging. From design to distribution, our services include clothing labels, RFID tagging, barcode labels and custom retail packaging.
We understand that no two businesses are the same and work with you to create a tailored product design that will ensure a consistent representation of your brand. Supplying the USA and Asia Pacific region, we have representatives across the globe, so call us today to find out how we can help you.