No matter where the apparel industry takes you, we will follow
The apparel industry is constantly adapting to its climate, forever changing, expanding, and moving to keep ahead of the game.
Because of this fast-moving and dynamic business, production and sourcing are always in a state of flux.
A company can be happily manufacturing goods in one place for years, but political or economic factors can suddenly change, forcing them to relocate, sometimes to a different country entirely.
This “apparel caravan” – moving from place to place to get the most out of production – can be a huge and costly problem for some, but fortunately not for our clients.
The nomadic apparel industry
In this industry, brands are constantly assessing and evaluating their sourcing options.
And who can blame them?
A slight tweak in packaging here or a wider profit margin there can make a huge difference to your profit margins. And, for many smaller companies, optimising their supply chain dynamics can mean the difference between staying afloat and going under.
Price of materials, quality of the final product, time-to-market, and relationship with the manufacturer, can all be contributing factors in a decision to move, and that’s just the things that we can control.
Outside influences such as politics, war or natural disasters can all take the decision out of our hands, forcing us to move to a different region, country or even continent.
The US/China trade war
The perfect example of this unpredictable business is happening right now.
Donald Trump started a Trade War with China, the effects of which are now being felt by the apparel industry.
It started with an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods being imported into the United States, including clothes.
China, of course, responded by placing their own tariffs in a tit-for-tat fashion.
These price increases eventually get passed on to the consumer, but for brands just treading water, any cost increase in sourcing can be the final straw.
For many, their only option is to find a cheaper production option elsewhere and look to South-East Asian countries such as Vietnam or Indonesia.
And it’s not just China Trump has picked a Trade War with.
Last year the US started charging levies on the imports of steel and aluminium from the European Union, Mexico and Canada.
The European Union retaliated with tariffs on €2.8bn worth of US goods on products such as bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and orange juice.
In June Mexico announced new tariffs on US products, including whiskey, steel, and pork, and Canada imposed retaliatory tariffs on 16.6bn Canadian dollars-worth of US products.
All this fighting is bad for the global economy and even worse for small-to-medium enterprises.
Our strengths are in scale, flexibility and financial backing
One of our biggest strengths is our flexibility to change and evolve with our clients.
We have the scale and ability of a large, multi-national company, and we have the financial muscle to back it all up, but at the same time, we are not a faceless corporation.
We have a simple organisational structure, allowing us to make decisions quickly and effectively, and always in the best interests of our clients.
If a client comes to us and says they want to move their entire production set-up from China to Malaysia, then it’s not a problem. We can set up sourcing there, supplying all their label and packaging products, almost immediately.
Unlike our competitors, we’ve developed a business model which allows us to follow our clients, no matter where the fickle apparel industry takes them.
Following the Apparel Caravan
With our impressive range of contacts across the world, and in particular South-East Asia, no matter where our clients set up, we can follow.
If you’re based in Vietnam, but next year you want to move to India, then we can help.
If Trump’s 25% tariffs in China are affecting your bottom line, then a move to a more cost-effective country might be your best bet.
If you’re happy where you are, but don’t know what the future holds, we’ll still be there when you need us. We are already in the locations which cover the vast majority of sourcing, and we’re growing and expanding every year.
If you would like to know more about how we can help your business keep up with the apparel caravan, then contact us today.
No matter where your business is going, we will be there with you.